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Well if you are privy to my facebook or my twitter (and pretty much anyone is- I am not that person who refuses people unless I know them) you knew that I was kinda of ticked off at DirecTV on the day of the Kansas race. I thought it might be an issue with them talking to our local affiliate- but judging by some of the responses I got on Twitter- I wasn’t the only one having issues.  The picture would scramble, the sound would skip or the picture would just go out completely.  It happened on ALL the receivers and rebooting them did NOTHING.  It wasn’t just ABC…I discovered after the race that all the local stations were doing it. However, the other stations? Like A&E? Not an issue at all- clear as a bell. Judging by my Twitter friends other people in other areas were having the same issue so it wasn’t just me- which makes me feel a little better.  Ayway that made watching the race slightly irritating.

What made up for it was Tony’s win!!  I will be the first to admit I didn’t hold much hope for Tony doing well in Kansas that is certain.  Why? Because I made the mistake of watching the end first practice (which I thought at the time was happy hour).  And by the end I mean the very end- and was not thrilled at all to hear the announcers talking about how everyone in the whole garage area wanted to know “what’s going on with Tony Stewart’s car” and then I heard the words vibration and possibly a lost cylinder and I was like DAMN there goes Kansas.  I SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO WATCH PRACTICE FOR THIS REASONI hear something like that and I am like DAMN there goes Kansas- we will suck now. AHHH there goes the championship (because you should all know me by now…I am a “worst-case scenario” type of person). Yeah that’s right I admit it right here and now that I heard 5 minutes of practice and was all DAMN I JUST HOPE he finishes in the top 10 in the CHAMPIONSHIP.  Again…I SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO WATCH PRACTICE- please steal my remotes during practice. Its for my own damn good. I found out much much later (as in hours AFTER THE RACE) that not only was I apparently NOT watching happy hour, but that Tony’s crew basically tore the entire car down and replaced tons of stuff (so much stuff that it might cost you and I over $6000 and use of our car for 10 days should it be stuff we needed to replace in our passenger cars).

Well the crew obviously did an AWESOME job. Tony seemed to be fairly consistent during the race. I kept expecting him to fall back fall back…but he never did. There wasn’t a time where I thought he needed to turn on his afterburners to get back up to the front. More- it seemed he was very patient and extremely consistent as were all the pit stops. No major errors. Good job for Tony, Darian and all the guys on the pit crew! Tony is now just 67 points out of the lead in fourth position in the championship standings.  Teammate Ryan Newman didn’t have a great run. Ryan finished 22nd (although its an improvement from where he started at 30th) and fell two positions to 9th in the standings.

Notes from Kansas:

  • During pre-race- in between my satellite popping in and out I saw Vickers standing next to his car during the national anthem…with a dolly sitting on the roof of his car. YES a dolly- in the brief glimpse i got it looked kind of like a BRATZ doll… WTH? There has to be a story behind it…anyone one know?
  • Poor Joey Logano must be getting tired about hearing about his flipping at Dover. I know I am.

Next Week: The Chase comes to CALIFORNIA (and no I will NOT be going…but don’t think I don’t want to).

Every once in awhile I read a quote or something that just strikes a cord with me. I tend to write these on sticky notes (I am the sticky note queen- you should see my desk).  Anyway…this one was from Tony so I just had to share it with you:

“We have fun at the racetrack. We joke around. We have a good time. We make sure that we’re having fun doing what we’re doing because if you’re not, you can make yourself miserable doing this just like you can in anything else you do in life. We just simplified it and made it fun.”   Tony Stewart, Team Release

The Truth About Tony

The Truth About Tony

Have you submitted your question for Tony to answer during his LIVE Polygraph on October 20th?

If not go to TRUTHABOUTTONY.COM to submit your question or vote for questions that other’s have submitted.  I haven’t been able to think up any good ones…but I really like some of the ones that are there for voting- so at least go vote. While there you can listen to Matt Yokum who will be the HOST of the polygraph.

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Also there are only a couple days left to buy your raffle ticket to win Tony Stewart’s “victory red” 2010 Chevy Camaro.  They are $50.00 each and can be purchased HERE. Money collected goes to benefit The Tony Stewart Foundation.

Also speaking of The Tony Stewart Foundation, today at 12:00 officially begins the launch of the Checkered Flag Friday ebay auctions. Take this opportunity to bid on some one-of-a-kind items. Proceeds for the auction benefit the Tony Stewart Foundation.  Check out The Tony Stewart Foundation Ebay site for more information and to check out the auctions. You might find that special something for the Tony fan in your life!

