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 (This is what originally came out of my pen when I sat down to pen my weekly race review. It wasn’t my usual race report so I kept this and wrote a usual race report which became Oral B 500: Back In  The Saddle Again (Part 1) –  Amy).

Pre-Race Invocation in Atlanta

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, looks on prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway (Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America)

As I sit here, in a car wash of all places, scratching out the rough draft of my weekly race report, the song Back In The Saddle by Aerosmith is a constant refrain echoing against the walls of my skull and will not leave me. It echoes even louder and more constant then the golf tournament playing on the ancient television set turned up far too loud that needs two types of converters just to get the digital signal to the local station. I have effectively started and crossed out and then started over again (because I am old school and use paper and pen most of the time- then convert my posts to digital) this post at least three times, all while waiting for my SUV to be be brought around from the back where the washing happens to the front where the hand detailing takes place, because I just can’t seem to get the post quite right. Because obviously I have more to say about the emotion of the race than I do the race itself. (more…)

(Note: This is not what first came out of my pen when I sat down to write my weekly race report- that will follow tomorrow. But this is the race report much akin to what you are use to- Amy)

Tony and Crew walk to the grid

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, walks with crew members on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America)

Much to the glee of Tony Stewart fans (myself included) their driver was back this week at Atlanta for the Oral B 500. The weekend started of with a presser, a heart-felt statement read by a Tony Stewart we haven’t seen before: a very raw, obviously heartbroken one.  It was hard to watch and some wondered why he even bothered with a presser since he wouldn’t be taking questions himself. Personally I think that was mostly a “I am here to race, but I won’t answer your questions because the investigation is still ongoing and I frankly I am still quite raw about the incident so please for the love of Pete just leave me alone while I get back into the swing of racing.” I can’t imagine the amount of media pressure and scrutiny he felt like he was under, what the team felt like it was under. (more…)

Tony Stewart Atlanta Presser

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, speaks to the media prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.  (Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America)

“I’ve taken the last couple weeks off out of respect for Kevin and his family, and also to cope with the accident in my own way. It’s given me the time to think about life and how easy it is to take it for granted. I miss my team, my teammates. I miss being back in the race car.  I think being back in the car this week with my racing family will help me get through this difficult time.”– Tony Stewart, Atlanta Media Presser, August 29th, 2014

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*TQMS= The Quotable Mr. Stewart. Click here for previous editions of the TQMS posts.

#KeepDiggingTony #StandWithSmoke

Driven by K. Bromberg

This is my favorite kind of book review to do for BadGroove. Why you ask? Because it’s the kind that I share because I stumbled upon something I absolutely loved. This review was NOT solicited (you always know when I am because I put my usual disclaimer at the bottom of the review)- instead I am reviewing it because I had to share it with you all because it’s THAT GOOD. It’s the kind of review where I am thankful I can make it work for this blog because I know that some of you will like it too.

I was introduced to the Driven Trilogy by a Facebook friend. We were chatting back and forth about reading and books and she asked if I had  read anything by K Bromberg?  I hadn’t and at the time I happened to be in a reading mood but nothing I had downloaded was holding my attention enough.  So on her suggestion alone I downloaded the entire trilogy to my Kindle.  I devoured the whole three book series in four and a half days and it left me wanting more. I think it will leave you wanting more too. Luckily for us we don’t have long to wait.

The Driven trilogy is a racy romance but it is also so much more. It centers around Rylee Thomas, a social worker working with abused children at a halfway house (called THE HOUSE) that is much more like a home than most of these boys have ever known. One night at a fundraiser for THE HOUSE Rylee literally falls into the arms of race car driver and renown player Colton Donovan. (more…)

On a sunny Sunday in late March I drove my beloved silver 2008 Chevrolet HHR LT to my local Chevy dealership and left a few hours later with a bright shiny champagne silver…Chevy Equinox. Those who follow this blog or even my online social media are probably surprised that I didn’t leave with a Chevy Camaro. I have loved the Camaro since they re-debuted it and I continue to.  It’s a gorgeous car especially in that hot bright yellow color that I love.

