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Sorry it took me so long to get my Talladega race post up! ~ Amy

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, drives down the backstretch after being involved in a wreck between turn one and two during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron’s 499 at Talladega. (Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America)

 

Qualified:25th (set by practice speeds due to weather)

Finished: 27th (laps down)

Race Winner: David Ragan

Points After Talladega: 22nd, 159 points behind current series leader Jimmie Johnson. 56 points behind 10th in the standings (if I am not mistaken he gained points on 10th- thank goodness for little favors). Outside of the top 20 and not eligible for a wild card birth.

My Mood After Talladega: Glad it was over. I think Tony was too.

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Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images North America)

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I am going to say something that I don’t like saying: it’s obvious that something is amiss with Stewart-Haas this season- specifically the #14 team of Tony Stewart. I know I know- thank you Captain Obvious right?  But as stalwart of a Tony Stewart fan that I am- I can not go on being the girl with the rosy camouflaged colored glasses any more. We are going into race 8 of the season now and Tony’s mired way down in 22nd in the Sprint Cup points standings- a full 111 points behind current points leader Jimmie Johnson.

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America)

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So I  have two classic car things to share with you:

First one is this: You can win a chance to help Tony Stewart change the oil in one of the cars in his classics collection. I have been entering- so I hope that by help they mean hand the man a filter and some paper towels while he scoots under the car on a creeper….just in case I indeed win.  I know I should be able to change my own oil but I never have and would feel foolish not knowing what to do! So unless he feels like actually teaching me (I would be willing to learn- at $40 bucks a pop for an oil change I would be saving $$ to do it myself) I would just be handing him the stuff and thinking OMG I totally just handed TONY FREAKING STEWART!!! an oil filter!  Because pretty much that is how my brain works. Anyway I am obviously digressing!

The easiest way to enter is first LIKING The MOBIL 1 Facebook page (facebook.com/mobil1) then going to the Under The Hood (Tony’s Sweepstakes) FaceBook ap- which also lets fans vote which car will get it’s oil changed (The options are his 1957 Chevy Bel Air, his 1978 Pontiac Firebird (think Smokey and The Bandit- unless you are too young to know what I speakand then think- cool car), his 1967 Pontiac GTO, and his 1955 Chevy Nomad).  Right now it’s the 78 Firebird against the 67 GTO and I am surprised to say as of a couple of minutes ago? The GTO was KILLING the Firebird in the voting- BY A HUGE LANDSLIDE (66% to 34%).  I am going to go out on a limb here and say that I think that the overall winner of the car is going to be the 57 Bel Air BUT if I had my way it would be the 55 Nomad. If you have read this site any length of time you know that I ADORE the CHEVY Nomad and would love to own a bright yellow one.

Here is a video about the contest showing off Tony’s actual cars…too bad his Nomad is orange (I am still voting NOMAD when it’s time though).

Anyway- if one of my readers happens to win I hope you will share the experience with us here! :-) And if I will you KNOW I will- but I rarely win things so don’t get your hopes up!

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The smell of cow manure in the air should have been the first clue that Friday morning at Auto Club Speedway wasn’t going to go as planned. We got to the track early to pick up our credentials- which were waiting for us at the office- no problem. We were then be directed in a huge circle in the parking area at Auto Club. This happens to us EVERY YEAR we have been coming to the track whether it be as fan or as media (as we decided to do this year).  It seems to me that the parking attendants/volunteers that park the fans never know what to do – and just directed us in a big circle that included being flagged into the infield (which I am pretty sure was where we were suppose to park) only to then be directed right back out of the infield.  We ended up parking in general lot Green and hoofing it through the pedestrian tunnel only to be told that our credentials could not get us into the infield.  We explained that we were press and heading to the media center- and were told that we could only go through if we had a hard card. So we left the infield and went to the Tony Stewart Walk of Fame induction- which was luckily for us- directly outside of gate twelve so we could attend that with no issue.  Since we were press we went into the restricted area- only to be told to leave there too. So we stood outside the fencing and waited Tony’s arrival.

It was there that Misty overheard some Tony Stewart fans talking about his Bass Pro Appearance the night before. I was interested to hear that according to the fans who attended, that they were instructed not to ask to take pictures (not a big deal- if he took pictures with everyone who wanted a picture he would probably still be at Bass Pro Saturday morning) but that they were also told not to talk to him or ask him any questions at all. That seemed a little weird. I have been to MANY an Office Depot signing (and Home Depot too) and fans were never told they couldn’t TALK to the man.  I don’t know where that edict came from but it was kind of cruel to me.  I am surprised they allowed fans to look at him.  The fans we overheard said they do appreciate it much more when the signings aren’t so rushed.

Tony finally arrived and was presented with the plaque and said a few words.  He then stepped into the wet cement and left his impression in the concrete.  Fans BOOED because the photographers there who were DOING THEIR JOB to capture the event stood in front of a couple to get some pictures of the event.  That was kind of tight- because I doubt Tony understood why they were booing- and may have thought they were booing HIM.  But no the poor photographers who were tasked with photographing the event were booed.

Then-as quickly as he came- The Peoples Champion was ushered off in a white SUV back to the infield and to practice.

We did not want to go back and fight with the gate lady again about trying to get into the infield so we left because we didn’t have tickets for Friday.  And that was our Friday morning at Auto Club Speedway.

