Header image

To use one of Amy’s favorite words: flummoxed – that is exactly what I was last weekend when I got the details of this year’s Meet and Greet opportunities with Jeff Gordon. I was beyond excited when it was announced that Jeff would be holding meet and greet opporunities this year for fans at EVERY race. I even said to Amy, “Whoo hoo that man is going to get sick of seeing us!”.

Having attended the last Jeff Gordon Network event in Phoenix a few years back, I was not surprised that there was a fee to participate. As I recall it was $40 a person, but that got you a breakfast with the other attendees, some swag, and of course the whole reason for attending – a moment with Jeff, one on one on stage, to talk to him and have a personal photo taken. Seemed reasonable, after all they did have to rent a room to hold the event in, they served breakfast and whatever else. However, I was more than a little surprised when I opened up the email last weekend to find out the cost to attend was $599.00 PER PERSON! I was left searching for some misplaced decimals to say the least. Even more surprising, for that amount of money there is no mention of a meal, although they do promise an autographed item, BUT get this “due to time constraints” you will likely have your picture taken with Jeff and four to five other fans! Is it April? Cause someone has GOT to be fooling me!

Now I am just about as devoted of a Jeff Gordon fan as you can get. I think he is a great person on and off the track and his humanitarian work truly makes me proud to call him my driver, but there is something just so unsettling about this. Why is the cost SO much? To me it is not even a matter of affordability, I could have Warren Buffet sized bank accounts and would not spend that to meet anyone. If you are attending or planning to attend, I think that is great and I am in no way judging you- but I truly do want to hear from you and find out what about this offer seems reasonable or appealing to you.

Needless to say, this is one fan who is not planning to attend any of the events this year. I can think of any number of better ways to spend my money than on this- heck I think I would even be better off to buy 6 tickets to Jeff’s corvette raffle, where the money goes to a fantastic charity, The Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital. At least then I am giving to a good cause, could win a car, and likely meet Jeff anyway and not have some strangers mucking up my picture with the man. Just saying …

Misty and I have been attending NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Champion’s Week celebrations since they started having them in Vegas. I can NOT encourage you to go enough if you can at all swing it! Attend Champion’s Week! Seriously. It’s one of my favorite events of the year!

The fan events usually start with Fan Fest- which is usually held on Wednesday.  They started out having fan fest at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the infield. I loved it there because I enjoyed being at the track when it was “quiet” and I loved watching the fighters from Nellis Air Force Base fly around as we waiting for the red carpet event. Eventually they moved it out to the Fremont Street Experience – since the speedway is off strip quite a ways. Unfortunately it’s usually cold under the awning that covers over Fremont Street and this year was no exception. I was certain there would be less fans- because it was COLD and I mean COLD.  I must have momentarily forgotten the tenacity of my fellow NASCAR fans (after all I was out there in the cold wasn’t I? And my driver wasn’t even there). Here are some of the sights from Fan Fest this season: (more…)

As I mentioned I was gone to Phoenix last weekend- for the race and other fun with Misty.  It’s a trip we’ve made at least once a year since…what? 2009? Anyway- this year’s annual 1700+ mile road trip was fun as it always is.  I drove 500 miles from here (central coast of California) to Vegas and spent the night with Misty and Ronald her adorable dachshund puppy. Now what you need to know about Ronald is that he is an excited pee-er. So when he is excited he pees and luckily for me he finds me very exciting. So when I am about 20 minutes out or so- Misty usually tries to take him for a walk hoping to alleviate any possible peeing (on me) marathons when I get there.  Anyway, I turn into Misty’s neighborhood to see Misty and little Ronald walking up one of the nearby streets. I stopped and said hello and little Ronnie of course wanted to race the car- let me tell you he put his little legs and heart into trying- but he is a mini-doxie and as the shortest legs I have ever seen on a puppy. I beat them to her house so I was waiting for her to turn the corner and as I watched Misty (the ardent Jeff Gordon fan) walk up her little street I noticed something. Let me show you a picture and see if you notice it too:

Misty when I arrived

Misty in her yard when I arrived at her place in Vegas. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

(more…)

Mark Martin piloting the 14 at Texas

Mark Martin drives the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 3, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America)

I am going to be the first to admit I was a little distracted during the race in Texas for multiple reasons but mainly I had been running around on Saturday trying to get all the stuff I needed done and taken care of because I am heading off for Phoenix Wednesday so during commercials I was doing exciting things like laundry.

