Pocono 400 and Vegas too

race driven

Before I visit Vegas, let’s take a quick visit to Pocono…

I have posted about a wonderful contest sponsored by Walmart and Pocono Speedway the past several weeks.  Fans would be given the opportunity to name the Pocono 400 race on June 9, 2013.  Fans were able to submit their names for the name via walmarturl.com/FanDriven.  Three finalists have been chosen and now it is your turn to help these NASCAR fans. Before you head on over to vote, here are the three finalists.

  1. Race More. Live Better–submitted by Carrie Conway Wilson
  2. Pocono for the People–submitted by Diane Martin Carroll
  3. Party in the Poconos–submitted by Shawn McMillan

As I mentioned, you can vote via walmarturl.com/FanDrivenYou are able to vote once a day, every day until April 8!  So head on over and help choose the name of the Pocono 400.  By the way, I have already voted today!

If you are thinking about heading to Pocono, you can take advantage of great offer.  You can purchase tickets for the race on June 9 for ONLY $25!  That’s right!  ONLY $25!  You better hurry though, there will only be 16,000 of these specially priced tickets. These tickets can be purchased at Walmart.com/NASCAR or through Pocono Raceway at poconoraceway.com/

Now back to Vegas…

If looked at the odds (shameless use of Vegas cliché), Jimmie Johnson had the best chance to win on Sunday.  After all he has won 4 times at Vegas.  To be honest early on I thought Jimmie was going to run away with the race.  But as we all know, you can lead the most laps and have the fastest car of the day and not win.  Clearly Kasey Kahne had the car to beat most of the race.  He was up front and racing for the win.

Several drivers were complaining their car was loose including Tony Stewart.  If you know Tony Stewart, if he is complaining about a loose race car, things aren’t going to great.  And that is what happened.  It went south for the #14 team early on.  He stayed pretty much mired back in 23/24 place most of the day.  However, he was able to get the lucky dog after the caution flew for Bobby Labonte’s spin.  I don’t think at that point in the race he had the car to win the race.  I just wanted him to have a decent finish.  And he ended up finishing 11th.  I know it had to be frustrating for him.  He has the third highest driver rating over the previous 8 races at Vegas. He was also the defending race champion.  But as you know Vegas can be cruel to her visitors.

Congratulations to Matt Kenseth and the #20 team!  I like Matt Kenseth and I am thankful he ended up in a great organization.  The #20 still holds a special place in my heart.  It was the ride for Tony Stewart until he left JGR to form Stewart Haas Racing.  I was none too thrilled when Joey Lagano took over his #20.  But when it was announced last year that Matt Kenseth would take over the #20 I was pumped.  Matt Kenseth is a great driver.  I knew he would get that #20 back to Victory Lane!  This was Matt’s third race in the #20.  The sure joy in his voice when he got those checkers was great!  And of course, this was a great way to spend your birthday…in Victory Lane!  I don’t think this will be the last visit to Victory Lane for the #20 this year.

The talk was about how the Gen-6 car was going to perform on the first of the 1.5 mile tracks.  Several drivers complained of the car being loose.  Was it the car itself?  I know that many crew chiefs couldn’t have missed the mark.  Was it the track?  The drivers in pre-race interviews said they thought the track was going to be hot and slick and well fast.   It seemed track position was important in this race as well. Once a car got out in front, he was gone.  Many drivers received penalties for speeding and/or uncontrolled equipment.  Kyle Busch got tagged for speeding early on in the race.   He finished 4th.  I am not a huge fan of Mr. Busch, but that man can wheel a race car.

Few other tidbits…

  • Thank you NASCAR.  I, along with many other fans, have had issues with Raceview.  I sent an email last week to voice my concerns and politely asking for a refund.  This week, I received an email from NASCAR.com stating I had been refunded $9.95.  That is equivalent to a monthly charge for Raceview.  I know it may not seem like a lot, but it for me it went a long way.  And…I was able to log in to Raceview!  I did have some issues, but I don’t think it was on NASCAr.com’s end, but mine.  My internet access was sporadic during the day.
  • I so want to go to a race in Vegas!  My buddy over at http://www.badgroove.com/ makes an annual pilgrimage to Vegas every year.  Every time she goes, she has a blast along with her friend Misty.  One of these days, I will make the pilgrimage to Vegas!  I can’t wait to read her post about her Vegas vacation.
  • The “what the heck what were they thinking” moment of the race came when NASCAR threw a caution when Marcos Ambrose spun his car.  His car started spinning and Marcos was able to get it back going right and headed back onto the track.  No other cars in sight.  I don’t get it.  Of well…that is NASCAR.
  • Denny Hamlin was fined $25,000 by NASCAR this past week for his comments about the Gen-6 car after the Phoenix race. He is refusing to pay the fine. I read what he said on ESPN.com and to be honest I didn’t see anything disparaging about his comments. It wasn’t like he got out of his car and said the car sucked ala Kyle Busch.  But NASCAR has worked tirelessly on the Gen-6 car.  I can understand their point of view too.  Here is what I found on ESPN.com, you can judge for yourself.

