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The four wide salute during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series inaugural CarCash Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway on July 24, 2013 in Rossburg, Ohio. (Photo by Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)

I was so excited to come home and settle in to watch the Truck series on dirt tonight- and wouldn’t you know it that there was an accident on my commute home and it took me 40 minutes to get home instead of 20.  I was looking forward to the MudSummer Classic and have been since they announced it.  Why? I like racing.  I don’t follow the truck series that closely. I don’t follow dirt racing that closely.  But combine them and I am excited beyond belief.  Why? Part of it is the novelty of NASCAR on dirt. Or at least it’s a novelty to me as NASCAR hasn’t been on dirt in my entire lifespan (I think they said the last dirt race in the major series was 1970 right?).  Part of it is most definitely the fact that Eldora is Tony Stewart’s baby track- and I can only imagine the excitement and the nervousness he had going into this event (not to mention the crazy preparation for the whole Eldora staff- which apparently is 7 full time people). And of course part of it is the excitement that maybe,  just maybe, NASCAR will consider bring the cup cars onto dirt. I am not even asking for a dirt points race (but that would be AWESOME). They could just make it the All-Star Race ( I mentioned in my All-Star post- see item three). Just the thought of cup cars on dirt makes me absolutely giddy. (more…)

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, drives during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images North America)

Qualified:20th

Finished: 15th

Race Winner: Matt Kenseth

Points After Darlington: 21st, 170 points behind current series leader Jimmie Johnson. 62 points behind 10th in the standings – still outside of the top 20 and not eligible for a wild card birth.

My Mood After Darlington: Cautiously optimist (more…)

I am sure it doesn’t surprise any of you that I am bound for Vegas for the Kobalt Tools 400 and to hang out with Misty!  I have some posts scheduled to post while I am gone- but figure posting will be light especially Friday- Monday.

Be sure to follow myself (@badgroove) and Misty (@fyrstorm24) on Twitter to hear all about our adventures on and off the track!

Here are a couple things you should consider doing while we are gone:

Enter Here for a chance to have your mortgage paid for a month by Quicken Loans Racing. Ryan Newman does have to  #BringItHome in the top 10 but don’t take the chance and not enter- you can’t win if you don’t and who couldn’t use a month break from your mortgage?

Enter here for a chance to win the all new 2014 Chevy Silverado LTZ truck, A NASCAR race weekend for two at Texas Motor Speedway AND a meeting and greet with Tony Stewart!

And here is Tony’s Bass Pro Shops Commercial…just because I think it’s funny:

Until then- see you all on the flip side :-) (aka next week).

It’s always hard for me to watch races at Phoenix on the TV because I LOVE that track- it is one of my favorites that I have been to in person.  It makes it all the harder that the first Phoenix race is so early in the schedule because I haven’t been to a race track since last November (which coincidentally was Phoenix) and I miss just being at a track. I miss the smells and the noise and the colors and the hustle and bustle of the tracks so watching the first Phoenix race of the season is akin to torture for me.

Why, if I love Phoenix so much, did I not go to the race?  Well regular readers might have heard this before- but it has to do with it being back-to-back with the Vegas race (which I absolutely will not miss if for no other reason than that was my VERY FIRST NASCAR RACE) and also being so close to the Auto Club date as well.  Plus Misty and I both have real 8-5 Monday-Friday kind of jobs (and we work in way different fields in different states) so that going to 3 races in one month is impractical if not impossible.  So Phoenix gets put off until the fall race. I am SO GLAD it has a fall race because otherwise it would be hard to have to narrow which track to miss.

My caption for this picture: Is that a rather large spoiler on your rear deck lid or are you just happy to see me? – Amy.  [Tony Stewart on track at Phoenix Raceway (Photo Credit: Andrew Coppley/CIA Stock Photography, Inc.) Photo borrowed from the Tony Stewart Facebook page- click picture to be taken to original.]

Anyway- the Subway Fit Fresh 500k (312 laps/miles) was not so good for the Stewart-Haas drivers! Yikes!  First poor Ryan Newman couldn’t catch a break! First he suffers not only one but two blown tires- the last one putting a premature end to his race. Then Danica also suffers a blown tire and ends up not only hitting a wall but then getting hit by another car and ending her day.

Thankfully, Tony Stewart didn’t seem to have any tire issues- but don’t think I wasn’t worried that he would…especially as the runs got longer.  Tony started the race in sixth place and it seemed like where he was in the field depended on how many tires he took. For a long time after his four tire stops he would end up mired back in traffic in 18th, 20th position somewhere.  I know he was frustrated too because I heard him say on his radio that he didn’t understand how the were slower when they were on 4 tires than with 2.  He would eventually start working his way up towards the front towards the end of the runs though or so it seemed to me.  Luckily he ended up in or near the top 10 before the last top which ended up being two tires.  Tony ended up finished 8th and moving up to 23rd in the points standings.

