I don’t know what I can say about Tony’s run at Bristol. (more…)
Instead of a my usual post-race article- I was inspired by the facebook status of one of my friends, to write Tony a letter. If you want to read the team race report you can find it here.
I could tell before a single word came out of your mouth in your post-race interview that you were disappointed with your results at Michigan. You finished 9th and remained 10th in the standings- hanging onto the last chase position by your fingernails. Your words after the race equaled the frustration you carried on your person and in your countenance. At one point you even exclaimed that you were “wasting” a chase spot.
Your frustration is well founded. It’s been a challenging season to say the least. If it could go wrong it has. Everything from uncommon pit road errors (commitment cone violation and removing equipment from pit road) to getting caught up in other people’s crashes has led to a yo-yo of season that is currently in that stage where the yo-yo is spinning at the end of the string- waiting to be pulled back up.
I think that you know that it’s not a matter of if the yo-yo will come back, but when. It can, however, seem like an eternity while it dangles precariously at the end of the string before rebounding. And while your yo-yo of a season sits there spinning, it is important that you know that this fan acknowledges and understands your frustration. You see, we fans ride along vicariously with you. We feel your elation and pride during the good times in our heart and soul and we are just as crushed by the defeats and disappointments.
That being said, you are still 10th in points. Despite the frustrations you feel- there is a reason for that. Something is working enough that you have earned that points position- it’s not wasted. Don’t lose hope. I have no doubt that you and the #14 will be in Victory Lane soon, but until that time, just know that I continue to stand behind you and the entire #14 crew. As one of my Facebook friends said in her post-race status update– Keep Digging Tony (and crew)!
I find it kind of weird to write a about a rumor (that is exactly what it is- a rumor- as Stewart-Haas Racing tweeted on August 17 that “it’s all speculation until you hear it from Tony Stewart” and I don’t know about you all- but Tony hasn’t called* to tell me anything so I will continue to treat it as such until I read a formal announcement). The silly season stuff can get kind of crazy and I don’t really delve too deeply into it because it’s all speculation anyway. But you know if has to do with Stewart-Haas Racing I am probably going to at least ponder it, and possibly even write about it.
Last week I talked about a sackpack donation event where Tony Stewart helped the Office Depot Foundation donate 5000 sackpacks filled with school supplies to Indiana children. In my post I mentioned the excitement on the face of one little girl in the big group picture and how I could just TELL that she was excited to get her sack pack. Well I was forwarded this picture today of that same little girl proudly posing with her sack pack…is she not adorable and obviously happy? (more…)
You would have thought the results of the Indy 500 on Memorial Day weekend would have taught me something. To help with getting my post-race posting out in a timely manner I had written the bulk of my first paragraph for the Brickyard 400 before the caution flag for the wreck that changed everything. The problem in doing that, I learned, is that the whole mood of the race can change in an instant- thus rendering the article I started irrelevant. My pre-caution paragraph was wrought with disappointing statements like “It’s always disheartening to me when Tony has a bad run but it’s especially disparaging when it’s at his home track of Indianapolis Motor Speedway” or better yet my favorite “The momentum from Tony’s first WoO win earlier this week was not enough to carry him through the Brickyard 400 weekend.” See those statements were definitely not written by Miss Sunshine that is for certain.
So first I want to thank you all for the overwhelming comments about the Musings On Being A Tony Stewart Fan series (especially the first one which judging by comments, tweets and facebook mentions it was obviously your favorite…it was my favorite of the series too). I was delighted at the positive response from both other Tony Stewart fans and fans of other drivers! I spent some time linking all three articles so that you can easily scroll between them.
Speaking of updating, I realized that it has been awhile (like February) since I updated the BEST OF BG section in the navigation bar- so I took a couple minutes and updated that too. If you have a favorite post and think it should be included in the BEST OF BG highlight box feel free to let me know and I will consider adding it.
