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Tony on Sunday at Martinsville

Tony Stewart pilots the #14 Bass Pro Chevy on Sunday at Martinsville (photo credit: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook/Mike Calamungi CIA Stock)

I have been saying for years- Martinsville is my favorite track I have never been to. I LOVE to watch races at the crazy little paper-clip shaped track.  The speeds maybe slower than a mile-and-a-half track BUT the racing action is much better. (Another reason I like Phoenix so much too- the racing action is awesome there). (more…)

Tony Stewart at Martinsville

Tony Stewart at Martinsville 2013 (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Official Facebook Page)

“One thing about Martinsville is there is no lack of excitement. I don’t care how flawlessly your day goes, you’re going to bump into somebody at some point, even on a perfect day. You put 43 cars on this half-mile track and it’s always going to be exciting. You will never have a race there where you don’t have some sort of drama during the day. I think every driver will say they will have some drama at some point. When you have 43 drivers with 43 dramatic moments, that’s a lot of action going on.” — Tony Stewart, 2014 Martinsville Team Release

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*TQMS= The Quotable Mr. Stewart

#14in14 #GoTonyGo #StandWithSmoke

Starting today, through midnight (ET) on March 17th, NASCAR fans have the chance to help pick the paint scheme of two special cars that will be showcased in the pre-race show for the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 run on April 3rd, 2011.

As part of the Pick A Powder campaign rivalry between Richard Petty (representing Goody’s and The Victory Junction Gang) and Trace Adkins (representing BC and The Wounded Warriors Project),  two sets of cars (two cars for the Victory Junction Gang Camp and two for Wounded Warriors Project) were designed by representatives chosen by the charities with the help of accomplished NASCAR artist Sam Bass.

The Victory Junction Gang Camp cars were created by Eleanor Bolton, a Victory Junction Gang camper and second grader from Davidson, North Carolina. She is eight years of age and has a medical condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a motor neuron disease that affects the voluntary muscles that are used for activities such as crawling, walking, head and neck control, and swallowing. These are her designs:

Victory Junction Car- Peace Beast

Victory Junction Car- Hearty Party

The Wounded Warrior Project cars were created by Cory Collins who was wounded 27 days into his first tour of duty in Iraq in 2005 when the truck he was in ran over a 500 lb IED.  Collins was the only survivor in his truck.  He spent five years going through surgeries and treatments trying to mend 30 broken or shattered bones, he ended up having to have his leg amputated  in 2010.  Within 34 days, Collins was walking again with the assistance of a prosthetic leg. These are his designs:

Wounded Warriors Car- Recon

Wounded Warriors Car- Ghost

NASCAR fans can vote for their favorite paint scheme for each car by going to either the facebook page for Goody’s or the Facebook Page for BC. Like the page and click on the PICK A PAINT SCHEME link. You can then vote for one of the Victory Junction Paint schemes and one of the Wounded Warriors paint schemes.

You will then get to check out which cars won on the pre-race show at Martinsville Speedway on April 3rd.

Fans who live in areas where Goody’s and BC Powders are sold (they aren’t sold here on the west coast), fans have yet another way to support both charities. Adkins and Wounded Warrior Project are currently featured on specially-marked boxes of BC, and Petty and Victory Junction on select boxes of Goody’s. With each purchase made until March 31 of the BC and Goody’s specially-marked boxes, fans will help to give back to the organization affiliated with each brand.

After a weekend where two of the three practices and the qualifying session were rained out the weather looked beautiful for Sunday’s race at Martinsville.  Martinsville is the shortest track on the circiut but Sunday’s Goody’s 500 was definitely not short on action. I personally, thought Sunday’s race was one of the best this season.

Of course part of that could be because both Stewart-Haas Racing drivers, Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman had top ten finishes. Tony finishing the day with an awesome third place finish- the best for Stewart-Haas Racing so far this season.  Ryan Newman finished the day in 8th place- a personal best for his since beginning his tenure at Stewart-Haas racing at the beginning of this season.  Both Tony and Ryan’s teams seemed to be working quite well on Pit Road despite the inherient cramp conditions in the Martinsville pits as well as having some non-choice pitstalls.

Since qualifying was rained out – the field lined up by points.  Initially Jeff Gordon, who started on the pole since he leads the points race right now, took the lead and seemed to stay in the lead a good portion of the race.  His only challenger seemed to be Denny Hamlin- who also looked fairly strong. His car seemed to get stronger while Gordon’s handling seem to fade late in the race- causing him to have a fourth place finish. In the end- it was a shootout between Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson- with the two swapping the lead back and forth several times during the last 22 laps or so. At one point during the swapping back and forth of the lead, Hamlin and Johnson were both practically sideways side by side in the turn.  In the end- Jimmie Johnson was able to get his first cup win of the season.

More Notes on Martinsville:

  • Best Work In of A Sponsor Product: Comes from Saturday’s Practice telecast on SPEEDTv where journalist said to Tony Stewart “This really stinks doesn’t it?” talking about the weather- and Tony retorted “It DOES NOT stink because we have OLD SPICE as a sponsor so it does NOT stink!”
  • Tony was apparently cussing at himself during the end of the race: “I was just cussing at myself because I wasn’t close enough to do anything about it.”
    Tony Stewart, on the winning pass (third)
  • I love how now that Rick Hendrick has been quoted as supporting Tony Eury Jr as Crew Chief for Dale Jr- that the Fox Commentators (I think it was DW) are now stating that part of the reason that Dale is having poor finishes is Tony Stewart’s fault because he recruited Darian Grubb away from HMS.  Um…no.
  • I was glad to hear that even Jeff Gordon gets frustrated during a race- as he threatened to “knock his head off” if Denny (or it might have been Tony- I thought Tony when I first heard it but my friend says no he was talking about Denny) he bumped him again.
  • I had no idea Joey Logano was so tall- (direct from my notes after seeing him standing next to Greg Zipadelli during the national anthem.)
  • Poor Kyle just couldn’t catch a break this race- seemed he was spinning more times than a hula hoop! Neither could Matt Kenseth- always a driver or six short of being the lucky dog.
  • Was it my imagination or did Jeff Gordon slight Tony Stewart’s third place finish in his post race interview?  Jeff felt he had at least a third place car…but he finished fourth (and maintained his points lead).

Next Week: Texas Motor Speedway.