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You may recall me posting a picture earlier this month of Matt Kenseth and this year’s Goodyear SUPPORT OUR TROOPS tire. Well this weekend is the Coca-Cola 600 (or The World 600 if you are Dale Jr.) which will feature the last appearance of this tire at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

However- you can get in on the action by helping Goodyear give back to the troops by bidding on several auction items through the NASCAR FOUNDATION. Proceeds will go to support the troops. Some of the items up for auction include autographed tires from many NASCAR Drivers including Carl Edwards, Danica Patrick, Jimmie Johnson, an autographed piece of the #11 Fedex Car driven by Denny Hamlin, and what is probably the coolest auction item I have ever seen- a ride for two in the Goodyear Blimp (which NO you would not catch me doing- I am hard pressed to get in an airplane- like HELL am I getting in a blimp- but my father however- would LOVE this).  This particular set of auctions will end on May 27th, so get your bids in now at the NASCAR FOUNDATION GOODYEAR GIVES BACK page today! There are even Support Our Troops hats and shirts that you can purchase for a reasonable price.

You can also visit the GOODYEAR GIVES BACK page for a link to the auction site, a page where you can leave a message to thank the troops, a donation page and other ways that Goodyear is giving back to our troops and how you can help through July 31st!

One of the hot topics right now in the NASCAR world is the Sprint Cup season race schedule and how it could be improved. Best I can tell it started with Brad Keselowski coming up with what would be a dream schedulefor him.  Then others got in on the opinion making- the most recent of them being Darrell Waltrip during the pre-race show.  One thing that both Darrell Waltrip and Brad Keselowski’s schedules have in common is coming to the west coast right out of Daytona, and staying there; lumping Vegas, Sonoma, Auto Club and Phoenix all together in the schedule. It’s almost as if they are just getting us out of the way- and then leaving us NASCAR fans in the west high and dry the rest of the season.

Sunset over the grandstands at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Sunset over the grandstands at Las Vegas Motor Speedway- March 2014 (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

As a BIG NASCAR fan in that geographic area who has been to all four of those tracks and who has actually even been to all four of those tracks in one year- I can tell you that a schedule like this would be HUGE mistake.  I am a regular working girl (and no- this blog is not work- I have a M-F 8-5 job).  Lumping the “west coast” dates into one leg of a schedule is a huge mistake because as a working girl like myself can’t afford to take a month off of work to go from track to track- and I dare say most other fans can NOT either.  Several fans in this demographic try to travel to multiple races in their area (for instance Vegas AND Auto Club or Vegas AND Phoenix or Auto Club AND Sonoma). (more…)

2011 Sprint Cup Winner Tony Stewart

2011 Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart with the Sprint Cup. (photo credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images North America)

This year marks a year of great change in NASCAR and for fans trying to navigate these changes. The first change is a new qualifying procedure that has multiple cars on the track at any given time- deemed “Knockout Qualifying.” Next the whole 2014 Chase format has been changed (think of the NASCAR Chase as being a championship playoffs if you are new to NASCAR).  Instead of 12 drivers (what it has been in seasons past)- the Chase has been expanded to 16 spots- where drivers are subsequently knocked out of the chase in three three-race rounds- eventually narrowing the field to four cars for the final race in Homestead-Miami. That right there seems like a lot of change right?

But what seems to be causing a lot of the confusion right now is HOW a driver qualifies for that Chase. Somehow- the idea that if a driver wins a race in the “regular season” (defined as the first 26 POINTS PAYING races of the NASCAR season) that driver is qualified for the 2014 Chase for the Sprint Series Cup.  This has been mentioned by national media on TV as well as by drivers.  Because of all the confusion, I decided to go back to the original NASCAR release announcing the new Chase format (which also address exactly HOW a driver qualifies for that chase) and read over it several times.

Let me answer some questions as I understand the new rules: (more…)

(Photo Credit by Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)

The professional nerd in me loves how much NASCAR and it’s drivers have embraced social media. It’s a great way to engage the fans and create new ones. Nationwide driver Elliott Sadler gets this:

“Social media provides such a amazing opportunity for fans to engage with their heroes and people they really look up to,” Sadler stated. “Heck, I even get excited when I get a message back from guys like Larry The Cable Guy or Darius Rucker. I want to go one step beyond social media interaction and bring fans to the track for an unforgettable experience.”

So Sadler is using social media to reward his fans the race experience of a lifetime!

Prior to eleven Nationwide races fans will have the opportunity to win a VIP racing experience that includes a private meet and greet with Sadler, a tour of the No. 11 OneMain Financial Hauler, as well as pit and garage access throughout the Nationwide Series Events. All fans have to do to enter is tweet “#takemeto (race track)” to @Elliott_Sadler on Twitter and they will be entered to win the experience.

I know I would LOVE that kind of VIP experience!  The tracks this promotion will be available for are Auto Club Speedway, Iowa Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Road America, Kentucky Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Watkins Glen International, Mid-Ohio, Kansas Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. For more information on this #takemeto promotion, interested fans are encouraged to visit www.onemainracing.com.

NASCAR Driver David Gilliland took an interesting side trip on his way to Las Vegas Motor Speedway this year. Check out the story on Fan4Racing’s blog! I love these kind of personal interest stories that I might not otherwise catch! A fun read!

One Interesting Way to Get to The Track!

See how David Gilliland makes his way to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway


Sponsored by: NASCAR inGEAR

Bristol, CT – February 25, 2014 – Studio E: Two-time Daytona 500 champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the set of Mike and Mike (Photo Credit: by Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images)

I am going to admit right here that I was rooting for Dale Earnhardt Jr at the end of the Daytona 500.  After all- my driver was clearly out of the running (you’ll get ‘em next year Smoke) and I mean- it’s Dale Earnhardt Jr for goodness sakes.  However- who could have predicted the BUZZ that would come from his 500 win- most of it was the buzz he created himself by up and joining the ranks of those who tweet.

I think it’s a great move honestly because fans love and crave the fun driver interaction that twitter creates.  And this video of Dale reading some of his fan’s tweets is hilarious and shows a side of Dale Earnhardt’s personality that fans don’t usually get to see (which for the record I actually noticed during his segment of NASCAR After The Lap during Champions Week in Vegas last year):

Anyway- with all the online buzz that Dale Jr has caused since his win last Sunday it does NOT surprise me in the least to find out that his Daytona Win Diecast (currently available as a preorder from LionelRacing.com)was the highest selling of any previous win cars- including his own Dark Knight Rises Michigan win car from 2012!  It sold more than DOUBLE any other win car- within 12 hours of his win!  I have heard that the car will even have the piece of debris that was stuck to his grill.

#GoTonyGo #14in14 #StandWithSmoke

Working on the fuel cell

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 23, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images North America)

It’s a day that always begins with a ton of pomp and circumstance. No I am not talking about the Olympic closing ceremonies- I am talking the Daytona 500 (which ended up being the Nightona 500 after the Raintona 500 and the #AirTitan 500). It was the day that Smoke fans have been looking forward to for 7 months. The Daytona 500; aka the day Tony Stewart was back racing. Okay, so yeah technically he’d been racing for about a week if you count the non-points paying Sprint Unlimited and the field setting Budweiser Duels but this was a “real” race: A points race, A full-length race; and what turning to an all day- and part of the night race.

Tony qualified 21st but was forced to start from the rear of the field (as was Danica Patrick and Bobby Labonte). Don’t even get me going about that.  Why? Because of an “unscheduled engine change” because he suffered an engine issue during FIRST practice…you know the practice that is BEFORE the “Front Row Qualifying day” (the old CART fan in me keeps wanting to call it Pole day) and BEFORE the Budweiser Duels.  I could see penalizing him into starting at the back for his duel race- but the 500 too? Isn’t that double jeopardy- which is illegal?! Should be anyway.  But I digress.

Superspeedways make me nervous anyway. Knowing Tony’s in the back did NOTHING to assauge those nerves- mostly I was just hoping that Spotter Bob had extra powerful eagle eyes up there and could navigate Tony around the wrecks that would be inevitable. Yes I know he crashed during the Unlimited and was fine but I worry, because it’s one of the things I do best. Honestly- I would worry even if he didn’t have an injury. Because the kind of wrecks that Daytona (and you too Talladega) produce are usually violent (definitely cringe worthy). Case in point: The wreck where Danica smacked the wall but hard.  I mean OUCH.  And did I hear right- that she hit an area that didn’t have SAFER barrier? Why is there ANY spot on ANY track that isn’t edged in SAFER Barrier by now but especially a track like Talladega. Please someone tell me I heard wrong.

Tony in helmet

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 15, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images North America)

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Tony Stewart on the NASCAR ’14 cover.

I am so excited that I get to bring my readers this interview with Ed Martin, Executive Vice President of Eutechnyx North America- the company that developed NASCAR ’14!  I know that I was among the fans voting EVERY DAY to bring Tony Stewart to the cover of NASCAR ’14 and obviously all of my Tony Stewart fan readers were as well because as you’ll find out in this interview- he won by quite a bit.  I know that you all are just as excited as I am for February 18th for the release of NASCAR ’14 and I hope that you will enjoy this interview about what it takes to develop a game like NASCAR ’14 and working with Tony Stewart for the ad campaign that I know you all love just as much as I do: (more…)