Notes About Phoenix:

1. I don’t know if you noticed but when Ryan blew a tire and wrecked the second time- he decided to walk to the infield care center instead of ride in the safety vehicle. Tony must have seen him at some point walking on the track because he asked on his radio “Is he mad or is he just getting out of the way?” I thought it was funny. I think he was frustrated- but not at someone else like Tony may have thought.

2. I don’t have NASCAR.COM’s RaceView to watch the races with. I was actually considering getting it since DirecTV ditched their Hot Pass stations (Boo directv boo!) but I have heard from a couple people that they have been having major issues with it. Is anyone else having trouble? Because I don’t know if I want it if it’s going to be more of a frustration than anything else. (For those wondering- I have Sprint and use the NASCAR13 Sprint mobile ap for the scanner).

3. Am I the only one who can’t find the simple things on the new NASCAR.COM- like race lineups, qualifying orders and the like?  I have been trying to keep an open mind about their new layout (I tend to be one of those anti-change people) but when I can’t find the information I am looking for easily- I get frustrated on give up.

I am going to leave you with this picture from Phoenix Raceway because it seems to me that every time I see Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon together- Jeff is usually CRACKING up big time and that makes ME crack up:

Tony Stewart (right) and Jeff Gordon (left) share a laugh in the garage area at Phoenix International Raceway.

Next race; VEGAS BABY!

Hey Tony Stewart (and Ryan Newman) Fans!  Good news- Tony and Ryan will be doing a joint autograph session tomorrow (November 1st) at the Office Depot in Plano, Texas!  The Office Depot located at 909 North Central Expressway Plano, Texas 75075 will start giving away the 300 autograph wristbands for the autograph session at 8:00 am local time. One autograph per driver per wristband, one wristband per person.  The autograph session will start at approximately 3:45 local time.

After the autograph session- Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman will take part in another Ask Tony and Ryan question and answer session for fans.  The best part about that is that it will be broadcast live on the Office Depot Racing website- so that if you are not able to attend in person (like me in Cali) you can watch online!  The Q&A sessions are always a kick and I highly suggest watching if you can.  The Q&A is scheduled to start at approximately 5:00 pm Local Time.  And if you are unable to attend and unable to watch online- fear not! Office Depot Racing usually posts the video of the Q&A Session on their website a couple days later.  When I see it posted- I will post about it here on BadGroove.com.

I thought I had posted this video last week (and I had on Oct 18th- but only to my Facebook page).  The back story behind this cute video:  Some fans showed up for some fun (free) go-kart racing at a local go-kart track in Charlotte…and were surprised when Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart showed up to race them!  How fun is that? The video is adorable- especially the little boy riding with Ryan Newman at the end of the video: (more…)

So awhile back I posted my worries about the state of sponsorship of the Stewart-Haas Racing teams- specifically my driver (Tony Stewart).  Then a day or two later Stewart-Haas tweeted that they had a sponsorship announcement to make. I was so excited only to then be slightly disappointed when I found out the sponsorship announcement was for Ryan Newman’s team.  Nothing against Ryan Newman or Quicken Loans Racing- I think it is awesome that they upped the number of races they sponsor. It does say a LOT for both Ryan Newman AND Stewart-Haas Racing as an organization that after ONE year of sponsorship that they would be willing to sponsor not just the same amount of races- but MORE! But still the disappointment and looming dread of knowing that my driver Tony Stewart was still missing a MAJOR primary co-sponsor was panic inducing. The only thing I found solace in, frankly, was that there were rumors about Bass Pro Shops moving to the 14 car next season. (more…)

Hey Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman fans- both drivers will be signing autographs at the Office Depot located at 8501 N. Evanston Ave in Kansas City Missouri at 5:05 pm local time on Thursday October 18th.  You must have a wristband for the event. Wristbands will be given away on a first come, first serve basis starting at 8:00 am local time on the day of the event at the N. Evanston Office Depot location. Remember you are allowed one autograph per driver/ per wristband.

In addition to the autograph appearance- Tony and Ryan will participate in another Ask Tony and Ryan Live Q&A that will be streamed online (6:20 Local time – which is 7:20 ET and 4:20 PT) for those not able to attend.  These are always great fun- so if you can’t attend and stay for the Q&A- I highly suggest that you try to tune in (they also usually release the video of the Q&A a day or two later- I will post a link to it when I see it posted).  To watch the Q&A stream live check out Office Depot Racing’s Ask Tony page.