Team 14 in action

(This is a cool view isn’t it? –amy) The crew of the number 14 services the Bass Pro Chevy piloted by Mark Martin in Tony Stewart’s stead. (Photo Credit: Official Stewart-Haas Racing Facebook Page- Click Picture for the original)

And wouldn’t you know it the one day that I decide to forgo listening to the scanner that the 14 has a fairly decent run! (more…)

The 14 reflected at Martinsville

Mark Martin drives the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet out of the garage area during practice at Martinsville Speedway on October 25, 2013. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images North America)

I love Martinsville. There is something about that little paperclip shaped track that makes the racing exciting. This track is HIGH on my list of must visit tracks. Really high.  Quarters are close both on track and on pit road- which makes it easy to slip up. Restart wrong? And you might be getting lapped in a few minutes.  Another car short pitting might block you into your stall and cost you to go from 3rd to 23rd while you try to jockey out of your pitstall.  The cars are in constant danger of contact- and while some of the “rubbing” is unintentional- sometimes- just sometimes it is intentional and nothing will piss you off more that to have your driver intentionally wrecked.   But one of the good things about Martinsville- is that you can bang your car up a bit- and still be in contention for the win as long as you don’t let your temper get too out of hand and end up collecting yourself in the drama.  However, It’s not just the drivers that are in danger of constant contact- just ask race winner Jeff Gordon’s tire carrier who got clipped (by I think Denny Hamlin but I don’t remember) a car on pit road during a pit stop. (more…)

It’s been a heckuva week for this Jeff Gordon girl. I have been semi mum (for me anyway) on the subject because frankly the emotions were too high. Aside from a handful of angry tweets and some pointed re-tweets, I have been mum…but now that it is all said and done ,and I can contemplate the events of the last week without fire steaming from my nostrils, let me tell you what it was like for me and I am sure most of the 24 fans.

Saturday’s race at Richmond, in itself, was a roller coaster ride of emotions. Jeff needed to race his way into the Top Ten in points to make the Chase. Starting from the pole was a good way to get there. So was leading the first 50 or so laps, but then he began to fade, having used up his tires in that first run, the handling of the car went away and he didn’t seem to have a car capable of winning the race. However, all was not lost as Logano – the person he needed to unseat from 10th in points was having a FAR worse night- having fallen two laps down early on and remained stuck there. (more…)

I really do NOT want to continue to beat a dead horse by going into the Richmond stuff again- but I feel that I have to respond to the penalties that followed the NASCAR race at Richmond especially after I posted my opinions on what happened during the race and what I thought NASCAR should do and what I thought they would do (which as I mentioned were two separate things). I posted an initial reaction to the penalties on my Facebook page, and retweeted several tweets if you follow me there- but I really feel the need to expound on what I said in both places.

Well, I think the first thing is all of us to remind ourselves, it’s a sport.  It has a tremendous amount of fun to it.  Occasionally, and particularly our role, is to regulate the sport and police it and officiate it so that everybody has got a reasonable playing field to participate in.  So we have days like today that we run across and have challenges that our role is to react to, and this is one of those days.-- Mike Helton, NASCAR President (source: 9-9-13 press conference transcript)

(more…)

2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase Field

The 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase field as it stands from Saturday night after the race at Richmond International Raceway- but should two of the drivers in the field really be there? (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Richmond, a d-shaped 3/4 mile track in Virgina, is one of NASCAR’s crown jewel short tracks and the stage for the last regular season race of the Sprint Cup season or as NASCAR fans know it “The race for the Chase.” The chase- by design is a 10 race shootout of tracks for the championship where the points are basically zeroed out- with a seeding by number of wins for the top ten drivers with the including of two non-seeded, wild card drivers. Only the top 12 drivers in the regular season have a chance at the championship as the Chase currently stands- making these last ten “chase” races the play-offs of NASCAR.  One of the interesting effects since NASCAR went to a “play-offs” type championship seasons is that just making the CHASE becomes the main goal for teams. Also, as a result of this system- there is the “bubble” who is in and who is out.

This particular Richmond race- there were 11 drivers vying for the 6 remaining “non-clinched” spots in the chase (including the two wild card positions).  As the race was run- those drivers that were in and those that were out changed with each lap it seemed.  Ryan Newman was vying for one of those cherished wild card spots- most of the time against Martin Truex Jr.  Ryan pretty much had to win the race, or Martin Truex Jr had to have a tragedy because if they tied for the wild card the only way Ryan would win the wild card spot would be with another win for the tie breaker. Conversely, driver Jeff Gordon could not hope for a wild card spot- if he was to make the chase Jeff Gordon absolutely had to finish with in the top 10 in the points standings since he has no wins yet this season. (more…)