Texas, Tony and Tidbits

Before I can even begin to put my thoughts down, I have to send all my thoughts and prayers to the city of Boston as well as to the families directly affected by the bombings on Monday afternoon.  We stand with you through as you try to heal from this horrific event.  If history has shown, Boston will rise and become stronger!  God Bless You!

Disclaimer…First and foremost, I will not make this blog about politics.  This is NOT the purpose of this blog.  With that being said, if you read this post, and want to comment, you are more than welcome to do so.  I welcome discussion on this site, however I will not engage in a negative conversation just because you don’t agree with what I have to say.  Please be aware these are MY opinions and MY opinions alone.  I stand by them.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to post about the Texas weekend.  There were so many stories coming into the weekend, during the weekend, and out of the weekend.  With all the stories I had several things I could have written about.

Kyle Busch was on fire this past weekend at Texas.  He swept the weekend winning the Nationwide race on Friday night and then winning from the pole on Saturday night.  I know there are a majority of you out there who do not like Kyle Busch.  I am not the biggest fan and I have called into question some of his behavior over the years.  All I know is this man can drive the wheels of a car.  All throughout the race, he was up front leading laps.  Oh and by the way, he lead the most laps that night.  I know there are those who think Jimmie is the one to watch seven races into the season.  But you have to look at Kyle to challenge Jimmie throughout the season.

Now…with the part of the post I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write.  I have been kind of holding off on the post. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t just a fluke or some just bad luck, but…I am beginning to wonder what the heck is going on the #14 team this season.  I don’t know if they are snake bit or what, but this is NOT the kind of season I expected so far from Tony. Tony has been known to start a little slow and get hot through the summer, but this is getting hard to watch each week.  I am beginning to think there is more going on with the #14 team.  Have they missed the mark on figuring out this new car?  During the race on Sunday, I was listening to Tony’s scanner and he said, “I don’t care how many times we have come down pit road, fix this thing this time.”  Clearly the #14 has missed the mark.  The highest spot Tony has finished so far this year is 8th and that was a Phoenix.  He hasn’t had a top-ten since, let alone a top-5 or a win.  He is 111 points back from points leader Jimmie Johnson and in 22nd place in the standings.  If this continues, Tony will NOT be in The Chase.  I am hoping the #14 team has a come to Jesus meeting this week at the competition meeting.  It’s been difficult for this Tony Stewart week after week waiting for the team to get the set up right.  This past weekend I saw him struggle at a track he likes.  I was at the race in 2006 when he won his first race at Texas.  But yet on Sunday, he struggled.  He finished 21st.  I am hoping they get something together this week for Kansas.  I know there is still some racing until the 26th race at Richmond, but if things don’t change, this Tony fan will be watching her driver outside The Chase.

Penalties were handed down to Brad Keselowski and Joey Lagono.  The #2 and #22 teams had to remove the rear housing from their cars on Sunday morning.  Here is what NASCAR said about why the teams were penalized.  According to NASCAR’s statement, the infraction by the Penske teams violated the rule which states suspension systems and components must be approved by the governing body.  Teams were changing things and getting through inspection right up until race time.  In fact, Joey was still not in his car when the command was given for drivers to start their engines.  He was sent to the back of the pack because he was late.  However, Joey sort of got the last laugh and finished 5th while Brad finished 9th. NASCAR handed down the following penalties to the #2 & #22 teams.

  1. Joey and Brad were docked 25 driver points as well as 25 owner points
  2. Brad and Joey’s crew chiefs, Paul Wolfe and Todd Gordon respectively, are suspended for 6 races as well as the All-Star race.  They have also been fined $100,000.
  3. Team engineers for both teams as well as team manager, Travis Geisler were also suspended for 6 races.

Penske will appeal the decision which means all crew chiefs and members will be with the teams this weekend and other races until the appeals have been heard.

Keeping with the Penske teams, Brad K. went on a tirade on Saturday.  He was angry for the way NASCAR confiscated the rear housing on the #2 & #22 prior to Saturday night’s race.  He was also critical of the way NASCAR delayed his team in the inspection process at Martinsville as well as the penalty he received for pitting outside the pit box.  Brad was not fined for his critical comments about the NASCAR governing body.  You can make your own decision on whether Brad should have been penalized in light of the fine Denny Hamlin received for his criticism of the Gen-6 car.

