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2011 Sprint Cup Champ  (Photo Source: Zimbio/Chris Trotman/Getty Images North America)


I usually take Tony’s weekly race press release and pull a quote out of it that resonates with me for whatever reason for my “Quotable Tony Stewart” posts. But this week I am going to do it a little different. I am going to put up the video of Tony’s 2011 Championship Awards Speech. Consider this somewhat of a Flashback Friday:



And as a bonus here is a video talking about the Glory Road exhibit at the NASCAR Hall Of Fame (where we all know Tony will eventually be) that kind of ties into this at the end of the short video: (more…)

Phoenix, AZ  November 2015 (Photo Source: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook/HHP/Harold Hinson)

So- I usually write the “Loose Lugnuts posts” in what is a mostly stream of conscious session on Wednesday night and schedule them to publish on Thursday morning or afternoon- but here it is Monday evening and I am getting a jump start on it because I am going to be traveling and won’t have time to write it up on Wednesday night so I am going to schedule a few while I am gone. Also I realized that I forgot to mention a couple of things in my race report on Monday that I totally spaced on- but will do just fine here. So without further ado here is what has been rolling around my brain like lugnuts rolling around a pitstall after a green flag pit stop during the championship race:

1. Because of the lengthy rain delay in Phoenix- my dad didn’t get to see the F35 flyover that he was so looking forward to watching. While it is not the first flyover the elusive F35 Lightning II has done at a sporting event- it is the first ever at a NASCAR event and my dad is an aviation fan.  He was bummed out. I know the flyover happened (Thanks to someone I follow on Instagram) but you would think that since one of the two jets was carrying a Jeff Gordon Raceway flag you would thank they would have made a bigger hoopla out of it.

(Photo Source: Martin Truex Jr Official Facebook)

2. I watched a heck of a lot of the rain delay coverage that came out of Phoenix last weekend. More than I probably should have. But one thing I didn’t hear mentioned was who Elijah Aschbrenner was and why his name was above the passenger door on Martin Truex Jr’s car at the track. As a matter of fact very little was mentioned about it at all and I think that is a shame.  Elijah was a pediatric cancer patient that was not just part of Martin and Sherry’s Catwalk for a Cause fashion show that raised money for pediatric cancer but he was known and wished well by many many many NASCAR fans and teams. Other drivers such as Kasey Kahne ran special yellow ribbons with Elijah’s likeness on them on their cars during the race as well.  Elijah fought Epitheliod Sarcoma like a hero but earned his angel wings on November 10th.  Here is a wonderful story about Elijah that NASCAR’s Holly Cain did it’s just a shame that they didn’t mention him (or mention him more) during the hours and hours of rain delay coverage.

3. While we are on the topic Martin Truex Jr.’s long time girlfriend Sherry Pollax is battling stage III ovarian cancer as many of you know. She is currently going through once a month maintenance chemo for it.  Well her Chemo session was Monday morning (today).  I can only imagine that she must have been tired- having been in Phoenix so late between it being delayed until all hours, and then I am sure Martin had to do a lot more media than normal after the race considering he made the Final Four.  Go Sherry! (more…)

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, drives during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 14, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.
(Photo Source:Zimbio.com/ Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America)

Tony Qualified: 31st

Tony Finished: 27th

Points: 680 (28th in the standings)

I felt for all you fans attending Phoenix. I have made no contention that of the tracks I have attended- Phoenix is my favorite for the racing action. There is just something about that track. But I didn’t attend this year- and obviously the track was upset and cried all day because of it.  Seriously though- I admit that while I was wistful that I wasn’t actually in attendance at Phoenix- I was glad- because EGADS that was just ridiculous! Props to all my fans who stuck it out. I have to ask- for those who where there- were you hoping that NASCAR would try to go racing again or were you just “Raining again?! Please call this race now?!” I am just curious since I wasn’t there. But I can’t imagine how miserable it was to be wet all day, then sit in the cold to watch the race, then get wet again.

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 13, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Source: Zimbio.com/Sean Gardner/Getty Images North America)

Tony unfortunately didn’t have such a great Phoenix race. The team seemed to be chasing an ill handling car weekend as he didn’t practice well, he didn’t qualify well and he continued to complain about the car just plowing during the race. It would have been interesting to see if the race had run in the conditions that they had prepared it for if it would have been better? At one point he described the car’s handling as effing “absurd” during the race.

