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(I ended up breaking this post up into two parts because it was just too long once I added in all the pictures.  Enjoy and watch for Part 2: Sunday tomorrow–Amy)

As I mentioned in a post several weeks ago- I had really been jonesing for a race.  I LOVE being at a race track and Race Sonoma couldn’t possibly get here fast enough for me. Sonoma Raceway is slowly worming it’s way into my heart as one of my favorite tracks that we get to attend in person.  The weather is almost always beautiful when the NASCAR race is there and we seem to almost always find something fun to do off track as well as have incredible adventures at track. After all it was at Sonoma Raceway that Misty interviewed Jeff Gordon a couple of years ago.  Anyway- I had been looking forward to this race pretty much since March.

I love the smell of oil, gas and nomex in the morning.

Friday morning garage picture as tweeted on June 20th, 2014 from my phone. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

Our Friday at Sonoma Raceway started bright and early. It’s kind of ironic to me that Misty and I spend a good majority of the vacation hours that we each earn at our respective jobs for our “racations” where we tend to be up and at it just as early (or in my case specifically – earlier) and just as hard as we do for our jobs.

Anyway- I had heard that both Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick were running patriotic paint schemes at Race Sonoma. So my first mission was to try to capture photos of them. My favorite place to do that is as the cars are being rolled out of the technical inspection tent. I caught them and a few more: (more…)

While I didn’t watch the truck race at Talladega- I did hear about the last lap melee that ensued and it had me sitting down on Sunday with my usual trepidation about Talladega. I know you probably think I kid but this track makes me very very nervous. From what I heard of the ending of the truck race- I had every reason to be worried.  Luckily there wasn’t anything major that happened. Well if you don’t count Austin Dillon’s little flight on the last lap.

Austin Dillon, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, looks on prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images North America)

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#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…)