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I just found this on Facebook so I thought I would pass it on:

Tony Stewart will be doing an autograph session at JD Byrider in Fairfield, Ohio THIS Thursday March 25th from 5:00-7:00. You  must have a wristband for the event. Wristbands will be distributed at the location starting at 11:00 am.  The address is 5515 Dixie Highway.

The facebook invite says to bring your cameras. As always there is one autograph per person! Enjoy!!

I love watching short track racing. Martinsville is probably my favorite track to watch…but Bristol is a close second. There is something about the close quarters.  I had heard on Saturday that there was a good chance of rain on Sunday so I was wondering if they would even be able to start the race- and luckily…they not only were able to start it but they were able to finish it too (although there were two yellow flags because of rain- but the cars never had to leave the track for it).

Tony qualified eleventh which was great considering that he didn’t seem to have the speed during practice.  Tony spent most of the race flirting with and breaking into the top ten, then falling out a bit then (usually after pit stops) back into the top ten.  It really was that last pit stop and the call to take two tires that really put Tony in the position he was in. Unfortunately not only did Jimmie have his supercar (seriously what is under the hood of that car) but he was on four fresh tires and Tony just didn’t have enough to hold him off although he did give it a great effort and was able to maintain a second place finish in the 10 lap shoot out caused by the late race caution. It was Stewart-Haas Racing’s first top five finish of the season.  It moved Tony up to fifth in the points standings 89 points behind points leader Kevin Harvick.  Teammate Ryan Newman finished 16th in the race at Bristol which increase his points standings three positions to 26th. He is 322 points behind points leader Kevin Harvick.  Overall I would over say it was a pretty good day for Stewart Haas racing with both cars moving up in the points.

Notes about Bristol:

  • Did we really think that the Keselowski/Edwards fued would continue at Bristol? Edwards is under probation and did a talking too by sponsor SCOTT. I am not saying it is necessarily over- but it is for now.
  • Did you catch the new Joey Logano version of the coco-cola singing commercial? Instead of it starting off with Tony singing it starts with Joey singing. Sorry I like the Tony one better.
  • Speaking of Tony, Darrell Waltrip said during the prerace (I think it was during the Gas N Go segment) that Stewart-Haas Racing had lost it’s “sparkle” this season because the newness wore off. Um…I think Tony and crew are looking pretty “sparkly” now.
  • I think it would be fun to be a fly on the wall for the Stewart-Haas “competition” meetings. I think it would provide an interesting insight into racing and my favorite team and the kind of work that goes on behind the scenes.  This from the woman who hates going to meeting for her job.

Next Week: My favorite track! Martinsville

Joey “Sliced Bread” Logano isn’t someone I usually blog about.  I am taking the same attitude towards Joey as I am towards Danica (I said it…the D word) and that is very much a “wait and see” attitude because pretty much I decided that you don’t just jump in a stock car and know everything about everything- no matter where you cut your racing teeth.  I do keep tabs on where Joey …just out of habit if nothing else- 10 years following an orange 20 car…I can’t help but occassionally wonder where they are at (although I am now awesome at being able to pick out Tony’s new color – even up against other red cars like Kasey Kahne or Bobby Labonte).  Anyway,  I can’t resist blogging about Joey today.

In case you didn’t know, Joey won his first NASCAR SPRINT CUP pole today.  Exciting right? He SHOULD be excited.  Winning your first pole has got to be a good feeling.

However Joey is not receiving the usual Coors Light Pole award.  Why? Because Joey is only 19 years old.  You might remember me mentioning both last year and this year during the Budweiser Shoot Out position draw that Joey’s crew chief, Greg Zipadelli, would draw Joey’s bottle (the position numbers for the Shoot Out are drawn by picking a bottle of Budweiser containing a flag with the starting number on it).  This was due to the fact that Joey is underage.

So instead of the Coors Light Pole award, Joey gets the 21 Means 21 pole award.  I just find it kind of funny.  I can only imagine that Joey can not WAIT to turn 21 so he can pick his own Bud Shoot Out bottle and that they don’t have to change the name of the pole winner award so he can accept it.

It was also pointed out to me that Mark Martin was going for his 50th pole award (and if I remember correctly there was something about him tying or beating a record from Cale Yarborough too) at Bristol.  And it’s pretty damn ironic that Mark Martin is old enough to be Logano’s father….

Anyway congratulations to Joey and the Home Depot team on their first pole…no matter what they call it.

So Rutledge Wood custom painted a helmet for Tony…this is freaking laughs! I thought you would all enjoy it as much as I do:

The following is a day-by-day account of the great annual Vegas RACECATION. It includes race pictures, lots of words including a detailed account of what was going on in my head before and during our Tony Stewart Interview!!! as well as some choice Tony and Ryan quotes from their appearance at the Q&A at the Lagasse Stadium at The Palazzo, and did I  not mention race pictures? I am putting a jump in here because this entry is really LONG but I couldn’t bear to break it up.

