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So I  have two classic car things to share with you:

First one is this: You can win a chance to help Tony Stewart change the oil in one of the cars in his classics collection. I have been entering- so I hope that by help they mean hand the man a filter and some paper towels while he scoots under the car on a creeper….just in case I indeed win.  I know I should be able to change my own oil but I never have and would feel foolish not knowing what to do! So unless he feels like actually teaching me (I would be willing to learn- at $40 bucks a pop for an oil change I would be saving $$ to do it myself) I would just be handing him the stuff and thinking OMG I totally just handed TONY FREAKING STEWART!!! an oil filter!  Because pretty much that is how my brain works. Anyway I am obviously digressing!

The easiest way to enter is first LIKING The MOBIL 1 Facebook page (facebook.com/mobil1) then going to the Under The Hood (Tony’s Sweepstakes) FaceBook ap- which also lets fans vote which car will get it’s oil changed (The options are his 1957 Chevy Bel Air, his 1978 Pontiac Firebird (think Smokey and The Bandit- unless you are too young to know what I speakand then think- cool car), his 1967 Pontiac GTO, and his 1955 Chevy Nomad).  Right now it’s the 78 Firebird against the 67 GTO and I am surprised to say as of a couple of minutes ago? The GTO was KILLING the Firebird in the voting- BY A HUGE LANDSLIDE (66% to 34%).  I am going to go out on a limb here and say that I think that the overall winner of the car is going to be the 57 Bel Air BUT if I had my way it would be the 55 Nomad. If you have read this site any length of time you know that I ADORE the CHEVY Nomad and would love to own a bright yellow one.

Here is a video about the contest showing off Tony’s actual cars…too bad his Nomad is orange (I am still voting NOMAD when it’s time though).

Anyway- if one of my readers happens to win I hope you will share the experience with us here! :-) And if I will you KNOW I will- but I rarely win things so don’t get your hopes up!

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Someone please tell me what is it with Misty and I? Of the last three races that we have been able to attend in person (Fall Phoenix 2012, Las Vegas, and now Autoclub) post race fights have broken out at two of them and each fight included one of our favorite drivers (Phoenix had  Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer going at it and of course you may have heard that my driver went a little agro on Joey Logano at Autoclub).  I will get into the post race pugilism a little later. First let’s get to the actual race.

The Naval Re-Enlistment Ceremony before Driver Introductions at AutoClub Speedway. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

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The smell of cow manure in the air should have been the first clue that Friday morning at Auto Club Speedway wasn’t going to go as planned. We got to the track early to pick up our credentials- which were waiting for us at the office- no problem. We were then be directed in a huge circle in the parking area at Auto Club. This happens to us EVERY YEAR we have been coming to the track whether it be as fan or as media (as we decided to do this year).  It seems to me that the parking attendants/volunteers that park the fans never know what to do – and just directed us in a big circle that included being flagged into the infield (which I am pretty sure was where we were suppose to park) only to then be directed right back out of the infield.  We ended up parking in general lot Green and hoofing it through the pedestrian tunnel only to be told that our credentials could not get us into the infield.  We explained that we were press and heading to the media center- and were told that we could only go through if we had a hard card. So we left the infield and went to the Tony Stewart Walk of Fame induction- which was luckily for us- directly outside of gate twelve so we could attend that with no issue.  Since we were press we went into the restricted area- only to be told to leave there too. So we stood outside the fencing and waited Tony’s arrival.

It was there that Misty overheard some Tony Stewart fans talking about his Bass Pro Appearance the night before. I was interested to hear that according to the fans who attended, that they were instructed not to ask to take pictures (not a big deal- if he took pictures with everyone who wanted a picture he would probably still be at Bass Pro Saturday morning) but that they were also told not to talk to him or ask him any questions at all. That seemed a little weird. I have been to MANY an Office Depot signing (and Home Depot too) and fans were never told they couldn’t TALK to the man.  I don’t know where that edict came from but it was kind of cruel to me.  I am surprised they allowed fans to look at him.  The fans we overheard said they do appreciate it much more when the signings aren’t so rushed.

Tony finally arrived and was presented with the plaque and said a few words.  He then stepped into the wet cement and left his impression in the concrete.  Fans BOOED because the photographers there who were DOING THEIR JOB to capture the event stood in front of a couple to get some pictures of the event.  That was kind of tight- because I doubt Tony understood why they were booing- and may have thought they were booing HIM.  But no the poor photographers who were tasked with photographing the event were booed.

Then-as quickly as he came- The Peoples Champion was ushered off in a white SUV back to the infield and to practice.