“I don’t want to be the pessimist, but it did not race as good as our Gen-5 cars,” Hamlin told reporters after the race won by Carl Edwards. “This is more like what the Generation 5 was at the beginning. The teams hadn’t figured out how to get the aero balance right.  “Right now, you just run single-file and you cannot get around the guy in front of you. You would have placed me in 20th place with 30 [laps] to go, I would have stayed there — I wouldn’t have moved up. It’s just one of those things where track position is everything.”

  • My youngest is still continuing to amaze me with his continuing fascination with NASCAR.  I was listening to Tony on the scanner on Sunday.  With his PBJ sandwich in hand, he climbed up on my lap and put in the earplug and started listening.  Check him out…chase with pbj

This week the boys are headed out to Bristol for some short track racing!  Once again a new test for the Gen-6 car.  Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday Musings

I have been debating whether or not to post about the Phoenix race.  I didn’t get to watch majority of the race and what I saw was here and there.  Because my husband in a letter carrier with USPS, he had a rare Friday and Saturday off.  This means lots of family time for us and that is exactly what happened this past weekend.  With that being said, I did keep track of the race and saw the last 60 laps of the race.  Congratulations to Carl Edwards!  After last year’s season, this was a welcome surprise for him.

I have been perusing the websites looking for something to write about today.  A couple of things have caught my eye.  One of those items came out of Texas Motor Speedway yesterday.  Eddie Gossage announced yesterday the National Rifle Association (NRA) will sponsor the April 13 Cup Race at TMS.  I do not like to discuss my political views on my blog.  My political views are my own and this is not the purpose of this blog.  I will say, I believe you should have the right to own a gun.  This doesn’t mean everyone should own a gun.  I grew up with a father who taught me the value of gun safety and what it meant to be a gun owner.  I am a gun owner.  I own two rifles, one of them is my grandfather’s and the other is my father’s.  I do not have them loaded and I do not keep ammunition in the house.  They have not been fired in years.  I keep them away from my children.  I will do exactly what my father did when I was curious about the rifles.  I do know Eddie Gossage is sensitive to the recent events in Newtown.  If you have not seen a race at Texas, the winner gets a set of guns and a cowboy hat.  The winner gets to shoot blanks in Victory Lane.  Eddie Gossage has stated if a Cup Team or owner is opposed of this celebration, it will be altered.  If you do not like the NRA, that is your choice as well as being a member of the NRA.  I am not here to debate this issue.  If you are visit often, please respect my wishes.  Thank you.

Another story that caught my eye was one about Christmas Abbott.  Who is Christmas Abbott?  I didn’t know either until I saw her story on Headline News.  She is the first woman to work for pit crew at the highest level of NASCAR.  She is currently the front tire changer for Michael Waltrip Racing.  She is the 8th crew member for MWR and will work as the front tire change for Camping World Truck and Nationwide Series teams.  I applaud her effort to break into the male dominated world.  She may not get the amount of coverage like Danica Patrick, but she is making her mark on NASCAR.

Now on to Vegas…

Tony Stewart is the defending race champion.  Last year was the first time he had won a race at Vegas.  In 2011, he was thisclose to winning it, but finished up as runner-up.  Not to use a Vegas cliché, the odds look good for Tony this weekend.  Tony has the 3rd best driver rating in the last 8 races at Vegas behind Jimmie Johnson (who has the highest and 4 victories at Vegas) and Jeff Gordon.  Tony has also led 290 laps out of the 534 laps in the last two races.  So if you are a betting person, I would put it all on Tony.  But watch out Jimmie Johnson is in the zone.  He finished 1st at Daytona and 2nd last week.  And as mentioned above, he has 4 wins at Vegas.  The Cup teams will be able to get some extra time in Gen 6 car.  Teams will have a full day of testing on Thursday.

