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Well greetings out there to all my readers!!!   It’s that time of year isn’t it? The time when going to the mall makes one crazy because there is no parking and the weather is crappy and there are people everywhere and stores are sold out of what you want and really all you want to do is “wad up some cash and throw it at people” (direct quote from Misty)  instead of trying to find gifts…but somehow think that my 3 year old and 9 month old nephews wouldn’t really go for the wadded up cash approach.  Maybe that’s just me (and Misty).   Anyway- if you have a Stewart-Haas Racing fan, a Tony Stewart fan, a Ryan Newman fan, or a NASCAR fan on your list here are some gift suggestions for this year:

1. For Stewart-Haas Racing fans (in particular Tony Stewart fans) I highly suggest the new Office Depot Racing 2011 calendar:

I present to you the cover of the 2011 Tony Stewart calendar. (photo credit: Edelman)

I mean who can resist 12 full months of Tony Stewart (and crew).  It’s available at most (but not all) Office Depot locations as well as ONLINE.

2.  Office Depot is again this holiday season selling their Teddy B. Caring bears (as seen here with Tony Stewart):

Tony Stewart and Teddy B. Caring have a meeting. (Photo Credit: Edelman)

Proceeds from the bear go to The Office Depot Foundation which has many programs throughout the year for children and families, including the ever popular National Backpack Program which supplies new backpacks and book bags filled with school supplies to children in need.  It’s a program that Tony Stewart himself has worked with for two years now helping the foundation hand out the backpacks and book bags to children and service organizations. Tony says, “It’s amazing to see the look on a child’s face when they receive a new backpack and are able to head back to school with an extra boost of confidence. Every child deserves that, and I would like to encourage everyone to consider giving a Teddy B. Caring bear as a gift this holiday season in support of the great work the Office Depot Foundation does all year long.” The bear is a 16 inch GUND bear available at Office Depot.  Or you can also pick up a smaller version that is an ornament/ gift card holder.

3.  You can make a donation to the Ryan Newman Foundation or Tony Stewart Foundation on behalf of your fan. Both drivers are heavily involved in giving back.   The Ryan Newman Foundation focuses it’s efforts on getting the message out there to Spay and Neuter pets- to help prevent overpopulation, urges pet seekers to get their pets from shelters or rescues.  They also heavily support conservation efforts to perserve the great outdoors for future generations AND support the Rich Vogler  Scholarship program for youth interested in careers in auto racing.  The Tony Stewart Foundation‘s mission services children with life-threatening illnesses, abused and endangered animals and injured drivers.  I have had the pleasure in our interviews with Tony of talking to him about his foundation and it’s amazing to watch his countenance change when he starts talking about children and animals especially.

4.  You can also find great Stewart-Haas Racing gear and gear for both drivers on sale over at the Stewart-Haas Racing online store.  Each driver also has a separate online store: Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman.  You can get everything a fan could dream of between the three sites.

5.  And I have to bring up my favorite NASCAR book that I have read so far this year…and that is The Weekend Starts On Wednesday.  The book is an ode to and of  NASCAR Fans.  It’s a great read that most any NASCAR fan will enjoy.  I have read it and it truly makes me proud to be a NASCAR fan.  The author is witty and the book is extremely well written.  I highly recommend it!

As you know I not only follow Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman, the drivers but I follow each of their driver foundations as well.  I wanted to let you all know that this past Saturday The Ryan Newman Foundation released their book Pit Road Pets: NASCAR Stars & Their Pets, The Second Lap.  I absolutely love my copy of the first Pit Road Pets book.  It’s definite one of the favorites on my NASCAR bookself.  If this second book is anything like the first one (I have ordered mine but don’t have it yet) it’s a gorgeous book of NASCAR Stars and the menagerie pets owned by drivers, crew chiefs, tv personalities and this year there was the addition of fans and their pets in the book too.  Proceeds from the first book went to help establish a regional spay and neuter clinic in North Carolina.  For this second book, according to the Ryan Newman Foundation website,  “One hundred percent of the Ryan Newman Foundation net proceeds will be donated to animal causes such as giving grants to families that can’t afford to spay or neuter their pets. The Ryan Newman Foundation also plans to build an animal education center in North Carolina that will serve as a model for animal welfare and education throughout the U.S.”   As a pet owner I can’t help but support this cause.  Roxy was spayed as soon as she was old enough.  The book is available on line from The Ryan Newman Website . Roxy says to get your copy today:

