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Mark Martin pilots Tony Stewart's 14 car at Kansas

Mark Martin, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Chevrolet, pulls into the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 13th Annual Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 5, 2013. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images North America)

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I am climbing in the HHR and heading back down to Vegas to visit Misty and for the #NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race! Whoo hoo- we haven’t been to a race track since June- and that is just TOO LONG (especially considering that our next Cup race isn’t until Phoenix in November- YEY Phoenix- it’s my favorite track that I have been to).  Plus I think it’s been quite awhile since I have been to a truck series race.

By the way- if you are going to be in Las Vegas for the Smiths 350 truck race this weekend- South Point Hotel & Casino will be hosting a free autograph session with many of the truck series drivers on Friday September 27th from 7-8pm.  Check out this announcement from Las Vegas Motor Speedway for more details.

Going to the truck races also means that I will be late with the Team 14 Dover Race Report this week because I don’t come back from Vegas until Monday (and it takes me a good 7-8 hours to drive it- it’s about 500 miles so be glad you aren’t forced to watch the Amy/Vegas 500- it’s definitely not exciting and pit stops tend to take much longer than 12 seconds) and then expect to get fully slammed when I get back to work on Tuesday (I am in the middle of a project which means meetings, meetings and more meetings). For the same reason I, it will likely take me a bit to get the Truck race pictures up because I will have to sift through about 16 gigs worth of pictures.

You can always follow all my adventures real-time on Twitter and/or Facebook (usually when I am traveling or at a race I tend to be more likely to post to twitter than FB for some reason) but be prepared for NASCAR truck stuff interspersed with whatever else I just happen to be doing while in Vegas this weekend). And of course Misty has twitter as well- and likely we will end up bantering back and forth like we do.

Gratuitous Goodies after the jump (more…)

Team 14 services the #14 Bass Pro Chevy on pit road at Richmond International Raceway (photo credit: Stewart Haas Racing Official Facebook page)

I am purposely NOT going to mention the Richmond brouhaha that happened at the end of the race because I feel that I have given it enough of my time and energy as well as two blog posts.  Let’s talk about the task at hand: Team 14 and the Richmond race!

Qualifying was not stellar. However- I learned with Tony not to put stock in where they start- but in where they finish. The uber competitive race fan in me- who lives vicariously through my driver wants nothing less than a win every single race.  The points watcher in me always wants a top 5 finish. One thing that is kind of frustrating to me about short tracks (as much as I do love them)- is it is SO easy to go a lap down. And this happened again to Mark Martin in the first half of the race. I will admit it- I was a wee bit disheartened.

Mark Martin stands on the grid at Richmond

Mark Martin stands on the grid at Richmond. (Photo Credit: Official Stewart-Haas Racing Facebook Page)

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Tony Stewart Press Conference

Tony Stewart, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, speaks to the media in his first appearance since his sprint car accident. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/NASCAR via Getty Images)

As many Smoke fans know- Tony Stewart gave a press conference today.  Since the announcement of the press conference last week- it’s been much talked about, much speculated about, and much rumored about.  All of which reminds me how social media is both great and terrible at the same time and I wanted to post about this when his accident first happened but never did. Before I go into the press conference details I want to talk about this a minute. You might be asking yourself what I mean by this. Let me explain: (more…)

#SmokeWillRise over the door of the #14 Chevy in the garage at Atlanta Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Charlotte Bray/SkirtsandScuffs.com)

Was it just me or was the constant talking about who where so-and-so driver was in the chase standings if it started right then irritating as all get out. That is all good and fine- but here is a little news flash for you (and by you I mean TV booth broadcasters) THE CHASE DOES NOT START UNTIL AFTER RICHMOND. I have a feeling that next Saturday night is going to be rifled with it. (more…)

The only picture I have that I personally have taken that is Tony and Kurt together that I could find from the 2011 Champions Week celebration (photo credit: Amy K. Marbach)

I have already given my thoughts on the Kurt Busch to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014 news but I wanted to make some further ruminations about it BEFORE Tony Stewart has his press conference on Tuesday (it’s scheduled for 2:00 pm eastern time- that’s 11:00am for us west coasties- don’t think I am not already trying to finagle a way into taking my lunch early so I can watch). I suppose these are mostly for MY benefit- ways for me to make sense of it as I know and understand it-  but I thought I would share them since there has been a lot of information circulating that didn’t get my consideration in my initial knee jerk post and I overlooked some things completely (kind of on purpose). (more…)

The crew of the #14 Bass Pro Chevy performs a pit stop at Bristol. (Photo Credit: Stewart-Haas Racing Facebook Page- click on pic to be taken to the original)

I know I have said this before- but I love the excitement of racing at Bristol. It and Martinsville are both my favorite tracks to watch on TV (I have not yet made it to either track – but I will one day). But racing at Bristol at night- man there is just something about the lights that adds to the excitement and makes the tension and the vibe at the track almost palpable even through the medium of television.  This Bristol race was no different with plenty of dust-ups, disappointed drivers and of course that racing and that FINISH!  Go ahead and admit it- a tiny little part of you wanted Kasey Kahne to bump-and-run Matt Kenseth…just a little bit right? I certainly did.  I really don’t think anyone would blame him after the issue Kasey has had with the JGR drivers- Matt in particular.  My question to you is this: If Kasey had bumped Kenseth out of the way to take the checkers would that have changed your opinion of Kasey for the better, for the worse, or not at all? Feel free to leave your answer in the comments- I am just curious what your thoughts on this are. (more…)

I interrupt your regularly scheduled race report post (It will post tomorrow afternoon I promise) to get on my soapbox and rant a little. I rarely do this-but sometimes I just have to- even when (or usually because) I know that my opinions are not with the norm.- Amy

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 14: Driver Kurt Busch poses during portraits for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway on February 14, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)

I was checking my personal email at work this morning and when I say work I mean the job by which I am a salaried 8-5, M-F employee- NOT this blog which is neither work nor does it make me any money just so we are completely clear on that little point.   Anyway- I was quickly wading through a sea of junk mail and press releases on my phone when I saw that there was a Stewart-Haas Racing Press conference scheduled for 2:00 PM (ET) tomorrow (August 27th, 2013) to “to announce future expansion of Stewart-Haas Racing.”  In layman’s terms I am sure this means that they are announcing the addition of a fourth driver to the Stewart-Haas Racing stable – that being Kurt Busch. Then a little later in the day (at lunch) I checked my social media sites as well as some of my favorite Tony Stewart/Stewart-Haas Racing message boards and they were all abuzz with the news of Kurt Busch going to Stewart-Haas racing in 2014. Plus there was the little push notification from NASCAR MOBILE 13 announcing it. (more…)