Race winner for the Auto Club 400 is Kyle Busch, getting his 200th win in all series. I’m glad that he got it over with because frankly I am tired of hearing about it and I honestly think Kyle was tired of hearing about it. I don’t understand why they take this magical 200 wins in all series number and put all this emphasis on it. It would be like taking Tony Stewart and tabulating all of his dirt car wins into his cup wins and putting that number out there. And don’t even get me started about comparing him to Richard Petty. Richard Petty and Kyle Busch aren’t contemporaries. How many you raced in a season and what you raced are different. It would be like comparing my SAT scores to the SAT scores of someone of the same age taking them today. The test has dramatically changed since I took the SATs so it wouldn’t be a fair comparison, just like NASCAR’s premier series has changed over the years. (more…)
I had been anticipating the release of “Jeff Gordon: His Dream, Drive, & Destiny” by Joe Garner since I first heard about it. I had it preordered at Amazon- and then cancelled my preorder because I found out I could get it sooner if I ordered it directly from Jeff Gordon’s online store. I admit I had slight trepidation when I found out it was a biography and not an autobiography because sometimes biographies to me can seem a big like a flat historical account of someone’s life and I often times have trouble reading those kind of books but I ordered it anyway because if nothing else it would make for something right up Badgroove’s alley for the #NASCAR Reading List. Well I have finally finished it (more on that later in the review) and I have to say that I absolutely adored this biography about Jeff Gordon both on and off the track.
While the title might seem lofty “Jeff Gordon: His Dream, Drive and Destiny” this book does discuss his dreams and focuses immensely on his drive to get there and what decisions he made when and why. This book by Joe Garner tells Jeff Gordon’s whole story from his humble beginnings in Vallejo, California right up to the man he is today and everything in between. And let me tell you this book was not the “flat historical” type of biography that I have seen many books about racers become. The writing in this book is quite engaging and interesting and I learned a LOT about Jeff Gordon that I didn’t really know before including one very surprising fact about him and Dale Earnhardt Sr that I will keep under my hat so that you are just as surprised to read about it when I was. My favorite thing about the book was that his parents and friends took such a huge role in the telling of Jeff’s story through their eyes. Kudos to them for taking part in telling the story of who is sure to be a Hall of Fame driver.
Because “Jeff Gordon: His Dream, Drive & Destiny” is the first ever authorized biography of Jeff Gordon- it has many full color photos not just of Jeff and his family through the various stages of his life and his racing career but of Jeff Gordon memorabilia as well adoring the pages. It even discussed things such as the alienation of his parents after his first marriage and his divorce ad well. It also goes into fatherhood and how it effected him. This book was truly a delight to read and it will take a proud place on my racing bookshelf- which was so full already I had to rearrange the racing shelf just to make it fit.
Joe Garner’s book about Jeff Gordon is 192 thick glossy pages chocked full of color photos. My only complaint about this book is the size. It’s a large coffee table book at 8.5 in by 11.8 inches and is a heavy book weighing in at nearly 3 lbs- which is why it took me so long to read it. While it’s absolutely gorgeous- it’s also not the kind of book you can cuddle up with in bed or throw in your purse to read during lunch break at work. I have smallish hands and it was just awkward to hold for me to read for any length of time at one sitting.
That said, if you are a NASCAR fan I would suggest a read- I don’t think you will be disappointed and you will certainly learn something new- I sure did. If you are a Jeff Gordon fan- it’s obviously one of those must read, must own items.
About The Author: Joe Garner is a former radio executive and author who lives in Los Angeles, CA. He has authored 11 media-enhanced books, which have sold more than 2-million hardcover copies, and achieved multiple New York Times best sellers. Joe’s books have also been bestsellers in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly. He had worked with Jeff Gordon in 2006 on the book SPEED, GUTS & GLORY, about landmark moments in NASCAR history where Gordon narrated the video chapters that accompanied the book. You can find out more about Joe Garner on his website: JoeGarnerCompany.com or on twitter @JoeGarnerAuthor.
For Full-Disclosure purposes (I am looking at you FTC): I purchased this book with my own money and reviewed it because that’s what I do occasionally for this website. Not only did I purchase the book but the opinion about the book is also my own. No books were harmed in the making of this review.
Click here for other installments of Amy’s #NASCAR Reading List
Well it’s an off week for the NASCAR races this week…but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t stuff pinging around my head like lugnuts during a green flag pit stop.
1. Last week we talked about Brad Keselowski’s comments about Jeff Gordon being in the booth. Afterwards Jeff Gordon interviewed Brad about his comments. You can see that interview here:
2. Speaking of Jeff Gordon- there is a biography of Jeff coming out in October that I can’t wait to get my hands on it. You can be sure that this book (Jeff Gordon: His Dream, Drive & Destiny, scheduled to release October 18th, by author Joe Garner) will be reviewed for Amy’s #NASCAR Reading List if I have to buy the sucker myself. You can read and excerpt here and order it from the Jeff Gordon store and get some extra digital behind-the-scenes goodies as well as a poster shipped with your book.
