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You know what I have always wanted? I have always wanted access to one of the swanky suites at NASCAR race. The closest to that I have ever gotten was when I was invited to the Ferrari Challenge out at Laguna Seca – I was given access to the Ferrari hospitality. I have to say it was the nicest food spread I have ever seen- but I got so distracted by being shown the awesome Ferrari FF that I didn’t take advantage of the spread.  Regardless,  I still want the VIP NASCAR race experience one day. I guess you could say that it’s on my bucket list.

I got to thinking about this by perusing the many MANY items up for bid in the National Silent Auction being hosted by and benefiting the Tony Stewart Foundation.   One of the unique items on the long list of items to be bid on- is a race package for the 2012 running of the Brickyard that includes access to the Tony Stewart suite (and lots of other goodies like cold pit access). Awesome because for me anyway that would be TWO things off of the bucket list- swanky suite and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Unfortunately its a wee bit too pricy for my blood…but that is okay because there is TONS of other stuff I could (and I have- so it’s easy to do) bid on. There are tons of autographed guitars (including a bitching Paul Reed Smith Custom Corvette guitar signed by Tony),  Cds (hey I have my eye on that Blake Shelton one- I am just saying), lots of Prelude stuff including two separate helmets signed by all the Prelude drivers (2009 and 2010), A helmet signed by the Indianapolis Colts (and a football in a separate auction), A ride in a two seater Indy car at Indianopolis Motor Speedway, 4 tickets and backstage passes to a Toby Keith concert,  lots of autographed WWE stuff,  some signed Tony Stewart Foundation shirts, there are even some cool things to bid on for those in the local Indianapolis area like golf, wine tasting, or behind-the-scenes tour at the Indianaoplis Zoo.  Of course there are NASCAR items- I already mentioned the Brickyard 2012 package, but there is also signed stuff from Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr- not to mention the Jeff Gordon Celebrity Bowl before the 2012 Brickyard.  It really is an EXTENSIVE list of stuff with bids starting at $14 for some stuff.

Bidding is easy – after you register all you need to do is text in (or call in) your bids.  It’s all helps the Tony Stewart Foundation help kids and animals and animals that help kids.  Bidding is open now through July 31st so check out the auction items, sign up and bid today!

Like I said I have already bid on something and I have my eye on the Blake Shelton CD, there really is something for nearly everybody and every price range on this Auction. So take part today!

By the way…if I had unlimited funding and could bid on anything- it would be hard for me to choose. I would love the Brickyard package…but the Stewart-Haas racing tour would be damn fun too. Luckily I don’t have to make that choice.

I honestly do NOT know how the drivers and crews deal with the stress of the chase….because it usually has ME stressed out and I really have NOTHING to do with the outcome…more than just cheering my heart out for Tony (and cursing like a sailor when things like axle caps are loose or broken). Before the chase started mostly I was concerned with my fantasy league drivers and where they were finishing.  I messed around with a couple different fantasy leagues last year- you know the “free” ones online- but really didn’t like them. I found they were too high maintenance (especially the ones where you could only pick certain drivers on certain weeks).  I was invited to participate in a more private league and this season I have been having a ball.  I had even been in the top ten at one point.  But the season wore on and I dropped further and further down…in the standings (although half my fantasy team is in the chase).  Mostly I was trying to keep track of where the “Davids” were finishing (meaning Reutimann and Ragan).  Unfortunately my fantasy team is taking especially hard lately (my drivers are: Stewart, Gordon, Montoya, Labonte/Darnell and the “Davids”).  I blame David Ragan. But clearly I am digressing.

During last weekend’s race that completely changed.  Instead of even caring about my fantasy league,  now I am trying to keep track of where all 12 chase contenders are in relation to Tony, as well as who has led a lap, who hasn’t led a lap, that kind of thing.  I might have even got a little vicious towards Ryan Newman’s position compared to Tony, I admit.  He might be the teammate of my driver- but during the championship- they are all enemies. I want MY driver to be the Champion.  Not my driver’s teammate.  It’s all about loyalties.

So anyway here I am trying to keep points somewhat in my head- and I will be completely honest with you right here and tell you I am not the quickest when it comes to doing math in my head- when my mom comes in and starts feeding me football scores. Then my brain exploded right there in the middle the living room. I was just trying of figure out where Tony was in the points…and my brain exploded.  I had forgotten football season started along WITH the Chase.  I am in a family/friends football elimination pool.  Really she was just trying to tell me how my team of the week was fairing but my wee little brain could not handle any more numbers…and kaboom.

This is I think the third year I have been in the football elimination pool.  The first year I nearly won. The second year I was nearly the first person knocked out. This year I am hoping to be back with a vengence.  You have to know that I am not a big football fan.  I save my fandom for NASCAR yet clearly I stink at fantasy NASCAR. However- so far with football I am doing pretty good- yet I only casually watch…maybe if there is nothing else on. I have three teams that are “favorites” (just picked at random) two that are “anti-favorites” and the rest are just men running around after a ball.  Don’t even ask why I decided to take part in the elimination football pool….because honestly? I don’t know.  But so far I don’t have any dings against me.

