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(Photo Source: Zimbio.com/Sean Gardner/Getty Images North America)

Replacement Driver: Brian Vickers

Started: 13th

Finished: 37th

Texas was just not kind to Brian Vickers and team 14 on Saturday night.  It’s unfortunate because I know several of my Facebook friends were there to support the team and endured damp  conditions for a portion of the day. I know they had fun despite but I hate it for them and I hate it for Team 14 because that team has been working it’s guts out on getting that car better and it seems to be working for the most part.  (more…)

(Photo Source: Zimbio.com/Sarah Crabill/Getty Images North America)

Replacement Driver: Brian Vickers

Started: 3rd

Finished: 7th

Martinsville has always been a favorite track of mine to watch. I think I just enjoy watching the close quarters short track, rubbin’ is racin’ kind of racing because it transfers very well to a television product more so than the longer 1.5 mile midsize tracks (in most cases). Of course that’s not to say that I don’t watch the 1.5 milers, or the super speedways. If there is a Sprint Cup race it’s on I tend to be watching it (obviously or how would I write about it). Of course one of the bad thing about short tracks is that it’s quite easy to get a lap down yet not quite so easy to get that lap back- just ask Dale Jr who spent a majority of the race a lap down after trouble early in the race- but I digress because this is not a Jr. blog now is it?

What a great race Brian Vickers and Team 14 had at Martinsville in the Janssen Arnie’s Army Chevy this weekend. All practices were awesome and Brian was able to qualify the 14 car 3rd! It was an awesome effort all around. (more…)

(Photo source: Stewart-Haas Racing Facebook)

Replacement Driver: Brian Vickers

Started: 24th

Finished: 13th

First I want to start off by stating that I think that this downforce package that the cars are running this season has really upped the racing quality.  The races seem to be more action filled meaning that cars seem to be able to get close to each and swap positions and leads back and forth a lot. They seem to be able to recover from penalties like starting at the end of the longest line because previously starting at the back would always mean your day was over. Now it doesn’t necessarily mean that if you have the machine and the driver to back it up. And I like that A whole LOT especially since I have watched races at Auto Club both on TV and in person- and the quality of the actual racing has really improved in my opinion. (more…)

(Photo Source: Stewart-Haas Racing)

Here is what has been ricocheting around my brain like lug nuts during a green flag pit stop:

1. As I mentioned in the last post, Brian Vickers will be back in the 14 car as Tony Stewart’s replacement driver at Auto Club. For this race the 14 has previously been sponsored by Rush Truck Center, however this year the primary sponsor for the 14 car will be sponsored by Janssen & Arnie’s Army. Janssen, as you might know, is the pharmaceutical company that makes Xarelto the anti-clot medication that Brian Vickers, Arnold Palmer and others credit for helping them survive devastating blood clots.  Arnie’s Army is Arnold Palmer’s charitable organization which provides financial support to institutions and organizations that help children, youth, families, the environment and the communities in which we live. Also a show car with this paint scheme will be near the ninth fairway at the PGA Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard at Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Florida for most of the week.  We all know that blood clot awareness and treatment is something near and dear to Brian Vickers as he has struggled publicly with the condition:

“I’m proud to team up with Janssen once again to talk about this serious condition I share with hundreds of thousands of Americans. I’m also thankful and excited to be driving for Stewart-Haas Racing in the No. 14 Janssen Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation Chevrolet in support of my dear friend and fellow blood clot survivor, Mr. Arnold Palmer.” Brian Vickers, Team Release

Additionally the Xfinity race at Autoclub will be sponsored by TreatMyClot.Com (Xarelto).

2. Your favorite driver and mine Tony Stewart will be Honored on May 25th at the 36th Annual Sonic Automotive Raceway Children’s Charties Gala for his “successes on and off the track including his incredible contributions to Speedway Children’s Charities across all 8 chapters.”  The Gala, being held at the Ritz Carlton in Charlotte, will recognize him for his philanthropic efforts:

“For more than 15 years Stewart has wowed NASCAR fans across the country, but he rarely gets recognized for his philanthropic efforts. The Gala will be the perfect opportunity for us to thank him for all he’s done for Speedway Children’s Charities to help children in need around the country.” Marcus Smith, vice chairman of Speedway Children’s Charities per FoxSports.

While our driver has made it clear that he doesn’t want to be paraded through the media center every week to get a gift…this is much deserved recognition that we all know he deserves.