3. One more Jeff Gordon tidbit I wanted to point out today before we move on is this article on Popular Speed about the author’s personal experience with Jeff Gordon and his personal experience interview Jeff about his foundation. It’s a good read: WAID’S WORLD: How a Meeting With Gordon Lifted One Man’s Spirit
4. I wanted to share another great article from Kristen Schneider of Skirts and Scuffs. This one is about FoxSports1′s Danielle Trotta. It’s a great read: Danielle Trotta Talks Television, Breaking Barriers, and Giving Back. You know that I am a huge fan of Skirts and Scuffs and this article is another shining example of why.
5. I think Tony Stewart has a great understanding of social media as evidenced in this video from Mobil 1: (more…)
Last week the lugnuts were early, and this week they are late. See what has been pinging around my brain like lugnuts in a pit box during a green flag pit stop:
1. I think most Tony Stewart fans were excited to hear that he can start his rehabilitation after his appointment on Wednesday. I know it won’t be a pleasant experience but he is tenacious and is under excellent care we can be sure. We can’t wait to see you on track when you are ready Smoke!
2. A member of Kevin Harvick’s crew was in a snow mobile accident while the team was staying out west in Utah and enjoying some of the snow. Shock specialist Michael McCarville broke 7 ribs (OW) and a collapsed lung. Yikes! Sounds like he was having a great time before he hurt himself too. Speedy recovery wishes to Michael!
3. #WholeySmoke have you seen the new Tony Stewart Foundation website? It looks awesome. Check out all the ways you can help children, animals and drivers, and find out more about ALL sides of our favorite driver Tony Stewart at this new website. Of course I might be a little bias because some of our content is featured on the site! Gotta love that. Seriously check out the new webpage and while you are there drop a small (or large) donation to the foundation to show that #WholeySmoke, you support Tony Stewart!
4. Remember the story I mentioned last season in a Loose Lugnuts (see number two) about the Jeff Gordon fan who’s prized Jeff Gordon Edition Monte Carlo ended up destroyed in a car fire. Then Jeff Gordon and his father John Bickford heard the story and they gave her Jeff’s personal 24 edition Monte Carlo? I have been fortunate enough to become friendly with that fan- her name is Loraine Treadwell and she is hoping to show that Monte Carlo at different events. The first of which will be Sunday March 20th at the Mariner’s Discovery Church Spring Festival. The car will be on display at the festival from 11:00-3:00pm at Excelsior Middle School (14301 Byron Highway) in Byron, CA outside the old gym. Be sure to check it out and hear the story for yourself. Tell her you heard about it from us if you go. I am hoping to catch up with Loraine myself at one of these events. There will be more and I will be posting them as they come available.
5. Someone on Facebook pointed out that in many of the pictures I took during Tony Stewart’s presser last week, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series logo on the backdrop behind him just happens to be positioned over Tony’s head so it looks like a halo. Of course I didn’t do this on purpose and actually I didn’t even notice it until the person on Facebook pointed it out, but now it’s all I can see and it seriously cracks me up: (more…)
As always NASCAR Champions week in Las Vegas was a ton of fun.
Just an fyi this post is going to be different because this is a first person race diary. If you are looking for just a telling of Tony’s race day experience you can read the official Stewart-Haas Racing post race wrap-up here. — Amy
It started back in February when Misty said to me- after hearing of her driver Jeff Gordon’s retirement announcement- “I wish we could go to the race in Miami“. I responded with “Why can’t we? We can just skip Phoenix this year and head to Miami instead.” She was surprised- I remember the exact words out of her mouth were “You’d go to Miami with me?” I said “Heck yeah I would.” And so began our odyssey. I found out that there was a list you could put yourself on to buy tickets for the race in Miami and I put us on the list to buy tickets as soon as they became available to non-season ticket holders. We didn’t buy anything else or plan anything else until I got a very early phone call from Homestead Miami’s ticket office when they were going through the online list of potential ticket buyers. The ticketing agent was very helpful in getting us awesome seats (at the end of a row- our favorite spot) in our price range. As a surprise to Misty, I sprung for the pre-race pit passes because we decided back in February that we were going to this race as fans. No media center for us at Homestead because when you are in the media center there are rules- like no wearing driver gear and there was no way we were going all that way for Jeff Gordon’s last race to have Misty NOT wear her Jeff Gordon gear proudly. As a matter of fact- I had a great conversation with the ticketing agent about why I only wanted Sunday only tickets (because we wanted to spend the rest of our short time in the area sight seeing having never been to the area before). After our tickets were secured Misty took over as our travel agent securing us a Hotel right on the beach, securing our direct flight from McCarran Airport (LAS) in Vegas to Miami International Airport, securing us a rental car. She did it all. She even bought us a guide book for Miami that we both poured over in the months prior to the trip so that we could decide in advance what we wanted to see while we were there. We also knew that we were traveling an airline that charges to check bags and since we weren’t going to be there that long we (Misty) decided we could do this with just our carry-on. I am a notorious over-packer so I really had to limit myself to taking just what I thought I would absolutely need. It would also seriously hamper the amount of souvenirs I could bring home. I also decided for this reason- to only bring a point-and-shoot camera and my cell phone because I didn’t want my camera equipment taking up my clothing allotment in my carryon! (more…)