While not a local to Vegas, my best friend is, and we have been going to your establishment for over two years. The first couple of times we went we had a great time… we have eaten there multiple times, shopped the giftshop and played in the Pit Pass Arcade (basically we have done everything except for the SPEED roller coaster because well roller coasters just aren’t our thing). Then you closed the upstairs seating area at the cafe. We thought that was odd, but took to sitting in the bar to watch the race. We didn’t like the new menu as much but it was something fun to do to watch the race when we couldn’t actually be at the track. At the beginning of this year we noticed that you basically closed most of the gift shop- leaving just a small part of it open- with very little merchandise. Workers at the giftshop stated that they were going to reopen the rest later with more of the new merchandise from this year. That never happened.

I was in town this last weekend for the Truck races on Saturday and on Sunday we decided it would be fun to watch the NASCAR race at the NASCAR CAFE. I knew we were in trouble the minute we turned the corner from the Casino into the area of the CAFE and I noticed that all the wait staff, bartenders and even the hostess were wearing FOOTBALL JERSEYS. Well the race hadn’t started yet so we just figured tvs would be turned to the race as soon as it started. We asked the hostess- who proceeded to tell us that NO…the race would be shown only on one TV in the back of the bar area and the sound would be on mute because of FOOTBALL. Would we like to sit over there? Um- no- we actually like to be able to hear what is going on in the race. As we left we double checked the name of the establishment to make sure it was still called the NASCAR Cafe…everything we saw said it was (as does your website I might add). Because of that mess we ended up missing the first 22 laps of the race as we went back across town to my friends house to watch the race.

It is FALSE advertising to call yourself the NASCAR cafe. If we had wanted to watch football we could have gone to a myriad of restaurants or bars in Vegas. We chose your establishment because with a name like THE NASCAR CAFE you would think that we would be able to enjoy the race with sound….surrounded by other fans. Not huddled into a corner having to rely on the closed captioning. It’s bad enough that you did this at all but during the Chase (which is NASCAR’s playoffs) is worse. We were incredibly disappointed by this new direction you have taken. You are doing NASCAR fans an incredible disservice and might I suggest that if you are no longer willing to cater to NASCAR fans you should remove the name NASCAR from your cafe. You can be sure we will no longer come to your establishment- and we will encourage other fans to do the same.

(ADDED: Yes I really DID send this to the Sahara, in case you were wondering).

Yesterday was the second race of the NASCAR chase. I was in Vegas for the Truck races and on Sunday I ended up missing the first 22 laps of the race at Dover for reasons I will actually cover in a post tomorrow.  I was traveling during practice and qualifying- but my friend kept me up to date. Tony didn’t have the best qualifying run- and earned a 22nd starting position.

So there I am sitting at the house of my friend watching the race and then the lap 31 crash happened.  Wow.  Watching Logano flip ten times was scary. That was one of the more frightening wrecks I have seen in quite awhile. I have to say that I watched it live, watched all the replays and rewatched it again on Tony Stewart’s hot pass channel after I got home and I do NOT see it as being Tony’s fault. Bobby Labonte slid down in front of Logano who slightly tagged him and slowed up. Tony hit Logano and someone hit Tony. It was one of those chain reaction things that happen.  You know one of “them racin’ things.” Since Tony was the inrace reporter for the national broadcast we could hear him say that he was sorry that he just drove through Logano. What you don’t hear or see on the national broadcast that you did with hotpass was Tony sitting in his car under the red flag.  He sat there occasionally shaking his head like he felt REALLY BAD about the whole deal.  I am just glad that Joey walked away unscathed.

After the cars get rolling again after the red flag I see that Tony has front and rear damage, and am sure that has ruined his race.  However, the pit crew quickly patch his front and rear damage without Tony losing too many positions or going a lap down. Tony’s crew seemed to be able to get him in and out of the pits fairly quickly, and tony was able to gain some track positions. What I didn’t get was the call to bring Tony in during that last pitstop. I just don’t understand it. I think he may have finished better if he hadn’t come in…but what do I know.

Tony ended up finishing 9th and gaining one position in the points- moving up to fifth in the points standings, 106 points behind leader Mark Martin. Stewart-Haas racing team mate Ryan Newman finished tenth and retained his seventh position in the standings.

