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(photo source: Tony Stewart Foundation)

If you read BadGroove, follow me on social media, know me in real life, or just happened to have followed me down a freeway or on my way to work there is no doubt in your mind that I am a Tony Stewart fan through and through. I wear it on my person, in my office, and on my car.

This very blog is a testament to my fandom for Tony Stewart. Since I have been blogging about Tony and NASCAR, I have attempted several times to sit down and do a post to explain how and why I am a Tony Stewart fan and I always seem to just stare at the blank post and not get very far because it’s not just ONE thing about Tony that drew me to him initially or continues to draw me to him today. And that is why I ADORE that the Tony Stewart Foundation is using a new marketing reach this year encompassing everything that is Tony Stewart.  The foundation debuted a brand new website that was revealed last month and is using the hashtag #WholeySmoke to showcase all sides of Tony in their website  content; Tony the fiery, tenacious, and passionate racer, Tony the business owner (he owns something like 12 different companies- did you know that?), Tony the car owner, and the side that gets left out of the media more often than not Tony Stewart the philanthropist.  To quote the photo I snagged from the Tony Stewart Foundation the new website highlights “All Things Tony Stewart.”

What is the Tony Stewart Foundation? (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…)

(Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

Last week the lugnuts were early, and this week they are late. See what has been pinging around my brain like lugnuts in a pit box during a green flag pit stop:

1. I think most Tony Stewart fans were excited to hear that he can start his rehabilitation after his appointment on Wednesday. I know it won’t be a pleasant experience but he is tenacious and is under excellent care we can be sure. We can’t wait to see you on track when you are ready Smoke!

2. A member of Kevin Harvick’s crew was in a snow mobile accident while the team was staying out west in Utah and enjoying some of the snow. Shock specialist Michael McCarville broke 7 ribs (OW) and a collapsed lung. Yikes! Sounds like he was having a great time before he hurt himself too. Speedy recovery wishes to Michael!

3. #WholeySmoke have you seen the new Tony Stewart Foundation website? It looks awesome. Check out all the ways you can help children, animals and drivers, and find out more about ALL sides of our favorite driver Tony Stewart at this new website. Of course I might be a little bias because some of our content is featured on the site! Gotta love that. Seriously check out the new webpage and while you are there drop a small (or large) donation to the foundation to show that #WholeySmoke, you support Tony Stewart!

4. Remember the story I mentioned last season in a Loose Lugnuts (see number two) about the Jeff Gordon fan who’s prized Jeff Gordon Edition Monte Carlo ended up destroyed in a car fire. Then Jeff Gordon and his father John Bickford heard the story and they gave her Jeff’s personal 24 edition Monte Carlo? I have been fortunate enough to become friendly with that fan- her name is Loraine Treadwell and she is hoping to show that Monte Carlo at different events.  The first of which will be Sunday March 20th at the Mariner’s Discovery Church Spring Festival.  The car will be on display at the festival from 11:00-3:00pm at Excelsior Middle School (14301 Byron Highway) in Byron, CA outside the old gym. Be sure to check it out and hear the story for yourself.  Tell her you heard about it from us if you go.  I am hoping to catch up with Loraine myself at one of these events. There will be more and I will be posting them as they come available.

5. Someone on Facebook pointed out that in many of the pictures I took during Tony Stewart’s presser last week, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series logo on the backdrop behind him just happens to be positioned over Tony’s head so it looks like a halo. Of course I didn’t do this on purpose and actually I didn’t even notice it until the person on Facebook pointed it out, but now it’s all I can see and it seriously cracks me up: (more…)

Want to show our driver Tony Stewart you #StandWithSmoke? That’s easy to do with the Tony Stewart Foundation #StandWithSmoke campaign! You will be showing how much you the fans support Tony by helping causes that are near and dear to Tony’s heart: critically ill or disabled children, at-risk or endangered animals, and injured drivers!

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Donate at least $1.00 to the Tony Stewart Foundation.
  2. Click on the link in your receipt to get a link to your #StandWithSmoke sign, print it out and write your name on the top of it!
  3. Take your picture or film a short video with your sign. You can post it to the Tony Stewart Foundation facebook (for the duration of this campaign only- the foundation will be allowing donors to upload to their page) or tweet it out with the #StandWithSmoke hashtag (and be sure that tag the foundation @14TSF so that you can be retweeted).

