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Project: Smoke In My Eyes

Tony Stewart as posted by NASCAR on Instagram

The Idea:

Towards the end of the 2015 season, I started putting feelers out there in the internet asking for fan submissions for BadGroove asking for a paragraph or three about Tony Stewart to memorialize and celebrate what Tony Stewart means to the fans. I have had a couple of submissions come in (view Smoke In Your Eyes submissions) already.

Then I got a great idea while driving to work the other day. Why not capture these thoughts and put them in a book that we (as fans- every one who submits a story will have their name on their story as well as at the beginning of the book) can give toTony.

What I need from you:

The only thing I need from you, my fellow Tony Stewart fans, are your stories your own words (I will do spell checking and the like but will not change your words). It can be about anything Tony related (including but not limited to): why you are his fan, what being his fan has meant to you, a personal experience with him, a favorite piece of merchandise…it can be anything Tony related and how it relates to YOU!

I have to get at least 7 (can do more) to make it worth the while of putting together the book. I currently have 2, plus mine that is three so I really only need 4 more.

So please help me with Project: Smoke In My Eyes- a book about Tony by his FANS. So all I am asking you for, my fellow Tony Stewart fans, are your stories. I want them to be in your words- but don’t worry I will spell check them. You can email them to me here: badgruv@netzero.com

You can also include any pics that YOU HAVE TAKEN if you have some- maybe meeting Tony,  you in your favorite Smoke Gear, a vanity plate you might have- anything Tony centric that might go with your story. But the trick is  YOU must be the photographer. If you don’t have a picture to go with it-  - don’t worry I will add my own pictures. Don’t let this dissuade you from sharing your Smoke In My Eyes story with us (and Tony).


For right now we will say that the deadline for your stories is going to be August 1st 2016. This deadline might be extended depending on the response I get so keep your eyes peeled here. This will give me enough time to proof the spelling on everything and put it into book format.

NOTE WE ARE NO LONGER TAKING SUBMISSIONS….Thank you to all who participated!

The Book:

I am pretty sure I will be using Shutterfly to make the book. If it turns out like I am imagining it I can also have it available for you to purchase through Shutterfly. I have created books before through shutterfly – and often give them as gifts (most recently I did books of my newphew’s baseball photos for my parents).

Please note: I will not be profiting on the book AT ALL. What you pay to Shutterfly (should you chose to do so) is to have your particular book printed up- it will something you will pay directly to Shutterfly and they will ship directly to you – I will have no part in that.  The book will likely be kind of expensive- but if you sign up for a shutterfly account they are often sending promo coupons through email and can catch it on a good deal.  You don’t have to purchase the book to have your story included.

PROJECT Updates:

Stories received: 4 (1/28/2016)

Stories received: 5 (2/1/2016)

Good news! We have enough stories to make the book happen so submit yours today! (5/16/16)

I am currently working on compiling the book- I got a lot more submissions that I had anticipated so it’s taking a bit -Stay tuned. (10/25/16)

The book has been completed and ordered. If you participated in the book you should have gotten an email from me and from shutterfly with the link to view the book. If you haven’t received your link yet please contact me at badgruv@netzero.com

13 Responses

  • I was a Tony fan since day 1!!!! When I heard that he was coming to a local Home Depot a few years back, I knew I had to go. My husband drove me down. I got there at 8:00 p.m. the night before. No one else showed up until about 10 p.m. I was first in line! there must have been over 1000 people in line by 6 in the morning. The staff even handed out coffee and hot chocolate. 8:00 a.m. the stores opened. We all got hand bracelets and told to come back. I didn’t want to loose my spot, so stayed until he came. Once the store left us in, my heart started pumping!!! What a joy seeing him! We must have talked to him over ten minutes. A person in the crowd took our picture, but she never sent it to me. :-( But what a thrill to see him, talk to him, and shake his hand!

  • Christine Allison says:

    Hi Amy,
    I absolutely love this idea!! I think it will be something for Tony, as well as all of his fans, to treasure for a lifetime!! I would love to contribute, and I will. Hopefully, the picture I have of him has not been lost, (my computer crashed a while back) and I will send that along with my thoughts. Once again, thank you for all that you do for Smoke fans everywhere!!

  • Kari says:

    Amy this is a awesome idea. I have a friend that has so many stories…. I’m hoping she will write something.

  • Donna Saylors says:

    I love this idea, Amy! I definitely want to participate! I’ll get started and get it right over to you! Thank you for everything that you do! 🏁

  • carole Collins says:

    I didn’t watch Nascar much after we lost Dale Sr. Then this rowdy driver named Tony Stewart got my attention and I became a fan. Back before FB, Nascar had fan chat pages for each driver. I became good friends with several people there and we have migrated to Facebook and remain friends to this day. I went to one of his autograph sessions. He floored me to see how incredibly handsome he was in person. I had to go to the next autograph session for a second look. I will be wearing my Smoke gear all season this year. I am hoping to go to Indianapolis for Tony’s last race at his beloved Brickyard. All you Smoke fans, please come out with your tees and hoodies and let’s send Tony off in style.

