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This Sunday you might want to set your DVR’s for SPIKE TV (DirecTV channel 241) and you can see Tony Stewart and my his camaro on Unique Motorsports Miami. It will be featured both this Sunday (April 18th) and next Sunday (April 25th). I think it’s scheduled to run at 10:30 (EDT- for us on the west it’s on at 7:30am) but check your local listings. It will probably be on the same time as the race on Sunday because that is just my luck.

Smokes (sweet) Camaro (photo blatently stolen from the Tony Stewart Foundation)

This is THE very camaro that you can buy a raffle ticket to win with proceeds going to benefit the Tony Stewart Foundation (for a raffle ticket visit: SmokesCamaro.com). There is even a new pricing schematic for the tickets: ($50 for one, $75 for two, $100 for three).  You might not want to though since I am going to win it.  You will feel foolish having bought a ticket and then seeing me drive all over in my fancy gorgeous white camaro.  I know I have told you how much I LOVE the new Camaro from Chevy…and what better way than to get a customized one from none other than Tony Stewart himself.  (Not to mention that the Shop Tour you get as part of the prize would be like the most amazing part of the whole deal).  I even bought a raffle ticket this time.  Ok so I probably won’t win it…but I won’t cry if I win one of the early bird prizes…like maybe the tickets to the Brickyard. Yeah. But I still would rather have the camaro (even though I probably couldn’t afford the freaking gift tax on the thing).

Ahhh!!!!!! That is all I can really say about the race at Phoenix except that the night after the race I actually DREAMED about the race (more on that later).

The thing with this Phoenix race is that it starts in the afternoon and ends in the evening- so it goes from BRIGHT sun to DARK night…and what is interesting is that they say that those who do well during the light hours do not necessarily do so hot after the sun goes down behind the bleachers and that is exactly what happened to Tony Stewart.

I can see you in there!

I can see you in there Tony! Tony sports the Office Depot Grow Greener car at PIR. Not bad considering it was taken through a fence. (April 2010. Photo Credit: ME)

I don’t know exactly what happened. Tony led for awhile (YEY at least we got 5 points for that) and even when he wasn’t leading his car seemed to be a top ten car. Then I could have sworn I heard the announcer say something about contact between Gordon and Stewart and then he seemed to start dropping like someone had tied a 50 lb boat anchor to that fancy new spoiler.  I can not for the life of me however find ANYTHING on the national broadcast about the contact (nor on the team race report release)….so now I wonder if I didn’t dream that up.  In other words? The sun went down and for some reason Tony was struggling for the rest of the night. Was it handling problems due to contact? Was it handling problems due to a wrong set up? Did Digger actual succeed in tying previously mentioned boat anchor to Tony’s car when no one was looking? Did the #14 Office Depot Chevy suck too many bugs into the grill (seriously people the bugs? They were a freaking problem). The reason I do not know- but Tony finished the race 23rd.  I am sure he HAD to be frustrated with that finish because I know I was and I wasn’t the one sweltering in the heat in that car and firesuit. That finish dropped Tony to 9th in the points, 204 points behind the leader Jimmie Johnson.

However, one could not say it was a bad evening.  Why? Teammate Ryan Newman got his first win under the Stewart-Haas banner! I was extremely excited for Ryan and the number 39 team.  And I was excited that he won in the Tornados car because I actually find that paint scheme to be pretty. I like the orange and yellow against the black.  Plus Tornados are yummy.  Anyway…cogratulations to team Tornado!!

