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Tony’s not panicking yet:

Tony Stewart

Tony Stewart during pre-race ceremonies at the Party In The Pococos Race 2013 (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

“Especially with the new rules package this year, I don’t think anybody is in panic mode. We’re still learning these cars and going to tracks for the first time in the season. Six or eight weeks before Richmond, then you start panicking if you don’t have that win. I think it’s still too early to panic, at least for us.” Tony Stewart, Pocono Pre-race Team Release 2014

Side note…this is the first paragraph of the team release for Pocono that I pulled my quote from:

Brussels sprouts rarely make an appearance on anyone’s list of favorite foods. And why would they? They’re a leafy, green vegetable that, depending on how they’re prepared, can have a questionable texture and bitter taste. Yet, they’re packed with nutrients, including anticancer properties, earning them “it’s good for you” status from generations of moms.– Tony Stewart Pocono 400 pre-race team release

I don’t know what it says about me- but I like Brussels sprouts (and no I am not a mom).

____

*TQMS= The Quotable Mr. Stewart. Click here for previous TQMS posts.

#GoTonyGo #StandWithSmoke

Sorry I am playing catch up here guys…

The 14 Crew services the #14 Go Daddy Chevy of Tony Stewart at Pocono.

The 14 Crew services the #14 Go Daddy Chevy of Tony Stewart at Pocono. (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Official Store- Click photo for original).

Qualified: 20th

Finished: 9th

Race Winner: Kasey Kahne

Points After Pocono: 11th- five points out of tenth, and 178 points out of first! We are still currently in wild card position and knocking on the door of the top ten again when it comes to the Championship Chase standings! Interesting that we lost ground on tenth- but we gained ground on first. Weird.

My Mood After Pocono: Happy we over came our pit road speeding penalty for a top ten finish! Way to rally!

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**THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED!! THANK YOU FOR ENTERING!!!**

This contest is brought you to by the GoBowling.Com/Pocono Raceway Partnership!

When the opportunity to give one of my readers a GoBowling.com 400/Pocono Raceway prize pack came across my desk I admit I jumped at the offer! Who doesn’t love free stuff? (more…)

This guest post is written by LONG time BadGroove reader and commenter, Kevin M. Boots, who many of you may remember from his first guest post about Tony Stewart’s Mobil 1 F1 Seat Swap with Louis Hamilton.  Kevin is a transplanted Hoosier living in New York and is going to attend the race this coming weekend at THE GLEN.  He will be posting about his experiences at the Glen in an exclusive to BadGroove.  I also highly suggest you follow him on twitter for track updates this weekend:  KevinMBoots77.  —Amy

I’m a Tony Stewart fan. I’ve been a fan of Smoke since he moved to the #20 car in 1999. He wasn’t my favorite driver though, that was Dale Earnhardt Sr. My whole family were Sr fans.  We never got the chance to see him race in person. When he died I split my attention between 3 drivers; Smoke, Harvick and Dale Jr.  Smoke, of course, became my favorite and Harvick was second.  Jr., I tried to be a fan but he just never did anything. Another thing that turned me off was what I call “the Cubs Effect.” The Chicago Cubs have not won a world series in 100 years, yet their fans are die hard and cheer them on still. Its annoying, at least to myself.

Jr Nation is just like those Cubs fans, they cheer for him even though he has only one win in the last four years. So why am I writing about a driver I am not a huge fan? He did something at Pocono that I have not seen another drive do in a long time. Jr got out of his car, which had just broke a transmission, got the jack and jacked his car up!  He was trying to get it ready for the crew to start working on replacing the transmission.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew/AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, talks with crew members in the garage after mechanical problems at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

This shows me that he knows what has to be done to win the championship. It shows me that he knows he has to do more to get what he wants. He did not waiting for the crew to get there and sit there doing nothing till they get it fixed. He realized that every second counted. He understand that every point counts, Smoke showed them all that last year. He showed me that he can do wait he needs to do to deserve the legion of fans he has.

Today Dale Earnhardt Jr earned my respect, and that my friends, is hard to earn.

It was the best of races, it was the worst of races.  Okay….for those not familiar, I am taking liberties with Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities. My problem is, never being a huge Dicken’s fan, that is about as far as I got in A Tale of Two Cities (scary considering my degree concentration is in literature).

Tony Stewart at Pocono (Photo Credit: Blatantly stolen from the Official Tony Stewart Facebook page, click the picture to be taken to the original).

The big bustle about Pocono last weekend was the record number of pit road speeding penalties. And when I say record number, I mean- as in EVER in any NASCAR SPRINT Cup Series race.  That is not a record to be proud of.  It seems that from everything I have read NASCAR added a timing segment to pit road increasing it from 9 to 10 segments or something like that.  NASCAR claim they released a new map of the timing lines, they even showed the new map on TV and said that they went up and down pit road distributing the map- of course after a majority of teams had been dinged with speeding on pit road. I mean they said on TV that the majority of the penalties were within the same timing segment.  Was this the “new” segment  at the end? Did it extend the overall length of what is considered “pit road?” That was my thought during the race on Sunday. It doesn’t seem really fair to ding the drivers if they extended the line and weren’t proactive about making sure the drivers/crew chiefs/spotters knew about this.

