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Dad was a purist. His interest began and ended with formula cars. Me, I was more like my racing hero, Jim Clark. He was a double Formula One champion, but he’d driven everything- sports cars, saloon cars, NASCAR and even rally cars. While my dream was to reach Formula One, I’d drive anything.” Hot Seat by Simon Wood.

I was introduced to Simon Wood’s books by association. I posted reviews for Tammy Kaehler’s Kate Reilly Racing books earlier this year (Dead Man’s Switch and Braking Points).  Tammy also blogs about motorsports over at Two For The Road- a blog she shares with Simon Wood (who is a former race car driver) and it was reading this blog that made me look up Simon’s books (he has quite a few books- but so far there are just the two in the Aidy Westlake Mystery series- which are racing related so that was logically where I started).

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I know several people who ride motorcycles. It’s popular here because our local race track, LAGUNA SECA holds several major bike races, plus a neighboring town hosts a 4th of July bike rally.  During these peak times our local roads and highways are inundated with motorcycles of every type and riders of every skill level. (more…)

#SmokeWillRise

#SmokeWillRise adorns the area over the driver door on the #14 Mobil 1 Chevy driven by Austin Dillon in Stewart’s absence at Michigan. (Photo credit: Tony Stewart Facebook page- Click pic to be taken to the original)

I am not surprised that a Ford won at Michigan- it seems that a Ford almost ALWAYS wins at Michigan- before Logano the previous winner of the last two races at Michigan was Ford driver Greg Biffle- see what I mean.

What I am surprised with about the Michigan race? Austin Dillon’s performance in the 14 car!  I know I know- I am biased, BUT I wasn’t sure about Austin Dillon as a choice to run MI.  After all he has little cup car experience.  When Stewart-Haas Racing tweeted out the picture of the yellow rookie stripe on the back of the 14 car I cringed and thought to myself quietly- “this could get ugly” and I fretted a bit.  But then I started seeing practice times. They weren’t that bad all things considered, so I had a little hope.  But then I saw qualifying and was all “eh…that wasn’t so great. Damn rookie.” Yeah I said it…deal with it. Then I saw the results of final practice and was duly impressed. Hmm maybe I misjudged Austin Dillon’s chances (and talents) after all. (more…)

I have been holding back on the review for The Afterlife of Emerson Tang by Paula Champa so that I could purposely publish it this week.  Why? Because it’s Car Week here on the Monterey Peninsula which culminates with our world famous Concours d’Elegance and part of this book actually takes place at Concours. So it’s kind of a local car thing  that is kind of relevant to me and relevant to the blog because it’s about the love of a car- (but that is FAR too simple of a way to describe this book- which I will get to in a minute). This book is NOT NASCAR related- nor is it really even race related- but it is about the love of a very special car and has local tie ins so I had to review it for you. (more…)

The #14 crew work hard on getting that Smokin' 14 car right for Max!

The #14 crew work hard on getting that Smokin’ 14 car right for Max! (Photo Credit: Stewart-Haas Racing Facebook Page- Click picture to be taken to the original)

Ahh- Watkins Glen is hard to write about. (more…)

Sorry I am playing catch up here guys…

The 14 Crew services the #14 Go Daddy Chevy of Tony Stewart at Pocono.

The 14 Crew services the #14 Go Daddy Chevy of Tony Stewart at Pocono. (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Official Store- Click photo for original).

Qualified: 20th

Finished: 9th

Race Winner: Kasey Kahne

Points After Pocono: 11th- five points out of tenth, and 178 points out of first! We are still currently in wild card position and knocking on the door of the top ten again when it comes to the Championship Chase standings! Interesting that we lost ground on tenth- but we gained ground on first. Weird.

My Mood After Pocono: Happy we over came our pit road speeding penalty for a top ten finish! Way to rally!

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I am sure by now you have all heard about Tony Stewart’s crash and tumble and injury (both lower right leg bones broken) in Iowa. It’s not the kind of news us fans like waking up to- or in my case going to bed to.  It’s upsetting to say the least. I know what is going to happen in the mainstream media- Tony will be heartily chastised and criticized about his “hobby racing” and a large contingent of his fanbase will get their knickers in a knot because what makes Tony Stewart, Tony Stewart is that he is a racer… not a race car driver but a racer and there is a difference. I find that difference best expressed oddly enough in a quote from a fiction book about the ALMS series that I recently reviewed here:

Plenty of us were racecar drivers. But a racer was something else, someone who loved driving and competing above all else and who’d drive anything anywhere anytime, just to be strapped into a five-point harness.Dead Man’s Switch by Tammy Kaehler (page 116).

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I learned to drive in a Ford Limited (LTD). I don’t know the year but if I had to guess I would say it was an ’84 maybe at the newest. I know my parents traded in their red Pontiac Starfire (I think it was a ’75- I called her ladybug) for it because my brother and I were getting too big to fit in the back of the Starfire without our knees being under our chins- not to mention the close proximity to each other- enough to poke and otherwise torment each other the way siblings do and then call out with our tattletale refrains from the back seat:

“ARG!! He’s touching me!”

“No!! I’m not touching her! Mom she’s got her foot on me!”

Yeah we were that family.

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