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(Photo Source: Zimbio.com/Robert Laberge/Getty Images North America)

Replacement Driver: Ty Dillon

Started: 34th

Finished: 25th

I am surprised that I have seen so much complaining on my social media regarding the quality of the racing at Bristol this weekend. While I will agree with those that say the racing product at the track hasn’t been the same since they redid the track the last time (I have felt this way about the racing at Phoenix as well)- I thought that racing at the track on Sunday was quite good and I was watching it from the national broadcast and not sitting in the stand. I think the track is getting back to being more of it’s old self and I hope that as the track continues to season and the racing packages improve that will cultivate an elevated racing product back to the bumping and grinding that short track NASCAR racing is famous for. (more…)

(Photo source: Stewart-Haas Racing Race Release)

Well it seems that my brain is full of lugnuts this week! Here is what has been pinging around my brain like lugnuts during a green flag pitstop:

1. I find it interesting that Kyle Busch’s recent back-to-back sweeps has sparked a lot of interest but not in the way you would think. Instead of everyone being a buzz about what a monumental accomplishment back-to-back weekend sweeps (even haters have to be impressed) are,  most of the buzz I am hearing is from NASCAR fans who don’t think that the cup drivers should be able to drive in any of the feeder series but instead should be relegated to just driving the premiere cup series.  If this is the case (and I don’t believe this should be the case AT ALL just to make that clear) then by following that same logic new drivers should not drive in the cup series until they have a full time cup ride. See? Cup drivers driving in the series not just give the up-and-coming racers different driving levels and styles to drive with and around (the thought here being is that they can learn from the cup series regulars) but there is the bigger draw to having the cup drivers participate in races in the “lesser” series  and that is that you are drawing fans to seats that might not have otherwise been filled.  I honestly don’t see a problem with it. It’s not like the cup drivers can run for the lesser series championships anymore so I don’t really see why it’s a big deal- they should be able to run if they have the ride and sponsorship to do so.  I know that when Tony occasionally would run what is now the Xfinity series I would be more apt to tune in and pay attention then not.

(more…)

(Photo Source: Zimbio.com/Sean Gardner/Getty Images North America)

Replacement Driver: Brian Vickers

Started: 13th

Finished: 37th

Texas was just not kind to Brian Vickers and team 14 on Saturday night.  It’s unfortunate because I know several of my Facebook friends were there to support the team and endured damp  conditions for a portion of the day. I know they had fun despite but I hate it for them and I hate it for Team 14 because that team has been working it’s guts out on getting that car better and it seems to be working for the most part.  (more…)

(photo source: Tony Stewart Foundation)

If you read BadGroove, follow me on social media, know me in real life, or just happened to have followed me down a freeway or on my way to work there is no doubt in your mind that I am a Tony Stewart fan through and through. I wear it on my person, in my office, and on my car.

This very blog is a testament to my fandom for Tony Stewart. Since I have been blogging about Tony and NASCAR, I have attempted several times to sit down and do a post to explain how and why I am a Tony Stewart fan and I always seem to just stare at the blank post and not get very far because it’s not just ONE thing about Tony that drew me to him initially or continues to draw me to him today. And that is why I ADORE that the Tony Stewart Foundation is using a new marketing reach this year encompassing everything that is Tony Stewart.  The foundation debuted a brand new website that was revealed last month and is using the hashtag #WholeySmoke to showcase all sides of Tony in their website  content; Tony the fiery, tenacious, and passionate racer, Tony the business owner (he owns something like 12 different companies- did you know that?), Tony the car owner, and the side that gets left out of the media more often than not Tony Stewart the philanthropist.  To quote the photo I snagged from the Tony Stewart Foundation the new website highlights “All Things Tony Stewart.”

What is the Tony Stewart Foundation? (more…)

(Photo Source: Zimbio.com/Sarah Crabill/Getty Images North America)

Replacement Driver: Brian Vickers

Started: 3rd

Finished: 7th

Martinsville has always been a favorite track of mine to watch. I think I just enjoy watching the close quarters short track, rubbin’ is racin’ kind of racing because it transfers very well to a television product more so than the longer 1.5 mile midsize tracks (in most cases). Of course that’s not to say that I don’t watch the 1.5 milers, or the super speedways. If there is a Sprint Cup race it’s on I tend to be watching it (obviously or how would I write about it). Of course one of the bad thing about short tracks is that it’s quite easy to get a lap down yet not quite so easy to get that lap back- just ask Dale Jr who spent a majority of the race a lap down after trouble early in the race- but I digress because this is not a Jr. blog now is it?

What a great race Brian Vickers and Team 14 had at Martinsville in the Janssen Arnie’s Army Chevy this weekend. All practices were awesome and Brian was able to qualify the 14 car 3rd! It was an awesome effort all around. (more…)

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

The side of Tony that I relate to most and admire most is the man himself, away from the track.  Its in the way he looks at a child, they way he stoops down to be at their level when he talks to them.  Its the pure love that I see as both of their hearts melt into one touching moment in time.  Its the Tony who loves and relates animals.  Its the Tony who always jumps into to help another at the drop of a hat, never asking what is in it for him.

(photo credit: Tony Stewart Foundation)

NASCAR has given him a platform and a voice that has enabled him to reach out through the Tony Stewart Foundation to really support those who need it most.

The passion that he puts into Eldora Speedway is awe-inspiring.  To see him out prepping the track late at night shows his dedication to the racers and the fans to make sure they get the best experience possible.

To see Tony dressed for Halloween with a bowl of fruit atop is head, in a dress, is priceless and shows his amazing sense of humor.  And, I will never forget him snuggling with a pig in a blanket!  Pork chop cannot be the softest thing I can think of to snuggle with, though he is rather handsome.

Tony makes me laugh when I least expect it.  He is an inspiration and just an amazing regular guy, who also happens to be an amazing racer with one great big heart.

These are just a few glimpses of the Tony that I admire the most.  I cannot wait to see what he is up to next.

—- Melinda Foster (@fostmel830), East Bend, NC

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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!

(Photo Source: Zimbio.com/Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images North America)

So these are the things that have been pinging around in my brain like (pastel) lugnuts during a green flag pit stop:

1. Penalties, penalties, penalties: As expected there were penalties out of Auto Club:  Kyle Busch got penalized ($10,000 and on probation through April 27th) for not reporting to the media center for post race media after the Xfinity race on Saturday.  He did NOT get fined for his remarks regarding NASCAR on the radio however.  Nor should he in my opinion. Although NASCAR was very forthcoming at the beginning of the semester by letting drivers and fans alike know that disparaging remarks against NASCAR or the sport would not be tolerated- they were not said to the media- they were said on the team radio.  Granted the team radios are heard by the media (and fans). I admit that I am surprised he wasn’t dinged for the radio comment about the lack of a caution and NASCAR fixing the race- but I admit I am very much a free speech kind of person so I want to hear those comments, the cursing, I want to hear it all. To me it’s part of the passion of the athletes in the sport.  Interestingly enough Kevin Harvick didn’t go to the media center after finishing second on Sunday but he got excused from it by NASCAR and thus did NOT get fined.  Danica Patrick did get fined ($20,000 and probation for four races) for approaching the racing surface under caution during the race on Sunday.  As she should have. That rule is in place for safety reasons and violating it is a disregard for personal safety or the safety of others.  Now do I think she should get fined for leaving her car? No- she asked if she could get out because of the fire and her spotter or crew chief told her she could.  A rule is a rule. She broke it by entering the racing surface. Do I think she had reason to be upset with Kasey Kahne? YES I definitely do. It clearly looked to me like he came down on her while she was holding her current position.  Whether he “misjudged” the whole or whatnot- I can’t tell you- only Kasey can but I do think she has a reason to be upset. She does not have a reason to walk out onto the apron track- keep the gestures to after the race. Cole Pearn, Martin Truex Jr’s crew chief,  did NOT get fined or penalized for his post race tweet that was a tad unkind to Joey Logano.  I think the reasoning behind the lack of a fine was two fold- technically the tweet was not against NASCAR or it’s racing product, and he later apologized on twitter.  Hey- who hasn’t tweeted something they regretted at some point?  Most people. Again I didn’t see a need for Cole to get penalized even if he hadn’t apologized. To me that is a heat of the moment thing that shows the passion for the sport and the competition.   (more…)

(Photo source: Stewart-Haas Racing Facebook)

Replacement Driver: Brian Vickers

Started: 24th

Finished: 13th

First I want to start off by stating that I think that this downforce package that the cars are running this season has really upped the racing quality.  The races seem to be more action filled meaning that cars seem to be able to get close to each and swap positions and leads back and forth a lot. They seem to be able to recover from penalties like starting at the end of the longest line because previously starting at the back would always mean your day was over. Now it doesn’t necessarily mean that if you have the machine and the driver to back it up. And I like that A whole LOT especially since I have watched races at Auto Club both on TV and in person- and the quality of the actual racing has really improved in my opinion. (more…)