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Am I the only one starting to get antsy for the beginning of the NASCAR season? I can’t be the only one who hears a revving engine and is like…MAN when does NASCAR start- NOT SOON ENOUGH that is when! But our “long off season” – which isn’t actually so long in the grand scheme of other sports – is coming to an end sooner than you can shake a broken transmission at (PSA: do NOT attempt to shake a broken transmission- those things look quite heavy).

The Sprint Unlimited is just a little more than week away (Feb 16th) – this race takes the place of what use to be called The Bud Shootout and then just The Shootout.  Then the Bud Duels (formally the Gatorade Duels) are Thursday Feb 21st (URG I have to work and they are in the middle of the dang day! WHY NASCAR WHY DO YOU TORTURE ME SO?). Then of course, the DAYTONA 500 is on the 24th. So it’s all happening and soon!  I CAN’T WAIT!  Sorry for the excessive caplock usage- but when I get excited I have no other way to let you know that to YELL it in my post.

Can you say (or tweet) #GoTonyGo? (more…)

Sitting in my office last Thursday, I was more fidgety than normal. Why? Just knowing the cup cars were testing at Daytona International Speedway had me aflutter.  I didn’t think to DVR the test, which made me more than a little cranky because from the moment I stood onstage looking at the Team SS Cup Car at it’s debut in Vegas I have been wanting to see the car in action.  The fact that the cars were on track signaled to my brain that Daytona is coming, Daytona is coming and it was all I could do not to run up and down the hall like Paul Revere proclaiming it to all who would listen.  I didn’t because I cherish the job that pays me and makes it possible for me to eat and live and go to races.

Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Chevrolet, leads Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Chevrolet, off of pit road during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America)

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So this morning I was checking my Facebook (feel free to friend me) because that is my morning ritual: Get up, get ready for work, check facebook/email while eating breakfast, grab my stuff and fly out the door. Anyway- I was checking my facebook when I saw a picture posted by Team Chevy that made me squeal with excitement:

Chevy Camaro ZL1 Tony Stewart Show Car Concept

Chevy Camaro ZL1 Tony Stewart Show Car Concept as posted by Team Chevy on Facebook (Click picture to be taken to original on Team Chevy Facebook page).

That right there is the Camaro ZL1 Tony Stewart edition and all I can say is WOW and drool (excuse me while I wipe my chin).  See…if you are new here or only stop by on rare occasion…I have always been a car girl (and when I say always- my parents noticed an affinity towards cars when I was three or four and was able to recognize the same model truck that my grandpa drove- right down to the tires in a parking lot one day).  When the “new” camaro came out the year after I bought my HHR I was sad that I missed out on buying it because I LOVED the look of the car.  I still love the look and notice every single one I pass on the road. When I go to the dealership for service or parts or whatever? I ALWAYS find a reason to sneak a look at the Camaros that are there. If my dad wants to drive through the car lots like he likes to do sometimes I like to go with him- to steal jealous glances and peeks at the Camaros.  My favorite one- up til now was the bumblebee special edition because I have always had an affinity for bright yellow cars. The last time I was at the dealer with my dad we were chatting with (and perhaps teasing) a salesman, when he told us that the bumblebee edition wasn’t really available anymore- but they could special order one that had all the same features pretty much and was yellow. Now I am like Bumblebee who?  Unfortunately for now it seems that this car is only a concept car but I REALLY hope that this means Chevy is considering making a run of special editions for the public…like they did back in the days of the Monte Carlo.  I still probably won’t be able to get one but damn a girl can dream right? By the way- if Chevy wants a plebeian (ie not a race car driver) to test out the Smoke Edition Camaro I am raising my hand and jumping up and down!

P.S. Hey HOT WHEELS we fans would LOVE it if you made one of those part of your car line up…I would have to have mutliple ones!

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…)

I am going to be perfectly honest….I didn’t watch the Dover race.  I have never really been a fan of Dover, but it’s never stopped my before.  Misty was in town for the weekend as our high school reunion was the day before and I wanted to get in as much BFF time as I could before I had to drop her off at the airport to fly home.  I did DVR Dover- with every intention of going back and watching it.  But the suspense of not knowing how Tony was doing killed me and I ended up texting someone (Thanks KEVIN!) because the SHR Twitter account wasn’t telling me in a timely manner where Tony came in. So I have nothing constructive to say about the race…or deconstructive. However thanks to Glenn Bure I do have some great Tony Stewart pictures from Dover to share with you:

Tony In Dover

This one fascinates me because there is a little bit of a techno geek in me. Tony using a tablet in the garage during practice. (Photo Credit: Glenn Bure)

14 crew works on Tony's Car

The 14 crew hard at work on Tony’s car during practice at Dover! (photo credit: Glenn Bure)

Peek A Boo Tony tat

Tony in garage in Dover during practice. I like this one because I can see Tony’s tattoo peeking out and I admit- the tat makes me curious. (Photo Credit: Glenn Bure)

Tony getting ready to practice

Here we have Tony getting ready to practice at Dover. (Photo Credit: Glenn Bure)

Tony's Cartoonish Helmet

I love this one! Glenn must know I am a sucker for helmet shots- I love this picture- it’s a great view of Tony in his “cartoon” (my name for it) helmet. Tony getting ready to practice in Dover. It makes me wonder how many helmets a driver goes through in a season. (Photo Credit: Glenn Bure)

Anyone who knows me knows I have always been a bit of a worrier.  I have been this way since I was a child. So you can imagine that when I found out that Office Depot would not be renewing it’s primary co-sponsor status on Tony Stewart’s Stewart-Haas Racing #14 Chevy- panic and dread immediately set in.  That means in 2013 the 3 car stable at Stewart-Haas racing currently has TWO of its THREE cars unfunding for the season.  Ryan Newman, who was already underfunded, lost ARMY as a sponsor for 2013 and now Tony Stewart has lost Office Depot. And I honestly don’t know if GoDaddy is Danica’s full-time sponsor next season, if they have other primary co-sponsors already lined up for her, or if Stewart-Hass Racing has 3 partially funded cars.  Damn this economy. Hello worry, thy name is sponsorship.