So how on earth did I come out with a small SUV then?  Did I get talked into it by the salesman? Was it a last minute, impulse buy? The answer to both of the latter questions there are a resounding no. I went to the dealership with the express purpose of test driving a specific Equinox that I had already been discussing back and forth with the dealer through email and to see what they would give me for my HHR. As a matter of fact we had already done most of the haggling about the Equinox over email, and I had already been approved for financing.  It was just a matter of details. I went in knowing full well what an HHR was worth thanks to KBB.com as a trade in (you can also see what you can expect to get for it if you sell it yourself- something I did NOT want to go through the hassle of trying to do).

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Winding Up For The Pitch

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, throws his hans device at Kevin Harvick (not pictured), driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet, after an on-track incident  at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America)

I couldn’t resist the title. After the Denny/Harvick incident I actually tweeted that.  But I am getting ahead of myself. Bristol is one of my favorite tracks to watch on television; it and Martinsville. I guess I am a just a short track racing girl at heart.  Jeff Burton was again piloting the #14 Bass Pro Chevy for our driver Tony Stewart.  He qualified the #14 25 for the race- I wasn’t able to catch ANY of practice or qualifying so I couldn’t gauge how the car was running and had no idea what to expect from our team 14.

I was pleased to see that once the green flag flew Jeff Burton was able to move up through the field, slowly and steadily picking off positions one at a time fairly methodically and patiently- a feat that is not easy at a track that known to ignite the tempers of even the most mild mannered of drivers. Crew Chief Chad Johnston made an interesting call during a caution at lap 198 and that put the 14 car up in the top four of the race! That right there was a BEAUTIFUL thing to see. (more…)

I live on the Monterey Bay and last week was Car Week. Monterey Car week centers around the famed Concours d’ Elegance which if you are not familiar with Concours it is a very prestigious car show where cars are judged on a variety of merits including authenticity, function, history, and style. It’s a huge event and beautiful and amazing cars from around the country are entered. To go along with Concours there are tons of car-related events: car shows, motorsports club gatherings, tons of car auctions, car accessory and art shows, and the Rolex Motorsports Reunion. I have had a chance to wander around some of the car shows and auctions in recent years (i.e. the free ones) but I have never actually gone to the Rolex Motorsports Reunion at Mazada Raceway (Laguna Seca to us life long locals) until this year that is. My dad got his hands on free tickets for Saturday and asked if I would go with him. My answer was HECK YEAH! I love cars, I love racing, and I didn’t have anything pressing to do on Saturday that couldn’t be put off until the afternoon- so going to the raceway for free? Sign me up!

We got to the raceway early on Saturday morning and it was foggy which is not uncommon for this area this time of year.  The fog burned off early and we had sun for most of the day.  We spent the first part of our day in the paddock enjoying all the cars on display and getting ready to race. And of course you know I took my camera with me because I love getting pictures in the paddock!

I might have drooled a little on this corvette in the paddock at the Rolex Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on August 16th, 2014. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

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The 14 Crew tends to the Mobil 1 Chevy

The 14 Crew tends to the Mobil 1 Chevy piloted by Jeff Burton substituting for Tony Stewart (Photo Credit: Stewart-Haas Facebook Page)

Jeff Burton stepped in to substitute for Tony Stewart at this past weekend’s race The Pure Michigan 400.  He was starting to pull up through the field after qualifying the 14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet 27th.  It was a brand spanking new car and unfortunately it seems that at some point during the beginning of the race the tailpipe had cracked and caught the heat shields of the car on fire.  Jeff Burton radioed in and stated that he smelled smoke in the cockpit- and it smelled electrical.  Around lap 75 or so he brought the car in for a regular pit stop and a quick look from the 14 pit crew.  While they smelled the odor they were unable to figure out what was causing it. Jeff Burton returned to the track only to be called back in a lap later.  After another look Chad Johnston decided to take the 14 back to the garage to fix it right.  The crew worked really hard to get the 14 car back out on the track- albeit 24 laps down.  I love that never quit spirit! Jeff Burton continued to pilot the car for the rest of the race and brought it home to a 37th place finish. The 14 car is now 23rd in owner points. (more…)