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I wanted to share some pictures of Tony during his visit at the US Marine base in Quantico, VA yesterday:

Speed shopping! The Office Depot Racing merchandise hauler was at U.S. Marine Corps Base Quantico on Thursday when NASCAR star Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Office Depot Chevy, made a special visit during Quantico’s third-annual ServMart Customer Appreciation Day. Office Depot, a primary sponsor of Stewart, operates a ServMart on the base. Stewart met with Wounded Warriors and signed hundreds of autographs for service members during his visit (Photo Credit: Action Sports Photography)

A service member at U.S. Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia gets an up-close look at Tony Stewart’s No. 14 Office Depot show car (Photo Credit: Action Sports Photography).

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Office Depot Chevy, signs autographs while visiting Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia. Stewart stopped by the Office Depot ServMart on base, met with Wounded Warriors and signed hundreds of autographs during his visit (Photo Credit: Action Sports Photography)

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Office Depot Chevy, talks with service members at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia (Photo Credit: Action Sports Photography).

I also found a awesome story from a local paper about the visit- you should definitely check out NASCAR Champion Driven To Honor Pair Of Warriors.

I have probably been watching a little too much Criminal Minds because I automatically think of that show when I hear Quantico.  But this has NOTHING to do with television. As my readers know though- if it has to do with a Tony Stewart appearance I will write about it. This appearance might be private however I love that it supports our military!

Tony Stewart will be meeting with Wounded Warriors and then hold a private meet and greet for service members at Barnett Field as part of Quantico’s Third Annual ServMart Customer Appreciation Day. Marine Corps Base Quantico’s mission is to optimize readiness by providing operation and training support, infrastructure and community services.

“It is an honor for me to visit Marine Corps Base Quantico and have the opportunity to meet some of the brave men and women who serve our country,” said Stewart, who will compete in this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at nearby Richmond International Raceway. “I’m incredibly grateful for the sacrifices service members and their families make every day. Those sacrifices make it possible for someone like me to have the freedom to do what I love and for NASCAR fans to enjoy being at the race track. To be able to say thank you in person means a lot to me.”

The Office Depot show car will also be there.  Office Depot is one of the sponsors of the ServMart Customer Appreciation Day and values their relationship with the military:

“Office Depot is very proud of our strong relationship with the General Services Administration and the US Marine Corps,” said Greg Abrahms, Director of Military Stores for Office Depot. “It is a privilege to be able to have a presence on base at Quantico and to help support the men and women stationed there by providing the products and services they need to successfully perform their mission.”

Another reason for me to love Office Depot- like I needed one.

Or maybe it’s the other way around and the A&E show THE GLADES invades NASCAR? Either way,  keep your peepers open for Carl Edwards, Joey Logano and Tony Stewart to by on an episode of the A&E television show THE GLADES (which stars Matt Passmore).

I first found out about this episode when Stewart-Haas Racing tweeted this photo of  Tony last week: (more…)

Restrictor plate racing brings with it it’s own set of rules and lately it’s own style of racing. The two-by-two “pod” style of racing that we saw at Daytona in February was indeed back again at Talladega. It was no surprise that during the extended first practice when it featured many pod runs (two cars bump drafting all the way around the track).

The two car tango that we have been seeing at the plate tracks brings with it two “issues” that seem to be on everyone’s mind. Of course you know I am going to throw my opinion in the ring. (more…)

Picture if you will, you are sitting down to a nice dinner- napkin placed in your lap.  You politely ask the person sitting next to you to pass the pepper after your meal was set down in front of you.  Now imagine that the person passing the pepper is none other than Tony Stewart.  Can you imagine the conversations? Tony is a great story teller- so I am sure it would be entertaining to say the least.  Think you’re dreaming? Think again Because it could happen.

How? All you have to do it be one of two high bidders for the New Hampshire Motor Speedway chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities auction that starts today April 15 and you could be sitting down to dinner with none other than Tony Stewart himself (as well as television commentator Dick Berggren and New Hampshire radio personality Greg Kretschmar).  Best part about it is the money goes to help New Hampshire children.  I lied, the best part would be eating dinner with Tony Stewart- but helping children is right up there.