We did not want to go back and fight with the gate lady again about trying to get into the infield so we left because we didn’t have tickets for Friday.  And that was our Friday morning at Auto Club Speedway.

PS– Misty got some great pictures of Tony during the Walk of Fame Induction that I am sure she will share with us later!! So stay tuned for those!

Okay Smoke fans- this is what I have dug up for you appearance wise this week:

1.On Thursday March 21st, 2013 (yes this is TOMORROW people) Tony Stewart will be appearing at the Bass Pro Shop located in Rancho Cucamongua in an autograph session with driver Jamie McMurray.  This was taken right from the Bass Pro Rancho Cucamonga location facebook page: Starting at 9am on 3/21 we will pass out 350-400 wrist bands and affix them to each wrist. We have heard people may want to camp in line overnight or plan to arrive very early, so the line may be very long. After we have affixed the wrist band, people can then line up inside the store or can leave and return. The bands are not numbered and having a wrist band does not hold a place in line or guarantee an autograph. Jaime and Tony will be together at the same table from 6pm-8pm and we’re hoping all goes well and each wrist band gets an autograph. The line will start at our first set of double doors on the left as you face the store. Each will sign one item only.

2. On Friday morning on March 22nd, 2013 at approximately 10:45 Tony Stewart will be inducted into the Auto Club Walk of Fame…I don’t think there will be anything more than a little appearance by the man- so I doubt there will be any chances for autographs or anything (but who knows)- but you might catch a glimpse of your favorite driver. Look for the roped off section at the Walk of Fame at the speedway.

3. For NORTHERN CALIFORNIA Smoke fans- Tony will be appearing/racing a winged sprint car at Stockton 99 Speedway on Friday night.  Tickets are on sale now at the World of Outlaws Website: http://www.woosprint.com/. For more information on tickets and times, please contact the Speedway Office at (209)466-9999 or visit their Website at www.stockton99.com.

Don’t think that Northern Cali appearance doesn’t stick in my craw- since you know that is where I am located! I have ALWAYS wanted to see Tony race dirt in person and that speedway is only a couple hours from my house but because it’s Auto Club- I will be down in Southern Cali and I have not perfected transporting myself by flue powder or bending the space/time continuum I will miss it since it’s about 6 hours by car EACH WAY from Fontana.  Sigh. If only I had a jet pack or a private plane or helicopter something (not a helicopter because I am pretty sure that would KILL ME DEAD since flying in a plane is bad enough)- that would be a GREAT time (could you imagine THAT story on the ole blog? Especially the part about flying.) When the man (Tony Stewart) sleeps I have no idea.

It’s Bristol Baby- seems to the be the Bristol race’s motto doesn’t it? It’s fitting I suppose. I actually like watching the short tracks at Bristol and Martinsville- despite a text I may or may not have shot Misty after Tony’s lap 9 crash that said I HATE SHORT TRACKS. I don’t actually- I love them. I do hate them when my driver blows a tire and ends up 36 laps down for a majority of the race…but I still like watching the racing at my beloved short tracks.  I was watching the race and listening to his scanner on my NASCAR 13 mobile ap. Unfortunately the scanner was about 4 laps behind the TV so I saw it before I heard Bob warn Tony his tire was going down.  I was hoping he’d make it to pit road but my eyes were telling me that wasn’t going to happen unfortunately.

Tony Stewart drives the wrecked #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet after cutting a tire early during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 17, 2013 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images North America)

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I am sure it doesn’t surprise any of you that I am bound for Vegas for the Kobalt Tools 400 and to hang out with Misty!  I have some posts scheduled to post while I am gone- but figure posting will be light especially Friday- Monday.

Be sure to follow myself (@badgroove) and Misty (@fyrstorm24) on Twitter to hear all about our adventures on and off the track!

Here are a couple things you should consider doing while we are gone:

Enter Here for a chance to have your mortgage paid for a month by Quicken Loans Racing. Ryan Newman does have to  #BringItHome in the top 10 but don’t take the chance and not enter- you can’t win if you don’t and who couldn’t use a month break from your mortgage?

Enter here for a chance to win the all new 2014 Chevy Silverado LTZ truck, A NASCAR race weekend for two at Texas Motor Speedway AND a meeting and greet with Tony Stewart!

And here is Tony’s Bass Pro Shops Commercial…just because I think it’s funny:

Until then- see you all on the flip side :-) (aka next week).

It’s always hard for me to watch races at Phoenix on the TV because I LOVE that track- it is one of my favorites that I have been to in person.  It makes it all the harder that the first Phoenix race is so early in the schedule because I haven’t been to a race track since last November (which coincidentally was Phoenix) and I miss just being at a track. I miss the smells and the noise and the colors and the hustle and bustle of the tracks so watching the first Phoenix race of the season is akin to torture for me.

