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(Photo Source: Zimbio.com/Robert Laberge/Getty Images North America)

Replacement Driver: Ty Dillon

Started: 34th

Finished: 25th

I am surprised that I have seen so much complaining on my social media regarding the quality of the racing at Bristol this weekend. While I will agree with those that say the racing product at the track hasn’t been the same since they redid the track the last time (I have felt this way about the racing at Phoenix as well)- I thought that racing at the track on Sunday was quite good and I was watching it from the national broadcast and not sitting in the stand. I think the track is getting back to being more of it’s old self and I hope that as the track continues to season and the racing packages improve that will cultivate an elevated racing product back to the bumping and grinding that short track NASCAR racing is famous for. (more…)

(Photo source: Stewart-Haas Racing Race Release)

Well it seems that my brain is full of lugnuts this week! Here is what has been pinging around my brain like lugnuts during a green flag pitstop:

1. I find it interesting that Kyle Busch’s recent back-to-back sweeps has sparked a lot of interest but not in the way you would think. Instead of everyone being a buzz about what a monumental accomplishment back-to-back weekend sweeps (even haters have to be impressed) are,  most of the buzz I am hearing is from NASCAR fans who don’t think that the cup drivers should be able to drive in any of the feeder series but instead should be relegated to just driving the premiere cup series.  If this is the case (and I don’t believe this should be the case AT ALL just to make that clear) then by following that same logic new drivers should not drive in the cup series until they have a full time cup ride. See? Cup drivers driving in the series not just give the up-and-coming racers different driving levels and styles to drive with and around (the thought here being is that they can learn from the cup series regulars) but there is the bigger draw to having the cup drivers participate in races in the “lesser” series  and that is that you are drawing fans to seats that might not have otherwise been filled.  I honestly don’t see a problem with it. It’s not like the cup drivers can run for the lesser series championships anymore so I don’t really see why it’s a big deal- they should be able to run if they have the ride and sponsorship to do so.  I know that when Tony occasionally would run what is now the Xfinity series I would be more apt to tune in and pay attention then not.


I love to read. It’s how I learn, how I escape. It’s something I try to do every day if and when possible. And when I come across books that I think fellow NASCAR fans would love I review them here- I have been doing it awhile now and you can read back through all those different book reviews here.  A few years ago I was introduced to the Kate Reilly Mystery series by author Tammy Kaehler. I was asked to review book two- which I jumped right into no quite realizing it was the second book of a series- and while the book read fine (and I LOVED it) by itself- I found myself compelled to go back to the first book and read that. I have been hooked on the Kate Reilly mysteries ever since and greatly anticipate the next one coming out. The reason these books fall into something I can review here on BG is because Kate Reilly just happens to be a young up-and-coming racer and the books tend to center each around one particular race.  When I saw on the author’s facebook page that the fourth installment of the series, Red Flags, was due this month I was beyond excited and not just because I would have a fiction book to review which I haven’t had in awhile, but because I LOVE these books.

You know that feeling when you are reading a series, or even just a new book by an author that you love and you are greatly anticipating the release of that book, but in the back of your mind you worry that you will be disappointed? I had that worry with this book because in my mind I had hyped it up and was so excited for the release that I couldn’t imagine it would live up to the hype in my head.  Well luckily for us all- it not only lived up to it- but it surpassed it.  I dare say that Red Flags is the best book in the currently four book series to date. And with that I will say while this book could probably be read as a standalone you will find it a much richer reading experience to read the other three books in the series (Deadman’s Switch, Braking Points, Avoidable Contact).

Now onto this book: Kate Reilly is a busy busy racer. She arrives in Long Beach for the Grand Prix of Long Beach busy- she is not just racing her car in the Sportscar event, but she is also coaching a celebrity driver in the pro-am race, and taking one of the steps towards her big dream- testing an Indycar in Fontana. Not to mention meeting with her two biggest sponsors- Frame Savings and Beaute. Yet the first thing we see of Kate in Long Beach? She is identifying the body of her despised cousin Billy who has Kate’s hero card in his pocket at the time of his obvious murder.  She vows that this time she will leave it to the authorities but of course she gets roped into investigating who might be responsible in this mystery that has more turns than a road course.  I don’t want to get too much into plot points with this book because I don’t want to spoil anything…but as far as plot lines go I was guessing who was responsible from the beginning and who I thought killed Billy and who actually ended up killing Billy? I never suspected that person. (more…)

(Photo Source: Zimbio.com/Sean Gardner/Getty Images North America)

Replacement Driver: Brian Vickers

Started: 13th

Finished: 37th

Texas was just not kind to Brian Vickers and team 14 on Saturday night.  It’s unfortunate because I know several of my Facebook friends were there to support the team and endured damp  conditions for a portion of the day. I know they had fun despite but I hate it for them and I hate it for Team 14 because that team has been working it’s guts out on getting that car better and it seems to be working for the most part.  (more…)

(photo source: Tony Stewart Foundation)

If you read BadGroove, follow me on social media, know me in real life, or just happened to have followed me down a freeway or on my way to work there is no doubt in your mind that I am a Tony Stewart fan through and through. I wear it on my person, in my office, and on my car.