Now…before I comment on the following, please reread the disclaimer.  I am not going to get into a political battle with anyone.  This is NOT what The Park is about.  There has been much made about the NRA sponsorship of this Cup race this past weekend.  I have had discussions with friends and family about this since the announcement that the NRA was going to sponsor this race in Texas.  I will say, I did not have an issue with the NRA sponsoring a race.  Whether you like the NRA or not, this wasn’t about TMS trying to be political in any sense of the word.  This was about sponsorship and bringing dollars into the sport of NASCAR.  Eddie Gossage, even said he would not have the gun celebration in Victory Lane if teams, sponsors, etc did not want that type of celebration.  To be honest, I was glad he did not have to alter the celebration in Victory Lane.  It is one of the things that makes TMS, TMS.  I am sympathetic to the Newtown tragedy as well as others where guns were used to kill innocent people.  I believe in the 2nd amendment.  I believe we should have the right to own guns.  Owning a gun is a great responsibility.  I am a gun owner.  I have two shotguns, one belonged to my grandfather and the other belonged to my father.  I do not have shells for both guns because (1) they haven’t been fired in quite some time and need cleaning and (2) I have small children in the house.  I am not ready to have the ammunition in the house with my small children. Once I choose to have the ammo in the house, I will sit down, just like my father, and explain what it is to be a responsible gun owner.  I grew up knowing that guns could kill.  I knew that if I ever messed with my father’s shotgun I was in serious trouble.  Every single time he cleaned his gun, he sat with me and explain the dangers of a gun and also how to be a responsible gun owner.  When I would go hunting with him, he taught me how to carry the gun as well as how to behave while hunting.  That’s just it.  You have to be a responsible gun owner.  Lock your guns up if you do not want your children playing with them.  If you truly don’t want your guns to be handled by your children, DO NOT HAVE THEM IN THE HOUSE!  That’s it.  I could go on about other issues regarding the gun law battle, but that is for another day and time.

IMG_3506I have to give mad props to one Mr. Eddie Gossage.  This man knows how to market his product.  He also knows how to put on a show for the fans who make the pilgrimage every year to Texas Motor Speedway.  The racing isn’t always the best on TMS, but this man is a showman!  I love his current marketing of TMS by calling the racing at TMS the Wild Asphalt Circus.  I have been able to attend 3 race weekends at TMS.  I got the chance to attend the first fall race at TMS back in 2005.  It was my first experience attending a NASCAR race.  Despite the fact I had no clue what I was doing or what to expect, I had a great time.  Unfortunately I haven’t been back since the fall race in 2006.  Most of this has to do with the cost of attending a race weekend.  There are great ticket packages and I have people in the DFW area where I am sure I could crash for a weekend, but right now we just can’t afford to attend a race. I am hoping to attend the Truck race/IRL weekend this year.  It is a little cheaper on the pocketbook.  Besides one of my Facebook friends is encouraging me to see the Indy race there this June.  I will see what I can do.  Last year I had the great opportunity to meet Eddie Gossage last year when the Kyle Petty Charity ride came through Lubbock.  You could tell he was tired from riding all day, but he took the time to meet fans and take pictures.  If you ever get to meet the man, do so.  Thank you Eddie Gossage for all you do for the sport of NASCAR!

Fan Driven 400

I have had an interesting last several days.  First and foremost, I am glad to have some decent internet connection back.  All I have had since the last post was my iPhone.  But I am back on so here goes…

race driven

Just a reminder…TODAY IS THE LAST DAY to pick the name for the Pocono 400 race at Pocono Raceway on June 9, 2013.  I wanted to get a jump on things with the reminder, but as I mentioned above, internet has been crap (guess that’s what I get for living out in the sticks).  So zoom on over to walmarturl.com/FanDriven and cast your vote. Reminder, you can vote once a day, every day until April 8. In case you forgot, here are the top three finalists!

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

Looks Party in the Poconos has taken the commanding lead, but there is still time for you fans of Carrie and Diane so get online at vote!  TODAY IS THE LAST DAY!!

Got plans for the summer?  If not, you might want to head to the Poconos for the Fan Driven 400 (name to be determined by the fans) at Pocono Raceway on June 9, 2013.  Most tracks have 4 turns, but not the track at Pocono.  There are only 3 turns.  Yep, 3 turns people!   Thanks to the folks at Walmart, you can get $25 tickets for this race!  That’s what I just said $25 DOLLARS!  But you’ve got to get your rear in gear and get tickets.  There are only a limited amount at this price!  Tickets can be purchased online at Walmart or at Pocono Raceway!

Can’t make it to Pocono?  You can take advantage of the Walmart Family Track Pack!  You can get a 4 tickets, 4 Cokes, and 4 hot dogs for ONLY $99!.  That’s quite a deal people!  This means I could take my family of four to select races throughout the year!  One of the races is the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race in Charlotte on May 18!  So how do you take advantage of this special deal?  Head on over to walmart.com/NASCAR to purchase your Family Track Pack!

