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I don’t know why but I was kind of “eh” about The Prelude To The Dream this year. It doesn’t make ANY sense because I usually count down the days and blog about it incessantly in the preceding months weeks and days. I don’t think I even mentioned it except for putting the details under WE SUPPORT in the navigation bar over there on the left. I even (prepare yourself- this is shocking) almost considered not ordering/watching it.

Tony Stewart drives the #14 Chevrolet during the Feed the Children Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway on June 6, 2012 in Rossburg, Ohio. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images North America)

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First thing I wanted to share about the Kansas race is this picture of Richard Petty (and driver Aric Almirola) being honored by STP at Kansas Speedway since I wrote about the event here:

STP donates $43,000 to Victory Junction to celebrate their 40th Anniversary with “The King” at Kansas Speedway on Friday, April 20. STP Senior Brand Manager, Jamie Kistner (right), presents the $43,000 check to Richard Petty (center), Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 43 STP Ford Fusion (second from right), and Victory Junction Camper Ambassadors (Photo Credit: CIA Stock Photo)

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When I saw Tony’s paint scheme he would be running at the race at Texas Motor Speedway, I knew it was going to be a tough road to hoe.  Why? Because this was his paint scheme last weekend:

 

The Mobil 1 paint scheme with a very green twist- the hood is green to promote their synthetic oil used to help the fuel economy of your car. Also- Green = Bad Luck for Tony. (Photo Credit: Stewart-Haas Racing Twitter Account)

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This will be my third year going to the NASCAR Champions Week celebration in Las Vegas and honestly it’s something that I look forward to attending starting months and months in advance.  I LOVE going to these events because they are usually very fan friendly, fun, plus it’s really great to see the the top 12 drivers in a relaxed situation away from the stress and competition of the race season! I have written about my experiences here each time.  I wrote about the first year here and here. And about last year’s events here and here (and Misty wrote about fanfest).  See- always glowing reviews- and we ALWAYS have fun. If you can manage to get to Vegas for the Champions Week celebration I highly highly suggest that you do it!

One of my favorite events is the NASCAR After The Lap event because it is so much fun to see the drivers really just be themselves.  Last year’s was particularly enjoyable and I learned that Clint Bowyer was a total cut up. Plus seeing and hearing Tony Stewart talk is always FUN.  So this year Misty forwarded me the email she got (because she ordered our tickets last year) with the pre-sale information on them. I bought our AFTER THE LAP tickets this year because she purchased them last year…that’s just how we roll (plus proceeds to the ticket sales go to THE NASCAR FOUNDATION so it’s win-win).  I was quite pleased because of our pre-sale status we got some REALLY close seats (our original seats were: GOLD 2, row DD, seats 13-14) Awesomely close…as in fourth row. Which rocks because last year? We had second to last row.  So awesome for us right?

Yesterday, out of the blue Ticketmaster emails me and says that those totally awesome seats? Were sold in error and that they have assigned us new seats in section 102 row C seats 5 and 6. The email they sent CLEARLY stated that if I wanted to retain these new seats I had until October 28th to reply to the email with my order number and that if I did NOT reply they would cancel my order- no harm no foul.  While I was NOT pleased at all that my uber close, 4th row awesome seats were now relocated to a much further back row I did still want to attend the event so what was I gonna do?  I emailed back with my original order number as specified in my email.  This morning when I checked my email I had a lovely email stating that my ticket order HAD BEEN CANCELLED! CANCELLED! This is definitely PANIC AT THE DISCO time.  I fired back an email stating that I replied per their instructions (and I reread their instructions three times to make sure I didn’t misread) to RETAIN my tickets not to CANCEL them!  Then I decided to call them to reiterate that I wanted my tickets.  They were closed of course. So I waited until 9:00 when they opened and called back again.  The representative who helped me (JAY) was nice and looked up my order number and told me that it indeed was cancelled.  AND not only that but the seats they reassigned me? Sold already. JAY the ticket master rep who helped me found me some equivalent seats (now we are sitting in section 101 Row C seats 5 & 6 but told me that the event is selling out fairly quickly.

