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I have to admit- I wasn’t crying in my soup when Hornish collected Jimmie Johnson in that wreck on lap three.  Talk about the break the chase needed.  It allowed Tony and Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin to stay close.  I know that Jimmie just needs to finish forth or better the next two races but it just proves that THINGS HAPPEN! It’s not all locked in yet- so hold your horses people. Tony started 4th at Texas and finished a strong finished 6th…despite fighting an ill handling car- Tony is 178 out of  the lead in 5th place. Teammate Ryan Newman finished 12th, dropping him to 9th in the standings.

Race winner was Kurt Busch who by way of his win gave the Dickies American Worker of the Year Michael McGee an additional million dollars. How cool is that?

I am a little late in posting about Race 8 because I have been busy getting ready to head to race 9. Yep that is right- I leave tomorrow for Vegas and then I leave Vegas on Thursday for PIR.

Ok no I didn’t go fishing with Tony but how fun would that be? I haven’t been fishing in ages…and yes I have gone fishing several times in my life…and do find it enjoyable for the most part. When I was a kid I probably didn’t appreciate it as much at the time as I do now…but I had some great times fishing with my dad and my grandfather both…and I appreciate those moments now. Anyway…just this last Tuesday Tony found himself fishing in Florida for a good cause:

Tony Stewart (far left) traded in his firesuit for jeans and a t-shirt when he joined Office Depot vendors, partners and executives on Tuesday, November 3, to participate in the inaugural Office Depot Foundation Charity Fishing Tournament at Roland Martin Marina on Lake Okeechobee in Florida. Joining Stewart from left to right: Ed Cooper of Sanford/Newell Rubbermaid, Ken Karroll, professional guide, and Wade Eveleth, senior director of merchandising for Office Depot. (Photo credit: Gort Productions).

Tony Stewart joined Office Depot vendors, partners and executives on Tuesday November 3rd participating in the inaugural Office Depot Foundation Charity Fishing Tournament at Roland Martin Marine on Lake Okeechobee (I don’t know how you pronounce it but I pronounce it Ohkee Cho Bee) in Florida.  Funds raised in the tournament will be used to support the Office Depot Foundation’s mission to assist children and families in the community of Southern Florida and around the world.  This year alone Stewart helped the Office Depot Foundation donate more that 300,000 backpacks filled with essential school supplies across the country.  Looks like they really had to twist his arm to participate (I am kidding people- we all know Tony loves to fish)!

Of the event Tony said:

“It was a lot of fun getting out on Lake Okeechobee for the Office Depot Foundation’s first-ever Charity Fishing Tournament and raising money for such a great cause.”

Tony’s fishing team finished in the top third of the 37 boat field, catching its five fish limit with a total catch weight of just over 10 pounds.

First off I want to start off by admonishing DirecTV again.  They changed HOT PASS so now that we do not hear the national broadcast- but instead hear MRN. I have nothing against MRN but I don’t want to hear them when listening to Tony’s hotpass I find it more distracting to pick out Tony’s crew audio over the top of MRN. I would rather hear/see the national broadcast with Tony’s audio laid over it.  Of course, I liked it best when each hotpass driver had their own announcers.  I am thinking this might be the “death rattle” as my friend would put it of Hot Pass.

So now about the actual race. Tony qualified 13th.  Not bad for him but definitely not stellar.  He seemed to be doing alright…and the crew seemed to be doing fairly good at getting his stops done quickly. I would basically only switch over to his hotpass channel during pitstops so I could hear them talk about adjustments they were making to the car- because the MRN broadcast was just too annoying for me.  Towards the beginning of the race Tony seemed to be complimenting the crew on their pit stops so I assume they were doing a good job.   At one point I had wandered away from the race momentarily and came back and Tony was in 2nd.  Whoo!  It was not to last.

According to the team release posted on Tony’s website a late race pit stop issue that I didn’t catch and apparently neither did the national broadcast but them down a bit.  And since the race was mired with last minute cautions, Tony was forced to stay out to gain track position. Unfortunately everyone behind him had fresh tires.  But he “valiantly” (that was in the team release- I would love to meet the person who writes them because 9 times out of 10 they humor the heck out of me)  held on for his 9th place finish.  He maintains his 4th place position in the points and is now 192 points away from Jimmie Johnson.  Teammate Ryan Newman also finished in the top ten and is 7th in the points.

