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(This was written on Saturday afternoon and meant to be posted then but BadGroove was down- so I am posting it on Monday.  If you are looking for my race report/first (and probably only) attempt at live blogging go here).

I get sick and it seems everything goes to hell in a handbasket.  This illness started not last week but the week before with a simple case of a scratchy throat that evolved into a mild cold. It really wasn’t that bad as far as colds go- and by midday last saturday I was feeling much better. Sunday I felt back to my old self and spent much of the day pumpkin patch hopping.  On Monday of this week,  my throat got scratchy again. By Tuesday, I felt like a truck had hit me. By Wednesday I was wishing a truck would hit me and put me out of my misery. And now here it is Saturday- I am feeling a little better (but still not 100%- more like 75%). I have a ton stuff rolling around in my head to blog about and now- the website is having some sort of problem and I can’t get to it. ARG! So here are a bunch of things that have been rolling around my head along with all the congestion and headache:

  1. This morning I watched about 5 minutes of qualifying for Talladega. Seriously only 5 minutes and during that 5 minutes- Regan Smith qualified. And the people in the booth went on and on about how Regan Smith was a winner at Talladega even if the record books say he wasn’t.  MY GOD PEOPLE.  That was in 2008! LET IT GO! He advanced under the yellow line.  Yes I am a Stewart fan but a rule is a rule. HE ADVANCED UNDER THE DOUBLE YELLOW LINE…not allowed. SO Regan Smith DID NOT win at Talladega. Regan DID NOT WIN. So sorry to burst your little commentator bubbles. AGAIN: LET IT GO- the past is in the past and can’t be changed. Let’s talk about the future!
  2. DirecTV is apparently dropping SpeedTV from it’s line up as of November 1st. If they truly do this? I guess we will have to consider U-Verse or something. Sigh.  I hate how DTV seems to think it’s perfectly fine- when negotiating with stations the piss us fans off by threatening us to take away stations. Last  year it was Versus. This year it’s Speed. Next year it will be something else. Speed is probably one of THE most watched channels in our household- and not just because of NASCAr.
  3. Jeff Gordon reaches 85 wins and because of that part of the 85 has been named the Jeff Gordon Expressway. Does that mean when he gets win number 86 that he will get that taken away from him?
  4. David Gilliland has told Tony Stewart that he will not be able to be his dancing partner at Talladega at the dance race. Why? He is under orders from his manufacturer not to help Chevy. REALLY Ford? You want to be like that? Real mature. They made a good partnership before. Well I guess we will find out who Tony will partner with…but I think it’s really kind of crappy of Ford to do that.
  5. I read on twitter on Friday that the Dan Wheldon Lionheart tribute stickers are NOT going to be available to fans. I think that NASCAR is really missing a chance to help the family of Dan Wheldon- many fans would purchase them and NASCAR could donate the proceeds to the Wheldon Family trust.
  6. Speaking of the Wheldon Family Trust- if you have twitter you can follow @DWheldonAuction for information on the great items going to up for auction to benefit Dan Wheldon’s children.

This will be my third year going to the NASCAR Champions Week celebration in Las Vegas and honestly it’s something that I look forward to attending starting months and months in advance.  I LOVE going to these events because they are usually very fan friendly, fun, plus it’s really great to see the the top 12 drivers in a relaxed situation away from the stress and competition of the race season! I have written about my experiences here each time.  I wrote about the first year here and here. And about last year’s events here and here (and Misty wrote about fanfest).  See- always glowing reviews- and we ALWAYS have fun. If you can manage to get to Vegas for the Champions Week celebration I highly highly suggest that you do it!

One of my favorite events is the NASCAR After The Lap event because it is so much fun to see the drivers really just be themselves.  Last year’s was particularly enjoyable and I learned that Clint Bowyer was a total cut up. Plus seeing and hearing Tony Stewart talk is always FUN.  So this year Misty forwarded me the email she got (because she ordered our tickets last year) with the pre-sale information on them. I bought our AFTER THE LAP tickets this year because she purchased them last year…that’s just how we roll (plus proceeds to the ticket sales go to THE NASCAR FOUNDATION so it’s win-win).  I was quite pleased because of our pre-sale status we got some REALLY close seats (our original seats were: GOLD 2, row DD, seats 13-14) Awesomely close…as in fourth row. Which rocks because last year? We had second to last row.  So awesome for us right?

