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      If you know me, I am not just a NASCAR fan. I love motorsports in general.? A couple of weekends ago, I ended up watching some crazy motocross-type race where there were sidecars and someone in the sidecar that was being broadcast from the Ukraine thanks to the wonders of satellite television.

      I know that I have told the story of my first in-person race on here before. It wasn’t a NASCAR race. It was an Indycar race (back when their sanctioning body was CART before the split) at Laguna Seca. It’s the closest track to my house- literally only 10 miles, maybe less if you go by how the crow flies. I got to take a day off school even (because you know Friday at the race track is the best day). It was in October of 1989, which means I was a junior in high school at the time. Here is a picture of my ticket because I save every ticket and race credential I get:

      (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

      Yes, my Friday and Saturday things have detached since they are nearly 30 years old, but that is my original ticket from my first motorsports event. I didn’t go to school that Friday (who would complain about that?) and instead went to the races all weekend with my dad! We had a great time that weekend. I got to meet AJ Foyt! I mean how cool is that? I remember standing there, shocked that he was right there in front of me. I was shy too (ha was- I still am), and my dad had to push me towards him to get his autograph. I also met Scott Pruett and Danny Sullivan – two of my favorite drivers at the time. By the time I found them, I had gotten the hang of going up and getting an autograph.? It was a great weekend that I will never forget.

      When I heard that the IndyCar championship this year was going to be at Laguna Seca, this was my dad’s birthday preset this year:

      (photo credit: Ralph Marbach)

      Talk about coming full circle!

      So this coming weekend stay tuned to my instagram (@AmyKatherine1974) and my twitter (@AmyKayRocks) this coming weekend for highlights when this #NASCARGirl goes back to her #IndyCar roots.

       

      Kyle Busch was the “Regular Season Champion.”

      (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

      But don’t get me going on crowning a “Regular Season Champion” because personally I think it’s kind of dumb. The racing for the season isn’t over and the championship hasn’t been decided, but here you go, here is a trophy because you’ve done good up to this point. If you could see me rolling my eyes, you would laugh.

      Anyhow, there are who I would LOVE to be in the championship four and who I THINK will be in the championship four and they are fairly lists. (more…)

      The 16 drivers that move on to race for the championship are:

       

      (Photo credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

       

      Ryan Newman, driver of the #6 Acorns Ford, Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 McDonald’s Chevrolet, Erik Jones, driver of the #20 STANLEY Wish For Our Heros Toyota, William Byron, driver of the #24 Liberty University Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr, driver of the #19 AOI Toyota, Clint Bowyer, driver of the #14 Rush/Cummins Ford, Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 Wabash National Ford, Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Alex Bowman, driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, Kurt Busch, driver of the #1 Monster Energy Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Toyota, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Discount Tire Ford, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Mobil 1 Ford, and Aric Almirola, driver of the #10 Smithfield/Meijer Ford.

      Tony Stewart receiving his plaque for Sonoma Raceway's Wall of Fame

      Tony Stewart receiving his plaque for Sonoma Raceway’s Wall of Fame, June 2016 (photo source: Amy K. Marbach)

      ?“All you got to do is give me that little bit of hope, and I will run with it.” — Tony Stewart, post-race press conference 6-26-16 at Sonoma.

      I have favorite tracks. I have a favorite (now-retired) driver and other drivers I like more than others. But this week has me thinking about my favorite single race of all-time. (more…)

      Toco Warranty, one of the newer sponsors to the Tony Stewart Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing liveries is giving away an awesome VIP opportunity to one lucky fan!

      What you win:

      One lucky winner and their guest will attend the season finales of both the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

      The winner will be hosted by Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) for the World of Outlaws World Finals Nov. 8-9 at The Dirt Track near Charlotte, North Carolina, before jetting off to South Florida to see the NASCAR season finale Nov. 16-17 in Homestead with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). Toco Warranty will provide VIP access that includes round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, a rental car and event tickets. Tony Stewart, the owner of TSR and the co-owner of SHR, will be at both events, where the winner will see the three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion in action as an owner, facilitating meet-and-greets with 10-time and reigning World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz at Charlotte and 10-time NASCAR Cup Series race winner Clint Bowyer in Homestead.

      How you enter:

      It’s easy! Just visit TocoWarranty.com and click on the banner (It looks like the picture above) with Tony Stewart on it. Fill out the form and you’re entered. You get more entries for sharing it as well as signing up for a Toco Warranty plan.

      A winner will be drawn by 5 p.m. ET on Sept. 16, 2019.