Why, if I love Phoenix so much, did I not go to the race?  Well regular readers might have heard this before- but it has to do with it being back-to-back with the Vegas race (which I absolutely will not miss if for no other reason than that was my VERY FIRST NASCAR RACE) and also being so close to the Auto Club date as well.  Plus Misty and I both have real 8-5 Monday-Friday kind of jobs (and we work in way different fields in different states) so that going to 3 races in one month is impractical if not impossible.  So Phoenix gets put off until the fall race. I am SO GLAD it has a fall race because otherwise it would be hard to have to narrow which track to miss.

My caption for this picture: Is that a rather large spoiler on your rear deck lid or are you just happy to see me? – Amy.  [Tony Stewart on track at Phoenix Raceway (Photo Credit: Andrew Coppley/CIA Stock Photography, Inc.) Photo borrowed from the Tony Stewart Facebook page- click picture to be taken to original.]

Anyway- the Subway Fit Fresh 500k (312 laps/miles) was not so good for the Stewart-Haas drivers! Yikes!  First poor Ryan Newman couldn’t catch a break! First he suffers not only one but two blown tires- the last one putting a premature end to his race. Then Danica also suffers a blown tire and ends up not only hitting a wall but then getting hit by another car and ending her day.

Thankfully, Tony Stewart didn’t seem to have any tire issues- but don’t think I wasn’t worried that he would…especially as the runs got longer.  Tony started the race in sixth place and it seemed like where he was in the field depended on how many tires he took. For a long time after his four tire stops he would end up mired back in traffic in 18th, 20th position somewhere.  I know he was frustrated too because I heard him say on his radio that he didn’t understand how the were slower when they were on 4 tires than with 2.  He would eventually start working his way up towards the front towards the end of the runs though or so it seemed to me.  Luckily he ended up in or near the top 10 before the last top which ended up being two tires.  Tony ended up finished 8th and moving up to 23rd in the points standings.

Notes About Phoenix:

1. I don’t know if you noticed but when Ryan blew a tire and wrecked the second time- he decided to walk to the infield care center instead of ride in the safety vehicle. Tony must have seen him at some point walking on the track because he asked on his radio “Is he mad or is he just getting out of the way?” I thought it was funny. I think he was frustrated- but not at someone else like Tony may have thought.

2. I don’t have NASCAR.COM’s RaceView to watch the races with. I was actually considering getting it since DirecTV ditched their Hot Pass stations (Boo directv boo!) but I have heard from a couple people that they have been having major issues with it. Is anyone else having trouble? Because I don’t know if I want it if it’s going to be more of a frustration than anything else. (For those wondering- I have Sprint and use the NASCAR13 Sprint mobile ap for the scanner).

3. Am I the only one who can’t find the simple things on the new NASCAR.COM- like race lineups, qualifying orders and the like?  I have been trying to keep an open mind about their new layout (I tend to be one of those anti-change people) but when I can’t find the information I am looking for easily- I get frustrated on give up.

I am going to leave you with this picture from Phoenix Raceway because it seems to me that every time I see Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon together- Jeff is usually CRACKING up big time and that makes ME crack up:

Tony Stewart (right) and Jeff Gordon (left) share a laugh in the garage area at Phoenix International Raceway.

Next race; VEGAS BABY!

It’s taken me a week to post about the Nationwide race last weekend.  Let me preface this by making it perfectly clear- I actually did not watch the race live. I had been following it along via twitter until I found out that there was a pretty signifigant last lap crash and that there was an engine in the stands! I immediately stopped what I was doing and got to the nearest television to turn on the race.  The first thing I saw was the engine sitting on the wrong side of the safer barrier and all I could thing was CRAP THAT IS NOT GOOD. I saw replays of the crash and was amazed that the drivers walked away- and hoped and prayed that none of the fans were killed.  It didn’t even really register to me that Tony Stewart won the race- until they finally showed his “subdued victory lane interview.” You could tell that Tony didn’t care about winning- he was worried about what happened to the fans.

After his victory lane- Tony went to talk to the NATIONWIDE director Joe Balash.  I found some pictures of Tony and Joe Balash- and it was these pictures that really made me want to actually do this post.  You can tell Tony is concerned by the whole accident by the look on his face in this picture:

Tony Stewart, driver of the #33 Oreo/Ritz Chevrolet, and NASCAR Nationwide Series Director Joe Balash looks at the debris of the #32 Clorox Chevrolet, driven by Kyle Larson, following an incident at the finish of the NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 23, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Source: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images North America)

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