Associated Press

CLARE, Mich. -- Connie Bradley nearly saw her family's house go completely up in flames. For the fact that it didn't, she can thank, in part, Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth.

It all started on Valentine's Day. Connie, 44, her husband, Ron, 48, and their daughter, Jordyn, 9, went out for lunch Feb. 14 at Lone Star Steakhouse in Mount Pleasant. Mother and daughter also enjoyed watching the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on TV at the restaurant.

When it comes to NASCAR, Connie and Jordyn are diehard fans. Connie's favorite driver is Stewart, while Jordyn's is Kenseth.

"The Nationwide race had started," Connie said. "My husband doesn't care about the races, just my daughter and I do. He went to a niece's basketball game (after lunch), and my daughter and I hurried home to watch the race. Both of our favorite drivers were racing: hers is Matt Kenseth, and mine is Tony Stewart."

And that was the key right there: Both of their favorites were in the race. It would have been a much different story for the Bradleys had Stewart and Kenseth not raced that day.

"If Matt and Tony wouldn't have been in the race, we would have hung out (in Mount Pleasant) instead of rushing home to watch the race," Connie said.

So Connie and Jordyn drove straight home and pulled into the driveway of their brick ranch about three miles south of Clare.

"We pulled into the driveway like normal, and we were rushing to the house to claim our spots in front of the TV," Connie said. "When I first opened the door, I thought it was a person coming out, it was a big black blob, it was just so full of smoke. I closed the door and called 911. You couldn't (go in the house)."

Connie said a police officer was at the house within two minutes, and firefighters were there a few minutes later. She said it turned out that an electrical fire had started in a bedroom and had spread to other rooms.

But what one firefighter told Connie made her grateful to have hurried home.

"The fireman said if it would have burnt any further, it would have gone right through the attic and everything would have been burnt," she said. "If it had gotten to the attic, it would have just taken off."

Instead, Connie said, the fire had already been put out by the time Ron arrived home after getting a call from Connie on his cell phone.

"The fire department, they were awesome. They were in there real quick," Connie said.

The Bradley family is staying at a hotel in Clare while the damage to their home is assessed and repairs are made. They were told after the fire that they would be out of their house for four to six weeks.

Interestingly, Connie previously had an entire room of the house dedicated to Stewart, even painted in Home Depot orange. But when the longtime Home Depot-sponsored No. 20 driver changed his racing team, sponsorship and car number after last racing season, Connie packed up all the Stewart memorabilia and put it in the garage, ready to start decorating the room anew with Stewart's new number and new sponsor.

That was a fortunate turn of events, as the racing room was damaged by smoke while the garage was mostly unaffected by the fire.

"That was a blessing," Connie said.

While it was a difficult weekend for the Bradley family, Connie and Jordyn both had a consolation. Tony Stewart won the Nationwide race; and the next day, as mother and daughter watched in their hotel room, none other than Matt Kenseth won the Daytona 500.


Information from: Midland Daily News,

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Pretty amazing story.
That is amazing.
God works in mysterious ways
What a great story.
Gotta love NASCAR
NASCAR is the best sport out there lol

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