For those wondering- us watching the national broadcast knew exactly when NASCAR called the race. It was right in the middle of an on-air interview with Carl Edwards who was hoping to go back racing (he was only five points under the cut line after what would end up being the final rain delay) because we could hear the crowd erupt into cheers and Carl suddenly looked very disappointed. I was unclear if the crowd was cheering because Jr. won the race- or because the race had been called and they could skuttle back to their campers or cars.

Going into the championship race in Miami- it’s down to Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr.  Who do you have and why?!

Gratuitous Tony Stewart:

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 13, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.
(Photo Source: Zimbio.com/Sean Gardner/Getty Images North America)

Last race of the season coming up!


#StandWithSmoke  #TonyStewartFan4Life #HellbentOnVictory

Tony Stewart, Phoenix Raceway March 2013 (Photo Source: Tony Stewart Facebook/CIA Stock Photography)

“It’s hard because there are so many great moments. The first time I drove a Supermodified there, I think we were running 22-second or 23-second laps around there. One year, Ryan (Newman) and I had a great race where I was having motor trouble all day. I couldn’t seem to get the car off the corner. It stumbled a lot but, halfway down the straightway, it would come to life and I could use the draft following Ryan to get caught up. He ended up having an issue with two laps to go and we won the race. I remember another time in one of the early Silver Crown races I ran at Phoenix where I think we ran fifth to Jac Haudenschild. Jac was sideways all the way down through the dogleg on the backstretch. I would pass Jac through the corners and then, down the straightway, here he would come with smoke coming off the right rear (tire). I thought, ‘Man, this guy’s tire is never going to make it.’ He made it to the end and he finished either third and I ran fourth, or he was fourth and I was fifth. That was one of coolest moments for me.”  – Tony Stewart, Fall Phoenix Team Release 2015

The Gratuitous Tony Stewart:

Tony Stewart, Phoenix International Raceway March 2013 (Photo Source: Tony Stewart Facebook Page/CIA Stock Photography)


Read other Quotable Tony posts.

#HellbentOnVictory #SmokeAlwaysRises

Texas Motor Speedway 2015 (Photo Source: Tony Stewart Official Facebook/HHP/Harold Hinson)

Well here is the latest tidbits that have been bouncing around my head like a lugnut on a green flag pit stop this week:

1. In case you missed it- The bricks and mortar Tony Stewart Store in Indianapolis (5644 W. 74th St, Indianapolis, IN 46278) will be closing its doors on December 18th, 2015- so if you are in the area you might want to visit one last time and stock up on some goodies while you are there.  The online store (TonyStewartStore.com) will still be operational for your Tony Stewart, TSR, Eldora and Smoke Racing merchandising needs. They will be relocating the warehouse and offices sometime early next year. They have also mentioned that they may have weekends when they will open their new warehouse location during special races (Indy 500, Brickyard 400, Christmas etc) next year,  so if you don’t “like” the Tony Stewart Official Store yet on facebook you might want to give them a like so you can stay up-to-date (they also post all their sales there and pictures of Tony and stuff so it’s a good FaceBook page to make sure you LIKE).

2. Don’t forget that The Tony Stewart Foundation is doing it’s annual Toy drive: You can donate online ($1, $5, $10, or $20). Or if you want to contribute a specific toy you can bring (or send) the toy to: Tony Stewart Foundation, 2015 Toy Drive, 5644 West 74th Street, Indianapolis IN 46278.

3. Tony Stewart has a “legit pig in a blanket” and how adorable is that: (more…)

Tony drives through the garage at Texas Motor Speedway. November 2015 (Photo Source: Tony Stewart Facebook page/HHP/Rusty Jarrett )

Tony Qualified: 22nd, but started 42nd because he missed driver intros.

Tony Finished: 42nd

Points: 663 (27th in the points standings)

Tony had a short-lived day at Texas unfortunately.  He had qualified 22nd, but ended up missing driver introductions because he had been fighting a migraine all morning and had to go to the back. So Tony technically started 42nd. But it didn’t take long and he was moving that Bass Pro Chevy through the field well. It was actually good to see- because when he started at the back I was like arg…again?! He was well into the top 30 when the first caution came out – the one for Joey Logano’s spin.  By the competition caution at lap 25 he had broken into the top 20. For the rest of his time on the track he ran between 15th and 19th until he spun and took a ride through the still quite wet grass. Unfortunately this tore the splitter completely off the car, it disconnected the radiator and there was other fairly terminal damage and the team decided to just hang it up for the day at lap 52. His 42nd place finish added a new stat to his stat record: Tony’s first finish outside the top-35 in 27 career Sprint Cup starts at Texas. It was a pity because he seemed to have a good car that was able to move around on the track and pass people.

