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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…)

I have been as antsy for the 2014 season to start as I can ever remember being.  I am sure most Tony Stewart fans know that feeling I am talking about. Hopefully it brings back our beloved driver into the driver’s seat where he belongs, where we love to see him.  Since his injury at the beginning of August I know that I personally struggled to maintain much of an interest in the 2013 NASCAR season.  It was hard for me to get into it on that personal enjoyment level. Yes my driver’s car was out there being piloted (mostly by Mark Martin – but also by Max Papis and Austin Dillon depending on the race) and yes my driver happens to also be an owner so I had other teams to root for, but it felt much like watching football feels to me. I am vaguely interested in what is happening but not personally vested in it. I miss that feeling.

That said- there is still the unknown for our driver. How will he be able to physically be able to handle the car? The 500 is a long race.  He will only have been in the car a bit for the practices and Sprint Unlimited. I know he is chomping at the bit to get into the car and drive and I honestly can not blame him- I WANT him in there too…but part of me worries it is too soon, he’s not healed enough, etc. Because I am a worrier- that is what I do.  So this fear of the unknown is knot one.

But now- NASCAR is switching everything up this season. (more…)

(L-R) Gene Haas, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, Tony Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing and driver of the #14, Danica Patrick, driver of the #10, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4, Kurt Busch, driver of the #4, and Mike Arning, public relations for Stewart-Haas Racing, speak with the media during the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour. (Photo Source: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America)

If I took one thing from 2014 NASCAR media tour in Charlotte this week it is this: Tony Stewart is EXCITED for the 2014 season. Don’t believe me? He said “excited” 20 times during the general media scrum (I was going to go back to the transcript and count because I noticed it while he was speaking but thanks to Nate Ryan I don’t have to) and a bazillion more times during his interview on SiriusXM (click on link to hear his excitable snippet) after they broke out into individual sessions. I love it. This season is going to be a great one- I can feel it. (more…)

(Photo Credit: Edelman)

Finding yourself flummoxed by what to get that special NASCAR fan in your life for Christmas this year? Let me offer some ideas and suggestions: (more…)

I am going to admit it- it has been a long time since I have been to a Truck Series race- especially a truck race at Las Vegas!  So when Misty mentioned us applying for credentials to cover it I was totally for it!!

One of the best things about the truck race at Vegas is that they let anyone in the NEON GARAGE which is one of my favorite parts of Las Vegas Motor Speedway because you can look right in to the garage bays and watch the crews work on the trucks! The kids their with there parents wandering around the Neon Garage seemed to really enjoy the “behind the scenes” views- and they especially enjoyed it when the drivers would wander over to the autograph windows at the rear of each garage bay between practices.  Sometimes the garage passes are a bit pricy for the cup races and might prevent families from enjoying the garage area. The fact that the neon garage was free was great because the kids could experience the garage area for free which makes the event family friendly! And that is how you hook a young race fan.  You let them into the garage area.  Trust me. I know these things.

It was also fun to watch some of the pressers- some of the younger drivers in the series are far less media saavy than more experienced truck and cup drivers (I am especially thinking of Ryan Blaney here- I don’t know if he is shy or what but he hardly looked up at all during his presser znd his hat was screwed down tight on his head- you could barely see his face).

But everyone, fans, drivers, media: was there for one reason! THE RACE. The race was awesome and did NOT disappoint. Race winner was a very excited Timothy Peters!

Here are some pictures from here and there around the track:

Monitors in Las Vegas Motor Speedway's Neon Garage

Monitors in Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s Neon Garage. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach).

Many more pictures after the jump…

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I am climbing in the HHR and heading back down to Vegas to visit Misty and for the #NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race! Whoo hoo- we haven’t been to a race track since June- and that is just TOO LONG (especially considering that our next Cup race isn’t until Phoenix in November- YEY Phoenix- it’s my favorite track that I have been to).  Plus I think it’s been quite awhile since I have been to a truck series race.

By the way- if you are going to be in Las Vegas for the Smiths 350 truck race this weekend- South Point Hotel & Casino will be hosting a free autograph session with many of the truck series drivers on Friday September 27th from 7-8pm.  Check out this announcement from Las Vegas Motor Speedway for more details.

Going to the truck races also means that I will be late with the Team 14 Dover Race Report this week because I don’t come back from Vegas until Monday (and it takes me a good 7-8 hours to drive it- it’s about 500 miles so be glad you aren’t forced to watch the Amy/Vegas 500- it’s definitely not exciting and pit stops tend to take much longer than 12 seconds) and then expect to get fully slammed when I get back to work on Tuesday (I am in the middle of a project which means meetings, meetings and more meetings). For the same reason I, it will likely take me a bit to get the Truck race pictures up because I will have to sift through about 16 gigs worth of pictures.

You can always follow all my adventures real-time on Twitter and/or Facebook (usually when I am traveling or at a race I tend to be more likely to post to twitter than FB for some reason) but be prepared for NASCAR truck stuff interspersed with whatever else I just happen to be doing while in Vegas this weekend). And of course Misty has twitter as well- and likely we will end up bantering back and forth like we do.

Gratuitous Goodies after the jump (more…)

It’s been a heckuva week for this Jeff Gordon girl. I have been semi mum (for me anyway) on the subject because frankly the emotions were too high. Aside from a handful of angry tweets and some pointed re-tweets, I have been mum…but now that it is all said and done ,and I can contemplate the events of the last week without fire steaming from my nostrils, let me tell you what it was like for me and I am sure most of the 24 fans.

Saturday’s race at Richmond, in itself, was a roller coaster ride of emotions. Jeff needed to race his way into the Top Ten in points to make the Chase. Starting from the pole was a good way to get there. So was leading the first 50 or so laps, but then he began to fade, having used up his tires in that first run, the handling of the car went away and he didn’t seem to have a car capable of winning the race. However, all was not lost as Logano – the person he needed to unseat from 10th in points was having a FAR worse night- having fallen two laps down early on and remained stuck there. (more…)