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I have lots to write still to wrap up the season- but I wanted to congratulate the winner of the Ford EcoBoost 400 AND the winner of the 2014 Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the Stewart-Haas Racing #4 Budweiser Chevy:

Winner winner chicken dinner! Winner of both the Ford EcoBoost 400 and the 2014 Sprint Cup Championship Kevin Harvick hoists the trophy for the cup championship in victory lane in Homestead, Fl on November 16th 2014. (photo credit: 303081Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The Harvicks in Victory Lane

The Harvick family celebrate the 2014 Sprint Cup Championship in victory lane at Homestead, FL on November 16th, 2014. (Photo Credit: 303098Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

And my FAVORITE picture of the night- Driver, Owner, Friends, Champions.

The Driver. The Owner. The Friends.

Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and team owner Tony Stewart celebrate winning in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America)

Thanks Kevin Harvick- Stewart-Haas Racing and Tony needed that!!  So did the fans.

If you look up the word champion up on dictionary.com this is what the definition is:

dictionary.com definition of champion.

Do you see that very first definition there? A person who has defeated all opponents in a competition or series of competitions, so as to hold first place.  It’s makes sense right? After all if you look at probably the two most popular stick-and/or-ball sports in the United States that is what they use as a Champion.  What Super Bowl team does not have the BEST record for their division going into the big game. Same for the World Series- it’s a series of games between the two teams with the best records in their respective divisions. It’s what NASCAR use to have. (more…)

I know that I have mentioned the Lionel Racing Golden Ticket program before but here is the gist of the program: Buy a 2014 1:24 Lionel Racing Diecast and you could find a golden ticket in it for one of several awesome prizes.  I know personally that the private tour of Stewart-Haas Racing shop in Concord, NC followed by lunch with a pit crew member  would be my DREAM prize (and as of this writing that dream prize of mine? Hasn’t been claimed yet! Hmmm maybe I should consider buying another diecast)!

Sounds too good to be true right? Well just ask Judie Kochenower! She bought a Dale Jr Diecast for her collect and lucked into finding a Golden Ticket for a Dale Jr meeting n greet- which took place at Texas Motor Speedway.  Judie and her mom Ann Clark (A SMOKE FAN based on her attire! Go Ann!) were lucky enough to get to spend some time with Dale Earnhardt Jr!Here are some great pictures of Judie, Ann and Dale’s meeting:

Judie, Dale and Ann

Judie Kochenower and Ann Clark meet Dale Earnhardt Jr in Texas. Judie was the lucky winner of a golden ticket in the Lionel Racing Golden Ticket Sweepstakes. (Photo Credit: Lionel Racing/Tommy Grassmann/CIA)

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If you are anywhere near the Stewart-Haas Racing shop on October 12th – this might be something you might want to show up to- whether you have a hot rod to enter or just (like me) like to appreciate other’s hot rods. Click the flyer to go to the webpage!

 (This is what originally came out of my pen when I sat down to pen my weekly race review. It wasn’t my usual race report so I kept this and wrote a usual race report which became Oral B 500: Back In  The Saddle Again (Part 1) –  Amy).

Pre-Race Invocation in Atlanta

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, looks on prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway (Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America)

As I sit here, in a car wash of all places, scratching out the rough draft of my weekly race report, the song Back In The Saddle by Aerosmith is a constant refrain echoing against the walls of my skull and will not leave me. It echoes even louder and more constant then the golf tournament playing on the ancient television set turned up far too loud that needs two types of converters just to get the digital signal to the local station. I have effectively started and crossed out and then started over again (because I am old school and use paper and pen most of the time- then convert my posts to digital) this post at least three times, all while waiting for my SUV to be be brought around from the back where the washing happens to the front where the hand detailing takes place, because I just can’t seem to get the post quite right. Because obviously I have more to say about the emotion of the race than I do the race itself. (more…)

First of all, most people know I am not foremost a fan of Tony Stewart, and trust me if you could hear me on race day when he is driving too close to Jeff Gordon, you will know my preference; but I am a race fan and I can’t stand by and not defend Stewart against the attacks and wild accusations flying around.

