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Sonoma 2014- Happier TimesLast Thursday my world came skidding to a halt quicker than The Drive for Five after the incident with Keslowski at Texas Motorspeedway last fall. My driver dumped me. That’s right! Jeff Gordon is breaking up with us, his fans. He announced that this will be his last season as a driver in NASCAR. Initially I was shocked. Sure there have been murmurings for a few years about the impending R word, especially after the resurgence of some back pain a few seasons ago, but last season, man- last season seemed to have cleared all such nonsense talk out of the air. Jeff Gordon was back – Championship Contending Rainbow Warrior Jeff Gordon (though personally I never thought he went away). Sure the season ended in bitter disappointment for the 24 and his fans, but that just meant reason to look forward to the next season. Right?

Apparently, wrong! Jeff says he made the decision to make this his last season about midway through last year and that he is looking forward to the next chapter in his life. Well, just like any person dumped unexpectedly (no matter how evident the signs were) by their significant other, I say “Well bully for you, but what about me???.” I have shed tears over the announcement. I have received “condolence” texts from not just friends but from casual acquaintances! They recognize the suffering and pain I am enduring over this heartbreak.

I try to think positive. I try to visualize what it will be like without Jeff Gordon on the track and it does nothing to ease my heartache. I try to think about who I will cheer once Jeff is no longer driving. I have rolled a few drivers around in my head and as much as I like those drivers – I don’t love them. I love Jeff. I always have and I always will! I just can’t see myself in another driver’s jacket. It doesn’t feel right!

They say time heals all wounds, and I am sure that at some point there will be another driver, but I expect there will be a rebound driver or two in between that time comes, if it ever does. So fair warning to friends and family: don’t load me up on merch from the next driver I take up for ‘cause I can darn near guarantee that he ain’t a keeper. Not the kind I would take home to momma. It’s just too painful right now to think about giving my all to another driver. My relationship with Jeff lasted over 20 years, I am going to need some time to get through it.

It’s been nearly a week and talking about it still brings tears to my eyes as I think about all the experiences we will no longer share: knee slapping laughs at After the Lap, pit lane brawls leaving the villain spitting blood, pre-race invocation family shots, and most importantly Victory Lane fist pumps.

I am sure Jeff will stay in touch and still be in my life in some way, but it won’t be the same. It’s the end of a beautiful ride. Good luck, Jeff. What we had was special, and though you hate to hear it: DRIVE FOR FIVE, now is the time!
Love Always,
A Jeff Gordon Girl (Misty “24ever” Bethany)

I have found a NASCAR driver themed necklace for the NASCAR fan in your life and just in time for the holidays! Actually, technically you can thank my mom for this one- she was searching the internet- specifically she was looking for a NASCAR/racing/Tony Stewart themed living locket (charm lockets is what I call them) for yours truly as a Christmas gift when she stumbled upon SportLockets.com in her internet journey.  She ended up emailing them because while they have TONS of sport team themed lockets they had NO racing ones at all.  They replied back to my mom and now (with a little help from me deciding which drivers to feature) have a line of lockets that are themed with of the more popular NASCAR drivers!  They sent me a picture of one they mocked up for a Tony Stewart locket to see if it would be something I thought fans would be interested in and I loved it so much I bought it right away!

The racing line of their lockets can be found at http://sportlockets.com/collections/lockets/racing (that link takes you right to the racing themed lockets but check out the other sport lockets too)! They are SUPER adorable- obviously since I bought one right away (sorry mom- you will have to think of a different Christmas present for me) and would make great holiday or any day gifts for that NASCAR fan in your life (or football fan, or hockey fan, etc).

Here are just a some of the racing themed lockets they feature (you can click on the locket photo to go directly to that locket on their website):

Tony Stewart Bass Pro Paint Scheme

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Tony pilots his Chevy through the garage

Tony pilots his Chevy through the garage at Texas Motor Speedway, November 2014. (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Official Store FB/Mike Calamungi/CIA Stock Photo)

I wanted to let the race soak in a bit this week before writing my post (okay who am I kidding- really I was totally slammed at the day job yesterday and not in the mood to write by the time I got home).

