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Soggy Parade Lap

Tony Stewart takes a somewhat soggy parade lap at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday. (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Facebook page)

Well after being postponed until Sunday- the Firecracker 400 (Presented by Coke Zero) finally started on Sunday.  Tony took to the track in his Ducks Unlimited/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet. It was a nice looking car:

Tony Stewart's Ducks Unlimited/Bass Pro Chevy SS

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Ducks Unlimited Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images North America)

The car seemed to be handling pretty good. Tony had worked his way into the top ten for awhile. Until on Lap 20:

Tony and others go boom in the Big One...version One

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Ducks Unlimited Chevrolet, Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 DeWalt/Wounded Warrior Project Ford, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Home Depot Husky Toyota, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images North America)

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Tony Stewart and Crew

Tony Stewart chats with crew members in the garage last July (2013) in Daytona. (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Facebook)

“I love the outdoors and everything that goes into maintaining the outdoors. Nurturing the land is as satisfying for me as hunting and fishing. Giving back is something that drives me, be it in racing or with the outdoors. In order for racing to be sustainable, we have to have younger generations get involved. It’s the same with the outdoors. In order for hunting and fishing to be sustainable, our land and wildlife needs to be managed and maintained, and that knowledge has to be passed on from one generation to the next.”— Tony Stewart about the Bass Pro Shops/Duck Unlimited paint scheme, Team Pre-Daytona Release.

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*TQMS= The Quotable Mr. Stewart. Click here for previous editions of the TQMS posts.

#GoTonyGo #StandWithSmoke

(This is part 2 of our two part  annual Sonoma “Race-cation” post! Check out Part 1: Friday & Saturday here— Amy)

Sunday would prove to be one of our busiest and most interesting race days that we have experienced to date. Thanks to NASCAR we had earned a VIP race experience and what an experience it was.

Sonoma Raceway

Bright and early Sunday morning picture taken from parking lot 1 as I waited for the parking shuttle as tweeted June 22nd, 2014 (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

Our race day started as another bright and even earlier day.  We wanted to be absolutely certain we were at Sonoma Raceway in plenty of time so we left quite early knowing that highway 37 towards Sonoma is two lane for much of it (one in each direction) and can back up quite quickly and we wanting to leave nothing to chance. Because we left so early we encountered virtually no traffic except the usual getting into the raceway traffic so by the time we were parked and waiting for the shuttle to the paddock/media center we realized we were there well before we needed to be. So what do an early Misty and Amy do at a race track early? They take a quick walk down the length of the garage and then out to the area behind the pit stalls before they are too crowded.

Early Sunday Morning Pit Road

Pit road at Sonoma Raceway early Sunday morning on June 22nd, 2014 (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

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UPDATE July 7th, 2014: Okay so my voting strategy has changed. I am now voting for whatever helmet has the most votes that is NOT the 40 Years Young helmet because I still think that helmet is UGLY with a capital UGLY.  This means as of late I have been voting for SMOKE. Join me won’t you?

***Original Post***

Tony Stewart fans- I have a question of the utmost importance for you. Is this a face that deserves to run an ugly helmet?

Tony Stewart at Sonoma

Tony Stewart at Sonoma June 22nd, 2014. (Photo credit: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook/Don Grassmann for CIA STOCK PHOTO Copyright, CIA Stock Photography, Inc)

I say no.  I bet you say no too. (more…)

Tony Stewart and his Rush Truck Centers Chevrolet on track in Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook/CIA Stock Photography, Inc)

Kentucky Speedway is one of the newest stops on the Sprint Cup Schedule but it seems to me that it has the surface of an old track; bumpy and cantankerous. It’s almost like taking a step backwards to a time when racing was racing, to a time when the vehicle you raced was one you had driven off the showroom floor, when the stock in stock car racing was true.

Tony qualified his number 14 Rush Truck Centers Chevrolet 13th for the Quaker State 400. If you are still unfamiliar with the new “knockout qualifying” format- this means he was the best of the drivers who didn’t advance to the final round of 12 drivers in qualifying. Honestly it isn’t a bad effort if you look at Tony’s qualifying record over the length of his career.  I decided on a lark to listen to qualifying at work using my listen online function of SiriusXM for the first time. I have to say just as with the first time I listened to the race on SiriusXM I loved listened to qualifying for the first time with the PRN crew. They really do do an excellent job. I will definitely make this a regular occurrence as often as I can since qualifying does tend to be while I am at work. (more…)

(Don’t let me fool you- it’s only Thursday- but the TQMS has to be early this week since Misty and I are Sonoma bound!– Amy)

Tony Stewart at Sonoma Raceway 2013 (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

“Every time you go there, it’s fun. It’s a fun track, great area and it’s really a perfect place to go and enjoy a NASCAR weekend. It’s an unconventional NASCAR weekend because it is a road course, but it is one of the races I truly look forward to every year. It’s nice to get out of the box of what we do weekly and Sonoma is an awesome, awesome racetrack that has a lot of history. It’s very challenging and that’s why drivers like it.” Tony Stewart, The Pre-Sonoma Team Release

 

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*TQMS= The Quotable Mr. Stewart. Click here for previous TQMS posts.

#GoTonyGo #StandWithSmoke

Tony Stewart and Brian Vickers

Tony Stewart and Brian Vickers during the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Raceway (Photo Credit: The Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook Page/Tommy Grassmann/CIA Stock Photo Copyright, CIA Stock Photography, Inc.)

I had no idea how this race would play out. The qualifying on it’s own wasn’t the best considering that the #14 team’s performance over the last several weeks showed marked improvement. At Michigan however Tony qualified the #14 Bass Pro Chevrolet 26th. It was a bit disappointing considering that the 14 team’s performance over the last several weeks showed marked improvement. But then on the first practice on Saturday morning Tony finished 6th on the speed charts. And then later during last practice- they finished 31st on the speed charts. Down and up and back down again. And while I honestly don’t usually pay too much attention to practice speeds this yo-yo of performance left me wondering what the heck the race would be like.

During the first lap of the race there was a caution, then the race went green again and again there was a caution. By this time Tony had already moved up into the top 20 but I thought it was possibly due to attrition because of the cautions. Then the race went green for awhile and Tony was able to steadily march forward into the top 15, then the top 10. Yeah this definitely wasn’t attrition at work- Tony had himself a competitive car that he could pass with.  Another good sign was that while listening to his radio he didn’t say too much about the car’s handling. At one time during an early pit stop he did ask for a little more air pressure with one of the rear tires but that was really all he said for a majority of the race. (more…)

Tony Stewart and his Dad

Tony Stewart and his Dad, Michigan 2013 (Photo Credit: TonyStewart.Com Media Gallery)

“Probably the first 10 years of my life in racing, we raced together with our go-karts. I would say probably our greatest memory is the first Grand Nationals that we went to in Iowa together. We won out there, and I think it was about four o’clock in the morning when we finally finished. I was 12 years old, so it was way past my bedtime, but it was the first time I had seen that much excitement in my father’s face. I guess he realized more at the time what we had accomplished than what I realized had happened.” Tony Stewart, Pre-Michigan Team Release

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*TQMS= The Quotable Mr. Stewart. Click here for previous TQMS posts.

#GoTonyGo #StandWithSmoke