Tony Stewart before the race at New Hampshire last weekend. (Photo Credit: Glenn Bure for BadGroove)

I immediately began listing any and all companies that I thought would be good sponsors. Heck even Misty joined in with me and we batted around possible sponsors for Tony and it soon became a game.  I would receive texts and emails of just names of companies.  I became fairly ruthless in my imaginary quest for sponorship- by “stealing” sponsors from other teams.  I believe at one point I even joked that if I were independently wealthy I would sponsor a race or two (or more- depending just how weathly my independence was). It was admittedly silly but fueled by the very REAL fear that the sponsorship hole will not be filled by Daytona.

All silliness aside- losing a sponsor is NOT GOOD (obviously). It is becoming increasingly rare to find a cup car with a single primary sponsorship.  Even drivers associated with the sport for years like four time Cup champion Jeff Gordon has had to find additional sponsors in recent years (The AARP’s Drive To End Hunger, Pepsi, National Guard) to fill sponsorship gaps. The number 20- is now sponsored by Home Depot and Dollar General (and Game Stop).   Even NASCAR’s perpetual favorite driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr has not only multiple primary sponsors but Diet Mountain Dew has reduced the number of races that they will sponsor next year.

Of course it’s all related to the retched state of the economy.  Yet it would be the perfect time for new companies to look into sponsoring NASCAR teams.  Hotel chains, food companies, stores. What better way to reach 100,000s of fans face-to-face (and many many more on TV) than by sponsoring a NASCAR cup car. Hint hint.

Meanwhile- I personally will mourn the loss of Office Depot.  I LOVE office supplies- I have a serious love of writing implements and post-it notes, an all paper products in general. Office Depot was a sponsor I could relate to personally.  I am definitely sad to see them leave the #14 car sponsorship.  Office Depot as a sponsor was good for the fans- often hosting autograph sessions and show car events.  I can definitely say they were good to us here at BadGroove. They made sure we got to interview Tony Stewart multiple times ( Interview 1, Interview 2, Interview 3, Interview 4).  Which really helped bring BadGroove to the next level (so I think anyway).  I can only hope that whomever does sponsor Tony’s car in their place- is as good to fans (AND BLOGGERS) as Office Depot was.

Tony Stewart autographs a tire before the race at New Hampshire last weekend. (Photo Credit: Glenn Bure for BadGroove)

It is being RUMORED that Bass Pro Shops may be moving over to the #14 car to take over the spots left open by Office Depot’s departure.  If that is the case all I can think of is YEY!  I actually LOVE Bass Pro Shops.  I don’t live in an area with one but I go to the one in Vegas nearly every time I am in town (I have a very outdoorsy brother and father to shop for birthdays, Christmas, and Father’s day for. Not to mention three nephews). It wouldn’t surprise me since Bass Pro already has a relationship with Tony Stewart- sponsoring several of his dirt endeavors.  If the Bass Pro sponsorship turns out to be true- I can only hope that they announce it soon- so that I can stop worrying about the state of sponsorship for Tony’s car (Phoenix would be a GREAT place to announce it – since I will be at the race and all).  I mean Tony Stewart is a THREE TIME cup champion and the CURRENT cup champion for goodness sakes.   I do hope that whomever sponsor’s Tony is as fan (& BLOGGER) friendly as Office Depot was.

While checking out the Ritz Facebook page earlier this week for information about when Tony’s video chat would be, I happened upon a comment posted to their page about Tony Stewart’s Helmet Toss at Bristol last Saturday.  This particular commenter was  upset about the Helmet Toss, the lack of penalties levied and commented that they were going to stop buying Ritz because they sponsor Tony Stewart and they were going to encourage all their friends to do the same.  I had seen some similar comments made about the already infamous helmet toss on other social media sites so it didn’t surprise me really. As a Tony Stewart fan my first instinct is to classify these kind of comments as coming from “haters” and carry on with myself. After being a Tony Stewart fan for AGES, it’s not like I haven’t been exposed to the “haters” before. I decided long ago that probably every driver has “haters” and it’s just par for the course…and best not to “poke the trolls” as I like to say because often that is what they want. (more…)

So remember the Mobil 1 Seat Swap with Louis Hamilton? I was REALLY excited about that and we were lucky enough to have Kevin go and give us a great report from that swap. Well Mobil 1 decided to let it’s facebook fans decide what Tony should drive next and over the course of the past several weeks we saw it get whittled down between a TANK and a Formula Drift Chevy Camaro.  I voted for the Camaro personally and was surprised to find that it actually won. So today Tony got to drift a Chevy Camaro around Charlotte (the race track not the city). I bet that was FUN!  But then he also got to drive the tank anyway.  How fun. So there have been two Mobil 1 Seat swaps and I haven’t been able to go to either! BOO to that. Anyway I snagged these pictures from the Official Stewart-Haas Twitter account: (more…)