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(photo source: zimbio.com/Sean Gardner/Getty Images North America)

Started: 27th

Finished: 30th (29 laps down)

Points: 400 (6 points behind 26th place Aric Almirola, 85 points ahead of 31st)

Intro Song: Better Man by Pearl Jam, which is apropos in my eyes.

Tony stated it best after qualifying when he said “It’s going to be a long (expletive) day tomorrow.” Unfortunately I don’t think he was talking about the weather delays- which were so plentiful it seemed to me that the race at Bristol was interrupting the rain instead of the other way around.  The race on Saturday night was delayed by rain but did start on Saturday night only to be stopped after 48 laps because of rain.  It was rescheduled for Saturday afternoon but was again delayed by several hours by,  yep- you guessed it, rain.  But they finally got the cars rolling on track because luckily for us all it doesn’t take long to dry Bristol between the banking and the fact that it’s short and concrete. But it was delayed again later in the race for “weather” to the point where it was red flagged again- but no for very long and then they were able to get going again and NASCAR was able to get the full 500 lap event in thankfully.  And thank goodness because you diehard and likely still waterlogged fans were able to get your full money’s worth from your tickets despite being a little…moist. (more…)

The crew of Kevin Harvick’s #4 team donning their NurvGear face shields

Hey SHR Fans! I wanted to introduce you all to a cool new product for us SHR fans made for the outdoor enthusiast in mind: NurvGear now has Face Shields that are made with specifically licensed patterns from your favorite SHR drivers! These face shields offer great protection in the outdoors and I can think of several different uses for them.

NurvGear 4 face shield

So for those unfamiliar, NurvGear was founded as a company devoted to those that live, dream, and explore the great outdoors; fishing, trekking, skiing, biking, racing, and much more. Their products (the faceshields are just one of a line of products by NurvGear including hats and a variety of different kinds of shirts) designed for comfort and function in the great outdoors.

These face shields are not just your typical bandana. Just check out these five features of each NurvGear face shield :

1. Repels moisture keeping you cooler & dryer, for longer

2. Provides SPF 40 protection from the harsh rays of the sun

3. Helps maintain hydration,

4. Antibacterial so you can even share with your friends (not that you will want to- tell them to buy their own)

5. Made with a stain resistant formula

There are several patterns for each SHR racing driver! Can’t decide which one you want- don’t fear! NurvGear has  discount packs of two or four shields where you pick the SHR face shield bandanas you want and you get a discount on the total cost- how awesome is that (they have the same thing for their non-SHR face shields too). Get two (or four) different face shield bandanas or get them all same. Keep them all for yourself or share them with friends.  Use them hiking, fishing, biking, at the races wherever- the possibilities are endless and the designs are cool. I personally have my eye on this Tony Stewart Always A Racer one (and one of their straw hats too):

Although I really like this one too- good think they have those special deal packs:

By the way- have I mentioned how much I love the “Always A Racer, Forever A Champion” logo? I do…A LOT.  As in I would have it painted on the hood of my Chevy Equinox if I had the means…but I am seriously digressing here. Check out the NurvGear guards today and pick up one or two or four.

Mike Casto sporting the NurvGear guard

All-Star Race 2013 (Photo Source: Tony Stewart FaceBook Page)

These items are what have been pinging around my pitbox this week like loose lugnuts during a green flag pitstop:

1. Don’t forget Smoke fans- Tony will be giving the command to fire engines for the All-Star race…how awesome is that. I hope that other tracks have some neat tributes to Tony as the season winds down…I know he said he didn’t want a fuss but…I kind of want a fuss for him.

2. I was going to go on a little rant about silly season rumors and the whole Harvick to HMS rumor. But now I don’t have to do that because Stewart-Haas Racing officially announced today that Harvick has signed a “longterm contract extension” with the team.  I wonder if people will now listen to Kevin when he states emphatically on his social media that he isn’t going anywhere?! For those wondering, Harvick’s crew chief Rodney Childers signed a contract extension last June so the pair is likely  in it for the long haul.  Of course this doesn’t mean that the whole Kasey Kahne to finish his HMS contract with a different team isn’t true- but like all silly season rumors- only time will tell with that one. (more…)

(Photo Source: Zimbio.com/Chris Trotman/Getty Images North America)

Replacement Driver: Ty Dillon

Started: 28th

Finished: 15th (lead lap)

