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Tony Stewart receiving his plaque for Sonoma Raceway's Wall of Fame

Tony Stewart receiving his plaque for Sonoma Raceway’s Wall of Fame, June 2016 (photo source: Amy K. Marbach)

 “All you got to do is give me that little bit of hope, and I will run with it.” — Tony Stewart, post-race press conference 6-26-16 at Sonoma.

I have favorite tracks. I have a favorite (now-retired) driver and other drivers I like more than others. But this week has me thinking about my favorite single race of all-time. (more…)

Toco Warranty, one of the newer sponsors to the Tony Stewart Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing liveries is giving away an awesome VIP opportunity to one lucky fan!

What you win:

One lucky winner and their guest will attend the season finales of both the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

The winner will be hosted by Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) for the World of Outlaws World Finals Nov. 8-9 at The Dirt Track near Charlotte, North Carolina, before jetting off to South Florida to see the NASCAR season finale Nov. 16-17 in Homestead with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). Toco Warranty will provide VIP access that includes round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, a rental car and event tickets. Tony Stewart, the owner of TSR and the co-owner of SHR, will be at both events, where the winner will see the three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion in action as an owner, facilitating meet-and-greets with 10-time and reigning World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz at Charlotte and 10-time NASCAR Cup Series race winner Clint Bowyer in Homestead.

How you enter:

It’s easy! Just visit TocoWarranty.com and click on the banner (It looks like the picture above) with Tony Stewart on it. Fill out the form and you’re entered. You get more entries for sharing it as well as signing up for a Toco Warranty plan.

A winner will be drawn by 5 p.m. ET on Sept. 16, 2019.

 

Tony Stewart at last night’s Motorsports Hall Of Fame Induction (photo source: Tony Stewart Facebook page)

I have been waiting for this year’s list of nominees for the NASCAR HALL OF FAME (NHOF) with bated breath this year, hoping that Tony Stewart would be on the list. I am pleased to report that on the heels of his induction into the Motorsports Hall Of Fame of America last night; Tony Stewart has been announced as one of twenty possible nominees for the 2020 class of inductees for the NHOF today.

The other nominees are: (more…)

Gracie and my RACR14 Plate

The Tony Stewart Foundation is having a promotion this month that will put you in the running to win a prize pack!

Entering is easy! Take a picture of your RACR14 plate (the new sprint car one or the old one) and share it on social media with #RACR14 and don’t forget to tag three friends.  After you do that you are entered! Easy peasy right?

If you don’t have a RACR14 plate you can get one at the Tony Stewart Foundation website here. The price of the plate goes directly to support the Tony Stewart Foundation grant programs.

Abbie wanted her picture taken with the license plate too.

I don’t have to tell you it’s been some time since I blogged about a race. You may be left wondering what is going on. Have I stopped watching racing? How goes my quest to find a new favorite NASCAR driver? Just what the heck is going on with Amy and Badgroove.

Well, let’s play catch up on the overly exciting (yes I am being facetious) life of Amy of BadGroove. (more…)

Now that the dust has settled on the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series I wanted to take a stab at explaining just why many Smoke fans including myself feel that Tony wasn’t given the farewell season he deserved.

(photo source: @StewartHaasRcng Twitter account)

When Tony announced his “retirement” (and I use that term loosely because I am sure that he will race more this year than he did last year) he made it absolutely clear that he did not want the rigmarole that Jeff Gordon was given week in and week out. He didn’t want to be drug into the media center every weekend and presented with gifts ranging from the thoughtful to the truly bizarre (not that he escaped that- since he got a bigger than life-size bobble head of himself from Texas Motor Speedway). All Tony wanted to do in his last season is what Tony has wanted to do since he got behind the steering wheel of his first goKart- he wanted to buckle in and race. And for the most part that is what he got.

His fans, however, voiced their discontent all season long about the lack of Tony recognition. Some might be thinking, well he got what he asked for.  While I don’t think what a majority of fans wanted was Tony paraded through the media center pulling gifted ponies and poker tables behind him- they wanted something.