Notes About Phoenix:

  • So the dream…I dreamed that Chad Knaus was really pissed off about the 4 tire call at the last pit stop. Like lividly pissed. To the point he was telling media that anyone who took two tires were idiots.  I think this is the reason I dreamed that is that we were directly across from the 48 pitbox- pretty much at eye level with Knaus.  I couldn’t even see Tony’s pit from where I was…but it didn’t stop me from watching the 48 guys each and every pit stop.  They fascinate me (pitstops…not the 48 guys).  Anyway don’t believe me? Here is proof:

Chad Knaus watches his 48 crew in action. (PIR April 2010. Photo Credit: ME)

  • My DVR cut off the end of the National broadcast so I couldn’t even really revel in Ryan Newman’s win when I got home.  Bah. Dumb DVR.  At least I remembered to DVR SpeedTV’s Victory Lane just in case. Arg. Dumb DVR.
  • Tony Stewart’s firesuit was still the traditional Office Depot Red even though his car was white and green.  Now I am guessing it’s a bit expensive to make a new firesuit for the paint scheme….but it was just funny looking and if you look above at the picture of Tony in his car you can see he kinda sticks out in there because you can actually see him in there.
  • Some Pictures:

Ryan Newman during the parade lap. (April 2010 PIR. Photo Credit: ME)

Tony Stewart parade lap. Told you he wore his regular red firesuit. (April 2010. PIR. Photo Credit: ME)

So that’s the race summary.

This weekend we are in TEXAS where everything is bigger….including Tony Stewart’s starts (number 400!).

I have hit the wall so to speak.  Seriously I have the posts there…they just don’t want to come out of my fingers.  For some reason when I get home the last thing I want to do is sit down and type them out. I mean I still have to do my Phoenix race review (and let me tell you do I have mixed feeling there) plus there is all this talk about Kasey Kahne signing with Hendrick and possibly being housed at SHR for a year…so it’s not for a lack of stuff to post about.

So for now you get to look at this cute picture of my nephew MXM playing in his front yard…

Know I am alive and I am trying to get you a real post soon…as in within the next day…

The non-points All-Star Race is right around the corner.  I love the All-Star Race because it’s all about the money and the trophy- and not about the points.  Tony Stewart won last years All-Star Race- the first race win for the newly formed Stewart-Haas Racing team. It was a great victory for the team and set a blistering pace that included four wins and a spot in the Chase for both Stewart-Haas drivers. 

The 2010 All-Star Race is going to throw something a little bit different into the mix- a mandatory full four-tire pit stop.  I think this is great because often times it is the pit crews that can make or break a driver’s luck during the a regular points race so why not include them in the All-Star Race as well.   This is the new format:

  • Segment One: 50 laps with a mandatory green flag pit stop at lap 25. At the end of the fifty laps a yellow caution flag will wave where optional pitstops will be allowed.
  • Segment Two: 20 laps after which a yellow caution flag will wave and optional pitstops will be allowed.
  • Segment Three: 20 laps after which a mandatory ten minute break will be had. Crews will be allowed to adjust on the cars during this break. The finishing order at the end of this segment will determine the line up order for the four-tire stop .
  • Mandatory Four-Tire Stop: Once the field lines back up and takes the yellow flag after the ten minute stop all cars will be required to enter the pits for a mandatory four tire pit stop. The order in which the cars exit the pits will be the line up order for Segment Four.
  • Segment Four: 10 lap shoot out in which all laps must be green flag (yellow flag laps will NOT be counted).

So that adds a little excitment to the All-Star Race. I really really wish Misty and I were attending the All-Star Race (we would actually like to take in the whole week between the All-Star Race and the Coke 600).  One of these days Misty and I will make it to Charlotte.  This year would be a great year for Tony Stewart fans to attend the All-Star Race. Why?   In celebration of his 2009 win Charlotte Motor Speedway is offering a special Smoke Double Down ticket special.  The package is actually a GREAT deal.  For $149.00 you get two tickets on the front stretch grandstand area for the May 22nd 2010 All-Star Race  thus creating a cheering section for Tony and the team!  The ticket package also includes two tickets to a special fan forum lunch with Tony Stewart at CMS on May 3rd as well as two Tony Stewart Souveniors. Plus there is the added benefit that $20.00 of every ticket packet purchased goes to the Tony Stewart Foundation. So really it’s win win. Tony fan’s get a great deal on tickets, a special lunch with Tony and other Tony fans, not to mention the Tony Stewart goodies.  Tony and his Stewart-Haas Racing team win because they get their own cheering section at the race right there on the front stretch- which I am sure provides them with a great boost.  And the Tony Stewart Foundation gets a donation that supports their grants assisting chronically ill children and animal charities as well. So I guess really it’s win-win-win really! For more information on the Smoke Double Down ticket package visit the Charlotte Motor Speedway website or call 1-800-455-FANS

Well I have a great excuse for being late in posting my race review…you know- I was there at the actual race so I didn’t even get back home until last night and came home to a beagle who missed me (she tried to play it cool by sniffing my luggage for a minute and then going to take a nap but I know she missed me…the little demon).  While the whole trip is worthy of it’s own post and I promise it will get one- this is just going to be my usual race recap.

