— ESPN The Magazine’s “Body Issue” hit newsstands a couple weeks ago and I finally bought a copy on my way back from Vegas. I was a little disappointed that there weren’t multiple photos of Carl Edwards to drool over, but still it was great that he was included in the issue at all. If you’re a super serious Carl fan then you’ll be happy to know that you can buy a poster of Carl’s cover directly from ESPN. Just go to espnthemag.com/covers.
— Why was Dale Earnhardt Jr. running on a beach with a gnome in his arms?
— This week Office Depot and Tony Stewart announced the winners of the “Show Us Your 14″ online photo contest. Tony personally picked each winner himself and along with each person’s bio is a quote from him explaining why he choose them.
GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Jeff Strangman of Seabrook, New Hampshire
Jeff Strangman never misses a NASCAR race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS), located roughly 65 miles northwest of his home in Seabrook, N.H., and the loyal Tony Stewart supporter is something of a celebrity among fans at the 1.508-mile track. Every season since 1996, Strangman has attended both Sprint Cup Series events at NHMS with his meticulously branded 1964 camper in tow. He parks in the same spot for each race and enjoys the enthusiastic response his rig gets from fellow fans. Last spring, Strangman estimates he spent 80 hours detailing and repainting the camper from orange to red to match Tony Stewart’s new look with the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice team. “This is as authentic and old school in NASCAR as you can get,” Tony Stewart said about Strangman’s photo.
FIRST PRIZE WINNER: Melanie Hutchens of Hammond, Oregon
Hutchens’ four-year-old black lab, Isabelle, has one of the most colorful dog houses in the neighborhood. After reading about the Office Depot “Show Us Your 14″ online photo contest, Hutchens – who was in the process of painting her home red – decided to extend the hue to Isabelle’s house and incorporated the No. 14 “paint scheme” as well. And if the paint looks a little wet in the shot, well, that’s because it probably was! Hutchens said she finished painting just in time to take this photo and submitted it three hours before the contest deadline. The longtime Tony Stewart fan is excited about her HP prize package and plans to share her winnings with others by donating a laptop to a charitable organization during the holiday season. “The only person other than me in the dog house…sit…good boy!” Tony Stewart said about Hutchens’ photo.
SECOND PRIZE WINNER: Diane Cox of East Alton, Illinois
Dedicated Tony Stewart fan Diane Cox and her four-year-old daughter, Mackenzie Cox, were inspired to build this replica of Stewart’s No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy when Mackenzie and her pre-school classmates at Washington Elementary School in East Alton, Illinois, were assigned a school project to “build a car out of a box” during National Transportation Week earlier this year. It took Diane and Mackenzie – who likes to call her mom’s favorite driver “Tony Stewart Little” after her favorite Disney movie, “Stuart Little” – two days to build the colorful car. “Somebody call the police; a cute young blond stole my car!” Tony Stewart said about Cox’s photo.