       

      (photo source: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

      The Food City 500 at Bristol has come and gone.? There were lots of lead changes at Bristol, and the passing looked decent.? The coverage again seemed to lack excitement during the national broadcast, but maybe that is just me.? Kyle Busch won the race at Bristol, having won at Bristol eight times now to brother Kurt’s six wins.

      Best quote of the?post-race comes from Kurt Busch who came in second to his brother Kurt.? He told Jamie Little after the race: I was going to wreck my little brother to win today. Very reminiscent of when Tony Stewart claimed he would wreck his mother to win the 2011?championship. He did win and luckily for everyone he didn’t have to wreck his mom Pam to do it either.

      ?Sadly the Stewart-Haas cars didn’t have a great showing. Kevin Harvick started the race with penalties, failing pre-race qualifying and having to start from the rear, then after the green flag waved he had to pit under green and then he was four laps down. While the beginning of the race wasn’t the best for Harvick, he was at least able to finish the race on the lead lap. Teammate Aric Almirola ended up out of the race early as well thanks for trying to fix a car on pit road and dumping a jack stand on the track. Bowyer was up front for a good part of the end of the race, but incidental contact with Joey Logano took away his chance at winning the race.? ADaniel Suarez had a speeding penalty but ended up 8th and in the top ten.

      While watching the race, I checked in on my social media.? Someone in a Facebook group stated that the stands were so empty at Bristol. Someone else commented and said: Are you in the stands? If not, then you are part of the problem. I profoundly disagree with that statement. First off no one fan can go to all the races- unless they are wealthy and retired.? There are a considerable variety of reasons while someone couldn’t go to a race. Health issues, work, and the big one for most fans- financial.? Would I like to go to Bristol? Heck yeah.? ?I live in California. I would have to fly in and purchase tickets and then get a hotel.? Hotels in close vicinity of any NASCAR race seem to magically jack up their prices.? Several people responded on that thread and others that I follow that the hotels in this area are around $300 or more a night during race weekend. Usually, they run about 100 dollars a night.? Three nights and you’d have $900 for lodging alone.? ?That doesn’t account for food, tickets to the race, transportation, and other incidentals.? This is the same thing about Sonoma. Sonoma is just far enough North from me that it would require a hotel. But the hotels in Napa and Sonoma are outrageously expensive. Most of them are in wine country. We use to get a reasonably nice hotel in Benecia (a Best Western) for a reasonable rate.

      The hotel grew wise and jacked up their rates for NASCAR race weekend. Hotels in Petaluma, Santa Rosa and the myriad of other nearby cities are just as bad.? Sonoma depending on where you stay you also have to factor in tolls. There is also food. Even if you luck into a hotel with free breakfast, racegoers would have to find something to eat before the race, then find something to eat during the race. Race food is super expensive. I spent $7.00 in Vegas on two tacos.? Waters? $3.50 each. Margarita more your speed? $14.00. Granted I am one person. I could afford that. But what if you are a family of five?

      I doubt NASCAR can do anything to offset the cost of the hotels.? But they could make their tickets less pricey. Make food and beverages less pricey. The beverages are less pricy.

      (Photo source: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Image)

      I usually like watching the races at Martinsville. This race, however, didn’t do it for me. It didn’t seem to have any real action to me. Sure there was passing here and there. Maybe it was the television coverage, or perhaps it was because the race was the Brad Keselowski show since he led the entire except for the first five laps and that spell of laps that Chase Elliot was the leader. Brad and the Penske Fords seem healthy so far this year.

      Clint Bowyer managing to finish in the top ten even though he had not one but two pit road speeding penalties was a solid day- think how relevant he could have been if he didn’t have to come back from the penalties twice during the race. I am sure he would have been a solid contender. And I was pleased that all four SHR cars made it into the top ten by the end of the race. But top ten finishes do not get you in the Chase, wins do.

      Let’s see what happens on Texas next week, but I think I am not much of a fan of this package.

      (Photo source: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

      Race winner for the Auto Club 400 is Kyle Busch, getting his 200th win in all series. I’m glad that he got it over with because frankly I am tired of hearing about it and I honestly think Kyle was tired of hearing about it. I don’t understand why they take this magical 200 wins in all series number and put all this emphasis on it. It would be like taking Tony Stewart and tabulating all of his dirt car?wins into his cup wins and putting that number out there. And don’t even get me started about comparing him to Richard Petty. Richard Petty and Kyle Busch aren’t contemporaries. How many you raced in a season and what you raced are different. It would be like comparing my SAT scores to the SAT scores of someone of the same age taking them today. The test has dramatically changed since I took the SATs so it wouldn’t be a fair comparison, just like NASCAR’s premier?series has changed over the years. (more…)

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