So I have been going to this race for three years now and the weather has been different each time. The first year it was so freaking cold but totally clear but the cold was icy cold and dry and felt like it would cut through you. It was so cold that I ended up buying a beanie to wear under my hat! Last year it was just warm. This year it was some weird combination of the both.  While sitting in the stands I alternated between quite warm to freezing when the big puffy clouds would ocassionally float by and block the sun.

Now I don’t rent one of those race scanner things – mainly because I don’t want to have to worry about turning it back in after the race. I would rather just leave. Secondly I don’t want to get all use to hearing the team communication and then have to go home and wonder what the heck is going on. 

So Tony qualified 9th…which is awesome!! I like it when he qualifies in the top ten!  So he pretty much held that position at the beginning but then he began falling back a wee bit.  So instead of proclaiming myself a jinx as I usually do,  I decided to focus on the leader, which happened to be Jeff Gordon.  I knew this because I think Misty clapped so hard when he passed Kurt Busch that I think she broke something in her hand- I would love to see her reaction to a  J. Gordon win- I worry she’d fly out of the stands! Anyway I digress.  The neighbor behind us happened to be a Stewart fan too and she had a radio and would give little updates like what they were doing on pit stops and stuff. So luckily I was able to tell that Tony was having trouble on restarts for some reason and that he felt his car was tightish (that is an official word…don’t believe me? Go find a NASCAR dictionary and look it up).  Still he seemed to be like he was playing on a seesaw…up to seventh, down to ninth, up to fourth, down to sixth, and I am sure you get the picture.  Honestly I blame it on the weird hot/cold weather but I am sure there is a more technical reason.  Meanwhile it seemed that Jeff Gordon was just dominating the race…with Jimmie Johnson steadily coming up through the field.  

During one of the pit stops Tony stayed out to lead a lap (hello bonus points).  But then the next pit stop he seemed to stay out for a long time after all the other teams had pitted. I don’t know what the reasoning was behing this…and frankly it puzzles me. If you know the reason- leave a comment and let me know why…seriously. Inquiring minds like to try to figure these kind of things out.

So Tony started 9th, finished 7th and stayed in the top ten the whole race (which was a darn good thing considering at the end of the race there were only something like 11 cars on the lead lap- seriously.  I mean that Jeff Gordon/Jimmie Johnson breakaway move really just kinda ate up the competition.  All in all the race was ok for Stewart who moved up to 11th in points and is now 120 points behind points leader Kevin Harvick.

Unfortunately Stewart-Haas teammate Ryan Newman did not fair as well. He started the race third and placed 18th. I didn’t really see much of Newman but it sounds like he had some pit road issues and handling problems. He is 32nd in the points right now, 281 points behind points leader Kevin Harvick.

Notes:

  • I really like the Tornados paintscheme on Ryan Newman’s car…it makes it stand out with the yellow and orange against the black.
  • I also really like the new dark red on bright red paint scheme on Tony’s old spice car much better than the old paint scheme of red and silver.
  • I did not like the pink Kim Kardashian car- but I think Sephora would be a great sponsor for someone. I mean what is it they say? That 40 percent of NASCAR fans are female??
  • I am just going to throw this out there but…I am already sick of Jimmie winning and we are only 3 races in people!!!

I know you are just as excited as I am to read the Tony Stewart interview Misty and I did last thursday…it’s coming I promise. Check back later today- hopefully I will have had time get it posted by then.

I have to say that I worried that we wouldn’t get the entire race in Fontana in.  While I live in California- (granted I live much much  farther north than Fontana)  it rained on and off  all day.  So YEY that the race didn’t seem to be too affected by the rain. 