If you are headed to Vegas or you are already there, check out some Race Time events sponsored by Walmart.  These events will be held at the following Walmarts in the Las Vegas area March 6, 7, & 8 according to the following website www.walmart.com/NASCAR.  These events bring NASCAR to life. So stop on by and check out it!

March 6:

  • 6005 S Eastern Ave, Las Vegas   10:00-4:00
  • 5198 Boulder Hwy, Las Vegas      11:30-5:30

March 7:

  • 4505 W. Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas    10:00-4:00
  • 8060 W. Tropical Pkwy, Las Vegas        11:30-5:30

March 8:

  • 1807 W Craig Rd   11:30-5:30

If you are headed to the races this weekend don’t forget to stop by Walmart for all your tailgating needs.  I have been to several races Texas Motor Speedway and I always make a point to stop and get stocked up before heading out to the race.  did you leave home without your favorite Tony Stewart shirt and don’t want to pay all those high prices, don’t fear Walmart can help you out.  In fact, Walmart was the first place I looked when needing a new Tony Stewart shirt.  I can’t say it will bring your driver any luck, but I know you can get some responsibly priced NASCAR merchandise at Walmart.  IMG_1735

Want to make it to a race, but can’t spend that much money.  Walmart is offering Family Track Packs for select races this year.  You can get a 4 tickets, 4 Coke Sodas, and 4 hot dogs for only $99!  That’s right $99!  The next race you can take advantage of this opportunity is the race at Auto Club Speedway on March 24, 2013 and then the Southern 500 at Darlington on May 11.  You can head on over to www.walmart.com/NASCAR to purchase the $99 packages

Now for a little fun…

  • Got some free NASCAR swag last week in the mail, a Kyle Busch cup and a Jimmie Johnson calendar.  Would have loved some Tony Stewart stuff, but I don’t care.  I love me some free stuff!IMG_1840
  • I love being a NASCAR fan.  Being a NASCAR fan, is different from being a fan of other professional sports teams.  I feel as if all the NASCAR fans are part of a family and the last couple of weeks no different.  I was able to hook up another Tony Stewart fan with a copy of NASCAR Illustrated with Tony on the front.  She wasn’t able to locate any in her part of the country (California), but I was here in Texas.  I also found a set of tiny SHR race cars for her as well.  I thought she might like them.  I didn’t expect anything in return.  It was just one Tony Stewart fan helping out another Tony Stewart fan.  To my surprise, she sent me a Tony Stewart car to me.  That’s just how we are!  Thanks Amy!


  • My youngest loves Tony Stewart.  He is his favorite driver (go figure).  Every Sunday, I ask him the same thing…what day is it?  Race Day…Who is going to win?  Tony Stewart!  However, he added a little to this the morning of the Daytona 500.

chase with tony mag

Vegas and other things

Sorry for not posting after the Vegas race.  I had everything ready to go, but I have been dealing with quite a few health issues (some mine, some my son’s) so they have taken priority for me.  I made my first visit ever to a cardiologist.  It was a little scary especially since I am only 40.  I am now on medication and have to go back in two weeks for a stress test and other tests.  I am treading the treadmill thing.  Treadmills and I have this understanding, I don’t get on them.  That’s pretty much it.  One of my co-workers told me I should stop watching NASCAR with all the chest pains I have been experiencing.  He is always kidding me about NASCAR.  I told him watching NASCAR is good for my soul.  But enough about me, let’s get to talking about racing

Vegas was just disappointing for this Stewart fan.  Vegas is one of two tracks Tony does not have a victory.  Sunday looked promising until a late caution and pit road mistake pretty much cost him a victory.  I have to give credit to the #14 team for finishing 2nd, but for Tony this was one that is a bitter pill to swallow.  He clearly had the car to win the race.  But as we all know the best car doesn’t always win the race.  He was heartbreaking to watch his post race interview with Fox.  I wonder how they decided who was going to interview Tony.  I mean Tony has been known to speak his mind (both good and bad) when stepping out of the car.  But there was Matt Youcum right there asking Tony the tough question.  Clearly, you could see Tony was upset with the result.  I am glad it was a short interview and with someone who really understands Tony. 