So did you all have fun during the “off” weekend? I did. While the Musings On Being A Tony Stewart Fan series were coming out on their scheduled dates (I love the schedule feature of WordPress) I was off in Southern California celebrating Misty’s birthday in gridlock traffic (in all seriousness though- we always have fun wherever we may be). Let’s just say it took us a little more than an hour to get to where our hotel was in Orange County to the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA and over three hours to get back. I enjoyed the Reagan library in its entirety but the racing exhibit at the end made it all the better. (more…)
Or: Don’t Be “That” Guy
When it comes to being a Tony Stewart fan – I am fiercely loyal. Tony could be racing my Mom (Hi Mom- Love ya!) on Mother’s day and I would still root for Tony.I wear my loyalty on my sleeve, on my car and here on my blog. If you know me, you know I am a Tony Stewart fan. Even my brother’s mother-in-law knows Tony is my driver and asked me if I had seen him on THE GLADES and asked me how on earth he ended up hanging in the tires at Infineon during the 4th of July barbecue that my brother hosted.
That being said, I also realize that while Tony is MY driver, he might not be your driver. I have always pretty much been a live and let live kind of girl. I have been to many driver appearances and as will happen in any situation where you are standing in a line for extended periods of time around others, you inevitably end up chatting. My experience as a Tony fan at Tony events have been tremendously positive and always fun. But as a Tony Stewart fan at another driver’s appearance? Not always so positive. I mean I obviously like the driver enough to stand in a line for ages- otherwise why would I be there?
Most of the time I get a look or even the more prevalent “Oh you are a Stewart fan? Sorry to hear that” reaction as they turn away. I am not talking about a little ribbing or friendly smack talking here, I am talking downright disdain. Now I feel the need to stop here for a second and tell you that I am NOT that person who goes to a different driver appearance wearing Stewart gear. People usually have to ask me because I tend to be dressed neutrally- not wearing any driver apparell at all. I am NOT the shit stirrer who will show up in my Tony Stewart gear just to get a reaction. That is just not me. However? I have been dissed by “That Guy”. I was actually at an appearance for Driver X and was given the “Oh you are a Stewart fan? Too bad,” diss from a guy decked out completely in the gear of Driver Y. Does anyone else see the irony in that?
My favorite “That Guy” run-in, and by favorite I really mean completely incredulous, happened in Vegas at a Driver X appearance. Misty was working that morning and the plan was I would hold our place in the line for the wristbands for the autograph session and she would meet me at her lunch hour which was just in time for the wristband distribution. This time “That Guy” and I strike up a conversation and it turns out he is a fan of Driver X. “That Guy” find out who my favorite driver is and proceeds to go on and on about every negative thing he has ever heard about Tony Stewart. I am standing there in this line, I am hot, kinda thirsty and I kinda have to pee and this guy is ragging on my driver. I am starting to get pissed- my hands are all balled up into fists and I am just generally tense- but I know that arguing with him is futile- so I just stand there and try to let it slide off my back like I am a turtle. I shift from foot to foot contemplating asking the lady behind me if she will hold my place if I run to the bathroom- partly just to disengage from “That Guy” but then I check my watch and realize that Misty will be here soon. Then he starts in on the “real” reason he doesn’t like Tony Stewart, which happens to be because his uncle’s brothers cousin got turned down for an autograph in the pits right before the race at some esoteric dirt track (by the time he got to this point in his Tony Stewart bashing, my eyes were glazed over and my brain had pretty much melted so exact details are fuzzy) and that Tony really should have just taken the three secondsd it would have taken to give the extended family member an autograph. “Uh huh” I say outloud while my brain is shouting “Dude- have I said anything that makes you think that you are winning points with me by dissing my driver with your anti-Tony tirade? I have heard it all before, it doesn’t surprise me, it’s not going to to change my mind, I am still a Tony fan!” Luckily for me, Misty arrived and the line started moving just in time.
But wait my readers, this story isn’t over yet. Fast forward to the next day- at the appearance for Driver x. We get to Driver X’s appearance with our wristbands on and take our place in line to wait our turn. We are chatting and trying to decide where to have dinner after the appearance when “That Guy”- the very same one from the wristband distribution the day before, appears. He apparently sought me out in the line to tell me “I saw your boy Stewart at the dirt track last night” and that I shouldn’t worry because “he appeared to be in a good mood” this time. I seriously could not believe this guy. I do not understand poeple who will go out of their way to be “That Guy” and tell you all the negative stuff they can about your favorite driver. I would NEVEr do that. But the fact that this guy sought me out kind of creeped me out.