3. One of only two NASCAR Sprint Cup series races in my home state is this weekend.  If you can stop by Auto Club Speedway down in Fontana on Thursday (it’s St. Patrick’s day so remember to wear green or someone might pinch you) it’s Fan Fest which starts at 5:00 pm local time at Auto Club.  Fan Fest is  free to the public and will feature driver appearances through the night including: Joey Logano, Austin Dillon, Brennan Poole, and more. There will also be live entertainment, family friendly fun and concessions. Just follow the signs to the O’Reilly Auto Parts Fan Zone. Admission and parking are FREE.

4. Are you ready for your laugh of the week? This made me laugh…Ryan Blaney and Darrell Wallace Jr’s snapchat video of their road trip from Phoenix to Los Angeles: (more…)

(This is a race diary post- meaning that I was actually at the track running around. It will be very first person and  chucked full of pictures. If you are looking for something more like my usual race report you can read the official team report for Team 14 here.  – Amy).

Garage area at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

Thursday

There was an open test at the track on Thursday but unfortunately I couldn’t attend- but it was open to fans who could attend for free. Now on to what I did see and experience: (more…)

Probably one of my “best” pictures I have personally taken of Tony- I tend to forget how to work my camera when in close proximity to the man. Silly Amy. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach, Las Vegas Motor Speedway 2013)

Well it’s time for those wiley loose lugnuts that have been pinging around my brain this week like lugnuts in a pit box after a green flag pit stop- and we saw lots of those green flag pit stops in Atlanta didn’t we? So let’s get right to it:

1. By the time this publishes I will be driving somewhere along the 500 miles between my house and Las Vegas.  Okay so I lied- I decided to publish this post a little early so I didn’t have to worry about it tomorrow as I am driving (it’s a long drive and you would be surprised what kind of things pop into my brain as I am driving long distances).  You can still expect two things from me: 1.  Posting here on badgroove will be light until a little after I get back and get into the swing of everything. 2. You can follow my Las Vegas adventures on my social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) which always gets very busy/active during a race weekend. Feel free to follow along on any of those channels but know that none of these feeds are not 100% race related. Also note that sometimes I cross post things to the different accounts- but also sometimes I forget to cross post!  You can also follow my co-blogger (and BFF) Misty on her twitter feed as she will be at the race as well. (more…)

Ty Dillon doing media at Atlanta Motor Speedway (Photo source: Stewart-Haas Racing Twitter)

I am hoping that late lugnuts are better than no lugnuts this week but between the Ford announcement and the day job and a puppy that demands my attention when I get home because she is currently going through a very mischievous stage right now I had to delay the lugnuts post!  Here is what has been pinging around my head this week like lugnuts in a pitbox during a green flag pitstop:

1. Biggest thing this week was the Stewart-Haas manufacturer switch announcement that seemed to take everyone by surprise which is interesting to me because usually when something happens there always seems to be rumblings about it on social media. This literally WAS the biggest secret in NASCAR in a while.  Well until it wasn’t a secret any more.  I already had my say about the switch here. BUT I did want to share some additional information that I didn’t know at the time of that writing- and that is that for those who are upset about Tony affiliating his team with Ford for 2017- Tony HAS driven a Ford himself in competition before- just not NASCAR. You can read more about that here in an article from National Speed Sport News.

2. Also for those interested in the teleconference Stewart-Haas had following the initial online announcement I have two resources for you. First is an audio of highlights of the press conference as posted by SiriusXM NASCAR with Tony Stewart. And second I found a transcript of the press conference now too that you can find here as posted by Autoweek.  (more…)

(Photo Source: Tony Stewart Facebook)

If you are like me, you about fell out of the bed (down your stairs, off your toilet, or wherever you were) when you heard that SHR announced this morning they would be switching manufacturers and going with Ford starting in 2017. I know I nearly made poor Abbie pee herself as I sat there on the edge of my bed having just woken up, trying to find out if what I was reading was true or one of those weird internet rumors. (Fear not AbbieRoo held it like a champ til I could get it processed that I was reading truth and not fiction).

I admit I was completely shocked and wondering what was going on. Then I read the actual SHR announcement in its entirety and I started to read between the lines a little bit. And decided that this manufacturer switch might not be as crazy as it sounds. Wait what did I just say?! (more…)