This very blog is a testament to my fandom for Tony Stewart. Since I have been blogging about Tony and NASCAR, I have attempted several times to sit down and do a post to explain how and why I am a Tony Stewart fan and I always seem to just stare at the blank post and not get very far because it’s not just ONE thing about Tony that drew me to him initially or continues to draw me to him today. And that is why I ADORE that the Tony Stewart Foundation is using a new marketing reach this year encompassing everything that is Tony Stewart.  The foundation debuted a brand new website that was revealed last month and is using the hashtag #WholeySmoke to showcase all sides of Tony in their website  content; Tony the fiery, tenacious, and passionate racer, Tony the business owner (he owns something like 12 different companies- did you know that?), Tony the car owner, and the side that gets left out of the media more often than not Tony Stewart the philanthropist.  To quote the photo I snagged from the Tony Stewart Foundation the new website highlights “All Things Tony Stewart.”

What is the Tony Stewart Foundation? (more…)

(photo credit: Amy K. Marbach)

This is a list of what’s been pinging around my brain like loose lugnuts during a green flag pit stop:

1. It’s time to start voting for the driver you want to see in the Sprint All-Star Race in May! You can vote daily!

2. It’s also time to vote for the hero you think should have The Brickyard 400 named after them! Visit Rename The Brickyard After A Hero page now to get your daily vote in! You will be voting for one of five nominated heros: Piper Hill, Chris Mintz, Jason Redman, Leigh Ann Hester, and Michael Gallardo.  The page has a bio of each hero at the end of which is a button that you can press to vote for that particular hero. Of course all five are deserving in their own unique way but unfortunately only one can win.

3. Probably THE most interesting news item to come after the race last weekend at Martinsville comes from the post-race traffic jam. You know how you are driving 5 mph at a snails pace after the race. Just remember- you never know who is in the lane next to you.  One lucky Kyle Busch fan found that out first hand on Sunday: (more…)

(Photo Source: Zimbio.com/Sarah Crabill/Getty Images North America)

Replacement Driver: Brian Vickers

Started: 3rd

Finished: 7th

Martinsville has always been a favorite track of mine to watch. I think I just enjoy watching the close quarters short track, rubbin’ is racin’ kind of racing because it transfers very well to a television product more so than the longer 1.5 mile midsize tracks (in most cases). Of course that’s not to say that I don’t watch the 1.5 milers, or the super speedways. If there is a Sprint Cup race it’s on I tend to be watching it (obviously or how would I write about it). Of course one of the bad thing about short tracks is that it’s quite easy to get a lap down yet not quite so easy to get that lap back- just ask Dale Jr who spent a majority of the race a lap down after trouble early in the race- but I digress because this is not a Jr. blog now is it?

What a great race Brian Vickers and Team 14 had at Martinsville in the Janssen Arnie’s Army Chevy this weekend. All practices were awesome and Brian was able to qualify the 14 car 3rd! It was an awesome effort all around. (more…)

(Share with us why Tony Stewart is your driver- be part of Project: Smoke In My Eyes today!– Amy) 

The side of Tony that I relate to most and admire most is the man himself, away from the track.  Its in the way he looks at a child, they way he stoops down to be at their level when he talks to them.  Its the pure love that I see as both of their hearts melt into one touching moment in time.  Its the Tony who loves and relates animals.  Its the Tony who always jumps into to help another at the drop of a hat, never asking what is in it for him.

(photo credit: Tony Stewart Foundation)

NASCAR has given him a platform and a voice that has enabled him to reach out through the Tony Stewart Foundation to really support those who need it most.

The passion that he puts into Eldora Speedway is awe-inspiring.  To see him out prepping the track late at night shows his dedication to the racers and the fans to make sure they get the best experience possible.

To see Tony dressed for Halloween with a bowl of fruit atop is head, in a dress, is priceless and shows his amazing sense of humor.  And, I will never forget him snuggling with a pig in a blanket!  Pork chop cannot be the softest thing I can think of to snuggle with, though he is rather handsome.

Tony makes me laugh when I least expect it.  He is an inspiration and just an amazing regular guy, who also happens to be an amazing racer with one great big heart.

These are just a few glimpses of the Tony that I admire the most.  I cannot wait to see what he is up to next.

—- Melinda Foster (@fostmel830), East Bend, NC

If you want to take part in Project: Smoke In My Eyes there is still time! Click on the link for more information and submit your piece today!