Anyway- I guess the moral of this story is to not be “That Guy” because one of the best things about NASCAR is the diversity of the fans. Every driver has someone who pulls for them every week. To quote Wil Wheaton “Don’t be a dick.”
*As a side note I feel compelled to tell you that this is not an experience that is unique to being a Tony Stewart fan. I know that there are “That Guys” for every driver out there.
Or: Local Stewart Love
NASCAR does not have that huge of a following in my particular area of California. We are too far north of Auto Club Speedway and too far south of Infineon for “casual fans” to partake in live events. Don’t get me wrong- motor sports has its place here but usually it’s motorcycles at Laguna (Hey Laguna Seca- Bring back the Indy Cars!) or grassroots racing at Ocean Speedway. Because of this I am always pleasantly surprised when I see someone displaying their love of NASCAR locally. There is a lady on the other side of the street and down a block or so who proudly displays a Jeff Gordon poster on her window. Friends who visit someone down the street drives a little truck with a huge Sprint Cup Series logo on their back window. They actually fascinate me because I don’t see anything declaring love of a specific driver. The people who use to live in the apartment after my brother and sister-in-law moved out would display a huge NASCAR flag every race day.
So there are some fans here. Just not a whole lot. I aways smile and point them out to whomever happens to be riding along with me fellow NASCAR fans on the road- perhaps in an attempt to justify my love of a sport that is a HUGE part of who I am. Usually they are, no surprise here, Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans. Even in our litle part of the country, Junior nation is well represented. Is it any wonder he wins anything with a fan vote. Jeff Gordon is also quite prevelent. Ocassionaly I will see the hold out Senior fan or the odd Matt Kenseth fan. Once I even say a proud Denny Hamlin plate frame adorning a newish Toyota.
Where are my fellow Stewart fans? I know they exist. How? Because I always catch sight of them at the same place- a particular grocery store in town. It is downright bizarre to me that I only see other Stewart fans at the grocery- what is even more bizarre is that it is only at one particular grocery store in town.
The first time I noticed a fellow fan there I nearly gave myself whiplash. She pulled into the parking lot in a Tony Stewart edition Monte Carlo. I had never seen one before but I knew what it was the moment I set eyes on it. I remember staring at it kinda dumbfounded and watching the lady walk across the parking lot into the store as I was leaving. I have only seen that car that one particular time and this is one of three different grocery stores I bounce between so I am not sure if I just keep missing her, she got rid of her car, or she was perhaps just passing through.
In 2009, after the season had been going about a month, I saw a person strolling around this very same grocery store in an Office Depot race jacket. You know those nice heavy ones? I followed this poor unsuspecting woman and her grocery entourage (which appeared to be her three grandchildren) into the meat depeartment. She was in a deep discussion with the butcher at the seafood counter when I approached her. I had to know if this was a misguided Carl Edwards fan or a Stewart fan. Nope- closer inspection of her jacket revealed to me that it was indeed a brand spanking new Tony Stewart one. Part of me wanted to approach her but she was still taking the butcher and I wasn’t at the store alone. And who am I kidding? I am really actually kind of shy and not likely to approach a perfect stranger in the meat department to discuss her fandom of Tony Stewart.
Most recently, the Sunday after the race at Kentucky my mom and I had been making a large batch of apple hand pies when we ran out of some of the ingredients. I grabbed my keys and took off to the store. I parked, did my shopping and was pulling out of of my parking stall when something caught my eye. Was that? Yep- a brand new Tony Stewart License plate frame on a fairly new looking Tahoe that was parked next to me. I wondered if they parked there on purpose- noticing my plate frame, 14 sticker and Vanity plates. Or was it just because it was a spot that was open? Or maybe they had already been there and I just didn’t notice it on my way into the store. I actually stopped right there, basically double parking behind them and momentarily contemplated leaving a little note on it to say hi from one Stewart fan from another. I refrained because I know I HATE it when people leave flyers and crap on my car so I wasn’t about to do that. But it leaves me wondering…who are all these local Stewart fans? Well at least I know where they like to hang out- the grocery store.