  • I am going to go out and stand on a really unpopular limb here and say this: Can we stop assuming that Mark Martin has the championship in the bag? The race announcers seem to assume that he is the winner. We are only 2 races into the chase.  A lot can happen. I realize he is the sentimental favorite of many (including my father), but there is a lot of racing left in the season (to paraphrase Mark Martin himself).
  • Also- can we please STOP hearing how old Mark Martin is and comparing him to Harry Gant in age of accomplishment factoids? I seriously do NOT understand why it’s even relevent.
  • Yes I heard Tony snapped at a journalist in the media room at Dover. Think about it people….these are the playoffs. I am sure a lot of the Chase drivers have other things they would rather be doing, like talking to their crews about their car, than doing media.  Especially when people ask the same questions over and over. I think we should start a list of questions media should NOT ask Tony right now or risk feeling the wrath of Tony. The top of that list? Danica. YOu wanna know more about Danica and if she is considering running a part time schedule in NASCAR still? Ask Danica not Tony.
  • Also- can we just have Tony win a race? Please.

This coming weekend we are at Kansas for Chase Race Three.

COMING UP SOON ON BADGROOVE: My first Camping World Truck Series Race and Why The NASCAR CAFE Can Suck It.

Tomorrow morning- I am getting up extremely early and driving 500 miles. Yes…I am going to Vegas again.  I am going to watch the Camping World Truck Series race at the track and have some fun with my BFF.  I will be sitting in my wicked cool Richard Petty Terrace seats because our Cup race ticket came with tickets to the truck series race too.  Might as well go- since Friday is a furlough day and I don’t have to worry about a hotel or anything. I am there.

While I am gone enjoying the trucks (don’t worry I will still watch the cup race at DOVER) I wanted to point you all in the direction of The Fast and The Fabulous. This is one of my favorite NASCAR blogs…if you haven’t been there ever or in awhile be sure to peruse. But also wanted to point out that Valli has the coolest contests ever. Right now she is giving away three $14.00 burger king gift cards. All you have to do is tell her in 14 words or less why you like Tony Stewart.  So you might want to give that a shot for some free burger king! And then keep visiting her.  I love her posts- and like I said she always has the coolest contests.

If pimping out your love of Tony Stewart for free burger king isn’t your thing but you still love NASCAR? Try visiting The Nascar Insiders. This site is by far one of my very favorite NASCAR blogs out there. My favorite feature is Ask the Insiders Wednesdays…where they will answer your toughest NASCAR questions.  I have learned so much just by reading this site and asking questions…I have never NOT had any of my questions answered. So check them out too!!!

So let me ask you…what are your favorite NASCAR websites and blogs?

Other than that…I will be away from the keys. I will probably occasionally tweet…and have even (hopefully) set it up so that you can see some of my sucky cameraphone pictures in tweets while I am gone! So check me out at twitter while I am gone (@badgroove)…and come back on Tuesday or Wednesday ok?

I honestly do NOT know how the drivers and crews deal with the stress of the chase….because it usually has ME stressed out and I really have NOTHING to do with the outcome…more than just cheering my heart out for Tony (and cursing like a sailor when things like axle caps are loose or broken). Before the chase started mostly I was concerned with my fantasy league drivers and where they were finishing.  I messed around with a couple different fantasy leagues last year- you know the “free” ones online- but really didn’t like them. I found they were too high maintenance (especially the ones where you could only pick certain drivers on certain weeks).  I was invited to participate in a more private league and this season I have been having a ball.  I had even been in the top ten at one point.  But the season wore on and I dropped further and further down…in the standings (although half my fantasy team is in the chase).  Mostly I was trying to keep track of where the “Davids” were finishing (meaning Reutimann and Ragan).  Unfortunately my fantasy team is taking especially hard lately (my drivers are: Stewart, Gordon, Montoya, Labonte/Darnell and the “Davids”).  I blame David Ragan. But clearly I am digressing.

During last weekend’s race that completely changed.  Instead of even caring about my fantasy league,  now I am trying to keep track of where all 12 chase contenders are in relation to Tony, as well as who has led a lap, who hasn’t led a lap, that kind of thing.  I might have even got a little vicious towards Ryan Newman’s position compared to Tony, I admit.  He might be the teammate of my driver- but during the championship- they are all enemies. I want MY driver to be the Champion.  Not my driver’s teammate.  It’s all about loyalties.

So anyway here I am trying to keep points somewhat in my head- and I will be completely honest with you right here and tell you I am not the quickest when it comes to doing math in my head- when my mom comes in and starts feeding me football scores. Then my brain exploded right there in the middle the living room. I was just trying of figure out where Tony was in the points…and my brain exploded.  I had forgotten football season started along WITH the Chase.  I am in a family/friends football elimination pool.  Really she was just trying to tell me how my team of the week was fairing but my wee little brain could not handle any more numbers…and kaboom.