Notes About Martinsville:

  • You got to love Martinsville…the racing was pretty exciting!!!
  • What the heck took so long for NASCAR to throw the caution with John Andretti sitting there sideways at the start finish line during the Green-White-Checker? They should have either thrown it a lot sooner (that is my thought) or they shouldn’t have thrown it at all.  I assume that the spotters were notifiying their drivers that John was down there.  Granted I wouldn’t have wanted to be him sitting down there like a duck with 30 3500lb cars careening towards me going all at…so I guess the late caution was better than no caution…but still…
  • I will admit…I am getting sick of the Jimmie Johnson show. At the end- when it was clear that Tony wasn’t going to have a snowball’s chance of winning the race, I was basically cheering for “ANYONE but JOHNSON” to win. Sad but true to quote Metallica.  Sad but true indeed.  Not only is he winning so damn much but he is all they talk about on TV during the race. ARG. I know it can’t be the Tony show but seriously…it is getting old.
  • Speaking of Jimmie Johnson, I think I need some Tums (get it- the race at Martinsville was sponsored by Tums? I should get an award for working a sponsor into my post!) when I think about Tony’s chances of winning the championship.  I have been trying SO HARD to be a glass half full sort of fan…and technically, mathematically he could still win…but I admit…I am starting to think my glass is half empty.  I forget what exactly my friend was telling- (she is way better at math then I am) but for second place Mark Martin to win the Chase right now he would have to win the next four races with Jimmie coming in worse that 10th or 11th?…and that is just for Mark Martin to win.  Not for Tony. Urg…pass me the Tums- I need them.
  • Okay so I have to say…I am fascinated by the Martinsville hotdog because I think it’s kind of gross that they have “slaw” on it. Is it like actual coleslaw? Because I HATE coleslaw!!!  Bleck. And do I even want to know what makes them so red?

Next Week: Dega!!! (urg another reason to pass me the Tums).

I just had to use that title. It’s so catchy and sensational sounding isn’t it? And I am not stretching the truth one bit.  How do I know? Because I watched Tony Stewart take a polygraph live on the internet.

It was an advertising stunt by sponsor Burger King- Tony was hooked to a polygraph machine, being read by a professional polygraph reader guy and was asked a series of questions…first a couple easy ones to calibrate the machine (Is your name Tony Stewart? Is Your Birthday May 20?) and then he was asked a question that he was told to lie on (Do you wear women’s underwear?).  The webcast was emceed by NASCAR pit reporter Matt Yokum…who provided banter and prompted Tony to answer a couple of questions more indepthly. Tony was peppered with a variety of questions asked by fans including: Do you own a pair of Estrada Sunglasses?  (No not yet) Have you done donuts on public property? (yes many times) Have you opened christmas presents on Christmas eve? (Yes- was he suppose to? No) Do you sing in the shower? (Yes). Did you fail your drivers test? (No) Have you ever cried after losing a race? (Yes)

Then they moved on to the big money questions- Tony’s feelings on the whopper. When he was asked if he has had one his way? He answered Yes-No pickle no onion (to which I say no onion? Really? Why?) which he passed.  Of course he said YES to the question of DO YOU LOVE THE WHOPPER? And he defintely passed that one.

I admit that I struggled with whether or not the polygraph was really live but I do have to say it was a humorous spectacle to watch even if it wasn’t.  I think he or at least his people knew which questions would be asked…even if it was live.  Either way though, I have to give props to Tony for sliding some lies in there. We all know now that he might be commando under that firesuit- depending on the status of his laundry that week- while driving around the track checking the stands for hotties during the warm up and caution laps.

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**UPDATED: Ok I should have included this: They are still streaming the polygraph if you want to catch it at Truthabouttony.com Right now they seem to have it on a continuous loop but it looks like it says on the page they are working on getting an on-demand version of it on their site! Go watch…you can find out if Tony had a special toy or blanket as a kid…if he can walk past a mirror without checking himself out…if he uses hair conditioner….

Well considering that I was sick this weekend all I can really say about Tony’s 13th place finish could have been better…but it could have been much much worse.  What really didn’t help Tony too much was Jimmie’s win.  I hate to say it but unless Jimmie fubar’s something I think he might be on his way to number four…which bites because it would be awesome to have Tony get number three!!!

