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Hi there!  You don’t know me- so let me introduce myself. My name is Amy and I am a NASCAR fan (and blogger obviously).  Not knowing me, you would probably characterize me as a gun toting, tobacco-spitting, country music listening, walmart shopping, taxidermy loving, lawn mower riding, cowboy boot wearing, high school dropout redneck living in one of the cities in on your 10 Most “Redneck” Cities in America list.

After reading the list and more importantly the highly scientific method you used to come up with the cities that made the list I am flummoxed.  You see- I am a NASCAR fan and I have been since I was a child.  Yet I am none of those things. Neither are any of the NASCAR fans I know.  You see, that is the problem when you perpetuate stereotypes- you inevitably alienate people.  It would be like me stereotyping football fans as the inebriated, shirtless guy wearing a beer dispensing hard hat while his entire bare upper torso is painted in team colors while standing in 30 degree weather. Or like saying that all programmers are skinny, pale, bespectacled, dateless, socially awkward, caffeine addicted trolls who sit in darkened rooms playing WoW  between code writing marathons. Those sweeping generalizations are for the most part untrue as are yours when it comes to NASCAR fans.

NASCAR fans at the 2012 Kobalt Tools 400 in Las Vegas NV (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

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I am going to say something that I don’t like saying: it’s obvious that something is amiss with Stewart-Haas this season- specifically the #14 team of Tony Stewart. I know I know- thank you Captain Obvious right?  But as stalwart of a Tony Stewart fan that I am- I can not go on being the girl with the rosy camouflaged colored glasses any more. We are going into race 8 of the season now and Tony’s mired way down in 22nd in the Sprint Cup points standings- a full 111 points behind current points leader Jimmie Johnson.

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America)

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Judging by the bacon themed food and novelty items that surround us these days, there must be some strange and growing group of bacon fanatics in the world. Who they are and where they are I do not know, and am not sure I want to know. Since everyone else I have discussed this over abundance of bacon with seems to scrunch their nose and think it as strange as I do, I am left to wonder about the people who would find such things as bacon sundaes at Denny’s, bacon bandages and bacon candy canes from Urban Outfitters, and bacon cotton candy appealing.

Oh yeah, bacon cotton candy! Texas Motor Speedway is unveiling its newly created “Hawg Heaven Bacon Cotton Candy” during the NRA 500. There is even a scratch and sniff shirt to go along with this culinary creation! Executive Chef Joel Pena will prepare over 3,000 bags of “Hawg Heaven Bacon Cotton Candy” and will cook more than 300 pounds of bacon to be used as candy-coated topping to the bacon flavored candy fluff.

The candy can be purchased at where else, but the Pig Rig Food Truck on the concourse between gates three and four, and in the stands by Hawg Heaven Hawkers, and at various concession stands throughout the track.

I guess I really shouldn’t knock something I haven’t tried, but I just can not understand this bacon mania that is taking the country by storm. I wonder how many of you have tried a bacon delicacy or would want to try Texas’ newest treat?! If you do, let us know what you think.

Someone please tell me what is it with Misty and I? Of the last three races that we have been able to attend in person (Fall Phoenix 2012, Las Vegas, and now Autoclub) post race fights have broken out at two of them and each fight included one of our favorite drivers (Phoenix had  Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer going at it and of course you may have heard that my driver went a little agro on Joey Logano at Autoclub).  I will get into the post race pugilism a little later. First let’s get to the actual race.

The Naval Re-Enlistment Ceremony before Driver Introductions at AutoClub Speedway. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

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Hey Tony Stewart fans!  Guess what? The first 25 people through the doors of their local Bass Pro Shop this Saturday February 23rd, 2013 will receive an officially licensed, limited edition 1:24 scale Action Racing Collectibles Tony Stewart 2013 Pass Pro Shops #14 Chevrolet SS!!! So head out to your local Bass Pro Shop to show your support of their new driver Tony Stewart and get a FREE Diecast (no purchase necessary)!

Also- on Sunday February 25th, 2013 if you are one of the first 50 people through the door you will get a limited edition “Evolution of the Stock Car” NASCAR Poster.

Please note that these offers are only good in stores and not available online.

 

This Friday, September 7th, Las Vegas Motor Speedway is hosting the 7th Annual “Remember the Fallen” Blood Drive to benefit Speedway Children’s Charities. For more information and to register, visit http://www.lvms.com/media/news/speedway-childrens-charities-joins-united-blood-service-for-seventh-annual-blood-drive-friday.html

This is an event that I am proud to take part in each year and encourage all of you, whether you live in Las Vegas or not, to find a blood drive near you and give as we approach the 11th anniversary of 9/11.

I do not generally comment on the personal lives of drivers. I think it is distasteful and wildly inappropriate, but lately I can’t help but notice the “fan” posts and comments circulating on social media sites concerning Tony Stewart and the status of his love life.

Apparently there at least some fans who believe he is incapable of managing a relationship and a championship bid. To insinuate such a thing is not only ridiculous, but it is insulting to Tony’s talent. Are these so called fans suggesting that Tony is less able to juggle a personal life and career than let’s say Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, or Kyle Busch (all of whom have managed to have incredible career success, relationships and families)?

The very first interview BadGroove did with Tony Stewart was eye opening to how Tony feels about this kind of private scrutiny. When we were introduced to Tony, he said. “Oh no—I am afraid of bloggers!” He laughed it off, but after the interview he opened up a bit about what he meant when he said that. He explained that he tries to avoid reading anything on the internet about him because it “hurts [his] feelings when they talk about [his] personal life”. He said, “Some of the things they write – they are terrible”. This is probably one of the main reasons he steers clear of social media. He just doesn’t want to open himself up to more of his “fans” unsolicited advice and opinions.

If you are still reading this, I implore you to do as Tony does and avoid those individuals who can’t seem to keep their nose out of his very personal business. Just because he has a career in the spotlight doesn’t mean we are invited into his personal life. Trust his decisions and his talent and leave it at that. Have some respect!

Monday morning I realized just how much I wear not only my NASCAR fandom on my sleeve, but my 24 pride, too, when I came into my office and started checking my voicemail messages from the weekend and had not one but three voicemail messages from clients of our firm and a business associate calling for the sole purpose to congratulate ME on the win at Pocono. Now, I am sure you can all relate that on Sunday when we are watching our driver navigate his way through the muck and the mire of a race we do indeed feel like a part of the team: making arm chair pit calls and yelling words of encouragement at our driver, or pointing out cars and obstacles like we are the team spotter but to return to the “real world” Monday and have people calling to congratulate you on your driver’s win- well that is when you know that you truly are living and breathing this sport. So much so that every person you come in contact with knows of your addiction and thinks of you when they are watching the sports segment on the evening news and see who won the race. That is cool! I will take those calls and messages any time!