So get your tickets for NASCAR AFTER THE LAP ASAP if you want to go- JAY told me they were already starting to run low on seats. And hopefully Ticketmaster won’t screw up your seats like they screwed up ours (TWICE).  See you there…and now you know exactly where we will be sitting so swing by and say HEY (that is of course unless our tickets get moved AGAIN).

Oh and in my rant I nearly forgot to tell you if you visit NASCAR AFTER THE LAP right now you can enter to WIN a trip to Vegas- including two VIP tickets to AFTER THE LAP (probably in my original seats..just kidding, kinda) AND a brand new Ford Explorer.

One of my favorite pictures from last year’s Stewie Awards during the Champions Week…just for fun:

Tony Stewart smiles at the 2010 Stewie Awards in Las Vegas, NV

Probably the best picture of Tony Stewart I have managed to take...because most of them manage to blur because I get nervous and move the camera. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

UPDATE: I am starting to think that TICKETMASTER pre-sale isn’t anything to get excited about that is for sure. Tell me Ticketmaster- what is the point of a pre-sale when I went out of my way to disrupt my morning routine to be sure I would be online the minute the tickets went on pre-sale…and ended up with 4th row seats (or second row in the case of Opal…our first commenter) as my prize for doing so- only to then get railroaded several sections back into the seating because of a supposed error that wasn’t discovered until so many of the seats have already been sold. I bet that if I had waited for tickets to go on sale for regular non pre-sale time slot I would have received just as good if not better seats that I have now.

It’s comparing apples to oranges admittedly but it’s not just the NASCAR After The Lap thing that TICKETMASTER is having a problem administering the pre-sale for.  Here is an article about the Sugarland pre-sale for the makeup concert from the Indiana State Fair tragedy…ticketed fairgoers were suppose to have a special pre-sale of their own (without the sale part- tickets were suppose to be free for them) yet why was a news station able to take advantage of the special sale?

It’s really disappointing and the more I think about it the more disappointed (and ANGRY) I get.

So on Wednesday some guys got together at a little half-mile dirt track in Ohio and played in the dirt raced around it.  They raced for fun and glory….proceeds went to four great children’s hospitals.

I watched the event as I do every year on PPV…but the other day I was searching around and I found a photo album that had some GREAT photos from the event. I wanted to share some of my favorites  (after the jump): (more…)

Restrictor plate racing brings with it it’s own set of rules and lately it’s own style of racing. The two-by-two “pod” style of racing that we saw at Daytona in February was indeed back again at Talladega. It was no surprise that during the extended first practice when it featured many pod runs (two cars bump drafting all the way around the track).

The two car tango that we have been seeing at the plate tracks brings with it two “issues” that seem to be on everyone’s mind. Of course you know I am going to throw my opinion in the ring. (more…)

I love me a good NASCAR commercial. I really do. And I am going to be completely honest…this year’s crop of NASCAR related commercials leaves a LOT to be desired so far.  I have held off on writing this post for so long on the hopes that a new commercial will pop up that I love.   So far really the only #NASCAR related commercial that I enjoy isn’t even available anywhere online.  I have googled my fingers to the bone looking for an embeddable video of it- or even just a link over to the video and I can NOT find one. That commercial is for Gillette and starts Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin. Kyle is hidden in a dining cart at a restaurant and pops his head out to “surprise” unwitting male diners to try Gillette Proglide.  The best two best lines are “Hey Denny (who is in an adjacent dining cart) is that tiramisu?” and then the expression on Kyle’s face when he goes “VROOM VROOM” at the very end of the commercial.  THAT is my favorite commercial from this season so far although I am still holding onto the eternal hope that something new pops up that I will enjoy.

There is a web promotional video that Mobil 1 has put out to talk about the F1/NASCAR car swap that Tony Stewart and Lewis Hamilton are doing later this summer at Watkins Glen that I enjoy too.  I can’t find an embeddable video for that one either but I can at least refer you HERE to watch it on the Official Tony Stewart facebook page.  Beware- the video has some strange pixelations – do NOT adjust your set (that shows my age huh?) I think it’s artistic pixelations.  That video has me thinking “Tony, I’ve Got An Idea” would be a great blog post title…but damned if I can think of the body to go with it.  Don’t be stealing on my idea…I am still thinking about it.

