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(photo source: Tony Stewart facebook page)

It’s been a while since I pulled together one of my gift-giving guides.  I figured with Father’s day right around the corner I would through out some suggestions for the Tony Stewart loving father or husband in your life! So without further ado- here are some gift ideas for the Tony Stewart fan in your life:

Texas fans can sign dad up for the 8th annual Smoke Show which takes place at Texas Motor Speedway on October 12th, 2016. What is the Smoke Show? It’s a fantasy stock car camp where participants will be given the opportunity to walk in the shoes of a NASCAR driver during a typical race day, drive competitive laps in a stock car on Texas Motor Speedway and interact with Stewart throughout the event! Best part is that this is the gift that gives back as all proceeds benefit Speedway Children’s Charities.  You can visit the Texas Chapter Speedway Children’s Charities Smoke Show Event page for more information and to sign up Dad for the experience of a lifetime with Tony Stewart.

California Tony Stewart fans have the opportunity to sign up for the VIP Experience with Tony Stewart at Sonoma Raceway on June 25th. This experience is a hospitality experience with Tony Stewart.  Limited to 100 participants the Smoke VIP guests access to a deluxe mobile hospitality facility, garage tour, a Q&A experience with Tony Stewart, A professional picture taken with Tony, an autographed momento and more. The donation for the ticket goes directly to the Tony Stewart Foundation to fund their grant program. For information about the VIP Experience and to purchase tickets before they sell out visit the Tony Stewart Foundation VIP Experience website. There won’t be many opportunities like this before Tony Stewart retires for active NASCAR driving! Sign dad (or yourself) up now- it’s an opportunity of a lifetime for California fans- or any fans willing to go to Sonoma Raceway! (more…)

(photo source: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook Page)

Since the race was on Monday- there seem to be fewer lugnuts pinging around my brain than normal- but here are the few that are pinging around. One gets a little soapboxy…so sorry about that.  Let’s get to them shall we?

1. First and foremost on my mind is Brad Keselowski and his comments about Jeff Gordon in the booth.  According to Sports Nation this is what Brad said:

“They need to get some people that aren’t inbred to the sport and own teams and have internal knowledge, because that is pretty crappy. It is what it is,” Keselowski added, via ESPN. “It’s not that I don’t like Jeff Gordon in the booth, it’s just that you need to have people in the booth that don’t own teams or have commercial interests to the sport, because they say things that are very biased.”

So first thing I am going to address is Brad using the term “inbred” in his statement because I have seen comments from several Jeff Gordon fan’s who have taken extreme offense to that term.  I do not think (and I could be wrong) that brad meant it as an affront to Jeff Gordon- stating that he is inbred.  I think that was just a poor choice of wording on Brad’s part. I think Brad meant it more in the way that one would use the words ingrained or inherent not in the “persons conceived of breeding between two closely related individuals” sort of sense.

However I do not agree with his assertion that Jeff Gordon shouldn’t be announcing in the booth because he is biased because he has a commercial interest in a team on the track. You can NOT tell me that any announcer or reporter for that matter is not biased in some fashion or other. It’s how they deal with that bias. While yes Jeff Gordon is financially involved in a race team on track (in an owner role with Jimmie Johnson’s team) it’s not like he is sitting there jabbering on and on about how great Jimmie is and that is it it. Jeff provides insight into the race from a fairly current driver stand point- he is more familiar with the cars than the other announcers. I appreciate and like his insights above all the other announcers to be frank (although Mike Joy is a close second). I would rather hear the race from the point of view from an announcer/commentator that knows the sport from the inside than have say…an ex-football player who knows nothing about racing sitting up there trying to commentate on what is happening on the track. I am sure that football fans would rather hear their games commentated on by ex-players and coaches than by say…ex tennis players who don’t know the sport. See where I am going with this? Do I want John McEnroe commentate a NASCAR race? Um no, not really. I want to hear about it from someone who knows what it’s like in that car, and who knows what officials are looking at.  It’s not like Jeff Gordon is the one that reported the possible hip check by the jack man on Brad’s car. He was just explaining it and the penalty and comparing it to a similar penalty in Vegas (which I would compare it to as well). They explained it on the MRN broadcast too (for those of us who had to listen instead of watch because of work obligations.  Brad’s not being picked on. Tony’s team got penalized for illegal body modification prior to a race last week at Charlotte- it was why he started at the rear of the field and why his crew chief is now on probation through the end of the year. I really do not understand what Brad’s issue is. Does that mean Dale Jr shouldn’t commentate before the Xfinity race series? It just seems like a pointless complaint. Plus- and I mentioned this on twitter- what does it really matter to Brad since that he is in the car and not listening to the commentary anyway.