Other tidbits from Vegas

  • Of there was some action off the track as well.  Apparently Robby Gordon and Kevin Conway had their own little meeting in the garage.  This resulted in Robby getting put on probation immediately.  I mean if you are going to get in a fight, Vegas is the place to be.  Did anyone notice if Don King was hanging out in the garage?  Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
  • Congratulations to Mark “The Kid” Martin for winning the Nationwide race.  So he got the win when Brad K. blew a tire.  But sometimes racing is about being in the right place at the right time.  Who hasn’t taken advantage of mistakes and bad breaks of other drivers to snag a victory?  Also this is the first win for Turner Motorsports.  It’s nice to see the smaller teams (well, compared to Hendrick/Roush) win. 
  • It was 50 years ago on March 4, 1961 that Wendell Scott became the first African-American to start a NASCAR race. 
  • Danica Patrick finished 4th in the Nationwide race.  This was highest finish by a woman in a NASCAR event.  She was also the first woman to lead  lap at Daytona.  I am still not sure where I stand on Danica’s presence in NASCAR.  From what I have seen she has improved from this year to last, well at least in the first couple of races.  Until she is able to commit to NASCAR full-time, I am holding my opinion.

There is no Cup race tomorrw.  The boys are off until next Sunday where they will head to Bristol for some short track racing.  However, you can catch some  Camping World Truck racing at Darlington today.  I love to watch the trucks.  Lots of racing action!

What will I do tomorrow?  I am not sure yet.  Right now I am watching “Cars” for the millionth time (well, at least it feels that way) with my little foster son.  He can sit at watch this movie and be entertained through the entire movie.  Not bad for a 2 year-old.  I still find this movie very funny.  They definitely nailed Daryl Waltrip’s personality!  Speaking of Waltrip (not Daryl, but Michael).  I am almost finished with Michael’s book, “In The Blink of An Eye: Dale, Daytona, and the Day that Changed Everything”.  I have enjoyed the book.  You know what is weird, while I am reading the book, all I can hear is Michael’s voice in my head.  It’s as if he is narrating the book for me.  I have found the book very intriguing and now understand a little bit more about that day back in 2001.

This is the 2nd year for Toyota’s Sponsafy program.  You can pick a driver, decorate your car and win a cool prize.  If you have seen the site, or been over there check it out.  I have one already out there entitled “Pink Bubblegum”. I know it isn’t too spectacular, but it is what I wanted to design. I am in the middle of working on a second one with a Texas theme. So in the mean time, if you want to stop and look, vote for me. You can also vote for others too! Vote early and vote often as they say.

Have a great day!

Well, I hope everyone has

“We just beat Kyle Busch!”aka Phoenix…better late than never

I know this is somewhat late in the week to be talking about last week, but if you knew the kind of week I had you would certainly understand.  With that, I won’t make this very long since I am getting for the Vegas race.

Congratulations to Jeff Gordon for his victory in Phoenix last Sunday.  With the win last week,  he snapped his 66 race winless streak.  His last win prior to last week was at Texas in 2009.  He also is now tied for 5th with Cale Yarborough on the all-time win list.  I have to say when Jeff moved Kyle B. it was awesome.  I did not want Kyle Busch to win last week.  Sorry Kyle…but that is just how this NASCAR fan feels.  The move he put on you was, in my opinion, classic Jeff Gordon.  And the other cool thing, the crowd cheered for him.  Even when he got of his car in victory lane, there were a little more cheering than he has had in the past.  I mean he has had beer cans thrown at his car.  I guess it is all about the level of dislike you have for the driver.  I guess more people dislike Kyle than they do Jeff Gordon.  Either way, it was nice to see such emotion from a driver in victory lane. 

Jeff Gordan is just one of several drivers who are still struggling with their winless streaks.  Here are some of the drivers still looking for victory lane.

  • Mark Martin-47 races
  • Kasey Kahne-49 races
  • Joey Lagano-57 races
  • Matt Kenseth-72 races
  • Jeff Burton-79 races
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr.-95 races
  • Martin Truex-133 races
  • Bobby Labonte-254 races

Will today be the day one of these drivers end their winless streak?  Guess we will all have to tune in today to find out.

Now on to Vegas…heard Tony Stewart was driving a taxi in Vegas.  Can you imagine that?  At least he would get you where you needed to be in a hurry.  Also for those of you who are thinking about shoplifting in Vegas, make sure Morgan Shepherd is not hanging around.  Amy over at Bad Groove has made her yearly pilgrimage to Vegas. From her Facebook postings, I can’t wait until I see her posts. On that note, if you haven’t checked out her site, it is a must read.

Well…let’s kick the tires and light the fires…HAPPY RACE DAY EVERYONE!