Speaking of Tony Stewart and commercials and thinking,  I was read this article by Richie Whitt for the Dallas Observer where he got to be an honorary crew member for the race. That got me thinking about this Clint Bowyer FANTASY NASCAR LIVE commercial (I don’t know why- that is just how my brain works):

Anyway I was thinking it is probably a good thing that this gadget allowing fans to talk directly to their drivers midrace is fictional.  Not only because could you imagine all these people trying to talk at once but I know for a FACT that I would probably say something in the heat of the moment that I would regret.  Could you imagine having the ability to actually speak with the driver who just tangled with your driver and wrecked him out? It’s fun to imagine…but frankly as huge of a Tony Stewart fan I am- I wouldn’t necessarily want him to hear my race comments I tend to curse like a sailor during races because I become viciously competitive. Just saying. So how about you? What’s your favorite NASCAR commercial so far this season?

If you have been reading here for any length of time, you know I like love to take pictures. I really do.  I have even taken a couple of online photography classes trying to better my techniques.  It was in one of my classes that I decided that I do not like taking pictures of people…especially when they are posed or posing.  They usually end up with monkey grins or looking like they are wearing the world’s most uncomfortable underwear.  Plus, when you take a picture of a car or a horse or something, they don’t tend to bitch about having to stand still while you take just one more shot.  Portraiture is just not my bag I guess.  I would much rather take pictures of flowers or animals or whatnot.

However when I was at the NASCAR Champions Week celebration and festivities in Las Vegas I got some of the BEST pictures of PEOPLE that I have ever taken.  That is when it dawned on me-  I can take good pictures of people as long as they don’t know I am taking their picture or at the very least aren’t posing for me.  So my best three photos of Champions week are:

Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson

Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson talk during a break at the 2010 Stewie Awards in Las Vegas. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

Tony Stewart smiles at the 2010 Stewie Awards in Las Vegas, NV

Probably the best picture of Tony Stewart I have managed to take...because most of them manage to blur because I get nervous and move the camera. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

Jimmie Johnson smiles on the red carpet at the Chasers for Charity Fan Fest in Las Vegas, NV

Now I know that here it looks like Jimmie is posing for me but he's NOT! He is actually smiling at a little boy who is sitting on his father's shoulders behind me. The little boy kept calling out "Jimmie Johnson...Jimmie Johnson!" (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

Now you might be wondering where on earth Clint Bowyer fits into all this, since clearly my “best” photos were NOT of Clint.  Well as a result of After The Lap and The Stewies, I found out that Clint  is a really funny guy.  Honestly I have never really given Bowyer much thought before but he really is a funny guy and spent most of the time laughing and cutting up at both After the Lap and The Stewies.  But damned if I can get a picture of the man where he doesn’t look grumpy.  I present to you all my pictures of Clint Bowyer as evidence:

My very first picture of Clint Bowyer...grimacing in the garage at LVMS three years ago. Ok so maybe he was working and this is Clint's "race" face...but really he just looks annoyed. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

So that isn’t that bad BUT he looks kind of ticked off right? Well trust me…they only get worse. Check out this picture of Clint signing autographs on the red carpet at Fan Fest:

Kyle Busch and Clint Bowyer on the red carpet at Chasers for Charity Fan Fest. (photo credit: Amy K. Marbach)

See? This is NOT Clint Bowyer’s personality- I would know since I was there- he is not the grumpy gus that my camera catches…it’s my apparent inability to catch him in a flattering way.  I am sad to admit that  have an even worse picture of Clint from the Stewies:

Clint Bowyer at the 2010 Stewie Awards

Clint Bowyer at the 2010 Stewie Awards. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

So why I can’t get a decent picture of Clint Bowyer I don’t know. It use to be that I could never get a decent picture of Tony Stewart because he would make me nervous and I would move the camera so all my pictures of the man would be blurry. But that has changed. With Bowyer it’s different…I can’t caught a flattering image of him for the life of me.  I have no explanation for it really.

Also I just wanted to include a side note that while taking pictures to document NASCAR Champions Week 2010 I felt like a paparazzi, especially during the red carpet walk for Fan Fest and during the Stewies.  It was kinda weird.