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(photo source: Zimbio.com/Todd Warshaw/Getty Images North America)

Started: 6th

Finished: 34th

Points: 118 points (currently 36th in the points 71 points behind 30th place currently held by David Ragan and only 1 point behind 35th place Cole Whitt) *** (this is by my math- and not official) ***.

Because the Axalta 400 got postponed until Monday I couldn’t watch it because of work.  I tried to figure out how to watch on FoxSportsGo but I couldn’t get my directv login to work despite it working for other things. So I listened to MRN using SiriuxXM, listened to Tony’s radio on my NASCAR ap and watched twitter like a hawk.  So that’s how I “watched” the race at Pocono.  It’s funny because I always listen to Tony’s radio while I am watching the national broadcast and it’s usually a lap or two behind. But while listening to SiriusXM- it was a good two to four laps ahead of the Sirius. I found out about Tony’s wreck before I was hearing it because Misty texted me a sad face with the word dammit. She told me about the wreck before either Sirius or Tony’s radio could. (more…)

The crew of Kevin Harvick’s #4 team donning their NurvGear face shields

Hey SHR Fans! I wanted to introduce you all to a cool new product for us SHR fans made for the outdoor enthusiast in mind: NurvGear now has Face Shields that are made with specifically licensed patterns from your favorite SHR drivers! These face shields offer great protection in the outdoors and I can think of several different uses for them.

NurvGear 4 face shield

So for those unfamiliar, NurvGear was founded as a company devoted to those that live, dream, and explore the great outdoors; fishing, trekking, skiing, biking, racing, and much more. Their products (the faceshields are just one of a line of products by NurvGear including hats and a variety of different kinds of shirts) designed for comfort and function in the great outdoors.

These face shields are not just your typical bandana. Just check out these five features of each NurvGear face shield :

1. Repels moisture keeping you cooler & dryer, for longer

2. Provides SPF 40 protection from the harsh rays of the sun

3. Helps maintain hydration,

4. Antibacterial so you can even share with your friends (not that you will want to- tell them to buy their own)

5. Made with a stain resistant formula

There are several patterns for each SHR racing driver! Can’t decide which one you want- don’t fear! NurvGear has  discount packs of two or four shields where you pick the SHR face shield bandanas you want and you get a discount on the total cost- how awesome is that (they have the same thing for their non-SHR face shields too). Get two (or four) different face shield bandanas or get them all same. Keep them all for yourself or share them with friends.  Use them hiking, fishing, biking, at the races wherever- the possibilities are endless and the designs are cool. I personally have my eye on this Tony Stewart Always A Racer one (and one of their straw hats too):

Although I really like this one too- good think they have those special deal packs:

By the way- have I mentioned how much I love the “Always A Racer, Forever A Champion” logo? I do…A LOT.  As in I would have it painted on the hood of my Chevy Equinox if I had the means…but I am seriously digressing here. Check out the NurvGear guards today and pick up one or two or four.

Mike Casto sporting the NurvGear guard

(photo source: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook Page)

With the long weekend it seems like all my posts have been pushed off by a day because honestly- I was hiking with the dogs and not thinking about writing blog posts…and I readily admit it. Sometimes even an Amy needs a break. But this is what has been pinging around my brain this week like lugnuts in a pitbox during a green flag pit stop:

1. I am not the only one off by a day. NASCAR announced their post race penalties on Wednesday this week instead of their usual Tuesday- likely because of the holiday.  Smoke fans seem up in arms about Tony Stewart crew chief Mike Bugarewicz (wow that was the first time I spelled it right without having to look it up all season) being placed on probation through the rest of the 2016 season because of the unapproved body modification that was done as the car was being pushed out to the grid on Sunday. This was the reason Tony Stewart dropped to 39th position before the start of the race despite having qualified 21st for the Coca-Cola 600. The penalty seems fair to me. However accidental the modification was the body was still modified.  It’s no different than in March of 2015 when Paul Wolfe was put on suspension after the crew was caught pulling out the side fenders on the 2 car prior to qualifying for the 2015 Kobalt 400.  The crew chief is responsible for the crew right?  As a fan I hate for my driver and his team but I understand that it has to be done.

2. There were quite a few other penalties dished out this week including: Brian Pattie, crew chief for Greg Biffle, who was fined $50,000, suspended from all NASCAR points events through June 15, and placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31. Additionally the 16 team has been assessed with the loss of 15 championship owner and 15 championship driver points. This was also do to unapproved body modification. Crew Chiefs Tony Gibson (Kurt Busch) and Randall Burnett (AJ Allmendinger) were each suspended from competition for the Pocono weekend, fined $20,000, and placed on probation through the remainder of the season  for lugnut violations.  Paul Menard is docked 15 minutes of practice time at Pocono for pre-race inspection issue. The teams of Aric Almirola, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth all received written warnings for pre-qualifying inspection issues.  Whew- is that a load of penalties for one race or what?