Tony retained his fourth position standings in the points but is now 155 points out of the lead.  If he is trying to scare me he did a good job…now go out there and win this damn thing.  Ryan Newman finished 11th and gained two positions in the points and is now up to eighth.

Notes about Lowes:

  • I have to say that Jeff Gordon’s transformer paint scheme was way cooler than Ryan Newman’s. I hate to say it but it is totally true!
  • It was great to see so many cars out there supporting breast cancer research!

Next week: Martinsville!

First off- I just want to mention that it is HARD not going to a race after I have been to one at a specific track before. Last year I went to the Fall race at Auto Club Speedway.  It was hard not to be there this time.

That being said I have decided that Tony Stewart is trying to kill me.  When the race started Tony was in 20th position.  It seemed he was at first having a mediocre run to begin with.  I am guessing (because honestly they didn’t really talk much about him) that the set up was for the slightly warmer weather and when the track was overcast it caused some issues.  Now like I said…I am assuming that- they didn’t really talk much about Tony at all during the broadcast and from what I have heard of his postrace media comments he made it sound like they missed on the set up early in the race.  During the first part of the race he tended to jockey back and forth between positions 18 and 23rd or so.  The sun came out and he seemed to start doing a little better.  I was pleased.  Then he got a pit road speeding penalty that cost him a lap.  I was not pleased (let’s just say that after the race when my friend called me to chat she said Was that you cursing a blue streak* we heard all the way down here when Tony got that speeding penalty? She wasn’t far off as she knows me quite well.)  Being a lap down had me in conniptions but there was another caution soon (thank you Denny Hamlin- I hate to see it happen but yikes it really helped Tony) and he was able to utilize the wave around to get back on the lead lap.  I relaxed…but only a little because he was still buried way back in the field.  He seemed to be slowly working his way back up the field.  Then came what would be the last green flag pit stop, and let me tell you I don’t know what Darian Grubb was thinking. I would have LOVED to know because while the strategy worked- it could have turned out quite bad.  Darian left Tony out running laps while everyone else was pitting.  If I were Darian I would have brought Tony in as soon as we hit the fuel window. He left Tony out. I still do not understand that call. It’s not like Tony needed to lead a lap for bonus points- he had done that earlier in the race.  My only thought is they thought Tony would fair better on slightly fresher tires?  Then when they did finally bring him in- they made it a FOUR tire stop instead of just two.  I mean obviously it worked out because between just passing people and a couple of on track incidents (one resulting in a 20 minute red flag) Tony ended up finishing a remarkable 5th in the race (I am still not sure how he did that magic but I will take it!). Top five. Talk about digging, clawing and fighting your way back from adversity. Because of his incredible finish Tony maintains his position in the chase as fourth,  84 points behind new Chase leader and race winner Jimmie Johnson.  Teammate Ryan Newman battled back from a cut time to finish the race in 15th which unfortunately dropped him down to 10th in the points.

Notes About Auto Club:

  • Kasey Kahne was quite upset at what he deemed a “show” caution, which he blamed for bunching the cars back up and causing the accident that took him out of the race and pretty much out of chase contention (he is now 306 points out of the lead in 11th spot).  Unfortunately for Kasey he looked a little bit like the fool, because that caution (which was thrown for debris on the backstretch) was for actual debris on the track….they even showed the big hunk of something right there on backstretch up in the top “rim rider” groove. Kasey needs a talking to by NASCAR because when Tony got pissy about debris cautions he ended up in a meeting.
  • If Dale Junior didn’t have bad luck he would have NO luck at all…as my friend says “I am staying as far away from his as I can- he has NO Luck at all.” Poor guy. I actually felt a little sorry for him when they showed the crew working on his car and him just sitting on the tire looking dejected.
  • Was it me or did Jesse McCartney miss a whole section of the National Anthem?
  • I am beginning to think I need a bottle of Tums and a direct phone line to Darian on the PitBox if I am going to survive the chase.