For more information or to bid on the chance at this once-in-a-lifetime experience visit the Dinner With Tony Speedways Children’s Charities page.  The auction starts today April 15th, 2011 and closes July 1st 2011- so get your bids in today.

Until then pass the pepper and keep dreaming:

Tony during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Jeff Byrd 500 by Food City at the Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (photo credit: "borrowed" from TonyStewart.com)

I love me a good NASCAR commercial. I really do. And I am going to be completely honest…this year’s crop of NASCAR related commercials leaves a LOT to be desired so far.  I have held off on writing this post for so long on the hopes that a new commercial will pop up that I love.   So far really the only #NASCAR related commercial that I enjoy isn’t even available anywhere online.  I have googled my fingers to the bone looking for an embeddable video of it- or even just a link over to the video and I can NOT find one. That commercial is for Gillette and starts Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin. Kyle is hidden in a dining cart at a restaurant and pops his head out to “surprise” unwitting male diners to try Gillette Proglide.  The best two best lines are “Hey Denny (who is in an adjacent dining cart) is that tiramisu?” and then the expression on Kyle’s face when he goes “VROOM VROOM” at the very end of the commercial.  THAT is my favorite commercial from this season so far although I am still holding onto the eternal hope that something new pops up that I will enjoy.

There is a web promotional video that Mobil 1 has put out to talk about the F1/NASCAR car swap that Tony Stewart and Lewis Hamilton are doing later this summer at Watkins Glen that I enjoy too.  I can’t find an embeddable video for that one either but I can at least refer you HERE to watch it on the Official Tony Stewart facebook page.  Beware- the video has some strange pixelations – do NOT adjust your set (that shows my age huh?) I think it’s artistic pixelations.  That video has me thinking “Tony, I’ve Got An Idea” would be a great blog post title…but damned if I can think of the body to go with it.  Don’t be stealing on my idea…I am still thinking about it.

Speaking of Tony Stewart and commercials and thinking,  I was read this article by Richie Whitt for the Dallas Observer where he got to be an honorary crew member for the race. That got me thinking about this Clint Bowyer FANTASY NASCAR LIVE commercial (I don’t know why- that is just how my brain works):

Anyway I was thinking it is probably a good thing that this gadget allowing fans to talk directly to their drivers midrace is fictional.  Not only because could you imagine all these people trying to talk at once but I know for a FACT that I would probably say something in the heat of the moment that I would regret.  Could you imagine having the ability to actually speak with the driver who just tangled with your driver and wrecked him out? It’s fun to imagine…but frankly as huge of a Tony Stewart fan I am- I wouldn’t necessarily want him to hear my race comments I tend to curse like a sailor during races because I become viciously competitive. Just saying. So how about you? What’s your favorite NASCAR commercial so far this season?

So the first night race at Texas Motor Speedway- or should we call it the Stewart Yo-Yo race?  Part of me says that the Stewart fan in me shouldn’t be disappointed with the race- after all the results weren’t THAT bad- hell we even picked up a position in the points…but I just can’t talk myself out of the disappointment over Texas.  Tony seemed to be fairly good in practice. This encouraged me.  Yet then he qualified 26th. Not so good- but then again- Tony’s not the best qualifier.  Little did I know that the swing between practice and qualifying would be indicative of the entire race on Saturday.  The most encouraging thing about the race is that they did seem to have the car fairly well set up in that Tony seemed to be able to move through the field with it, seeing as he seemed to have to do it over and over again between the early race pit road incident that caused some damage and the pit road speeding penalty.  Between racing it through the field and pit strategy the team ALMOST had it working their way up to a very respectable 3rd place- until the car ran out of gas on the white flag lap of the race.  It was sad to watch Stewart tumble down the ticker at the top of the screen as the cars were crossing the finish line- 3rd turned to 5th, to 8th, etc.  Tony ended up finishing 12th; however he actually rose one spot to 10th in the championship standings.

Congratulations to race winner Matt Kenseth.