The speeding debacle made me this about last season when I mentioned that I thought it was dumb to actually post where the speed traps on pitroad actually are.  My thinking is this: the pit road speed limit came into being to protect the crew members.  Crew members are out there dodging around cars with helmets and carrying things like huge racing tires. They are thinking about one thing and one thing only. Getting their job done fast and correctly. They dont’ want to be worried about being hit by a competitor who decides to slide into his pit stall.  That was the reason a pit road speed limit was instituted. Good.  Okay then if that is the case what sense does it make to tell drivers that “Hey we are going to check your speed on pit road here, here, here and down there” which gives them the opportunity to speed inbetween the lines and thus defeats the whole purpose of the pit road speed limit.  My position has always been that NASCAR shouldn’t tell the drivers where they are checking the speed. They should pick 5 or 6 places to check speed and maybe even rotate the spots within the race. That way the drivers/teams are always guessing.  That way the drivers will be forced to maintain a consistent pit road speed. It seems to be the “fairest” way of doing the speeding thing. But that is just my personal two cents right there.

Tony Stewart at Pocono (Photo Credit: Blatantly stolen from the Official Tony Stewart Facebook page, click the picture to be taken to the original).

To me the new scoring system isn’t logical when Tony has a CRAPPY race in Dover, finishes 25th (69 laps down) and goes UP in the points standings and then has a pretty darn good finish in Pocono (3rd!!!) yet stays the same in the points. It frustrates me.  Tony is still 8th in the points and is currently 75 points out of the lead.

Next race? Michigan!

Congratulations to Jeff Gordon- who won his second race of the 2011 season!

(Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR) Jeff Gordon celebrates winning the 5 -Hour Energy 500 at Pocono Raceway, his record-tying 5th victory at the track.

NASCAR fans want to know about LOVE this week, at least according to ASK.COM’s top ten NASCAR question searches. Four of the ten questions this week are about the love life of drivers, two about Tony Stewart, one about Jamie McMurray and one about Kasey Kahne.

These are the top ten NASCAR questions asked at ASK.COM between 7/27/2009 and 8/2/2009 regarding NASCAR (like last time my smartass replies helpful answers in bold):

1.  Where is Pocono Raceway? Long Pond, PA.

2.  How do NASCAR drivers use the bathroom? Again with this? People they use it the same way we do…just because they are drivers doesn’t mean they sit there with a steering wheel in their hands or make vrrroooom noises and if they do…um I don’t wanna know about it.

3.  Does Tony Stewart have a girlfriend? Is it because he’s the points leader or because he has SWAGGER that you want to know? (speaking of SWAGGER, I have a question regarding Tony’s  pitcrew’s swagger shirts- see below)

4.  Who is Tony Stewart dating? I honestly don’t know- he never tells me these things. Of course he never tells me anything at all. As a matter of fact- he doesn’t know me (nor I him)- sorry to disappoint.  Speaking of dating though, do you think if a NASCAR driver crashes and burns on a date, they pull out a back-up date from the reserves, like they do cars during practice??

5.  What does NASCAR stand for? Not Actually Seeing Cars Around Racetrack? Come on, people, we talked about this one last time too.

6.  Who won the Brickyard 400? Jimmie Johnson won….Juan Pablo thinks it was a stolen victory though because he was caught speeding.  What do YOU think?

7.  How do NASCAR drivers go to the bathroom? Maybe a diaper company should consider a NASCAR sponsorship deal.

8.  Who did Jamie McMurray marry? Hopefully his wife. (I believe her name is Christy if that is what you are looking for).

9.  Who holds the 144.892 mph Cup series race record at Pocono Raceway? I will give you a hint…his name is Rusty and he’s a race reporter for ESPN.

10. Does Kasey Kahne have a girlfriend? If he does I hope she likes Budweiser.

*****

Ok so the following picture was in the Pocono photo gallery at tonystewart.com (click on it to embiggin).  I can see that the crew’s shirts spell out SWAGGER and that each letter stands for something. So far I have made out S, half of G and R:  S = Smooth, The top part of the first G I think says Girls, and the R is Respect.  Not knowing is killing me…any ideas?

Blatantly stolen from tonystewart.com's photo gallery- it belongs to them not me.

Blatantly stolen from tonystewart.com- this is not my picture!

Well in my Saturday afternoon post (I know I should do those more often- maybe I will) I mentioned finding out pretty much first thing that Tony Stewart would be going to a backup car because he crashed during practice.  This would put him at the back of the 43 car field in the race that should have happened on Sunday. Then it rained out on Sunday. This seems to be the season of rain! So NASCAR finally (and within a reasonable amount of time in my eyes) postponed the race until Monday. The problem with races on Monday- is I have to work. Bah.

I am going to assume though that Tony and Team Old Spice Office Depot did good today all things considered. I know they dealt with a flat tire early in the race- that ended up putting them a lap down.  I also know that thanks to the competition Caution thrown at lap 20 that he was the lucky dog and fought his way back up to be in or near the top ten for most of the day.  Tony Stewart finished in tenth position at Pocono (after starting 43rd- so I say we call it a good day).  Teammate Ryan Newman finished fourteenth. Tony maintains his position in the points as POINTS LEADER (Yey Tony!!).  Ryan Newman dropped two spots in the standings to 9th (still within the chase- barely).

Notes on Pocono (far and few between since I didn’t get to watch the actual race):

  • Congratulations to Denny Hamlin- race winner. It was good to hear that Denny won!
  • Dear Jimmie Johnson: My friend thinks you should sell the “Chad is Rad” shirts that you were sporting during the Rain Delay on Sunday- she would def love one. She says you could have the proceeds go to your foundation…she is sure other HMS fans would buy them too.
  • Between Fox Sports and NASCAR.COM live leaderboards- FoxSports was just a tad faster for me. Just wanted to share that. But I like the layout of the one at NASCAR.COM better.
  • Part of me wants the Tony Stewart Swaggar shirt that says YOUR DRIVER STINKS MINE DOESN’T. Is that weird?

Let’s just call this good and get on with next week’s race- where our favorite drivers will turn left and right at Watkin’s Glen!