Tony qualified 16th for the race today and early on he struggled- sometimes finding himself as low as 24th position.  However, during the last half of the race, the team seemed to recover some of the handling that Tony was looking for and he was trekking off towards the front of the field- at one time he was as high as 5th.  Unfortunately for Tony he seemed to fall off a bit towards the end of the race.

I will admit right here that I missed somethings during the race because I kept having to run out to do laundry so that I get it all done before I leave for Vegas on Wednesday. I missed Juan Pablo Montoya’s engine blowing. I also missed Ryan Newman’s engine blowing and only knew about that thanks to Twitter when I peeked in at my account.  I admit when they were talking about Jeff Gordon also having possible engine issues I worried that Tony too would fall pray to the mysterious engine gremlins that seemed to be plaguing some of the Team Chevy drivers. Luckily that was not the case though and he was able to finsih 9th at Autoclub Speedway.  He now has a total of 235 points and raising his standings in the points to 17th.  Unfortantely teammate Ryan Newman’s engine failure caused him to finish 36th in the race which dropped him two places in the standings to 36th.

Race winner Jimmie Johnson (Jimmie also won the only race I have seen in person at Autoclub! My thoughts are you don’t want Jimmie in the lead at Autoclub because he is going to be hard to get around!) beat out second place Kevin Harvick in an exciting duel. The two actually ended up racing each other a lot both at the beginning of the race and then again at the end- giving fans an exciting finish to the day. 

Notes about Race 2:

  • I have to say I really REALLY liked Dale Jr.’s orange AMP JUICE paint scheme. REALLY!
  • Speaking of Dale Jr. – I have to send out my congratulations to Andy (prize pack 1) and Lindi (prize pack 2) who won the Dale Jr. Prize packages we gave away (thanks also to AMP and Conye PR who provided the prize packs).
  • What was with all the speeding penalties this race? I guess it was even worse in the Nationwide race.
  • I am looking forward to Vegas…be sure to stay tuned to my twitter updates to see what Misty and I are up to while in Vegas.

I have ALWAYS loved cars.  As far back as I can remember anyway.  My mom tells the story that she didn’t realize how observant I was when I was little until my parents and I were walking through a parking lot when I was about three and a half or so. I looked at a pickup truck- pointed at it and proclaimed “That truck has wheels like SweetiePie’s truck.” (Sweetie Pie was my pet name for my paternal grandfather). My dad looked at the truck and told my mom “She’s right!”  I have distinct memories of laying on the floor when my brother and I were little and playing with his massive collection of matchbox cars.  I always wanted to play with the black corvette but often was stuck with the black A-Team van instead as the cars were his and the corvette was the most coveted car in his collection.  When I hit junior high there were more posters of cars in my room then there were of people.

I bought my beloved 2008 Chevy HHR (which happens to be in the shop today getting it’s 30,000 mile service) because my RAV4 decided suddenly that it wouldn’t start when it was semi-warm 3 out of every 5 times. Long involved story made short: I took the RAV in several times to the tune of a combined $1000+ and they still could not seem to find the ghost in the machine that would cause it to not start.  I travel a lot by car and needed something more reliable. While having all the problems with the RAV, I rented a car for a trip to LA and ended up with an HHR because they were out of compacts which I requested in my rental reservation.  I loved the rental HHR and and by the end of that year I was the owner a shiny new HHR.  Then the new Chevy Camaro comes out about a year later.

I tell myself I couldn’t wait that long- I needed a more reliable vehicle, that wasn’t so high mileage (the Rav was 8 years old and had 196K on her when I turned her in as a trade in). Don’t think for a second, however,  it doesn’t kill me that the Chevy Camaro came out so soon after buying my HHR…because that Camaro is one SWEETcar.  If it was feasible for me? I would totally trade in my HHR – that I am totally satisfied with and love dearly- in a second flat for a new Camaro. I wish I could do an even trade kind of thing; somehow though I think Chevy and my finance company would tell me no. 