Notes:

  • NASCAR on FOX got on my bad side during the post-race- Chris Meyer’s stated they would speak with Tony Stewart and then they NEVER did. URG.
  • I don’t know what is going on with Tony’s team- but I can only hope that they are getting this bad stretch out of their system early so we can totally ROCK the rest of the season.  Not only is it: #goTonyGo but it’s #goTeam14go!
  • So I felt a little bad for Carl Edwards- driving while not feeling so hot during the race.  That can’t be fun.  But then he threw his mom “under the bus” by blaming her cooking for it on national TV.  That made me wince.  I am sure he didn’t think about it before he said it- but wow…I think you probably owe your mom a HUGE mother’s day present now Carl.
  • What was with everyone playing bumper cars in the pits during the race? That was crazy.
  • Why is there no SAFER barrier on the inside wall where Mark Martin hit?  Texas should consider installing some.

Unfortunately it’s not like we can even relax next weekend- for it’s the race I watch every year through my fingers! It’s DEGA baby.

So part of the reason I have lacked in posting here lately is that I have too many things swirling around my pea brain that I want to write about- but none of them will flush out into an appropriate full-sized posting. That being said, I have decided to give up trying to make nice single subject posts and give you a NASCAR brain dump, bullets style in hopes that new ideas will stand on their own two feet.  So without further ado…my NASCAR Brain Dump:

  • Tony Stewart fans you have less than a week to enter this month’s 14 for 14 Office Depot Racing contest. This month the prize is a race used lugnut and an autographed picture (to 14 lucky fans).  After you enter the contest be sure to poke around a bit and download a wall paper or Ask Tony a question.
  • Also, while I am on the subject of Tony, don’t forget to buy your raffle ticket (only $25.oo) for the 2011 Convertible Camaro that Tony is giving away- proceeds to benefit The Tony Stewart Foundation. Go to SmokesChevy.com for more information now.
  • There is a great article in the new edition of Sports Life Magazine (the magazine has Danica Patrick on the cover) called the 21 Coolest Things About NASCAR (here’s a link to the article on the author’s blog). Its an interesting article and it has a quote from yours truly (Amy) in it.  Brownie points if you read the article and come back and tell me what you think is the coolest thing about NASCAR…or just tell me you like my quote!
  • Have you noticed that they are making a big deal out of how they are going to nickname Kevin Harvick The Closer instead of Happy?  Just because he won two races in a row? I would be surprised if Junior Nation didn’t want to call him Hated Harvick – only because he took the lead from Junior at Martinsville in the last laps of the race- not because I think he should be hated.  I am still trying to find out why Tony’s Spotter Bob calls Kevin Harvick “Cupcake”. There is a story there I am sure…but then again we might not want to know.  Maybe Kevin Harvick is the driver with the most nicknames…maybe that should be his nickname. Ok now I am just getting silly.
  • The points watcher in me is starting to panic. Tony’s dropping and it’s disheartening to watch.  Not as disheartening as watching him lose at LAS VEGAS…that was sad. But this is worrisome. Junior and Jeff Gordon are going up steadily in the points and Tony’s dropping. ACK. I will try not to obsess about it too much.
  • When you are attending a race, do you let race traffic influence how good or bad of a time you had a said race? I am just wondering this because apparently traffic at Texas is expected to be an issue judging by the tweets I am reading.  I mean- I don’t know how anyone can go to a large sporting event such as a race and NOT expect traffic.  Figure a race has 100,000 attendees.  Average 3 people per car – that’s still 33, 333 cars.  All trying to enter or exit a track facility at the same time.  Personal experience wise- it’s taken me anywhere from 5 minutes (the parking gods were good that day) to 2+ hours to get out of a track and on the road.  I think it was Las Vegas the first time…I sat in the same spot in a parking lot trying to get out for this long: I had time to watch the fellows parked in the aisle I was driving down arrive at their vehicle, watch them set up their grill and table, grill some steaks, drink some beverages, and then sit down at a little camp table and eat their steaks. I didn’t let that influence how I felt about the race though.
  • One of my favorite parts of pre-race is watching the teams do their individual prayer huddles:

Photo Credit: Borrowed from TonyStewart.com….shamelessly
  •  Assignment for you: Tell me WHY you love your favorite driver….whomever that may be. What made you a fan? What keeps you a fan?