They won't let me eat this cookie

Roxy says: They won't let me eat this cookie until you buy your copy of Pit Road Pets The Second Lap. Hurry. I am losing my resolve. Photo Credit: Ralph Marbach

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I have mentioned it before but I thought I should mention it again: Tony Stewart is raffling off a gorgeous white 2010 Chevy Camaro as well as an expenses paid trip to visit the SHR shop to pick up my your car.  Raffle tickets are $50.00 each. There are a ton of early bird prizes being raffled off as well so the sooner you buy your raffle ticket the better your chances of winning something.  All proceeds from the raffle go the Tony Stewart Foundation to help chronically ill children as well as endangered and injured animals.  I bought my ticket (honestly it’s taped to the wall of my office)…have you bought yours? You can get more information about the raffle at SmokesCamaro.com

You should really check out the Tony Stewart Foundation website because they have a couple of other cool initiatives that you might be interested in besides the Camaro raffle you might be interested.  The first is their Checkered Flag auction series.  The Foundation posts a series of special ebay auctions the first friday of every month- items are autographed and unique.  I have actually taken part in one of these auctions and can tell you that they go very smoothly and the item was in perfect shape.  There is also the Lap Leaders program where for a minimum monthly donation of $14.00 a month you get a quarterly gift- some that are exclusive to the lap leader program.  Also keep checking the foundation website as they continue to share information on their initiatves and ways you can help.

I will tell you that when we interviewed Tony – the best part of the whole interview was when we were talking about his Foundation and the work they do- especially with the animals- his whole face lit up as he talked about the horses and the dogs and how he loves animals. It’s something that you can tell is very close to his heart.

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And lastly I wanted to talk about the NASCAR FOUNDATION’s NASCAR DAY program.  It includes the purchase of a pin for $5.00 and wearing it on May 21st.  I also participate in this every year. As a matter of face the first thing that Misty and I bought when we were at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the race were our NASCAR DAY pins.  We wear them every year.  The money goes to help the NASCAR foundation. This year they are focusing their “Big 5″ community projects which are: “renovation and race theme decoration of a portion of the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in Atlanta, Ga.; partnering with Bank of America for a racing-themed educational initiative at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.; working with Sprint, Inc. for a playground build at the Kansas City Ronald McDonald House in Kansas City, Mo.; A Place for Hope project outside Charlotte, N.C., and a youth initiative at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.”  Visit The NASCAR Foundation for more information.

Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart will serve as judges in the 2010 Mastercam IOF student design competition hosted by CNC Software Inc.  The pair along with CNC Shop Manager Brad Harris will judge student designed and machined entries of NASCAR Style gear shift lever and knob.  The entries will be judged on innovation and creativity, accuracy, quality of machining finish, and aesthetics. The winning student will be awarded a $1000 scholarship to the school of their choice. In addtion, the student and their mastercam instructor will receive an expenses-paid trip to tour the Stewart-Haas racing and machine shop.

For more information on entering visit the competition website.

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Speaking of Ryan Newman, Sporting News is giving you the chance to have him answer YOUR question.  Just email it to bmarx@sportingnews.com for a chance to have your question answered by Ryan Newman. For more information visit the Sporting News article where it was announced.

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And while I am at it – congratulations to the Ryan Newman Foundation for $218,000 in its 5th annual Charity Dinner and 4th annual fishing tournament.

Whilst I am still working on posting about Champion’s week in Vegas I wanted to throw out a quick reminder that you can help give to the Tony Stewart Foundation and the Ryan Newman foundations this holiday season for free by voting for them on Facebook to win a grant from the Chase Community Giving Project.

How do you vote? It’s easy. If you have a facebook account you just become a fan of The Chase Community Giving project and then vote for the Tony Stewart Foundation here. You can vote for the Ryan Newman Foundation here.

Voting ends December 11th at midnight Pacific time so vote now to help Tony’s and Ryan’s foundations raise money . Each facebook user gets 19 votes- so give one to Tony and one to Ryan today!