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It’s been awhile since I talked NASCAR commercials.  This year has given us a fair share of new ones to consider…and I am prompted to post this entry that has been rolling around in the cargo area that is my brain for about a month now by an email from NASCAR.COM announcing that the winner of their Daytona Commercial Showcase was the David Ragan UPS Three-Wheelin’ Ad (Seriously?? That one?? Did my votes not count because that commercial did nothing for me).

Since I don’t agree with the winner, I am going to tell you Amy’s favorites of the newest round of NASCAR commercials:

1. The Coca-Cola Drivers Commercial. First off you HAVE to give these guys props.  They are race car drivers NOT singers- but there they are putting it all out there.  I have seen the behind the scenes video and it shows that our favorite coke drivers are singing it themselves.  I can’t imagine doing that and then having it broadcast on TV. I LOVE to sing, especially in the car (because I am alone and who can complain except except on the rare occasion I have the sunroof open).  I also like that the commercial incorporates some of the crew chiefs like Darian Grubb and Greg Zipadelli. By far a favorite. (By the way you can hear your favorite coke family driver sing the whole commercial alone if you want just go to MyCokeRewards.com/Nascar and scroll your cursor over the driver you want to hear.  I say Tony and Elliott Sadler are the best).

2. Second  place is a tie but it goes to the same company- Toyota. I can’t decide which I like better Denny Hamlin asking, “Who doesn’t love love?” Or Kyle Busch driving the car with kitties, bunnies and little baby seals. That is some funny stuff…especially the look on Kyle’s face as he is driving, with his head in that kitty cat helmet…Oh I chuckle just thinking about it.

3. My third favorite is the UPS Delivery commercial- I don’t know why but the fact that Santa gets all aggro and tries to climb the fence while Mercury and some of the other delivery guys try to keep him from going over cracks me up.

Now for my least favorite commercials:

Hands down my least favorite is the Martin Truex Jr. Napa commercial.  Mainly the part that bugs me the most are the two Napa guys at the end.

But the Sprint Jimmie Johnson commercial bugs me too…for two reasons. Reason 1: why is Jimmie playing golf in a bathrobe but he’s got full on pjs on underneath the bathrobe? Who does that unless they are in the artic? Reason 2: Wouldn’t everyone they call be “the real Jimmie Johnson” and not just Jimmie Johnson the race car driver? Just sayin’.

I wasn’t going to discuss the roe between Carl and Brad more than I did on my previous post.  I was, literally, all set to publish my next entry (about NASCAR -related commercials if you are curious) when I found out that Carl Edwards was given a three race probation for his antics with Brad Keselowski at Atlanta on Sunday.  So I have to interrupt my own regularly scheduled post to rant a bit.

Now, I realize that NASCAR is trying to loosen the reigns on the drivers so that the drivers can feel free to be a bit more aggressive with their driving.  I get that and frankly I agree with it and am all for it.  But wow…this wasn’t a little bit of aggressive driving gone too far. This was a blatant attempt to take out another driver- revenge style. This was not a bump and run,  this was an all-out crash and burn.  Add that to the fact that national broadcast commentators told us several times during the race that Atlanta is THE FASTEST track (because of restrictor plates being used on the super speedways) right now in the series- it’s really scary! It’s one thing to bump a guy’s bumper to make a point or rub some fenders making a pass. It is a completely other thing to take a 3400 pound race car at speeds of 190+ mph and purposely aim for another guy also in a 3400 pound car, also going 190+ mph, for two laps.  That is not being an aggressive driver- that is being a vigilante.  While neither Brad nor Carl are favorite drivers of mine I don’t want to see ANYONE get hurt. Do I want to see some exciting racing? YES. Do I want to see ANY driver or fan (or crew member, track official etc) maimed or killed? ABSOLUTELY NO!

A huge part of me wants to bring up the whole Kurt Busch/Tony Stewart Bud Shootout practice from 2008. That really didn’t put anyone in danger. That was expressing some frustration.  The bumping was fairly low speed; neither Kurt nor Tony were pointing their cars at each other going 190+ in front of a grandstand filled with spectators. Yet if memory serves correct Tony got put on probation for an entire year (and there may have been points and monetary fines as well I don’t remember honestly- it was a long time ago and my brain is nearly filled to capacity).