NASCAR hits Texas Motor Speedway this weekend!  I wish I could make the trip since I live only about 6 hours away and I have buddies in the DFW who would probably let me crash on their floor for the weekend.  I have been to TMS and there is ALWAYS something I forget to take with me.  Luckily there is a Walmart on the way to the track!  They have a great array of items for your tailgating needs.  To those newbies out there who are attending your first race this weekend and you want to blend in with all of us other veterans, you can pick up some NASCAR gear at Walmart at too.  I found some Tony Stewart at one of my local Walmarts. These are the items I purchased.  My youngest son, who loves Tony, loved the giant magnet.  It is now prominently displayed on our refrigerator with all the other Tony magnets we have on the fridge.  The other two items are mine…a new sticker for my car and a cup for the beverage of my choice.  Of course if you aren’t a Tony fan, you can pick up your driver’s stuff too.  I found some Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon and yes, even some Dale Earnhardt Jr. items.  As we all know his stuff is soooo hard to find (wink, wink).  tony stewart stuff

Some final thoughts…

  • Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson on his win at Martinsville yesterday.  I wasn’t surprised by his win.  Yesterday marked his 8th victory at the track.  Man, that’s a lot of grandfather clocks around his house.  I wonder if he has them set to where they go off at different times of the day.  That would be too funny if he did.
  • I wish Denny Hamlin a speedy recovery.  It had to be one of the most difficult things to sit atop the pit box and watch someone else drive your car.  Granted, Mark Martin is no slouch when it comes to driving a car, but still, it had to eat at him.  Brian Vickers will take over duties in the #11 this week at Texas
  • Danica had a good run at Martinsville.  She finished 12th.  Not bad for her first time at The Paperclip and having to start in the back due to an engine change.
  • I like watching races on Fox.  It’s been a challenge this year since our local Fox affiliate is in dispute with Dish, but we got it go on however.  Towards the end of the race, it sounded like there was some exciting racing, but I wouldn’t know because they kept showing Jimmie Johnson’s car.  I know Clint was trying to catch, but you and I know he wasn’t going to.  We all knew Jimmie was going to win, so why not show the close racing?  Oh well…
  • I am a mom of two boys, very messy boys, but I love them.  I spent most of yesterday cleaning their rooms.  This is the sole reason I missed majority of the race.  If you are raising and/or raised boys, you know my pain.  And don’t even get me started on cleaning their bathroom.  I love men and everything about them, but boys and men are just SMELLY!
  • I hope everyone had a good Easter weekend. Mine was spent with watching “The Ten Commandments”. It is an Easter tradition in my house started with my mom when I was probably my oldest son’s age (he’s nine). Every year we would watch this classic movie. I lost my mom in December 2011 to leukemia so this was the second Easter without her. But…this year was different. My oldest watched with me. At first, I wasn’t sure he would like it. I mean this movie is from 1956. It isn’t on the cutting edge of special effects and sometimes I think the acting is overdone, but I still watch. I was pleasantly surprised, he loved it! And he asked lots of questions about the movie! And one more thing, he watched all of it despite the fact it was way past his bedtime. Thanks mom!

Sorry for the lack of race coverage for the last couple of posts, it has just been one of those things where life takes over and you have to do what you got to do.  I am however, back in the swing of things.  Hope everyone has a great and wonderful week!  And to all of NASCAR Nation…WELCOME TO TEXAS YA’LL!

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

Texas Motor Speedway

I am usually getting ready about this time of year to head off to TMS, but alas I am going to have to stay home and watch the races again.  I am hoping (fingers and toes crossed) I can make the trek in November. 

I haven’t been to any other track on the circuit, but I have to say Eddie Gossage and the folks at TMS know how to do it right. 

If you are headed down this way, here are a few little tidbits/trivia about TMS

  • 1.5 mile oval with 24 degrees of banking in the turns
  • 1,656 women’s restrooms
  • 843 men’s restrrooms
  • Pit road length is 800 feet
  • TMS is the first speedway ever to dsiplay the lasp in the race counting down and counting up.
  • Has enough permanent lighting to illuminate 11 NFL stadiums
  • In one year, there are enough hot dogs sold to go around the 1.5 oval six times–that’s nine miles
  • Eight Texas Stadiums will fin in the infield of TMS

I guess you could say we do it BIG in Texas.  Of course that’s how we do things in Texas.

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I heard my phone ring around 6 pm tonight.  I saw the call ID…TMS (Texas Motor Speedway) was calling.  Now what could they be calling about at that hour?  Perhaps I had won the contest they had been running on their website.  I didn’t get to my phone in time, but I was left a message.  Nope…all hopes dashed…it was just a recording reminding me I hadn’t purchased by tickets for the April race weekend.  I have to give TMS some props, it wasn’t just your usual computer voice recording.  Nope…it was a recording of Kevin and Delana Harvick.  As much as I would love to head to TMS in April, there isn’t much in the old race budget this soon.  But hey, if they really want me to be there, why not have the Harvicks purchase tickets for me.  Oh well…perhaps I could purchase tickets for the race weekend in November.  I mean after all…the government is sending out refund checks.