Other than Tony’s short lived day- it was a tiresome day at Texas don’t you think? I know that Goodyear was blaming lack of practice on things like rubs, teams pushing the envelop with air pressures but it was a lot of different drivers experiencing some problems. I left my notes at home but these are just the drivers that I remember: Joey Logano, Dale Jr, Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones, Trevor Bayne, and at least one other person I can’t think of (but it’s making my brain tired to try to think of it- lol tired? Get it?). A couple of the issues seemed like the tire was inflated but the tread came off- which to me seems like a compound issue.

Race winner was Jimmie Johnson- and I can’t tell you how many times on my facebook and twitter feeds yesterday I saw this (or a similar sentiment): It’s not often you will hear me cheering for Jimmie to win but I was!  I was too- but I will usually take up the team chevy driver who is closest to the lead when Tony is out of it.  As a matter of fact I cheered so loudly that I scared poor Abbie who jumped off the couch where she was dozing next to me and hid. Anyway because Jimmie Johnson is no longer chase eligible- Jeff Gordon is still the only driver locked into the final four.

Well onto Phoenix.

The Gratuitous Tony Stewart:

Tony Stewart  in the garage at Texas Motor Speedway (photo source: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)



Do you #StandWithSmoke? Showing him is as easy as 1. Donate at least $1.00 (but seriously if you can- do at least $10- because then your donation will get doubled by an anonymous donor) to the Tony Stewart Foundation atStandWithSmoke.Com 2. Download the sign (the link will be in your donation receipt) 3. Take a photo (or a short video) with your sign and either post it to the Tony Stewart Foundation facebook page or Tweet it using #StandWithSmoke and @14TSF. Let’s all show Tony Stewart we #StandWithSmoke.

#StandWithSmoke #KeepDiggingTony #TonyStewartFan4Life #HellbentOnVictory

(Photo Source: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

“You have to be comfortable or you’re not going to go fast. The more comfortable I am, the faster we go. This track – the grooves have moved around, especially in the last couple of years. We’ve seen the track get wider and it’s made it to where you can move around on the racetrack and where you can run the top side or the bottom side. It’s nice from a driver’s perspective to be able to have that flexibility behind the steering wheel, knowing that if your car’s not driving exactly the way you want it to, you can move around the racetrack and find a spot the car likes better.” — Tony Stewart, November 2015 Texas Release

Gratuitous  Tony Stewart Picture:

(Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Facebook)


Read other Quotable Tony posts.

#HellbentOnVictory #SmokeAlwaysRises

Tony Stewart at Texas Motor Speedway April 2015. (Photo Source: Tony Stewart Facebook/HHP/Alan Marler)


1a. So Matt Kenseth was suspended for two races and put on probation for 6 months (a decision that was upheld by the appeals board I might add but the final appeal is still underway).  As I mentioned I really think that Matt deserved no more than a slap on the wrist because Joey had it coming to him. But suspending Matt for what I can only assume is actions detrimental to stock car racing- is just NASCAR showing how inconsistent they are with their “penalties.” What am I talking about? Well Danica Patrick and David Gilliland have been taking turns turning each other all season (actually according to this article their issues have been going on since 2013) and Danica is docked points and fined (nothing for Gilliland). Why was she not suspended? Oh because Gilliland wasn’t in the running for a championship?  And what about the whole Carl Edwards/Brad Keselowski deal from several years ago (2009/2010 here is a video I found on youtube of some of the instances I am thinking about). NASCAR did nothing in these instances.  NASCAR and certain media members make it seem like retaliation never happens ever in this sport. I call foul on their “this is unprecedented” mindset.  So what Matt was laps down when he made contact- I really don’t see why that matters? I still ascertain that Joey Logano KNEW Matt Kenseth wasn’t the happiest of campers with him after Kansas.  Matt chose not to retaliate at Dega which was actually a smart move- that I might have had issues with because that would have been dangerous on so many levels. I still say that this is a veteran driver standing up for himself- saying look you aren’t going to push me around on the track.  It’s very much you get raced how you race others. That’s how it’s always been.

1b. Part of the issue though is this “Chase Elimination format” (which for my regular readers you all know I am already not a fan of). Ricky Craven- whom I almost never agree with- has some interesting things to say about this in regards to this format breeding this mind set (somewhat). I could argue that Joey Logano purposely performed a pit maneuver on Matt Kenseth. Joey was already locked in- Matt Kenseth was fighting for the championship at that moment. Why was Joey not suspended? The penalties do not fit the “crime.” (more…)