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I read LOTS of other people’s thoughts on what is going on not just with Tony Stewart and Stewart-Haas, but with other drivers and NASCAR in general. I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorites with you. I haven’t decided if I am going to do this on a regular basis yet and this list is a little long because I was collecting these for a while for your pleasure.  They will be presented as is without commentary- but know that does NOT mean that I necessarily agree with the article or have no comments about it!

Can Stewart-Haas Repeat? – Mike Hembree for NASCAR on SPEED

Stewart’s success has Gordon lighting new fire- Mark Aumann for NASCAR.COM

Top 20 Countdown: No. 5 Tony Stewart- Jay Busbee for Yahoo! Sports

NASCAR Chase Predictions 2012: Who Will Win The Sprint Cup Series Championship? – Jeff Gluck for sbnation.com

Tony Stewart on The Business Side of NASCAR, Danica, And Being The Champ-  Kurt Badenhausen for Forbes

Fans Rise Early To Meet Racing Champ Tony Stewart- Lacey McLaughlin for the Daytona Beach News Journal

Dale Earnhardt Jr Interview: No Crying In The Autograph Line- Jeff Gluck for sbnation.net

Commentary: Hendrick C-Post Debate Is Much Ado About Nothing- Dave Moody for Sirius-Speedway.com

Video:
(This is longish at nearly 16 minutes but totally worth it!- Amy)

Gratuitous Tony Stewart Picture from Speedweeks:

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, looks on during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America)

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* So do you like this feature? Do you want me to continue it? Also? If you want it to be a regular feature at BadGroove does anyone have any witty and/or catchy ideas for a post title?

Just a reminder that Racing Dreams Premieres on PBS tomorrow! Check you local listings!

I was so excited to hear about this partnership I couldn’t wait to tell you. Back in 2010 I was lucky enough to get to preview the documentary Racing Dreams by filmmaker Marshall Curry.  It was awesome and I gave it a glowing review here. The documentary follows the lives of two boys (Josh Hobson and Brandon Warren) and a girl (Annabeth Barnes) through the five race World Karting Association (WKA) championship season.  It is really AWESOME to see and hear the story of the young fresh talent who dream of going into NASCAR someday.  I found the movie to be very compelling, engaging and interesting.

Since I watched it, Racing Dreams has won a bunch of film festival awards (Tribeca Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, Indianapolis International Film Festival- the list could go on and on) AND had a premiere at the NASCAR HALL OF FAME even.

Well I am now pleased to say that Racing Dreams will be featured on POV on PBS.  POV is in it’s 25th season on PBS and features the work of today’s best independent film makers (Marshall Curry, Racing Dreams Director and Producer, was also featured on POV in 2005 for Oscar nominated Street Fight).  The national broadcast premiere for Racing Dreams is on Thursday February 23rd 2012  at 9:00 pm (check your local listings though- because I know my PBS is a timezone off sometimes). It will also stream online in its entirety from Feb 24th to March 24th on the POV website at: www.pbs.org/pov/racingdreams. If you can at all watch it, DVR it or check it out in the internet I HIGHLY recommend it…especially for my race fan readers!

Racing Dreams follows the lives of three young racers (Annabeth Barnes, Josh Hobson and Brandon Warren) through the pavement series WKA national championship.

The release for this announcement also mentioned that DreamWorks Studios is developing the documentary into a dramatic feature film. I can only hope that this actually happens because it will rock if it’s half as good as the documentary is.

No surprise here- Jeff Gordon’s crash late in the Shootout nearly gave me a nervous breakdown. I am quite sure I didn’t breathe from the time he started rolling til he was out and standing. Even then, I was left wondering if I would have the stomach to sit through 500 miles next weekend. To paraphrase Jeff Gordon’s tweet the morning after, “Thankful for 4 safe race cars.”

These kind of moments serve to remind us all exactly what kind of risk all the drivers take each time they strap in and let’s all pray for a safe and fun season.

And on a final gratuitous fan note: Here’s to all the craziness getting out of the way for the 24 and to a winning, safe champion season! ;)

Kyle Busch’s “spin-catch-spin catch” move was by far the most amazing moment of the race for me. Love him or hate him, that was some great driving and certainly got my attention. The fact that he later went on to win the Shootout was just icing on this moment in the race.

Dear Mother Nature-

Please quit raining on my parade NASCAR races.  It was bad enough that I have had a nasty headache all day. All I wanted was a little racing action. (Ok- I lie- really I wanted to see Tony keep digging, race his way to the front of the field and take the checkers to WIN).  Instead, I got to watch ESPN beat a dead horse for hours and hours and hours with their interviewing drivers, crew chiefs, going over Paul Menard’s spin ad nauseum, going over the safety innovations since the 2001 death of Dale Earnhardt, bringing up the 1979 fight between Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough during the first full race telecast and how it also changed the sport…you get the picture…we fans had to endure a lot of dead horses. At any moment I expected them to start interviewing the guys in charge of gluing the lugnuts to the tires- and asking THEM about Paul Menard and if they thought his spin was intentional (okay- maybe I exaggerate a wee bit- but not much).  And those are only the parts I caught while doing this and that- determined not to let the rain delay ruin my entire day (although it kinda did anyway- since I was really REALLY looking forward to watching the first chase race).

What I am trying to say, Mother Nature, is that trying to “watch” a race at work sucks. Let’s make this Monday the last time I have to do this okay?

Smoochies,

Amy

P.S. It doesn’t look like Tony enjoys the rain delay much more than I did:

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, walks down pit road as rain falls prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 18, 2011 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images North America)

In all seriousness though- Good Luck TONY tomorrow. I will be watching you best I can as I toil away.

NASCAR instituted a new points system at season’s beginning in an effort to make it easier for the average fan to understand and in theory increase viewership. For those of you who read my thoughts on the change at the beginning of the season, you know that I was not a fan of the change, but I didn’t think it would make much of a difference. On that point I could not have been more wrong. While I still say it wasn’t needed, I now believe the change is a pure detriment to the sport that I so enjoyed watching and following each week.
Allow me to explain, I don’t think I am that much of an anomaly among fellow racing fans in that I have a favorite driver that I follow and root for. While I may like most of the drivers, on race day there is only one driver I am thinking about. Well, unfortunately this season has not gone so well for my driver and each week he seems to get mired further and further down the points standings. Under this new, but definitely not improved system, with each mediocre or, heaven forbid, bad week that transpires my hopes for him to pull himself out of the muck and mire of this points abyss dim.
OK, so maybe you’re saying, “well that’s how it goes”, and I bet if you are your driver is in the top 10. Am I right? But, I digress…
Under this new points system watching races and following a driver stuck in a points deficit becomes sheer frustration. When I see a twenty point separation between my driver and the next position in the standings I feel hopeless, understanding that he’ll need to finish twenty spots ahead of that guy in the next race to catch up. This hopelessness leaves me feeling like a frustrated vulture, hoping the drivers above him suffer calamities of all sorts. It has taken a sport I loved to watch and turned it into something I dread. I want to say, wake me when the Chase starts and hope that my driver is still lucky enough to have a shot at the wild card position for the Chase. Now, I won’t do that (just yet), so for now I watch and hope and prey for calamity and pray for success, but with each week my enthusiasm is giving way to despair and hopelessness. Watching is no longer fun but perfunctory at this point.
I am sure NASCAR’s decision to change the points so that “average” fans could understand wasn’t meant to dim the enthusiasm and support of the fervent fan, but it has for me.

Attention Small Business owners: The Office Depot Official Small Business of NASCAR contest has started! Enter now to become branded the Official Office Depot Small Business Of NASCAR. It runs now through May 28th!

Tony Stewart's car that will race at the Southern 500 at Darlington will carry information on how you can become the Official Small Business of NASCAR (photo credit: Action Sports Photography)

Enter early because Office Depot will be giving away $1000 gift cards each day to a random entrant.   Two small businesses will be selected as finalists . Each finalist will be awarded $10,000 AND a VIP race weekend.  One of the finalist’s logo will end up on the rear “tv panel” of Tony Stewart’s #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevy during the Labor Day race at Atlanta Speedway later this season.  The other finalist will have their logo on the rear “tv panel” of Greg Biffle’s #16 3M Ford.  The small business on the highest finishing driver’s car will be this year’s 2011 Official Small Business of NASCAR.  And as added incentive – if either Stewart or Biffle win the Atlanta race- that driver’s small business will be awarded $1 million dollars!

This is a great opportunity for a small business! Don’t take my word for it take Tony’s word:

What are you waiting for? Enter now at OfficeDepotRacing.com!

 

I know you are probably saying to yourself that you thought this was a NASCAR blog not a fashion blog and I promise that it is and that I will be able to tie this entry to NASCAR and even work in a little Earth Day love so stick with me. Also please not that this is a completely unsolicited review- I received no compensation for it at all- I just bought this for myself and fell in love with it and thought my female NASCAR fans might be interested. (more…)