PS– Misty got some great pictures of Tony during the Walk of Fame Induction that I am sure she will share with us later!! So stay tuned for those!

Okay Smoke fans- this is what I have dug up for you appearance wise this week:

1.On Thursday March 21st, 2013 (yes this is TOMORROW people) Tony Stewart will be appearing at the Bass Pro Shop located in Rancho Cucamongua in an autograph session with driver Jamie McMurray.  This was taken right from the Bass Pro Rancho Cucamonga location facebook page: Starting at 9am on 3/21 we will pass out 350-400 wrist bands and affix them to each wrist. We have heard people may want to camp in line overnight or plan to arrive very early, so the line may be very long. After we have affixed the wrist band, people can then line up inside the store or can leave and return. The bands are not numbered and having a wrist band does not hold a place in line or guarantee an autograph. Jaime and Tony will be together at the same table from 6pm-8pm and we’re hoping all goes well and each wrist band gets an autograph. The line will start at our first set of double doors on the left as you face the store. Each will sign one item only.

2. On Friday morning on March 22nd, 2013 at approximately 10:45 Tony Stewart will be inducted into the Auto Club Walk of Fame…I don’t think there will be anything more than a little appearance by the man- so I doubt there will be any chances for autographs or anything (but who knows)- but you might catch a glimpse of your favorite driver. Look for the roped off section at the Walk of Fame at the speedway.

3. For NORTHERN CALIFORNIA Smoke fans- Tony will be appearing/racing a winged sprint car at Stockton 99 Speedway on Friday night.  Tickets are on sale now at the World of Outlaws Website: http://www.woosprint.com/. For more information on tickets and times, please contact the Speedway Office at (209)466-9999 or visit their Website at www.stockton99.com.

Don’t think that Northern Cali appearance doesn’t stick in my craw- since you know that is where I am located! I have ALWAYS wanted to see Tony race dirt in person and that speedway is only a couple hours from my house but because it’s Auto Club- I will be down in Southern Cali and I have not perfected transporting myself by flue powder or bending the space/time continuum I will miss it since it’s about 6 hours by car EACH WAY from Fontana.  Sigh. If only I had a jet pack or a private plane or helicopter something (not a helicopter because I am pretty sure that would KILL ME DEAD since flying in a plane is bad enough)- that would be a GREAT time (could you imagine THAT story on the ole blog? Especially the part about flying.) When the man (Tony Stewart) sleeps I have no idea.

It’s Bristol Baby- seems to the be the Bristol race’s motto doesn’t it? It’s fitting I suppose. I actually like watching the short tracks at Bristol and Martinsville- despite a text I may or may not have shot Misty after Tony’s lap 9 crash that said I HATE SHORT TRACKS. I don’t actually- I love them. I do hate them when my driver blows a tire and ends up 36 laps down for a majority of the race…but I still like watching the racing at my beloved short tracks.  I was watching the race and listening to his scanner on my NASCAR 13 mobile ap. Unfortunately the scanner was about 4 laps behind the TV so I saw it before I heard Bob warn Tony his tire was going down.  I was hoping he’d make it to pit road but my eyes were telling me that wasn’t going to happen unfortunately.

Tony Stewart drives the wrecked #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet after cutting a tire early during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 17, 2013 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images North America)

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If you have been reading BadGroove for awhile you know that I go to the NASCAR race in VEGAS every year.  It was the track I took in my first NASCAR race at (the same holds true for Misty because I drug her to that first NASCAR race- and a fan was born).  Of course it helps that Misty lives in nearby Henderson and lets me stay with her while we are having our racecation fun.  Anyway, fair warning- I took a LOT of pictures while in Vegas.  Most at the track were taken on my “real” camera (I used a Canon 20D with a 300mm lens) but some on my iPhone as well.  If you followed along on twitter or happen to be my Facebook friend- you were subjected to lots of my iphone pictures over the course of my trip.  So don’t be surprised but I am not going to just post pictures here- but I will more than likely direct you to Flickr sets (yes multiple ones) so you can see all the race time FUN we had in Vegas.

So I drove into Vegas on Wednesday- it takes me a good 8 hours to get there…I got a tour of Misty’s rockin’ new house (it’s AWESOME- her room? Is HUGE) out by Lake Las Vegas in Henderson.  On Thursday Misty had to work a part day…so I hung out with her at her job- which was kind of cool- to see her in action at her job.  Then on a lark we decided to drive out to the Speedway to pick up our credentials for Friday-Sunday.  If we knew about the Thursday test in Vegas we both forgot and were SURPRISED when we got there.  We picked up our credentials and then walked into the speedway because HELLO CARS WERE ON TRACK!!! Fans could watch the test free and even get into the NEON GARAGE FREE which I think was a SMART thing to do.  Of course I didn’t have my “real” camera with me because I didn’t think about it- I am not use to being at the track on a Thursday.  It was fun though watching the cars practice and zip in and out of the garage.

There was even a driver Q&A in the Neon Garage with drivers Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Mark Martin (Casey Mears was also suppose to be there but he was MIA for some reason that was never explained). So Misty and I decided to stick around for that- it was fun watching all the fans gather around the stage for the Q&A and wait. Mark Martin arrived early to the Q&A and spent a lot of time with fans out in the Neon Garage signing autographs and taking pictures.  That was great to see that fan interaction and let me tell you the fans ate it up.

Mark Martin interacts with fans in the Neon Garage at Thursday afternoon’s Q&A at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

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