What the fans wanted, expected, hoped for were the things they saw tracks doing the year before with Jeff Gordon. Fans wanted the opportunity to feel engaged and made to feel that not just that their driver was recognized but that they had a part in that recognition.  Case in point: I have no fewer than three Jeff Gordon towels each from different tracks that were dispersed to fans during the 2015 season for fans to wave during lap 24. I went to one race more in 2016 and I don’t have any Tony Stewart towels. Fans wanted to see things like a race named after him like Phoenix did for Jeff Gordon.  They wanted to see Speed Limit 14 MPH when the drove around Las Vegas Motor Speedway although that would be a pretty damn slow speed limit and technically Tony wasn’t driving at Las Vegas because of his back injury. You get my drift though.

Some tracks did do things for Tony fans. Some had Tony’s likeness gracing program covers, posters, and even a coveted (normal sized) bobbleheads. But subtle signs on backstretches, wall of fame presentations and a rock in his honor not withstanding tributes denoting Tony and engaging fans in celebrating their driver were actually far and few between at the track.  Fans at home missed out too- many times lap 14 was not even televised let alone mentioned showing fans standing in celebration of their beloved driver.  They wanted Tony mentioned occasionally during races despite his less than stellar performances most races.

Ultimate what was missing for Tony’s NASCAR fans was the sense of community that the track promoters and sponsors created during Jeff Gordon’s farewell season. Sure they can claim it is what Tony wanted but what he wanted was to be subjected to constant distraction. What Tony fans wanted and perhaps needed by and large could have been done without going against Tony’s wishes. THAT is why SMOKE fans feel slighted by the treatment of Tony’s retirement.

(For those not aware- a little over a year ago I undertook a project here on BadGroove that we lovingly called Project Smoke In My Eyes.  The concept started out as a way for fans to submit their own stories about Tony Stewart and ended up being put into a book that is currently on it’s way to Tony for delivery sometime in December.  The book is pages of fans stories about Tony Stewart. While I was compiling the submissions I worked on creating my own submission for the book.  I went through several versions and finally at the end of my own self-imposed deadline came up with the following. It appears as the last entry in the Smoke In My Eyes book- the only thing behind it being The End- But Really Just The Beginning.—- AMY)

This is what seems like my one millionth attempt at writing my own entry for “Smoke In My Eyes.” My most recent previous attempt was pages and pages of me waxing on poetically but as I edited it, I realized that while it said a lot- it wasn’t actually what I wanted to say.

Mostly what I want to say is thank you Tony. (more…)

(photo source: Zimbio.com/Sarah Crabill/Getty Images North America)

Start: 25th

Finish: 15th

Points: 2192 (15th in points)

(photo source: zimbio.com/Sean Gardner/Getty Images North America)

Dear Phoenix- it had been too long. I hadn’t been at your track since November of 2014 and I forgot why I love you so much. Last year I forsake you to attend my first race in Homestead-Miami because Jeff Gordon was retiring and since it’s so close to the Phoenix race there was no way I could attend both.  This year- I thought I would miss you. I had decided in the shadow of my driver Tony Stewart retiring to attend my first and his last Brickyard 400 at IMS. I assumed that I would again forgo Phoenix. For no other reason than for me to drive the crazy trek to Phoenix is a taxing one- first to Vegas to pick up my friend which is about 500 miles door -to-door from where I live and usually takes me between 7 and 8 hours. The drive from Vegas to Phoenix is another nearly 5 hours. That’s a lot of time in a car- to then have to turn around and do the same thing in reverse order the Monday and Tuesday after the race.  Especially when you consider I would likely be doing the same thing just a few weeks later for Champions Week in Vegas (minus the trip to Phoenix). But then I got a text from Misty asking if I wanted to do something a little bit crazy. See when we went to Indiana for the Brickyard we were caught up in the major meltdown Southwest suffered when it had issues with it’s reservation software in late July. Our outgoing flight to Indianapolis was cancelled with 3 hours notice (not delayed but CANCELLED completely).  Despite the stress of us having to figure our own way out to Indiana (because if we stayed with Southwest they MIGHT be able to get us to Indiana on Saturday when we were suppose to be there on Thursday) on another carrier who was more than willing to get us there on Friday- Southwest gave us vouchers for flights to prove they can indeed provide us with the service we expected.  Misty’s crazy idea was for me to drive to Vegas and then together we would hop a flight from Vegas to Phoenix stay just long enough to see the race and then fly back to Vegas and I could drive back to my central coast home.  That flight ended up being approximately 45 minutes.  And let me tell you it was worth every penny. Flying was so so much easier than the long, desolate desert drive between Vegas and Phoenix that I since have a hard time seeing myself doing that drive again.  Ever. (more…)