3. In cased you missed the NASCAR RACEDAY interview Kenny Wallace did with Tony Stewart you can view that here:  (more…)

(photo source: zimbio.com/ Streeter Lecka/Getty Images North America)

Started: 39th (after qualifying 21st but getting dinged for “unapproved body modification” when pushing the car out to the grid on Sunday afternoon)

Finished: 24th

Points: 111 points, 35th in the standings and 60 points from 30th position (David Ragan)

When you have a race as long as the Coca-Cola 600 (the longest race on the NASCAR circuit) and your driver is having a good day it’s a great and glorious culmination to a day chocked full of racing.  When your driver is struggling, and laps down by the end of the race- it’s just a long-ass day and it’s hard to find good in the day when your driver finishes four laps down after struggling for hours and hours with a car that is “up out of the track.”

(photo credit: zimbio.com/Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images North America))

Unfortunately for Tony Stewart and team 14, Martin Truex Jr set a dominating and blistering pace for the first quarter of the Coca-Cola 600 and by lap 87 while improving his position from 39th to 24th, Stewart ended up getting put a lap down. Handling would be an issue for the entire race and the team would ultimately end up finishing 4 laps down in 24th spot.

But being the glass half-full person I try to be, I found two “little” things that make the race a little easier to swallow.  First off being that Tony despite finishing 24th Tony was able to gain two spots in the points standings and is now 35th (although he still remains 60 points from 30th place David Ragan).  The second little thing is that at the beginning of the race- through the competition caution Tony was able to move UP through the field to 24th after starting 39th despite the ill-handling machine he struggled with all night. It could have been worse…he could have been relegated to a last place or near last place finish- or worse suffer a DNF.  So there was good in the race if you look hard enough. (more…)

(Share with us why Tony Stewart is your driver- be part of Project: Smoke In My Eyes today!– Amy) 

Tony Stewart at Pocono

Tony Stewart at Pocono 2014 (Photo Credit: Glenn Bure for BadGroove.com)

My son Logan who is now 17 has been a Tony fan since about age 4. There was just something about Tony that seemed to draw him. Logan was 5 & we had just bought him a new Tony Stewart shirt. He had to put it on right away. My husband and I were packing the van to get ready to leave in the morning for vacation. Logan had gone to my sister’s house to play with her children. Next thing I know-  she calls me. Logan fell playing baseball and she thought he broke his arm. We took him to the ER and he had broken his elbow and had to have surgery. He was very upset when they said they had to cut his shirt off . We explained it was brand new, that Tony was his favorite and so on. They asked the surgical team if they could take it off him once he was out and they said no. The two nurses felt really bad and the one suggested making a pillow or wall hanging. They were very careful cutting it off. Several months later Logan’s great Aunt Ruthie made him a beautiful pillow that he still had. It is worn and has seen it’s better days but it still bring him comfort. Tony is still his favorite driver and he has had a lot of Tony’s t-shirts since that one but the t-shirt pillow is still his favorite!

— Dee Van Blargan

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If you want to take part in Project: Smoke In My Eyes there is still time! Click on the link for more information and submit your piece today!

Coke 600 2015 (photo source: Tony Stewart Facebook)

Here is what’s been pinging around my brain this week like lugnuts during a green flag pitstop.

1. While I always love the day of racing that is presented on the last Sunday in May- us Smoke fans have something extra special to look forward to- a Kenny Wallace interview with Tony Stewart on NASCAR RaceDay on FS1 prior to the CocaCola 600.  If you don’t watch RaceDay (I plan on watching the Indy 500 myself so I might miss it) you might want to set your DVRs to record it!

2. Also if you are interested in The Smoke Show at Texas Motor Speedway- the date has been released as Wednesday October 12th. You can get more information and sign up by visiting SCCTEXAS.ORG or calling 817-215-8567. BadGroove reader and supporter Judy Seigworth attended last year’s SMOKE Show and shared her experiences with us here at Badgroove. Be sure to check it out if you haven’t yet and consider attending this awesome event for charity.

3. You know how a lot of the drivers honor fallen veteran’s and their families by running their name on the windshield header of their cars? Well Tony Stewart will be honoring Master Sgt. Paul D. Karpowich. Karpowich was one of 22 Americans killed by a suicide bomber in a mess tent in Iraq four days before Christmas 2004.  Sgt Karpowich has a 12 year military career including four years of active duty and working his way up to a senior drill sargent in the Army Reserves.  He was hand-selected to train new Iraqi troops in Northern Iraq in fall of 2004. The #14 crew chief Mike Bugarewicz and his wife Krysten asked to honor Sgt Paul Karpowich since Krysten family knows the Karpowich family.

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