Whenever I watch a race from Phoenix at home I get wistful- and wish that I was at that race.  I love PIR, I love the track and I love the racing quality the track produces and this race looked like it was an awesome one because it’s my assertion that for all the good racing you see on the National Broadcast – the actual racing at the track is at least twice as good.  ”  It  seemed the racing at Phoenix this spring did not disappoint! They could not have had a better day for racing in the desert as it was warm but not hot and no hurricane-like winds of the Vegas race just a week ago. (more…)

(Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

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…)

Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Busch Beer Chevrolet, Brian Vickers, driver of the #14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The Unlimited

The season opening race of the Sprint Unlimited was a bit of a disappointment for Stewart-Haas Racing and especially for the 14 car as piloted by Brian Vickers during the race.  Brian Vickers seemed to be doing well- hovering for most of the race around 10th, sometimes higher sometimes lower as happens during restrictor plate races. He may not have been driving last season, but he was doing just fine piloting the 14 car on Saturday night in Daytona. For awhile he was even up to 4th position and was always right in the thick of the battle. He even had one heck of a save after getting a little too loose and slightly touching another car something that would cause many drivers to go ping ponging off of other drivers.  Unfortunately for several cars though, on Lap 22 of the 75 lap season opener, the 14 car cut a right rear tire sending Vickers into another car and then careering up into the wall and then back down into the infield.  He ended up severely wounding team mate Kevin Harvick’s car and opening up the side of Dale Earnhardt Jr’s car like a can of tuna. Despite the hard lick that had everyone holding their breath for a bit- Brian Vickers and all other drivers involved in the multi-car accident were alright after being evaluated at the infield care center.  Brian has been having so much fun all weekend and seems to be really appreciating the opportunity just to be in Tony’s car. I actually am more impressed with him so far than I thought I would be.  Come on Brian Vickers and Team 14 for the 500! (more…)

(photo credit: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

So I guess this would be the unlucky version of the Loose Lugnuts post since it’s number 13. Run and hide people! Run and hide and don’t forget to cover your lugnuts (sorry today is the Great Shakeout here in Cali- which means we all do your standard duck and cover earthquake drill- so if you are looking for me tomorrow around then check under my desk).  Anyway- onto the the things that have being ricocheting around my brain like loose lugnuts during a green flag pit stop:

1. Speaking of unlucky- I guess we might as well lead with the fact that Charlotte wasn’t really that lucky for team 14. Not only did we finish laps down but we were dinged with two penalties that have us losing 15 minutes of practice time (and we seem to need all we can get lately) AND losing our pit stall selection that is usually based on qualifying. Seems the infractions were due to failing pre-qualifying inspection too many times and failing pre-race templates too many times. Sigh- so we already have been having a tough year and now we can’t practice for 15 minutes and we get the pit stall that went over the fence last. This season man…this season.

2. While on the subject of Tony Stewart- have you seen this awesome Mobil 1 GridTV Video detailing the progression of his career:

(more…)

(Photo Source: Tony Stewart Facebook Page, Martinsville 2014 Album)

The stuff that has been rolling around in my brain like lugnuts in a pitstall during a green flag pit stop:

1. Wow- 10 “Loose Lugnuts” posts already? Not bad for just kind of a fun list. Like I said this is actually one of my favorite posts I write because it’s totally how I think- it’s just kind of a stream-of-conscious type thing. This seems to be a fairly post so I will keep it up!

2. Clint Bowyer’s number 15 Michael Waltrip Racing team was penalized 25 points yesterday for some sort of rules infraction that I saw on twitter was an “illegal trackbar” but for some reason the releases on the penalties the exact reason for the 15 team penalty wasn’t mentioned beyond a bunch of handbook infraction numbers that mean nothing to someone like me who doesn’t have a NASCAR rule book (would love one if anyone wants to pass one my way).   I have to say with Michael Waltrip Racing’s previous track record with these kind of issues I am not surprised. Part of me wonders if they don’t have trouble securing sponsorships because of previous cheating penalties (I am of course thinking of Boywer’s overly itchy arm a few years ago, and the jet fuel scandal a few years before that).  Of course MWR are appealing the penalty- I just hope that the appeal is heard soon (and upheld) because it really hoses up the chase when one of the chasers is penalized something like that- I mean with the points system the way it is (I almost called it the “new” points system but I guess we can pretty much state that it’s not really that new anymore ) 25 points is 25 positions on track (there were also monetary fines and  suspensions). Personally I think once the chase for the championship has started, anyone caught cheating should be disqualified from the chase. Yes they should be able to appeal it- and the appeal should be before the next race of the chase. Of course I think all chase cars should get an automatic post race trip to R&D as well to get a good going over to make sure that the cheating thing isn’t rampant.  That’s just my thoughts on the whole process. (more…)