Next week the race is another Saturday Night race at Lowes MotorSpeedway in Charlotte.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT- Stewart Autograph Session in Charlotte area on October 14th (that is THIS Wednesday: Speaking of the race being in Charlotte NC this week. Tony Stewart will be at the Office Depot in Pineville North Carolina as part of the Office Depot Foundation Backpack donations.  Donations are being made to several Charlotte area organization such as A Child’s Place in Charlotte, YMCA of Greater Charlotte, The PAL of Charlotte-Mecklenburg and schools in the Charlotte Mecklenbug area. Backpacks will be directly donated to the organizations. Tony Stewart will also be doing an autograph session at the Office Depot Location in Pinesville NC (address is 9610 Pinesville Matthews Road in Pinesville NC).  Tony will be there from 4:45 – 5:45 local time signing autographs for fans with wristbands. Wristbands are distributed at the location starting at 8:00 am.

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*She didn’t actually say curse a blue streak…she used the words that she thought I used. Which were also pretty close.

Well if you are privy to my facebook or my twitter (and pretty much anyone is- I am not that person who refuses people unless I know them) you knew that I was kinda of ticked off at DirecTV on the day of the Kansas race. I thought it might be an issue with them talking to our local affiliate- but judging by some of the responses I got on Twitter- I wasn’t the only one having issues.  The picture would scramble, the sound would skip or the picture would just go out completely.  It happened on ALL the receivers and rebooting them did NOTHING.  It wasn’t just ABC…I discovered after the race that all the local stations were doing it. However, the other stations? Like A&E? Not an issue at all- clear as a bell. Judging by my Twitter friends other people in other areas were having the same issue so it wasn’t just me- which makes me feel a little better.  Ayway that made watching the race slightly irritating.

What made up for it was Tony’s win!!  I will be the first to admit I didn’t hold much hope for Tony doing well in Kansas that is certain.  Why? Because I made the mistake of watching the end first practice (which I thought at the time was happy hour).  And by the end I mean the very end- and was not thrilled at all to hear the announcers talking about how everyone in the whole garage area wanted to know “what’s going on with Tony Stewart’s car” and then I heard the words vibration and possibly a lost cylinder and I was like DAMN there goes Kansas.  I SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO WATCH PRACTICE FOR THIS REASONI hear something like that and I am like DAMN there goes Kansas- we will suck now. AHHH there goes the championship (because you should all know me by now…I am a “worst-case scenario” type of person). Yeah that’s right I admit it right here and now that I heard 5 minutes of practice and was all DAMN I JUST HOPE he finishes in the top 10 in the CHAMPIONSHIP.  Again…I SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO WATCH PRACTICE- please steal my remotes during practice. Its for my own damn good. I found out much much later (as in hours AFTER THE RACE) that not only was I apparently NOT watching happy hour, but that Tony’s crew basically tore the entire car down and replaced tons of stuff (so much stuff that it might cost you and I over $6000 and use of our car for 10 days should it be stuff we needed to replace in our passenger cars).

Well the crew obviously did an AWESOME job. Tony seemed to be fairly consistent during the race. I kept expecting him to fall back fall back…but he never did. There wasn’t a time where I thought he needed to turn on his afterburners to get back up to the front. More- it seemed he was very patient and extremely consistent as were all the pit stops. No major errors. Good job for Tony, Darian and all the guys on the pit crew! Tony is now just 67 points out of the lead in fourth position in the championship standings.  Teammate Ryan Newman didn’t have a great run. Ryan finished 22nd (although its an improvement from where he started at 30th) and fell two positions to 9th in the standings.

Notes from Kansas:

  • During pre-race- in between my satellite popping in and out I saw Vickers standing next to his car during the national anthem…with a dolly sitting on the roof of his car. YES a dolly- in the brief glimpse i got it looked kind of like a BRATZ doll… WTH? There has to be a story behind it…anyone one know?
  • Poor Joey Logano must be getting tired about hearing about his flipping at Dover. I know I am.

Next Week: The Chase comes to CALIFORNIA (and no I will NOT be going…but don’t think I don’t want to).

Every once in awhile I read a quote or something that just strikes a cord with me. I tend to write these on sticky notes (I am the sticky note queen- you should see my desk).  Anyway…this one was from Tony so I just had to share it with you:

“We have fun at the racetrack. We joke around. We have a good time. We make sure that we’re having fun doing what we’re doing because if you’re not, you can make yourself miserable doing this just like you can in anything else you do in life. We just simplified it and made it fun.”   Tony Stewart, Team Release