So- I usually write the “Loose Lugnuts posts” in what is a mostly stream of conscious session on Wednesday night and schedule them to publish on Thursday morning or afternoon- but here it is Monday evening and I am getting a jump start on it because I am going to be traveling and won’t have time to write it up on Wednesday night so I am going to schedule a few while I am gone. Also I realized that I forgot to mention a couple of things in my race report on Monday that I totally spaced on- but will do just fine here. So without further ado here is what has been rolling around my brain like lugnuts rolling around a pitstall after a green flag pit stop during the championship race:
1. Because of the lengthy rain delay in Phoenix- my dad didn’t get to see the F35 flyover that he was so looking forward to watching. While it is not the first flyover the elusive F35 Lightning II has done at a sporting event- it is the first ever at a NASCAR event and my dad is an aviation fan. He was bummed out. I know the flyover happened (Thanks to someone I follow on Instagram) but you would think that since one of the two jets was carrying a Jeff Gordon Raceway flag you would thank they would have made a bigger hoopla out of it.
2. I watched a heck of a lot of the rain delay coverage that came out of Phoenix last weekend. More than I probably should have. But one thing I didn’t hear mentioned was who Elijah Aschbrenner was and why his name was above the passenger door on Martin Truex Jr’s car at the track. As a matter of fact very little was mentioned about it at all and I think that is a shame. Elijah was a pediatric cancer patient that was not just part of Martin and Sherry’s Catwalk for a Cause fashion show that raised money for pediatric cancer but he was known and wished well by many many many NASCAR fans and teams. Other drivers such as Kasey Kahne ran special yellow ribbons with Elijah’s likeness on them on their cars during the race as well. Elijah fought Epitheliod Sarcoma like a hero but earned his angel wings on November 10th. Here is a wonderful story about Elijah that NASCAR’s Holly Cain did it’s just a shame that they didn’t mention him (or mention him more) during the hours and hours of rain delay coverage.
3. While we are on the topic Martin Truex Jr.’s long time girlfriend Sherry Pollax is battling stage III ovarian cancer as many of you know. She is currently going through once a month maintenance chemo for it. Well her Chemo session was Monday morning (today). I can only imagine that she must have been tired- having been in Phoenix so late between it being delayed until all hours, and then I am sure Martin had to do a lot more media than normal after the race considering he made the Final Four. Go Sherry! (more…)
1a. So Matt Kenseth was suspended for two races and put on probation for 6 months (a decision that was upheld by the appeals board I might add but the final appeal is still underway). As I mentioned I really think that Matt deserved no more than a slap on the wrist because Joey had it coming to him. But suspending Matt for what I can only assume is actions detrimental to stock car racing- is just NASCAR showing how inconsistent they are with their “penalties.” What am I talking about? Well Danica Patrick and David Gilliland have been taking turns turning each other all season (actually according to this article their issues have been going on since 2013) and Danica is docked points and fined (nothing for Gilliland). Why was she not suspended? Oh because Gilliland wasn’t in the running for a championship? And what about the whole Carl Edwards/Brad Keselowski deal from several years ago (2009/2010 here is a video I found on youtube of some of the instances I am thinking about). NASCAR did nothing in these instances. NASCAR and certain media members make it seem like retaliation never happens ever in this sport. I call foul on their “this is unprecedented” mindset. So what Matt was laps down when he made contact- I really don’t see why that matters? I still ascertain that Joey Logano KNEW Matt Kenseth wasn’t the happiest of campers with him after Kansas. Matt chose not to retaliate at Dega which was actually a smart move- that I might have had issues with because that would have been dangerous on so many levels. I still say that this is a veteran driver standing up for himself- saying look you aren’t going to push me around on the track. It’s very much you get raced how you race others. That’s how it’s always been.
1b. Part of the issue though is this “Chase Elimination format” (which for my regular readers you all know I am already not a fan of). Ricky Craven- whom I almost never agree with- has some interesting things to say about this in regards to this format breeding this mind set (somewhat). I could argue that Joey Logano purposely performed a pit maneuver on Matt Kenseth. Joey was already locked in- Matt Kenseth was fighting for the championship at that moment. Why was Joey not suspended? The penalties do not fit the “crime.” (more…)