Yesterday, out of the blue Ticketmaster emails me and says that those totally awesome seats? Were sold in error and that they have assigned us new seats in section 102 row C seats 5 and 6. The email they sent CLEARLY stated that if I wanted to retain these new seats I had until October 28th to reply to the email with my order number and that if I did NOT reply they would cancel my order- no harm no foul.  While I was NOT pleased at all that my uber close, 4th row awesome seats were now relocated to a much further back row I did still want to attend the event so what was I gonna do?  I emailed back with my original order number as specified in my email.  This morning when I checked my email I had a lovely email stating that my ticket order HAD BEEN CANCELLED! CANCELLED! This is definitely PANIC AT THE DISCO time.  I fired back an email stating that I replied per their instructions (and I reread their instructions three times to make sure I didn’t misread) to RETAIN my tickets not to CANCEL them!  Then I decided to call them to reiterate that I wanted my tickets.  They were closed of course. So I waited until 9:00 when they opened and called back again.  The representative who helped me (JAY) was nice and looked up my order number and told me that it indeed was cancelled.  AND not only that but the seats they reassigned me? Sold already. JAY the ticket master rep who helped me found me some equivalent seats (now we are sitting in section 101 Row C seats 5 & 6 but told me that the event is selling out fairly quickly.

So get your tickets for NASCAR AFTER THE LAP ASAP if you want to go- JAY told me they were already starting to run low on seats. And hopefully Ticketmaster won’t screw up your seats like they screwed up ours (TWICE).  See you there…and now you know exactly where we will be sitting so swing by and say HEY (that is of course unless our tickets get moved AGAIN).

Oh and in my rant I nearly forgot to tell you if you visit NASCAR AFTER THE LAP right now you can enter to WIN a trip to Vegas- including two VIP tickets to AFTER THE LAP (probably in my original seats..just kidding, kinda) AND a brand new Ford Explorer.

One of my favorite pictures from last year’s Stewie Awards during the Champions Week…just for fun:

Tony Stewart smiles at the 2010 Stewie Awards in Las Vegas, NV

Probably the best picture of Tony Stewart I have managed to take...because most of them manage to blur because I get nervous and move the camera. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

UPDATE: I am starting to think that TICKETMASTER pre-sale isn’t anything to get excited about that is for sure. Tell me Ticketmaster- what is the point of a pre-sale when I went out of my way to disrupt my morning routine to be sure I would be online the minute the tickets went on pre-sale…and ended up with 4th row seats (or second row in the case of Opal…our first commenter) as my prize for doing so- only to then get railroaded several sections back into the seating because of a supposed error that wasn’t discovered until so many of the seats have already been sold. I bet that if I had waited for tickets to go on sale for regular non pre-sale time slot I would have received just as good if not better seats that I have now.

It’s comparing apples to oranges admittedly but it’s not just the NASCAR After The Lap thing that TICKETMASTER is having a problem administering the pre-sale for.  Here is an article about the Sugarland pre-sale for the makeup concert from the Indiana State Fair tragedy…ticketed fairgoers were suppose to have a special pre-sale of their own (without the sale part- tickets were suppose to be free for them) yet why was a news station able to take advantage of the special sale?

It’s really disappointing and the more I think about it the more disappointed (and ANGRY) I get.

Warning: Thar be curse words ahead…ones that start with F so if you are sensitive to that (even though they are totally necessary) here is a link to a picture of Roxy (my adorable beagle) in my Flickr account that you can look at instead of reading this post that has a few F-words in it (I really did try to write this without the curse words…but it doesn’t have the same impact nor did it feel as cathartic):

There is a reason I don’t post my race reviews directly after races.  It’s not that I don’t have the time, I usually do, unless there is some sort of weather delay or something that has made the race eat up a majority or my day. The reason I don’t post directly (same thing with why I don’t live blog races) would be because if I had posted right after the Kansas 2 race it would have read something like this: (more…)

We Fix Computers will be on the hood of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevy driven by Tony Stewart at Kansas. (Photo Credit: Action Sports Photography)

The phrase WE FIX COMPUTERS will grace the hood of Tony Stewart’s  chevy this weekend at Kansas Speedway.  Do not be concerned Smoke fans- he has not taken a second job in the technology field (although if he wants to give a go -he can swap jobs with me for a couple hours)! He is advertising sponsor Office Depot’s Tech Depot.  The Tech Depot is at your office depot to help you get your computer in top shape so it can work for you.