    I had photos from the autograph session, but they aren’t so good.

  • Jackie Camper says:

    Just checking to make sure you have my submission. I had received an email earlier but when I read earlier submissions I did not see it included. If you do. If you will shoot it nack to me. I will be happy to do some more work to it or add captions to photos. Thanks

  • Kathy Rippy says:

    My husband is a retired disa. vet. Ijust happens to see a race and Tony was running.in Germany. Don’t remember what it was. been to long. But feel in love with him then saw those eyes and his smile he going to be big. Always been a race fan mother wouldn’t let me watch it. Only time would be if brothers was home for vacation. We got back to the states ab 91/92 been a big fan of his just give to see him in person one time. Onllly been to one race that was in Atlanta, Georgia was 60 yrs old. Sorry to see him leave. Love watching him dirt race but don’t show them to often. Still hoping too get to see him. Good luck in the future Tony. You are one great car racer in my book and always will. You didn’t try to break records guess that why I like him so well wanted to win but not like JJ and Kyle think you have to break other peop;es records they will never be as good ad them.

  • Sandra Reader says:

    I have two sons that have been Nascar watchers along time only thing is they like Jeff Gordon ,they were watching and yelling so is a mother sat down and watched my first Nascar race at age 60, they kept telling me I had to pick a driver to cheer for and this driver walked out in this bright orange fire suit and you could tell he was mad, I had know idea why but I told my son’s both grown men I watched and he picked a fight with someone so I told my sons that’s the guy I like his attitude so I ask what his name was and now at 68 I still like what I saw this handsome young driver has been on my TV now when ever there is something going on, my only disappointment has been that I’ve never got to see Tony drive I’ve had it on my bucket list for awhile but I think Tony likes the younger ones so meeting him will always be on my list as one of the things I’d like most, the only one that could change that is Elvis so we know this is never going to happen.Good luck Tony in all you do. Love that Smoke

  • Jackie Camper says:

    I am so excited about this project and honored to have my story included. I know all his fans want in someway to be a part of sharing their love and respect for him as well as letti g him know how much he will be missed. I am so proud to call myself a Smoke fan. Thanks for doing this Amy.

  • Lynn Hamilton says:

    I heard Darrell Waltrip say he would hire Tony Stewart to drive for him if he could afford him. Needing something to renew my fledgling interest in NASCAR, I started looking into who Tony Stewart is. Liked what I saw in Indy cars. Became a fan in 1999, joined his fan club in 2000. I loved that I could call the office and talk to his mom and his aunt. With their help I have a really diverse collection of memorabilia. My favorite is a music box that depicts a pit stop with moving crew members to the tune of “baby let me drive your car”. Tony’s openness and accessibility to his fans has always been a plus. His honest and emotional responses have given NASCAR much needed attention. Most of all I admire Tony as a person. Fame and fortune have not changed him. His generosity and caring nature for humans and animals is unsurpassed. So many things, so little space. He will always have my love and respect.

  • Vicky Zuverink says:

    I’ve watched NASCAR since before there was flag to flag TV coverage. My family knows that when a race is on, that is what I do. I’ve followed different drivers through the years and tend to like the drivers who have been around a while and came up through the ranks. Tony has been my favorite for years and he definitely fits the bill. He can drive anything. I was so sad when I learned he plans to leave NASCAR but that was selfish. He seems as if a weight has been lifted off him and is genuinely happy. I am excited for him as he moves forward and is able to better manage doing what he personally wants to do. Retirement or not, I’ll always be a fan. I’m a member of his fan club and his Foundation. I admire all of the charities he supports. I proudly sport my Tony Stewart Foundation Hoosier license plate here in Indiana. My son-in-law had a really nice conversation with him several years ago just by chance at Bass Pro here in southern Indiana. They discussed hunting and fishing and comment was made to me that Tony is a really, really nice guy. I never had the privilege of shaking his hand but have seen him in person at a few races. I’ll miss following Tony each Sunday on his radio but really wish him well as he goes on to other things that make him happy. No matter what you do, Tony, I know you will do it with all the passion and gusto that you put into your NASCAR ride. We are all better for having let you take us along for the ride!

  • Karen J. Raufeisen says:

    I became a,Smoke fan when I attended the 2005 Brickyard compliments of a church friend. As the race wound down, I just mentioned to my friend, “Wouldn’t it be great if Tony won?” A fellow fan sitting next to me let me listen to Tony talking to Zippy,( Smoke’s crew chief @ the time) & Zippy told Smoke, “Remember the big picture.”. To which Smoke replied,,” F*** the big picture! I am going for the win!” So that was my first introduction to Smoke, watching him climb the fence after his win!
    Then another incident I remember, is @ an autograph session, I got Smoke to actually look up @ me(which he very seldom does for his adult fans), when I asked him about his girlfriend @ the time! I asked him how long he had been dating her, & he smiled, & looked back @ his manager, then smiled @ me again & said, ” It has been 7 months hasn’t it, & that is a long time for me ” We both smiled as I walked away!

  • Jackie Camper says:

    Hey, when will the books be happening? When will they start being available? I’m getting anxious!!

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