(Sorry for the delay in the race report- my laptop’s processor decided to die on me so I am having to update this at work during my break and lunches. I suppose I could use my Kindle- but I find typing on it awkward- like I am trying to text on a giant phone with tiny hands or something. My new laptop should be here around Friday- thank goodness. Wish me luck figuring out Windows 8).
I really wanted to Tony to win this race- Darlington is one of two tracks that Tony hasn’t won at- so I REALLY wanted him to win at it (the other is Kentucky- if you are wondering). Of course technically I want Tony Stewart to win every race. I am competitive like that and live vicariously through my driver. Unfortunately it was not to be. He qualified 23rd- definitely could have been worse- but it also definitely could have been better. I chalked it up to a bad couple of qual runs and hoped race day would be better.
But alas race day was NOT better- I dare say it was worse. The car did not handle well- and there were several times Tony asked for adjustments to help – a couple of them he was quite frustrated with the way the car was or was not responding. I believe at one point Tony pretty much said “I really don’t know what more I can tell you” about how to make the car handle better. It was around this point I believe I bemoaned: Why is it that when Kevin Harvick’s car is strong, Tony’s car is junk and when Tony’s car is strong Kevin Harvick’s is junk? WHY?!? I was a frustrated race fan with a frustrated driver- who at one point was two laps down. Yes you read that right TWO LAPS DOWN! Sigh.
It’s at this point that I would usually lose interest in the race- but I couldn’t. Why? Because the racing was GOOD at the front. I mean good. I got wrapped up in that and (hangs her head) kind of stopped paying attention to where Tony was on the track. He seemed fairly much stuck in the 20s and I had resigned him to that. What a mistake I made.
I remember that for the first Green-White-Checker hearing Chad Johnston tell Tony and the crew that they were going to do four tires but no fuel to make the nose of the car heavy. I thought it was an interesting strategy but figured it was too little to late kind of deal. I need to officially apologize to both Chad and Tony for that. I was so caught up with what was going on at the front of the field and the second Green-White-Checker that I still do not know how Tony ended up finishing 9th. It was after the race and I just happened to glance up at the TV when they were scrolling through the field and I remember seeing Tony in 9th. I was all WAIT UP WAIT UP- did that just say that Tony Stewart finished 9th?! Seriously? (I had to rewind the tv to double check- yep there it was in black and white- Tony finished 9th). That was an awesome finish. His ninth place finish brought him up to 12th in the series points standing- something I would get excited about if points mattered for the chase- which they do not.
The winner was Stewart-Haas Teammate Kevin Harvick- whom I might add is also the first driver of the season with multiple wins (2). I think I can dare say that Kevin Harvick is locked into the chase at this point. Whoo!
Notes about Darlington:
1. At one point in the race Tony Stewart said: You’ve got to get me some grip…I’m getting my ass handed to me. My father says: Is he hungry? I look confused. My dad said- he just said you’ve got to get me some grits. Oh the laughs. Because if he was hungry- of course grits would be the most handy thing for a Tony Stewart to snack on in the car. (By the way- for the record- I don’t think my father has ever even had grits- being California born and raised. I was born and raised in California too but I have…and I don’t like them).
2. Here is a great article about the paramedic Jay Masur that Tony credits with saving his leg and his life last August.
Gratuitous Tony Stewart pictures:
This weekend is an off weekend for Easter- and then the following Saturday (April 26th) is Tony Stewart’s favorite track: Richmond!!
#14in14 #GoTonyGo #StandWithSmoke