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(photo source: Zimbio.com/Sarah Crabill/Getty Images North America)

Started: 11th (Qualifying was rained out and starting position was based on the points).

Finished: 16th

Chase Standing: 12th*

(photo source: Zimbio.com/Kena Krutsinger/Getty Images North America)

Tony Stewart speaks with his team on the radio before the drop of the green flag before every race- and this week he wanted to emphasize two points with the crew and team before the first race of the playoffs start. He wanted them to know that they win as a team and lose as a team but that he wanted them to finish off the last ten weeks of his last season as a NASCAR driver having FUN no matter where they end up at the end of the season.

I don’t know about how much fun Tony was having out there in Chicagoland during the first race of the Chase however.  After a handful or two of laps Tony radioed into the crew to let them know while he was still having handling issues that car’s stability was much better than it had been during Saturday’s practice. Tony then seemed to struggle for the majority of the race with his handling falling down the field until he was around 19th or 20th but still on the lead lap.  He went a lap down three times during the race- once for pitting during a caution but luckily he was able to take the wave around for that and get our lap right back. Once he got passed by race leader Chase Elliott but was able to maintain lucky dog position until a debris caution came out and allowed Tony to get his lap back.  The same thing happened again at the end of the race when Tony was again passed by leader Chase Elliott but Tony again was able to maintain his lucky dog position and then  the caution with four laps to go put him back on the lead lap. In the first overtime of the playoffs- Tony was able to maintain his position on the lead lap and finished 16th. Race winner was Martin Truex Jr. (more…)

(photo source: Tony Stewart Official Facebook)

Started: 17th (Set by points due to rain cancelling qualifying on Friday)

Finished: 35th (DNF)

Points: 426 points (27th in the standings, locking into the chase)

I love the Southern 500,especially the cars with all the throwback paint schemes. I loved Tony’s Coke paint scheme the best- but there were so many awesome paint scheme it was hard for me to choose a second favorite…but I finally decided it was Greg Biffle’s Alan Kulwicki Hooters paint scheme on his number 16- and how awesome was it that Hooters came back to sponsor a car during the race. How awesome was it though that Tony’s throwback Coke paint scheme won the vote for best paint scheme?? That is awesome. (more…)

(Photo credit: Tony Stewart Official Store facebook/HHP/Andrew Coppley)

Started: 16th

Finished: 12th

Points: 87 points, 37th in the standings and 59 points from 30th position

Quote Of The Race: “You still mad at me bud?” — Crew chief Mike Bugarewicz after the conclusion of the race- addressing driver Tony Stewart’s radio silence during the later half of the race. (By the way- for those curious- Tony’s response was that he wasn’t mad at his crew chief but frustrated at the situation with the vibration/slowdown of the car during the later half of the race).

If I could give a random name to the race run by Tony Stewart and crew this past Saturday at Kansas I would call it “The Lemonade Race.”  No I wasn’t drinking lemonade on Saturday night.  I call it that because the race was a good example of taking the lemons dealt to you and turning them into lemonade.  (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…)

(Photo source: Mobil 1 Facebook Page/ HHP)

Replacement Driver: Brian Vickers

Started: 18th

Finished: 26th

Points: Vickers is 25th in points

Like most Tony Stewart fans, I was most excited during the Daytona pre-race and race when we got to hear from Tony Stewart of course.  Here is a video of his call into the pre-race show: (more…)

Brian Vickers doing media for the 14 team. (Photo Credit: Stewart-Haas Racing Twitter)

Here has what’s been pinging around my brain like loose lugnuts in a pit box during a green flag pit stop (have your missed these posts? I sure have).

1. So am I the only one who things that the dual races called the Can Am Duels should be called the Dual Duels? I think that would be awesome.  Of course I have a think for alliterations so it might just be me. The Duels are tonight and remember that Harvick and Vickers will be starting from the rear of their respective duel because of the track bar issues post qualifying.  GO VICKERS! GO TEAM 14. I hate that the duels are so early in the day because I have to follow on line from work. I hope that all SHR cars get through their duel unscathed and with a good starting position for the 500 (fingers crossed). I still wish they would just let Brian run all the races until Tony gets back so we have some continuity.

2. Kevin Harvick will be pitted by a back-up jack man as his normal jack man Mike Casto recovers from surgery.  Long time Tony fans may remember Mike from when he pitted on the 14 team not so long ago.  Get well soon Mike. (more…)

As always NASCAR Champions week in Las Vegas was a ton of fun.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup In Las Vegas December 2015. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)


Phoenix, AZ  November 2015 (Photo Source: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook/HHP/Harold Hinson)

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.

(Photo Source: Martin Truex Jr Official Facebook)

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…)