I mean I know that I am kind of comparing apples to oranges in a way since the Kurt/Tony incident happened two years ago before NASCAR adapted their looser stance on penalties. But let’s be honest here…what the heck is probation going to do? Nothing. Just make Carl mind his p’s and q’s for a couple races? That’s like slapping a kid’s hand for getting in the cookie jar- then giving them a cookie– in my opinion (obviously you can probably tell by my analogy that I am not a parent).

Mostly I guess I just was using this post to try to work through why NASCAR would do a 180 and be so lenient. As always comments are totally welcome….

First off, I wanted to thank you all for the incredible response to my call for questions! I mean I was getting questions thrown at me left and right. I was getting them in the comments section here, in my facebook, on twitter, emailed to me, im’d at me and well I think you get the idea.  My dad even offered up some questions.   I received lots of great questions! I was  surprised to find out that many  people wanted to know more about Tony’s charity work.  So the first person who asked a question about the Tony Stewart Foundation was awarded the Tony Stewart Office Depot Standee (congrats @KevinMBoots77).  However-even if you didn’t win the standee, you may find that I also used your  question in the interview…because they were that good.

Anyway, this is our first interview so we are kind of proud of that fact.  Of course,  deciding to do our first interview and having that be none other than Tony Stewart is kind of like deciding you want to try to get into football so you decide to go to the Superbowl.  Anyway,  enjoy it- I know we did:

Amy: Do you think there is more fan involvement now that champions week is in Las Vegas and do you like that?

Tony: I definitely think so. when we did the lap down the strip the amount of people that turned out for that- it was awesome. It was nice not having to be out there wearing winter jackets and all that. But I thought it was a good turn out. You know, New york is cool but you kinda have to really be into being in New York. Everybody loves going to Vegas so it’s a lot better deal for us to be out here.

Misty: Now was the plan for that everyone was going to get to do a burn out and Jimmie blew it for you or what?

Tony: No actually he was the only one who was allowed to do the big show at the intersection and then he blew it up. It was like, man why couldn’t we have got him to that during one of the last ten races instead of waiting until champions week to do it.

Amy: If you could go back in time, what decade would you be a racer in?

Tony: Oh man. I would say….probably the sixties and seventies. It was a pretty cool era in the sport because there wasn’t all the technology involved. It was really about car owners that sat there with a piece of paper and came up and drew ideas. There weren’t the computers to create the ideas for them. Just racing was a lot simpler then. I mean guys would race Indy and run Daytona. To get to race with someone like AJ Foyt and Mario Andretti and guys like that would be pretty cool.

Amy: Is there one factor you can pinpoint in your success during your first year as an owner/driver?

Tony: Good people. That’s really the biggest key to it. Having the right people in the right places is very instrumental in us having the success that we have had. We have been really fortunate.  It was bad timing to one degree but good timing for us on the other side when the economy turned because there were a lot of really good crew members that became available and that is the hardest part of the process is trying to hire the right people for your group. So that really was an advantage for us- that we were able to get really good people and that has definitely ,no doubt about it in my mind, been the key.

Amy: Do you feel long red flags hurt your momentum during a race?

Tony: No. I mean I have been racing 30 years so when you go back you’re ready. Its not as big a deal as it would seem. There’s days we’ve gotten in the cars and had red flags because of rain and not even got the chance to do it again until the next day. You’re just use to it. When it comes to get in the car and time to fire it up you kind of go through that whole sequence of getting ready.

Amy: Do you have a specific sequence when you get in the car?

Tony: When I get in the car I buckle in exactly the same way. Everything I that put on is in order and it’s the same way every time. It’s almost second nature, you don’t even think about it anymore. It’s just very routine for us how we do it.

Amy: Your foundation works with many different charities, is there one charity that is closest to your heart?

Tony: Well, I think it still, on the children’s side of the foundation, is the Victory Junction Gang Camp. I mean Kyle and Patti Petty are really close friends of mine.  I didn’t know Adam very well but I knew Kyle and Patti very well. To see obviously how much it hurt when they lost Adam and it would have been easy for them to just walk away from everything there but they really pushed forward to make Adam’s dream happen and that’s something that we’re really proud to be a part of helping them realize that dream for him. You know any of the animal charities we do- it doesn’t matter WHAT it is. Those are a really big deal to us. I’m a big animal lover which ruins my bad reputation but it’s worth it. I just love animals and I always have. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Friends of Ferdinand program that we have with the horses or the ICAN Program with the trained dogs. You know any time that animals are involved is pretty cool.

Amy Tony Misty

Amy (left), Tony Stewart, and Misty at the Office Depot in North Las Vegas. (Photo Credit: Edelman)

So there you have our interview with Tony Stewart. It was an amazing experience and I am sure I will write more about it when I do the annual “Racecation Recap” later this week. I just want to thank Lisa and Jessie for making it happen.  And of course Tony for taking the time out of his schedule for us.