Header image

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…)

Warning- this post is going to be laden with photos. Why? Because photographers Glenn and Jessica Bure were kind enough to supply BG with photos of Tony and his car in Pocono. So a HUGE thank you to both Glenn and Jessica for sharing their pictures with BadGroove! Also a huge Thanks to The Office Depot Foundation for supplying BadGroove with pictures from the Allentown, PA Sackpack donation! (more…)

(What? You were expecting a report on the Coca-Cola 600 today? I actually went out of town this long memorial day weekend (love that scheduled post feature of WordPress)  for some non-NASCAR related fun (yes, there is such a thing) and am driving back home today…I will get the Coca-Cola 600 post up as soon as I can this week. Oh and HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY everyone!)

Well we are what 12-13 weeks into the race season and already there is silly season rumors floating around rampantly.  You know- the who is going where next season with what team/sponsor thing that usually starts towards mid-late season as contract negotiations are winding down for those drivers who suddenly find themselves in “free agency.” Everyone likes to play the were will they end up game.

So far this season I have heard rumors (and that is just what they are of course rumors) of Kurt Busch going over to Joe Gibbs Racing to join brother Kyle. The rumor does not specify (as most rumors don’t) whether this ride for Kurt is in a fourth car for the team or in Joey Logano’s 20 car. It’s been rumored for a couple seasons now that Joey Logano may be ride-less at the end of this season.

The other rumor is that Home Depot (current primary c- sponsor of the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driven by Joey Logano) may be interesting in sponsoring Ryan Newman.  I took that to mean that JGR is wooing Ryan Newman who is in the last year of his contract with Stewart-Haas Racing.  However after batting it back and forth with Misty,  it could also mean that Home Depot is looking to go with Stewart-Haas Racing. They did, as Misty kindly pointed out, win the 2011 Sprint Cup Championship after all (and in an impressive fashion I might add). Not to mention the fact that Tony recently said (forgive me for not having a link) that he was really hoping to retain Ryan as a driver.

And then there is the story of Danica- will she be going cup as soon as next season? And will it be with Stewart-Haas?  And just how do I feel about that? (Mixed feelings would be the answer).

Of course, representatives for Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, Home Depot, Joe Gibbs Racing and other entities involved in these rumors would deny them if asked. It would only be prudent as negotiations are no doubt still taking place. After all when rumors that Tony Stewart was thinking of leaving Joe Gibbs to start his own race team started rearing their head in summer of 2008- I, along with most, chalked it up to ridiculous silly season rumors. Especially since at the time, Joe Gibbs vehemently denied it.  Of course, we all know what happened there.

So tell me do you have any thoughts on silly season? I usually don’t put too much into the rumors just due to the fact that they are rumors. My interest is always piqued when it has to do with Stewart-Haas Racing though.  So have you heard any good silly season rumors? Do you even pay attention to them?

I have no idea why- but I am compelled to share this picture from Stewart-Haas Racing that they tweeted complete with their caption from last weekend’s All-Star Race.  It humors the heck out of me and I just thought you all should see it:

@StewartHaasRcng posted this picture before the All-Star Race with the caption: This bird is on the right side of #TonyStewart's car. It's scared cuz it got so close to the wall!