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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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Hello Las Vegas Smoke Fans!  I have good news!  I have heard of two Tony Stewart appearances in the Las Vegas area that I want to share with you:

1. Tony Stewart will be appearing Wednesday March 6th 2013 at the Bass Pro Shop in Las Vegas with fellow Bass Pro driver Ty Dillon at 1:00 Pm.  The Bass Pro Shop is located next to the Silverton hotel and Casino right off the 15.  I don’t know if wristbands are needed but I would assume they are and arrive early.*

2. On Saturday March 9th, 2013 Tony Stewart and Danica Patrick will be signing autographs at the MGM Grand for Coca-Cola Racing at 7:00 PM.  Wristbands ARE required and will be given away at noon on Saturday at the MGM Grand.  There are only 50 wristbands available for this event- I would expect them to go quickly so you may want to get there early. When they did a similar event for Jamie McMurray a couple of years ago they were stationed in the main lobby- so I would start there.

*Sorry about my lack of knowledge about the Bass Pro Event- the PR company for Office Depot racing use to forward me his appearances in advance of races - I do not get that information from Bass Pro or Mobil or any of his other sponsors- so if I find any info out I try to pass on what I know.

I can’t even tell you how much I wanted to title this post “Tony Stewart-Finally A Daytona 500 Winner” but instead I had to refrain from using “Welcome To Daytona- This Bitch Bites.” This was not the way any fan wants to see their driver start the season.  Tony went from being the favorite in Las Vegas to win the race to finishing the race 82 laps down in 41st place after sustaining considerable damage on lap 33.  Needless to say this Smoke fan threw a bit of a hissy fit- stringing along words that are not fit for mixed company.  Some of the tamer things I said during my little fit: “$#!& our day is already over. @#*&%^@*@$ may as well not even bother to watch the rest of the race.” Yeah I was not a happy camper. I had my iPhone headset in because I was using it to listen to Tony’s scanner on the NASCAR13 Sprint Mobile ap and I can’t even tell you what he said on the radio after the wreck if anything because I ripped my headphones out of my ears and tossed my phone (harder than I meant) onto the table.  All I can say is THANK YOU OTTERBOX (my phone has never NOT been in an otterbox- I bought one at the same time I bought my iPhone and put it directly in).

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The NASCAR Sprint Unlimited race just finished and all I can do is liken it to a frustrating appetizer. Why is it frustrating you ask? Because to me watching the Unlimited is like eating a delicious yet commercial-ridden appetizer only to have to wait a week for the main dinner course (the salad course will be the Bud Duels that are happening on Thursday while I am at WORK! URGH!).  This year the format of the (too short) non-points paying race was voted on by fans (yes I voted too). The fans chose a race that was segmented into  30 laps,  25 laps and 20 laps respectively.  They also (wisely) chose a 4 tire pit stop after segment 1 and for no driver eliminations (don’t worry though- there were only 12 drivers left by segment three anyway and only 10 of them were really in any sort of contention for the win- with two cars being cut off from the main pack).  They also could choose the fire suit that Miss Sprint Cup wore in victory lane.  I think it is fun that NASCAR does things like that to encourage fan participation- especially on non-points races.

Personally I was anxious for the Unlimited because except for a couple laps of pre-season testing and practice- I hadn’t really seen much of the Gen 6 cars on track at all.  Seeing the cars on track- I am liking how easy it is to tell the manufacturers apart with these cars.  And one thing that I was kind of iffy on when I heard about it- the names on the top of the windshields? LOVE it- I find it very aesthetically pleasing.

Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited at Daytona Speedway. (Source: Nick Laham/Getty Images North America)

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