Last season you probably remember me going on and on about wanting to win the bright beautiful victory red Camaro that the Tony Stewart Foundation was raffling off.  I mentioned it several times last year so I know that if you have been a reader for awhile you must have heard me waxing on and on about the car.  I never entered that raffle…for various reasons (furloughs being one of the major ones). 

Well guess what? All is not lost because The Tony Stewart Foundation is raffling off another Camaro from Smoke! And believe it or not? This Camaro is even better than the one given out last season.  Why? It’s not just a beautiful car white car with a black racing stripe. This car has also been customized by Will Castro of Unique Autosports.  If you are saying Huh? What? Who? Will Castro does customizations of lots of cars for athletes and celebrities and had a show called Unique Whips on TV for awhile (think kind of along the lines of Pimp My Ride).  Will Castro and Unique Autosports actually did the customizations on Tony’s orange Lamborghini and his hearse (The Smoke Deville).  This year the Camaro the winner gets will be featured on Will Castro’s new show Unique Autosports Miami (show premieres on SpikeTV Feb 28th).

How cool would it be to not only win a sweet Camaro- but to win won customized by Will and the crew at Unique Autosports? Not to mention that the winner gets an expenses paid trip to the Stewart-Haas Racing shop in North Carolina, and a personal meet n greet with Tony Stewart as he hands you the keys and title to the car.  Raffle tickets are $50.00 each and there are 70 early bird prizes to be given away throughout the course of the raffle (early bird raffles will be March 15th,  April 12th, May 10th, June 14th) with the final drawing for the grand prize of the Camaro on July 26th.  Only 10,000 tickets will be sold for this raffle and proceeds will benefit The Tony Stewart Foundation’s many initiatives supporting care for critically ill children, drivers injured in motorsports activities as well as supporting organizations committed to the care and protection of various animal species.  If you are interested in the raffle go to SmokesCamaro.com now for information on the raffle and to buy a ticket.

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Also if you are interested, Tony Stewart and Old Spice have teamed up again this year to present an unique auction again benefiting the Tony Stewart Foundation.  After every victory- Tony will autograph his Old Spice towel and then auction it off with 100 % of the proceeds going to the Tony Stewart Foundation.  Fans have their first opportunity to bid NOW! Tony won the Nationwide season opener at Daytona on Saturday. The  towel is already on the auction block so get in on the action at this ebay auction if you are interested in owning a little piece of Tony’s third straight victory in the Nationwide Opening race (this year called the DRIVE4COPD 300) .  The auction ends the morning of February 22nd- so get your bids in today for this piece of unique memorabilia.

Ok- so my birthday was January 14th- but the best present I got was when my BFF came up the weekend after the 14th to visit me for my birthday. We did a lot of fun stuff and had a blast…but I HAVE to share the funny she inadvertently made.  We were driving to Monterey and she was telling me about how she went to Office Depot…”Yeah so I saw in the paper that Office Depot had a printer on sale and friend- it was a smokin’ deal!!!”  She didn’t mean to throw the Tony Stewart reference in there- but how funny is that?? That cracked me up – and what made me think about it was my trip to Office Depot on Saturday- I needed some post-it notes (and guess what? I ended up leaving with post-its, envelopes, and these really rocking Precise V5 Pilot Pens in Purple and Pink- they rock).  Plus I wanted to get a scratch card for the contest Office Depot is holding. It’s called the Smokin’ Hot Instant Win Game and you get a scratch card with any purchase.  You could win $100 dollar office depot gift cards, exclusive Tony Stewart posters, or be the lucky grand prize winner and win a 2 day Driving Experience with Tony Stewart at the SMOKE SHOW, A VIP Experience for 2 at the Coca-Cola 600 and $1400 Office Depot Gift Card.  Heck I would have been thrilled just to win the poster…but alas- I didn’t win anything on my scratcher. Maybe you will be luckier than I!  The scratcher game runs through March 8th so get yours today. Check out the Office Depot Racing site for more details about the contest.

Also-if you are looking for a behind the scenes look at the new Coca-Cola driver commercial look no further…

Enjoy…