At a previous race during this season someone asked Tony Stewart to describe his car and his chances for that particular race. I have no memory of what race it was or who even asked him the question. I honestly don’t even remember if it was something I saw on print or on TV. Anyway, he described his car and his chances for that particular race with the phrase “cautiously optimistic.” Most everyone knows that Tony Stewart is the king of snappy, derisive one line comebacks (and this is one of the reasons he’s my driver) so why this particular, non-Stewartesque quote stuck with me all this time I haven’t a clue. It was obviously something my brain felt the need to file in it’s bulging back pocket.
I only mention this because when I sat down to watch the Kansas race that is EXACTLY how I felt about his chances. First off- Tony seemed to have a strong car in first practice. Second practice didn’t go so hot, but as my wise friend told me- who knows what they were doing- possibly running in a different trim than the rest of the field or experimenting with alternate setups. Qualifying went alright- I would much rather see Tony qualify 13th than 28th or whatever. Plus did I mention that I really enjoyed THE GLADES/OFFICE DEPOT paint scheme with that big bleeding ORANGE on the hood (emphasis on orange because for some reason unbeknownst to me- many fans thought it was a peach)? Because I have to say this paint scheme rocked:
Hmm where was I? I got distracted by the cool paint scheme. Oh yeah, cautiously optimistic- that was me. I continued with my cautious optimism throughout 90% of the race. Tony obviously had a great car because while he started in 13th he moved through the field quickly breaking into the top ten and hung in the top ten nearly the entire race including a stint leading while attempting to prep for a few mileage ending. I say attempting because in the subsequent pit stop there was apparently an issue with the gas can (again) and the car didn’t get a full tank. This forced the crew to call Tony into the pits with 10 laps to go.
(Side note about picture above- I just thought I would share that it bothers me when the pit crew uniforms don’t match the paint scheme. I realize it’s a money issue but it still bothers my delicate sensibilities.)
All was not lost however. Tony did end up finishing 8th in the race- which is better than his 13th starting position. And while yes I know that one has nothing to do with the other- I have this weird thing where I always feel better if Tony finishes better than where he started. Tony Stewart moved up one position in the Sprint Cup standings and is now 8th.
Race winner was a very happy Brad Keselowski!
- One of the main reasons this recap didn’t get published right away is because I wanted to see how my fantasy league did this race. Oh I haven’t mentioned it lately? Well it’s because I have been kinda hanging out in the lower middle of our standings. Well considering that all six of my drivers finished in the top 16 and 4 of them finished in the top 8 – I knew I would jump up…but I wasn’t sure how high. Well I can proudly say I am now 39th (hey…I jumped 21 spots- whoo go me).
- As I was writing this it was announced that Stewart-Haas Racing has released Director of Competition Bobby Hutchens. Matt Borland was promoted internally to Vice President of Competition and will also serve as the Interim Director of Competition until that position is filled. There was no mention as to a reason for Hutchen’s release from the team.
- SB Nation reported yesterday that Stewart’s teammate Ryan Newman may have received a secretive fine from NASCAR for his possible physical altercation with Juan Pablo Montoya in the NASCAR Hauler earlier in the season. Of course no one will comment officially beyond the usual “what happens in the hauler stays in the hauler” rhetoric. Of course if NASCAR did confirm the fine (which they didn’t) they would also be confirming that the “alleged” altercation was actually actual and not alleged after all. Plus how can a secret fine be secret if it’s confirmed. Doesn’t this all sound like something straight from The Onion?
- I feel I can’t go without mentioning that car owner Richard Childress was fined for the physical altercation he initiated in the garage area after the Camping World Truck race on Saturday. Kyle Busch was not fined or punished in any way.
- If you were moved by the piece on Jamie McMurray visiting tornado ravaged Joplin during the pre-race…you really should check out this article on it by Marty Smith over on ESPN. It’s an awesome piece of writing about a heart-wrenching tragedy. Be sure to have tissue near by and don’t read it at work unless you want officemates to see you all teary.
- There was a reason for Tony to be running THE GLADES beyond the fact that Sunday was the first episode of the new season. I have mentioned this before but Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards and Joey Logano will be in a NASCAR themed episode that airs June 26th. Thank goodness for DVRS because I will probably sitting in traffic somewhere in the bay area when it shows.
- And just moments before I was about to hit PUBLISH on this post I found this great interview with Tony Stewart on NASCAR.COM by Joe Menzer. Check it out.
Next Week: Pocono- that evil triangle!
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.