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(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…)

(Photo source: Mobil 1 Facebook Page/ HHP)

Replacement Driver: Brian Vickers

Started: 18th

Finished: 26th

Points: Vickers is 25th in points

Like most Tony Stewart fans, I was most excited during the Daytona pre-race and race when we got to hear from Tony Stewart of course.  Here is a video of his call into the pre-race show: (more…)

Brian Vickers doing media for the 14 team. (Photo Credit: Stewart-Haas Racing Twitter)

Here has what’s been pinging around my brain like loose lugnuts in a pit box during a green flag pit stop (have your missed these posts? I sure have).

1. So am I the only one who things that the dual races called the Can Am Duels should be called the Dual Duels? I think that would be awesome.  Of course I have a think for alliterations so it might just be me. The Duels are tonight and remember that Harvick and Vickers will be starting from the rear of their respective duel because of the track bar issues post qualifying.  GO VICKERS! GO TEAM 14. I hate that the duels are so early in the day because I have to follow on line from work. I hope that all SHR cars get through their duel unscathed and with a good starting position for the 500 (fingers crossed). I still wish they would just let Brian run all the races until Tony gets back so we have some continuity.

2. Kevin Harvick will be pitted by a back-up jack man as his normal jack man Mike Casto recovers from surgery.  Long time Tony fans may remember Mike from when he pitted on the 14 team not so long ago.  Get well soon Mike. (more…)

Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Busch Beer Chevrolet, Brian Vickers, driver of the #14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The Unlimited

The season opening race of the Sprint Unlimited was a bit of a disappointment for Stewart-Haas Racing and especially for the 14 car as piloted by Brian Vickers during the race.  Brian Vickers seemed to be doing well- hovering for most of the race around 10th, sometimes higher sometimes lower as happens during restrictor plate races. He may not have been driving last season, but he was doing just fine piloting the 14 car on Saturday night in Daytona. For awhile he was even up to 4th position and was always right in the thick of the battle. He even had one heck of a save after getting a little too loose and slightly touching another car something that would cause many drivers to go ping ponging off of other drivers.  Unfortunately for several cars though, on Lap 22 of the 75 lap season opener, the 14 car cut a right rear tire sending Vickers into another car and then careering up into the wall and then back down into the infield.  He ended up severely wounding team mate Kevin Harvick’s car and opening up the side of Dale Earnhardt Jr’s car like a can of tuna. Despite the hard lick that had everyone holding their breath for a bit- Brian Vickers and all other drivers involved in the multi-car accident were alright after being evaluated at the infield care center.  Brian has been having so much fun all weekend and seems to be really appreciating the opportunity just to be in Tony’s car. I actually am more impressed with him so far than I thought I would be.  Come on Brian Vickers and Team 14 for the 500! (more…)