One of the best deals? They offer a FREE computer tune up- which helps boost startup and shutdown speeds, removes unwanted files and checks for
computer for viruses. And your computer is guarenteed to be ready by the next day.  Did I mention it’s FREE?

TV Panel of the "We Fix Computers" Office Depot's Tech Depot Chevy. (Photo Credit: Action Sports Photography)

Let’s hope that this WE FIX COMPUTERS paint scheme is as fast as it looks!

#KeepDiggingTony in Kansas- lets get our third win of the season and the chase:

We Fix Computers. (Photo Credit: Action Sports Photography)

So here are some little snippits of things that have been rolling around in my brain today- things that I wanted to share but didn’t necessarily need a post of it’s own. Some are NASCAR related…some are not. That is just how my brain rolls. (more…)

Was it just me or was that race at Dover about 150 laps too long?  Maybe it was just me because when my driver doesn’t do so well I get grumpy about it and the Dover race wasn’t the best for the Tony and the 14 team.  I remember hearing Tony say that Dover was one of the chase tracks that they were concerned with- so I wasn’t surprised to see the team struggle with handling issues.  I do NOT like it when my driver finishes a lap down…and it makes me uber cranky when he finishes more than a lap down.  The car was ill handling the entire weekend as obvious by Tony’s practice speeds, qualifying effort and race. I wasn’t listening to the radio so I don’t know the exacts of HOW the handling was but but I honestly don’t think it matters much. They were bad. They know they were bad. According to the team report for Dover, Darian says that they have been routinely bad at concrete tracks:

The biggest thing is just that we don’t have the concrete tracks figured out yet. It’s obvious. At Bristol and Dover, we’ve just struggled for three years now with Tony there. We just need to figure out what we need to do. It’s not because of a lack of effort. We’re going to keep trying to find a few things and keep fighting.” Darian Grubb, Crew Chief of the #14 Chevy Impala.


I have made no secret about the fact that I love the new Chevy Camaro. As a matter of fact I was just thinking the other day how AWESOME it would be to take a Camaro on a rode trip. Let me explain- back in 2007 I rented a car to do a little road trip because my Rav was not so reliable. That car ended up by chance being a Chevy HHR- so basically I tested it out for 700+ miles. I ended up falling in love with it, so I then went to the dealership a couple months later and bought one. This year I have a road trip planned where I will drive from here to Vegas to get Misty and together we will be going to Phoenix for the race in November- how uber cool would it be for us to take that trip in a Camaro? Well even if I win Tony Stewart’s Camaro I will probably be going in my HHR because I doubt I will have the Camaro by then. Plus since the raffle tickets to win Tony’s Camaro are only $25.00 this year- I am sure there will be a of entries to compete with.

Yeah that’s a big convoluted but totally true story about my lust of the Chevy Camaro – all to let you know that you only have LESS THAN A MONTH LEFT to buy raffle tickets where you too can be in the running to win Tony Stewart’s 2011 Convertible Camaro.

However- if you don’t win the grand prize convertible Camaro…you may win one of two COMPLETELY awesome VIP race packages. These packages are ALMOST as awesome as the Camaro.  There is the NASCAR race package that includes 2 tickets to a 2012 NASCAR race of choice, Airfare, Hotel, Race Scanner Rentals, Pre-Race Pit Passes and a Meet and Greet with Tony Stewart.  There is also the Eldora VIP race package which includes 4 suite tickets to 2012 Eldora Speedway race of choice, VIP campsite, 4 pit passes, autographed souvenirs and more. You can check out the Smoke Camaro webpage for more details on the prize packages as well as to purchase your raffle tickets.  Tickets are on sale until OCTOBER 24th!

ALL proceeds from the raffle go to the Tony Stewart Foundation to help chronically ill children, abused and endangered animals and injured race racers.