Seems pretty simple right? Trust me when I tell you that it really is just THAT easy.

And think of the fun things you can do with your sign! Get creative! Abbie, Gracie and I are going to work on our #StandWithSmoke picture tomorrow!

What? Don’t believe it’s that easy? Then perhaps this little video from Tony’s parents will help persuade you:

 Hint: Be sure to watch the video until the very end!

This, however, is no ordinary fundraising campaign. As always any donation will go to fund grants to great organizations that support critically ill or disabled children, at-risk or endangered animals, and injured drivers. But this campaign is special because every donation of $10.00 or more will be matched by an anonymous donor up to a total donation of $50,000! So your $10.00 donation is really a $20.00 donation. Your $50.00 donation is really a $100 donation. If fans can raise $50,000 for the foundation then the foundation gets $50,000 from the anonymous donor. That’s a grand total of $100,000 to help children, animals, and drivers!

So like Tony’s father, Nelson, said- let’s make this go VIRAL Smoke fans! Show Tony we support him by donating what you can!  I know we fans can do it because we all #StandWithSmoke!!!
In case you can’t tell? I am excited about this campaign and will be pushing the heck out of it. Why? Because I #StandWithSmoke! Join in won’t you?

Sometimes there are many things I want to share but I either don’t have time to devote a whole post to it, or there just isn’t enough content there to devote a whole post to it so I am going to start back up my lists, which, for now, will be called What’s Rattling Around In The BG Inbox*! These will be a list heavy on NASCAR & Tony Stewart of course, but may mention other things- you never do know what is sitting in my email inbox or in my mind waiting for me to share it with you. It will also have a gratuitous Tony Stewart picture or two because when do I ever not need an excuse to tuck a Tony Stewart picture on a post.  Let me know what you think of the new feature (and if you can think of a better name for it)  in the comments or via social media! So this is the very first “What’s Rattling Around In The BG Inbox*”

What’s rattling around this week:

  1. Have you seen the Kyle Busch Days Of Thunder trailer video? It’s GREAT- a must watch. You can also find the blooper reel for it here.
  2. Speaking of NASCAR movies- I loved the movie Days of Thunder. I couldn’t stand the movie Talladega Nights but then again I can’t stand Will Ferrell as an actor so I blame the fail for me on him. I want a new (not a Days of Thunder reboot) NASCAR/Stock car racing movie! Hear that Hollywood?! Make it so!
  3. On a related note I have heard that there is a scripted TV drama in the works about NASCAR…we will see if that comes to fruition. While it would be really cool for us fans I am not confident it will happen because I remember there was something similar in the pipes about five years ago but nothing every became of that either.
  4. I haven’t mentioned the Tony Stewart Foundation lately! They have many ways you can help them make a difference in the lives of critically ill or physically disabled children; at-risk or endangered animals; and drivers injured in the sport of motor racing. There are many ways you can help- a donation, becoming a lap leader (a monthly donation of $10 or more), or something as simple (and free to you) as using AmazonSmiles and setting up your donations to go to The Tony Stewart Foundation- that way the foundation gets a tiny donation from amazon every time you shop. All those tiny donations can lead to helping children, animals or injured drivers and is free to you just by buying whatever you usually do on Amazon.
  5. Speaking of the Tony Stewart Foundation- if you live near or happen to be traveling near Tony Stewart’s hometown of Columbus IN on July 14 2015 you might want to consider going to some TQ Midget racing because it’s “Tony Stewart Foundation Night” at the Bartholomew County Fairgrounds in Columbus. Adult general admission is $10 and children under 12 are $5. Racing begins at 7 p.m. and the feature will pay $500 to win, $125 to start with all positions increased.
  6. I was excited to find out that Joanna Lower mentioned on facebook that her video for her song for Tony Stewart “Smoke Will Rise” has gotten over over 530 views in a little over 48 hours! You can hear her song and read our interview with her here.
  7. If you have read BG for any length of time you probably know I am a big fan of the blog SkirtsandScuffs.  I have been really enjoying the Rookie Stripe column lately- it’s from the perspective of a relatively new NASCAR fan. I love that concept! The post on road racing also features one of my pictures from Sonoma last year!
  8. For those curious- I have discontinued writing for Fansided’s Beyond The Flag. While I learned a lot working with the other writers over at BTF I felt it was taking away from my blogging here and made the choice to resign.
  9. In The Pipes: I am working on finishing up the Sonoma Race Diary post, as well as a post featuring Tony Stewart tattoos (got any? email me badgruv@netzero.com), and some other exciting content!