This is I think the third year I have been in the football elimination pool.  The first year I nearly won. The second year I was nearly the first person knocked out. This year I am hoping to be back with a vengence.  You have to know that I am not a big football fan.  I save my fandom for NASCAR yet clearly I stink at fantasy NASCAR. However- so far with football I am doing pretty good- yet I only casually watch…maybe if there is nothing else on. I have three teams that are “favorites” (just picked at random) two that are “anti-favorites” and the rest are just men running around after a ball.  Don’t even ask why I decided to take part in the elimination football pool….because honestly? I don’t know.  But so far I don’t have any dings against me.

Football won’t be taking over my love of NASCAR- ever. There is no danger to that.  And I am actually realy enjoying this NASCAR fantasy league much more than those dumb online ones….even though I stink at it.  Mostly I guess, I just really need to talk to my mom about not giving me football scores when I am intently watching a NASCAR race.  Believe it or not- exploded brains does not clean up easy out of the carpet.

I have had three different topics for posts floating around my brain- some of them since the end of last week but just have not had the patience to actually sit down with them and write them out.  I am worried if I don’t do it soon they will go **poof** the way many of my best ideas do when I don’t give them the attention they deserve or need. But these are topics that I REALLY want to discuss here- so I am going to do them right here in this post even though they aren’t related really except that they are all NASCAR related. So bear with me.

I am going to start off with pit crew members: In the last two races there have been at least two incidents of crew members being hit on pit road.  In Richmond, Tony ended up flipping the tire carrier (Dwayne Moore)for David Reutimann’s 00 team, and just this past weekend at Louden, Clint Pittman a rear tire changer for Casey Mear’s had his foot fractured when run over (by Denny Hamlin if memory serves me correctly) on pitroad. He will be out the rest of the season. Now I know I have talked about how I am completely fascinated with pit crews. My friend and I were talking about the “controlled” chaos of the ballet that is a pitstop. I know that probably doesn’t sound very manly to describe a pitstop as a ballet- but that is exactly what it is.  It is extremely choreographed however when things things go wrong sometimes they go very very wrong as in the case with the two crew members getting hit lately.  Dwayne Moore, tire carrier recently clipped by Tony Stewart, suggests in an article on NASCAR.COM  that when a driver clips a crewman that the driver should be penalized. I really don’t know if I agree with that or not- in both cases recently- I don’t think that the drivers saw the crew members until after the damage had been done. It appeared to me that both were coming around from car when the car the crew members were working on were canted in their pitbox so that the rear was obscuring the view of the crew member.  I don’t know if there is anything more that can be done- but I don’t necessarily think that penalizing drivers is the answer. Of course then again it’s not my butt out there with these 3400 lb cars zooming in and out within inches of me either.

Now onto Sponsors: Within the last two days two major sponsors have pulled sponsorships from their teams for next season: Jack Daniels (currently sponsor’s Casey Mear’s 07) and Jim Beam (current sponsor of Robby Gordon’s 7). These are just the latest in some sponsors pulling out of our sport. However, I was thinking this would probably be the perfect opportunity for a sponsor to come into the sport.  How about an Apple sponsored car? Or Itunes? Or…(and you know the guys would be completely unimpressed by this one) but how about a Dooney & Bourke car (can you imagine the paint schemes on that sucker? Wicked cool).  Maybe a GOOGLE car? or a Kraft car? (I could go on and on so I will stop here).

And, finally, banquet tickets: NASCAR announced a little over a week ago that they would be allocating 300 banquet tickets for the top 12 teams to give away to fans. I was so excited when they announced that they would be moving the banquet to Las Vegas this year – because I can totally go- the awards banquet is actually on one of my furlough days so technically I wouldn’t even need much time off. However, it’s getting my hands on two tickets that is going to be the trick.  I REALLY want to go so you can bet I am going to be keeping my eyes open at the websites of all 12 teams hoping to luck into something.  What’s a girl got to do to get two tickets to the banquet anyway? Can you imagine the tweets from that event? I really want to be there live and in the flesh and not watching it again this year on my TV thinking damn it would be fun to be there!  I want to be in that 25% of the audience that is fans! If you see any opportunities you let me know!

UPDATED TO ADD PENALTY POINTS: NASCAR announced today that the number 18  Joe Gibbs Racing driven by Kyle Busch was penalized 25 owner points, 25 driver points an the crew chief, Steve Addington, was penalized $25,000 and placed on probabtion until the end of the year for failing post race inspection after the race at Louden. The car was in violation of 12-4-I (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-12.8 1B (the height of the car at the left front fender did not meet the required specification; too low in post-race inspection) of the 2009 NASCAR rule book. What that means in English? Is that the left front was too low. They were also cited for 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing).