Header image

Okay- So our latest trip to Las Vegas Motor Speedway was jam packed and full of fun. And I just wanted to use this space to tie everything together between the different postings Misty and I wrote regarding the weekend. (more…)

Our race weekend started on Thursday with a quick interview with Tony Stewart.  If you have been around here any length of time you know two things about me. First is that I am a Tony Stewart fan. Secondly is that during the race season I will mention every one of Tony’s Office Depot Appearances that I know about (and any other appearances as well) here on the blog.  The reason I do this is that I genuinely like going to Tony’s appearances and I like to suggest that if you are fan you go to one if you can possible swing it.  They are fun I promise.   I got the worst sunburn ever standing in line at  the parking lot of a Home Depot in Rancho Cucamonga.  Let’s just say the next day at the track multiple people told me I was sunburned and needed to put on more sunblock. It was weird telling them that I knew I was sunburned and had gotten it at the local home improvement store NOT at the track.  But I have to tell you if you are going to go to one of the appearances of ANY driver get there early….real early.  Most appearances are limited to a set amount people- so usually wristbands or tickets are handed out and they can go early.  I personally know someone that wanted to see Carl Edwards at a local store appearance in Vegas the same day as Tony’s appearance. She went only a couple hours before he was suppose to be there and there were NO wristbands left.  So get to the store as early as possible to get your wristband.  You usually don’t have to stay in line after you get your wristband…but many people do:

Fans wait outside the Office Depot in North Las Vegas, waiting for their turn to see Tony Stewart. (Photo Credit: Amy)

It looks crazy I know.  But there is a camaraderie that builds when you are standing in line.  How can it not? You are standing in line usually  for several hours.   You end up talking to your neighbors in the line.  Now it’s been my personal experience that this happens in the lines for other drivers too- but the Tony fans just seem extra friendly and  welcoming but that  might just be my bias there.

Tony Stewart's Office Depot show car outside of the North Las Vegas Office Depot. (Photo Credit: Amy)

I have mentioned this many many times- but I LOVE that one of Tony’s sponsors is  Office Depot because I have always been far more likely to wield a pen then say a drill or a hammer.  It’s a better fit for me personally.  I have spent quite a bit of time hanging out in the office furniture section of various Office Depot locations because we have been giving the awesome opportunity to interview Tony when we go to races where he is doing an appearance.  It’s always fun to stand there with the other people who are going to interview Tony and watch the customers wander through our area looking at us like WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON? This last time, there was a man pushing his basket right through our area with the Office Depot backdrop looking at us like DO YOU PEOPLE ALWAYS JUST HANG OUT IN THE FURNITURE SECTION OF THE LOCAL OFFICE DEPOT OR WHAT?

When Tony gets to the Office Depot he usually works with the television media first:

Tony Stewart talks to a local Las Vegas news crew. (photo credit: Misty)

See told you we are just standing in the furniture department.  Bet you didn’t envision THAT when you contemplate us interviewing Tony.

Then it’s on to print and internet media for Tony- which includes us.  At the Office Depot this time,  it started with Valli from The Fast and The Fabulous presenting Tony Stewart with his 2011 Hottest Driver award.  It was fun to witness her presenting the trophy (an adorable basket of different hot sauces) and explaining the bracket system to him and showing him how he won (by a landslide I might add):

Valli explains the random bracketing system of the 2011 Hottest Driver Tournament to winner Tony Stewart. (Photo Credit: Amy)

It was fun because if you remember I mentioned The Fast and The Fabulous  Hottest Driver Tournament several times during voting. I got to see it from beginning to end. You should definitely pop over to The Fast and The Fabulous to read about the presentation.

Then it was our turn to talk to Tony.

Amy: Tell us about driving the cab in Las Vegas.  How did it go?

Tony: It was interesting. It’s not very often that you can semi have free reign to drive a stock car around the city but we got to take Elvis Presley, David Copperfield and one of the Miss Sprint Cups for a ride yesterday and a couple of fans too.  It was definitely a cool experience.

Misty: Did the fans know what was going to happen?

Tony: No. That was the best part about it. We met at Lucky Cab and did some of the skits there then went straight to the casino.  Seeing the look on people’s faces as the car went by was pretty cool. Then as we were driving people around, we kinda made the same route instead of taking people to random spots we took people around the same lap. Every time  we went by there were more fans lined up to take pictures so it made it pretty fun.

Amy:  We also wanted to know about the F1 swap that is happening. Can you tell us about that?

Tony: That’s going to be fun.  It’s a great chance to live out a dream of getting in an F1 car. We are doing it at Watkin’s Glen where we have had a lot of success. I know two-thirds of the track that we are going to be running but we are going to be running the whole course so there’s a part of the track that is going to be totally different that I have never ran before. I met Lewis when we did a Mobil 1 shoot here recently- he’s a great guy. I am really looking forward to working with him out there.

Amy and Misty of Badgroove interviewing Tony Stewart at the Office Depot in North Las Vegas. Wish I knew what I was talking about there- I seem to be gesticulating pretty wildly. (Photo Credit: Edelman)

Amy (who has to totally give credit to this question from her Facebook friend Beth for the suggestion): Can you tell us your favorite thing about owning Eldora?

Tony: My favorite thing  probably is when we have a big event and we have a packed house and I go up on top to watch the races and I watch the fans having a good time. Especially when the sprint car races are there or the late models are there and you can tell they have their favorite driver that they love and their driver that they love to hate and it’s fun to watch.  It’s like the whole crowd will react. Some of them will be on one side of the fence and some will be on the other side of the fence. When things happen you can see both groups reacting . It’s fun to be on top of all that and be able to kind of look and oversee everything and see that everybody is having a good time. That absolutely makes my day when I got to the track- just seeing everybody having a good time.

Misty: We are from central California- right near Laguna Seca Raceway and wondered if you had ever had a chance to race there?

Tony: I have never even been there. But any time, especially when the Indy cars ran and the GT cars use to run, we use to watch the races there a lot. It would be a track that I would LOVE to have an opportunity to do something at.  It’s on the bucket list of tracks that I want to run at.

Misty: What would a win at Las Vegas mean to you?

Tony: It would be huge because this a place we haven’t won at yet. So we definitely want to win a race here. It doesn’t put more pressure on us to do it but we won at California last year at the cup race there- and we hadn’t won at California so that knocked that off the list. So now we are down to Vegas and Darlington. It would be nice to get that checked off the list and get that done. Those two tracks are the only two we haven’t won at on the whole circuit. I think we have potential to do something that no one else has done and that’s be able to say we have won at every track.

(I have to note that it was incredibly disappointing when transcribing this last part of the interview because Tony sounded so excited about the possibility of winning at LVMS.  It was hard to transcribe especially after watching him race at Las Vegas with such a strong car and NOT win)

We thanked Tony and left Tony to begin to take on the throngs of people standing outside waiting for their autograph. Misty and I stood by the show car area outside with Valli for awhile just chatting about the race weekend ahead of us when we spotted this little boy who had just gotten his car autographed by Tony. He was so excited that he ran out to the show car handlers to show them.  It was absolutely adorable:

This little boy was so excited to show off his autographed car to the show car handlers. He was adorable. (Photo credit: Amy)

I just wanted to share this little video from Lionel Nascar Collectibles of Tony taking some time to answer some questions from Fans that they collected. This was shot at the Office Depot autograph appearance the Tuesday before the Daytona race. A big thanks go out to Lionel for letting us share their video with you:

My two favorite parts of the video? The very begining – the first question- his emphatic NO answer before Michelle has even finished asking the question. And the smile / reaction he had when he heard the twitter name (TStewartLuvr14) of the person who asked the last question. It’s a great video and I am sure you will enjoy it.

Tony Stewart will have a little extra incentive to take care of business and win his Duel on Thursday. Not only will he want to win purely for the sake of winning and getting the best starting position possible for Sunday’s Daytona 500…but he can win a little extra money for the Tony Stewart Foundation if he does- all thanks to Lexmark! Lexmark not only announced the release of it’s new Lexmark Genesis s815 printer yesterday available at an Office Depot near you (or online from OfficeDepot.com), but it also announced a donation of $10,000 to the Tony Stewart Foundation and offered to double it if he wins his Duel race. That is $20,000 smackers for the Tony Stewart Foundation to put towards it’s mission of serving chronically ill children, endangered animals, and injured drivers.

“The Duels at Daytona are always exciting because the higher you finish, the better your starting spot is for the Daytona 500. But for this year’s Duel, I have a little added incentive knowing that the Tony Stewart Foundation could receive some extra funding if I win,” said Stewart, who has awarded almost $4 million to assist charitable initiatives through his foundation since 2003. “I am so proud to partner with companies like Office Depot and Lexmark that believe in Taking Care of Business by giving back to their communities and to those in need. As for the wager, the new Lexmark Genesis S815 printer is really fast, and in our business, speed counts.”

So if Tony wins his Duel it’s not only a great starting position in the 500 but a big with for him…and for his foundation! All I can say is: Go Tony Go!!!

Yey! Tony Stewart drew second position for tomorrows Budweiser Shoot Out at Daytona International speedway! Way to go Tony!!!

Also for those in Daytona do not forget that on Tuesday January 15th, Tony will be signing autographs at a local Office Depot. These are great events I highly suggest that you attend if you have the time:

On Tuesday February 15th Tony will be signing autographs at the Office Depot in Daytona Beach (1560 South Nova Road, Daytona Beach, FL 32114) at 4:00 pm local time.  There will be 600 wristbands available to fans at the location starting at 8:00 am! One wristband per person, one autograph per wristband.  Fans with wristbands MUST be in line no later than 5:00 pm.

And the Office Depot 14 for 14 contest for February ends Monday on the 14th so enter today!

Ok so I totally stole the title of this entry from Office Depot’s catchphrase but it works for this post AND I love Office Depot because they sell office supplies and I am seriously addicted to sharpies (the pens not the markers) and post-it notes…oh and they happen to sponsor my favorite driver TONY STEWART.

So you might notice that things look a little different around here!  I want to thank Charity as always for being patient with me when it comes to redesigning things around here.  She always seems to be able to take my email ramblings and make them into a design that totally goes beyond my expectations. EVERY TIME.  So…YEY! New design. As always- let me know if something around here seems wonky and we will fix it.

***

Don’t forget to visit Office Depot Racing to enter the 14 For 14 contest. The monthly contest gives 14 lucky winners a chance at winning that month’s prize…on the 14th of the month.  This month it’s Tony’s new 2011 Hero Card- autographed! So click here to enter that. Remember you only have until the 14th to enter!

AND while there be sure to pick up your coupon for the Poster of the month to take to your local office depot and have printed out. The coupons for the poster are available until the end of the month.

Both the 14 for 14 contest and the Poster of the Month are MONTHLY features at the office depot website so check in often.

And while you are there you can also download new Tony Stewart wallpaper (I just did!) and check out my favorite section: ASK TONY.  There is even a place where you can upload your own pictures to their fan gallery!

Okay…the 2011 NASCAR season is ALMOST here. We are definitely on the downhill side of the off-season. I honestly don’t know how football and baseball and all those other kinds of sports fans deal with longer off seasons that we NASCAR fans have.

We have some changes to deal with in points and the chase.  Then of course there is the new fuel and the new nose of the car.  (I will say this- I LOVE the look of the new nose!) All of these go along with the usual shifting of drivers to different teams,  sponsors and numbers  changing- which always takes me about four races or so before I get them all programmed into my head.  But what are we without change right?

Of course I am hoping this will be the best season yet for Stewart-Haas (and for Tony). Let’s go get that third championship for Tony! YEY!

That being said I have some Tony Stewart Autograph appearances to share with you if you are going to Daytona for Speedweeks, if you are going to the Las Vegas Race, or live within driving distance of Greenwood Indiana:

  • On Tuesday February 15th Tony will be signing autographs at the Office Depot in Daytona Beach (1560 South Nova Road, Daytona Beach, FL 32114) at 4:00 pm local time.  There will be 600 wristbands available to fans at the location starting at 8:00 am! One wristband per person, one autograph per wristband.  Fans with wristbands MUST be in line no later than 5:00 pm.
  • On Thursday March 3rd Tony is scheduled to do an autograph appearance at the Office Depot in North Las Vegas (1435 West Craig Road, North Las Vegas, NV) at 12:30 local time.   There will be 600 wristbands available to fans at the location starting at 8:00 am! One wristband per person, one autograph per wristband.  Fans with wristbands MUST be in line no later than 1:30 pm. (Misty and I are planning on being at this one! So say Hi if you see us!)
  • On Tuesday March 15th Tony will be doing an autograph appearance at the JD Byrider located at 1703 US 31 South in Greenwood Indiana at 5:00 pm. There will be 800 wristbands available for this one starting at 11:00pm at the location.  One wristband per person, one autograph per wristband.

Just to remind you that the Tony Stewart Foundation is still doing Checkered Flag Fridays – where the first Friday of every month the foundation lists several ebay auctions with autographed items. Some items are unique items- its a fun way to support both Tony and his foundation!  If anyone is looking for a belated birthday present for yours truly look no farther than this particular Checkered Flag Friday auction.  I kid I kid…kinda.

Also if you tweet…I hope you will join me this season in the return of the #goTONYgo hashtags to show support for Tony and the 14 team!!

You will love this.  If you have a particularly favorite month from the calendar this is right up your alley!  Each month you can go to the Office Depot Racing website and print out a coupon to take to your local Office Depot location’s Print & Copy center and you can get an 18 x 24 poster of that month’s photo from the Office Depot Calendar for only $9.99.   It’s easy…for example…this is what this month’s poster looks like:

Pick this up at your local Office Depot...(Photo Credit: Edelman)

I might stop by tomorrow and pick one up as a birthday present to me.  Personally I am really looking forward to April- it’s one of my favorites in the whole calendar!