The incident Saturday night at Canandaigua Motorsports Park was a combination of two things: racing and hot headedness. What needs to be said is it was NOT Tony Stewart being the hot head, it was Kevin Ward Jr.’s reactionary anger with the racing incident between he and Stewart that snow balled into a tragedy that no one could have predicted or expected. However, it certainly, certainly could have been prevented had Ward used any shred of common sense that night.

For many people seeing the video, they jump to the conclusion that Stewart purposely hit Ward. These people may simply not understand the circumstances of the scene or that kind of racing; so for this let me share my take:

1) While yes, drivers do get out of their cars on track in the heat of the moment all the time; they do not (at least none I’ve seen) ever play “dodgeball” with the running cars to get to the intended target of their ire. Watching the video that’s exactly what Ward did! He had to dodge numerous cars running under caution. The car directly in front of Stewart nearly hit Ward, too. Ward kept coming even then toward Stewart.

2) Which brings me to my next point, it was a DIRT track in the dark of the night. Stewart likely was focused on the car ahead of him, possibly didn’t even know why the caution waved, and could have no way of knowing Ward was on track heading toward him. Stewart sees the 45 swerve and then there is Ward. Looks to me like Stewart tried to avoid Ward and in the process the car fishtailed, hitting Ward and sending him flying into the air. It is a dirt surface, which does not have the traction or grip of a surface street. Tony’s reaction was done in a milisecond. The consequences were not intended, premeditated or anything Stewart did with purpose.

There are NO spotters at dirt tracks. Tony likely didn’t even know Ward was coming like a raging bull for him until it was too late. The reason he got hit by the 14 and not one of the others is that Ward kept coming at the car- he didn’t back off. I can’t even fathom what he was thinking or hoping to accomplish.

My heart goes out to the Ward family. It was a tragedy that no family should have to face, but that is what it is – a tragedy, an accident, not murder, not even a result of a two-way confrontation.

I’ve only met Stewart a few times, but I have had enough conversation with him to know he’s a tender-hearted, caring man who needs our prayers as much as the Wards. Tony has three passions which drive him: racing, helping animals and young people.  He would never, ever intentionally cause a young driver to be hurt, certainly not killed.

Look at any past Stewart blowup with another driver and you will see Stewart uses his hands to retaliate, not his car. In this incident Saturday, Stewart wasn’t looking for retaliation – he couldn’t have even understood what was going on.

Also, please remember that the Ontario County Sheriff’s Department has been investigating the accident since it took place. After a preliminary investigation there have been NO criminal charges, none are pending, and further they find no grounds for criminal negligence at this time. Please give them the benefit of the doubt that they have more information than we do and know what really transpired. Jumping to conclusions is not going to change the outcome of the tragedy- it can only hurt more people.

I love that Crown Royal, NASCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway have joined forces over the last several years to name the Brickyard 400 race after a hero. The Brickyard 400 will be called:

The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard!

NASHVILLE, TN – JUNE 03: 2014 CMT Music Awards – Crown Royal Lounge at Bridgestone Arena on June 3, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Crown Royal)

 

Okay- well technically the full name of the race is Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com but that is too much of a mouthful to me so I say The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard it is. (more…)

Tony Stewart

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Code 3/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, speaks with Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Ford, during qualifying for the NASCAR race at Dover International Speedway on May 30, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images North America)

What is this? Two posts in one day? Yes! I am all up in a dander today after I read this FOXSports article and lucky you- this is where I vent about what gets my dander up when it comes to NASCAR. So hold on a second and let me climb up on my soapbox. First off this how the article was promoted on the NASCAR on FOX Facebook page:

Tony Stewart ripped the media on Friday for questioning his plans to race sprint cars again – and that’s not all the three-time NASCAR champ had to say. STORY: foxs.pt/1o7za3j

First off- I heard pretty much the entire presser after the fact (I wish I could figure out how to post it here- if I find a transcript I will) with my own ears and he didn’t sound like he was “ripping” anyone to me. I have heard him get snippy with questions in the media center (both on PressPass and in person) and I would be hard pressed to call Tony’s comments “snippy” let alone “ripping”. I have no idea who thought that was a “ripping” because they do not know the definition of being ripped, whether it be by Tony Stewart or anyone else for that matter. (more…)