Let’s start with my usual fodder- Team 14 and their run at TMS.  I admit I started the weekend a bit excited after hearing that Tony was the first driver to break the 200 mph mark in a stock car at Texas Motor Speedway.  Of course it’s all relative considering Tony has gone around TMS in an indy car at well over 200 mph. Still it’s cool and like Tony mentioned who knows how long the record lasts- but it’s always cool to be the first one to do something!  Tony was able to qualify for the race 6th which is not bad at all! (more…)

I was in Vegas during the Dover race- using the truck race as an excuse to visit Misty (I’ll post a truck race post soon)! Because of this I didn’t listen to the radio on Sunday or give the race my full attention so I have not much to say….but I did want to share these awesome pictures provided by photographer Jessica Bure for us from DOVER:

Friday:

Tony on track at Dover

Tony on track at Dover on Friday. (Photo Credit: Jessica Bure)

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Just because I can’t look gift race photos in the mouth here are some more from New Hampshire!

More Tony Stewart pictures from New Hampshire:

Tony Stewart and David Ragan

Tony Stewart and David Ragan have a conversation at New Hampshire Speedway, September 2014. (Photo Credit: Jessica Bure)

Tony Stewart and David Ragan

Tony Stewart and David Ragan still in conversation while Kyle Busch looks on at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, September 2014. (Photo Credit: Jessica Bure)

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Tony Stewart On Track

Tony Stewart on track in his Code 3 Associates #14 Chevy at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Sept 2014. (Photo Credit: Jessica Bure)

I am going to start this post by apologizing right now- obviously my picking Jeff Gordon for the Championship has thwarted him somewhat.  Forgive me Jeff Gordon, team 24 and all your fans.  I promise from this point forward to root for Joey Logano (ok not really) as 2014 Sprint Cup champion.

Okay now back to business.  Between knowing that Tony had qualified 28th and that he had spun out during the last five minutes of final practice I admit I didn’t think this would be our breakout race of the season.  What I didn’t bargain for was the fact that I was ready to throw Tony’s crew chief under the (proverbial- for some reason I feel that I need to clarify this) bus by the midway point of the race.  As you may know, my beloved readers, I am an eternal optimist when it comes to team 14.  I am the one always saying, “Well, we’ll get ‘em next week.” (more…)

The 16 Chase grid drivers were each set to a specific market in North America to promote the Chase and NASCAR in fun often times fan friendly events. Two drivers were even sent to other countries- Jeff Gordon to Canada and Carl Edwards to Mexico. Here are some fun pictures from several events:

What exactly constitutes a breakfast of champions at a taco house? Only Denny and Tom Sneva know for sure:

Joyride Taco House Breakfast of Champions

(L-R) Driver of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota Denny Hamlin and former Indy 500 champion Tom Sneva take part in a “Breakfast of Champions” event at Joyride Taco House in Phoenix, Arizona as part of the Chase Across North America in conjunction with Phoenix International Raceway on September 10, 2014. (Photo Credit: Phoenix International Raceway)

I think Aric is trying to give us subliminal messages that he’s hot: (more…)

Misty texted me a picture earlier in the week that sums up her 2014 Chase Driver conundrum in a single photo:

There Can Only Be One

There can only be one (image found on facebook).

It’s actually kind of a cool, yet slightly creepy picture. But it describes Misty’s chase conundrum perfectly.  See Misty has been a Jeff Gordon fan longer than she’s be a NASCAR fan (yeah I know that sounds weird but it’s true-I can completely vouch for that). However, she has lately (within the last couple of years) been pulling for Jimmie as her number two with a catch: While Jeff Gordon is Misty’s number 1 driver, Chad Knaus is her number 1 crew chief.  I know Misty would be OVER THE MOON if Jeff Gordon won the championship, but I really don’t think she’d cry in her soup if Jimmie won.  So she is being pulled in two different directions but at least it is within the same organization.

Me? I am extremely singular in my fandom. (more…)