Gratuitous Tony Stewart Picture:

Smoke spent some time at ExxonMobil’s new state-of-the-art campus in Houston. Such a rich history. It was an honor to be there. (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

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* I have had a heck of a time naming this column so I am not married to the “What’s Rattling Around In the BG Inbox” title…if you have any ideas PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me know!!

#KeepDiggingTony #SmokeAlwaysRises #Faithinthe14

In honor of the fact that Tony is running the Code 3 Associates Paint Scheme this weekend at Martinsville I am going just a big bigger with my Friday Quotable Tony post this week- more quotes and more pictures all illustrating Tony’s passion for animals!

We start with his quote about Code 3 Associates from the Martinsville Pre-Race Team Release:

At Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia on March 28, 2014 (Photo courtesy of the Tony Stewart Foundation)

“We’re honored to have Code 3 Associates as a partner with Stewart-Haas Racing. Whenever there’s a disaster, everyone wants to help, and it’s nice to know there’s an organization out there that takes care of a sometimes overlooked but very important family member – your pet. Taking care of animals has always been important to me, and when we started our foundation, we made animal welfare a priority. To be able to promote the work of Code 3 Associates so that it can do even more work for people and their pets is very satisfying.”- Tony Stewart, Martinsville pre-race team release.

For those who don’t know who Code 3 Associates provide animal and recovery during natural disasters. But they also provide training in everything from technical animal rescue and animal disaster response to animal cruelty training for investigators. You can check out their website and become a free member or make a donation. (more…)

If you have visited the Tony Stewart Foundation website lately- you may have noticed a familiar face:

Me As A TSF Lap Leader Ambassador

Me As A TSF Lap Leader Ambassador

Yep that is me. If you click the READ MORE OF AMY’S STORY- the story expands and you can learn more about me and why I am a Tony Stewart Foundation Lap Leader.  For those who aren’t familiar with the Tony Stewart Foundation- it was created by Tony as a “vehicle” to give back to those organizations that support causes that support his three passions: seriously or chronically ill children, endangered animals, and injured racers.  So a TSF Lap Leader is someone who donates to the Tony Stewart Foundation monthly automatic donation to the  Tony Stewart Foundation of at least $14.00 a month.  As a than you for your donation- you get goodies sent to you once a quarter- and let me tell you some of the thank you goodies are awesome- my favorite one was a small canvas artwork created children and animals from the very organizations that the foundation helps every year.

You can even specify which arm of the foundation you want your funds to support! You can choose between Children’s Health, Animal Welfare, Driver Health or (the one I chose) Where It’s Most Needed.  Your donations go to help the foundation fund grants to worthy organizations! You can keep up with the TSF Foundation on Facebook to find out more about specific organizations they donate to.

If a monthly donation is not something you can manage- there are many other ways you can help. Of course they gladly accept one time donations (I started out donating once around around Tony’s birthday).  And there is the Amazon Smile program where shop amazon and can set The Tony Stewart Foundation as your charity of choice and they will get a small percentage (0.5%) donated to them off your eligible amazon purchases. It is no extra money to you- it’s donated by amazon on your behalf.  It’s easy to do- and it’s free to you.

they also have merchandise you can purchase (like the Racer14 plates) that help!

The Tony Stewart Foundation is easy for me to stand behind as a way to support my driver and support great causes at the same time especially since, like Tony, I too am passionate about both kids and animals. It’s easier to me to give to TSF then to check out multiple charities to donate to. Oh and did I mention that the donations are tax deductible? It truly is win-win for me because I support great organizations and my favorite driver at the same time.

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#SmokeAlwaysRises

Celebrate Tony Stewart’s birthday by joining our Smokin Birthday Charity Drive and Raffle in support of the Tony Stewart Foundation.

(Graphic by Kevin M. Boots)

“What do you get one of the best drivers in the world for his birthday? Well probably nothing since you don’t know him. You can try to leave something at his door step, but that can be considered stalking and is creepy.  So what then? Do like I have the last few years, donate what you can to his charity.”- Kevin M Boots

(more…)