It was great to actually not only get to watch a race real time on Sunday but it was AWESOME to watch Tony Stewart win real time.  If you are new here?  Last week the race was rain delayed to Monday- so I had to “watch” from work using NASCAR.Com’s Race Buddy- which was good except that I get all wrapped up in watching the race and may have let a little whoo hoo out (and clapped vigorously) at work. Luckily for me I am on west coast time so it was lunch time and most of the people on this floor were off having lunch.  So this week, when I saw pictures like this, I was a tad worried that it would be a repeat of last week- that I would miss the race because it would again run on Monday:

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet, drives his car through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images North America)

While rain puddles make for a lovely reflection picture, they do not make for a good race.

And while I am sharing pictures, I had to share this one because whenever I see these pictures of Tony doing his media at the back of his hauler I think about two things- my experience standing in that crowd in Sonoma and the Police song Lyrics “Don’t Stand So Close To Me.”

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet, speaks with the media during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Loudon. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images North America)

Seriously- that is crazy! Photographer Glenn Bure was at New Hampshire and kindly offered me up some of his shots for the blog…of course I couldn’t say no:

Tony ties his shoes getting ready to race at New Hampshire! (Photo Credit: Glenn Bure for BadGroove.com)

I was standing directly in front (probably about a foot or so away) from a rather large TV pretty much willing Tony to pass Clint Bowyer…and I may have cheered a little when Clint ran out of gas.  Ok- I cheered a lot (sorry Clint- but it’s true). How could I not? MY DRIVER WAS ABOUT TO WIN HIS SECOND RACE.  Of course I was also sitting there going, “Egads please have enough gas ” the whole last two laps or so after Bowyer ran out.  It was probably a sight to see. Luckily no one was filming it (hopefully).

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the Sylvania 300 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images North America)

Just because I was at home doesn’t mean I wasn’t uber excited when he won….how could I NOT be.  Two wins in a row and now leading the points? That is something to be uber excited about! Speaking of exciting- these guys are excited (click on the picture for a bigger version to see how excited).

The Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevy crew of Tony Stewart celebrates in Victory Lane (Photo Credit: Glenn Bure for Badgroove)

Tony doing post-race interview with SportsCenter (I think). (Photo credit: Glenn Bure for BadGroove)

And then of course I have to share my favorite part of the Stewart-Haas hat dance pictures…where Tony Stewart and Darian Grub give new meaning to the term “hat dance” when they pose with their El Monterey sombreros on:

Tony Stewart and Darian Grubb give new meaning to the term "hat dance" Ariba! (Photo Credit: Glenn Bure for BadGroove)

and of course this one of just Tony and his sombrero (click to embiggen):

There is just something about the look in his eyes in this picture that makes me chuckle. (Photo Credit: Glenn Bure for BadGroove)

All said and done though, I am so glad that Tony and the gang won chase race number two.  Way to #KeepDiggingTony! Yeehaw.  So as I mentioned Tony Stewart is now first in the standings with a 7 point lead on second place Kevin Harvick.  Stewart-Haas teammate and fellow chase contender fell four positions in the chase standings and is now eleventh.

Notes on New Hampshire:

  1. I admit I think this every time I see the New Hampshire winner posing with their lobster…do they have to cook that thing thing themselves? I mean did Tony (or crew) stick that behemoth in a big cooler (it would have to be BIG- did you see the claws on that sucker?) and load it up on the plane to be eaten later? Did they whisk the lobster off and grill it up right then and there?  Do they all go have some celebratory dinner at a local restaurant that is charged with cooking said lobster? You would need a pretty damn big pot to cook that thing in…I always wonder about who actually gets the lobster…and does it actually get eaten? Does the whole team get lobster omelets the next morning for breakfast? What? Anyone know?
  2. I can’t wait for my fantasy racing league to post results from last week week (they do it on Tuesdays). Why? Well because four of my six drivers finished in the top 5.  That’s got to be a good thing right?
  3. Poor Junior can’t catch  dang break. He was heading towards a good finish before he had his tire issue.  He needs a hug. Someone give that man a hug. I know at least one reader who would volunteer for that job.
  4. There was a great article on NASCAR.COM about Darian Grubb by Joe Menzer- it’s a must read!
  5. Also Jeff Gluck wrote an interesting piece called “What’s It Like For Reporters To Cover Tony Stewart” on sbnation. Also interesting.
  6. And because this is my blog I present to you a gratuitous Tony picture from New Hampshire:

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet, waits by his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 23, 2011 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images North America)

I  wonder what’s making Tony go “Hmmmm….” in this picture. Or maybe I don’t want to know.

Next Week: Dover.