Football won’t be taking over my love of NASCAR- ever. There is no danger to that.  And I am actually realy enjoying this NASCAR fantasy league much more than those dumb online ones….even though I stink at it.  Mostly I guess, I just really need to talk to my mom about not giving me football scores when I am intently watching a NASCAR race.  Believe it or not- exploded brains does not clean up easy out of the carpet.

Where is Darian Grubb, Greg Zipadelli, Chad Knaus, or Steve LeTarte when I need them? Seriously.  Today started out like any other Monday. I went to leave for work. I got in my car. Put my purse on the passenger seat. Clicked my seat belt tight. Turned on car. Ahhh gotta love the sound of that Chevy powerplant.  Press brake and put car into Reverse. Nothing. Car won’t go back. Odd. Put car in Drive to see if it will roll forward. Tap gas just a wee little bit (don’t want to crash into garage). Nothing.  Put car in park. Turn car off. Sit there and wonder WTH? to myself.  Turn car back on. Engine sounds normal. No lights on dash. Press down brake. Put car into R and hear a horrendous Pop/Clunk noise. Think SHIT THAT’S NOT GOOD. Car still will not roll back. Put car back into park and turn off. Get out. Look under car to make sure she isn’t gushing any vital fluids, to see if there is something obviously dangling where it wasn’t before, etc. I can see nothing. Of course I don’t even know what I am looking for so…it’s pretty much a moot point there.  I swear that the HHR looks- hunkered on the right side slightly (like its lower on that side). Then again it could be my imagination.  It was so loud that neighbors said they heard it and one came out because he thought I hit something.  My mom offers to take me to work because I can NOT miss today- it’s one of our busiest days of the year- my coworker would have my head! During a break at work I call Onstar using my handy dandy card I carry in my wallet incase I lock myself out. They sent a tow truck to get my car (I left the keys in it and unlocked because I was pretty sure it wasn’t going anywhere) and they took it to Chevy. It SHOULD still be under warranty (fingers crossed). I am sure it’s a transmission problem. My dad says judging by my description he thinks it might be a busted trans-axle (he said that trannies tend to grind not pop/clunk). My brother threw bad spider joint into the mix (honestly- don’t even know what that is).  I guess we will see.

My issue is I have a severe mistrust of mechanics.  Back when I had my Chevy Lumina sedan (the fancy euro edition) a mechanic told me that I had cracked the engine- and that coolant was mixing in the oil and it was just bad news all around. It would cost me like 4K to get it fixed. I did not have that kind of money and told them I would be by to pick it up.  My brother came with me and said to me “Hey I want Robert to look at it” (a friend of his that he knew through who would eventually be my sister-in-law.  He worked at a used car lot and took a look at it quickly. He said that the dealer was lying because if that was the case the oil would be milkly in color and it wasn’t. (In fact I had just had my dad change it like a week or two before). Plus there was all the trouble I had with the Rav4 and the Toyota dealerships not being able to fix it.

Now I LOVE my car. I do.  I have it serviced regularly (not just oil but I have them do the recommended service packages too). I am not careless. I do not drive like an idiot. I do not do silly things like throw the transmission into Drive while still rolling backwards.  I have never in my life done a burn out, a brake stand or a powerslide (not on purpose- not accidentally). The one time I activated the traction control in the HHR on a rainy day I thought that there was something wrong with the car.  I do not understand why whatever happened would happen. I just hope its covered by the warranty and that it’s quick to fix because being without a car is really putting the brakes on my freedom.  Luckily my mom does’t mind driving me around much.

Various Notes:

  • So…I dropped 7 places down to 22nd in my fantasy NASCAR league. YIKES.  That is a pretty hard drop. All my drivers had lackluster finishes…especially Tony…that really pulled me down. I was up as high as 12 just a couple weeks ago…but I have been falling hard since then. I hope that this turns around but it seems like half my drivers will do decent and the other half tank. :/ There has to be a science to this fantasy league stuff that  just don’t get.
  • Speaking of fantasy leagues…I don’t know why but I feel the need to be in this football pool that I am in nearly every year for the past several. I suck at it because frankly? I don’t follow football more than as a casual observer. One year I got REALLY close to winning (by sheer luck) but it’s been downhill ever since.  Still doesn’t stop my from throwing my hat into the ring though like I know what I am doing.
  • After reading the Stewart-Haas race report on Tony’s run apparently he DID get radio communication back about half way through the race. (BTW- I love how The PR Powers that be for Tony titled the release RADIO & ELECTRICAL GREMLINS THWART STEWART AT BRISTOL- because I totally picture those cute little fuzzy things in Gremlins that get all evil messing around with his radio).  And at some time before that? He had gotten a speeding penalty…which is why he got two laps down. I thought it was just from trying to fix the radio. He said that he listened to Ryan’s spotter so he knew when there was a caution. That had to be hard.
  • Today (Monday) was one of our busiest days at work. I expected it. The first day of classes is always crazy on the phones. I hope it gets better instead of worse.