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Race 17: The Daytona Night Race (Pod Racing After Dark)

Posted by Amy in General | NASCAR

So I started Daytona week with a feeling of trepidation after Tony Stewart’s incident with Vickers at Infineon.  The results of the race at Infineon caused a drop in points and I am starting to panic about the points (read about my POINTS PANIC! here) so that finish in Infineon did NOT help at all.  But on Friday I was able to catch a bit of Tony’s Daytona press conference and at least I understood that he was “drawing” his line in the sand.  I have to respect his conviction there…even if I don’t necessarily agree with it.  (POINTS! PANIC AT THE DISCO WE ARE OUT OF THE TOP TEN!)

“I’ve drawn my line in the sand, and the next guy that blocks me, he is going to suffer the same fate. It doesn’t matter who it is. That’s what it’s going to be.” Tony Stewart, Daytona’s Friday Press Conference

“I’ll make sure when I do it the next time that the guy doesn’t have the opportunity to come back and wreck me.” Tony Stewart, Daytona’s Friday Press Conference

I also got from the press conference that the reason that Tony wasn’t planning on drafting with his teammate Ryan Newman is that he didn’t want to put all his eggs in one basket should an event during the race occur. And did they occur.

(L-R) Joe Nemechek, driver of the #87 NEMCO Motorsports Toyota, Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Burger King Chevrolet, Travis Kvapil, driver of the #38 Long John Silver's Ford and David Gilliland, driver of the #34 Front Row Motorsports Ford, race during the Coke ZERO 400 at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images North America)

(I dub thee Stewiland and Kvapilchek respectively pod racers)

Tony spent much of the race in the back of the pack just kinda hanging out with his drafting partner from the last restrictor plate race, David Gilliland. So they were dubbed Stewiland again.  Stewiland did do a test run to the front about at the halfway point? Just to see how long it would take I am thinking.  He even led a lap- so YEY extra point there.  However in the last part of the race, Tony seemed mired at the end of the field and I was sure it was going to be another dismal finish for Tony and the 14 crew. However- thanks  to two accident induced green-white-checkers – most especially that last one…Tony worked his way up to an 11th place finish. While I would usually not be as happy as I was with an 11th place finish, its only because laps before I was worried he would finish 20th or even possibly lower than that.  So while Tony didn’t gain in the points standings, he also didn’t really drop in the points standings.  He remains 12th (with NO WINS! PANIC AT THE RACE TRACK!).  Race winner was David Ragan!

The race at Daytona really got me thinking about “pod” racing or the 2×2 racing or whatever you want to call what restrictor plate racing has become. I am trying to decide if I like it or not.  I use to think maybe I did but now I am not so sure. While I still think that pod racing is better than the two long freight trains that jockeyed back and forth all race, I am not sure that I like the fact that you are STILL dependent on someone else to win.  It just seems more like politicking and less like racing.  I have to tell you though that I LOVED Junior’s post race comments, as reported by sbnation, about the whole deal:

“You guys need to get your own frickin’ opinions and write what y’all think about it,” he said. “Because I think (those opinions are) pretty damn close to mine. So stop putting my damn foot in my mouth with y’all and getting my ass in trouble. Y’all write what y’all think, man. C’mon. Y’all are good. Y’all got an opinion about it; I read y’all’s shit.” Dale Jr as quoted by SBNation

Emphasis is mine, because that part is the best part of the whole damn quote right there.  Seriously that has to be one of THE best quotes of the season, let alone the Daytona race.  Junior doesn’t like pod racing.

Notes About Daytona:

  1. I still think that making up cutsie names for the different pod combinations is fun (see picture above).
  2. Don’t think I didn’t notice that it was Evil Brian Vickers as I now call him, pushing Tony at the end of the Daytona race. I still think I will call him EBV though.  At least until someone else makes me mad, anyway. Then all will no doubt be forgotten.
  3. Dear SiriusXM DJ (you were either on The Boneyard or Hair Nation but it’s been days now so I can’t remember which)- Yes the race REALLY was called the Subway Jalapeno 250 (talking about the nationwide race there) maybe you should have read the promo to yourself before reading it on the air so you didn’t sound dumb.

Next week we go Sprint Cup racing for the first time in Kentucky!!

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Burger King Chevrolet, looks on while he sits in his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series COKE ZERO 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 1, 2011 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images North America)


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One Response

  • Charity says:

    I love that quote from Dale Jr. I only got a portion of it via Twitter, but I laughed my butt off at the portion I did get. :P

    For some reason I am not panicking at the thought of Tony not making the Chase. I suppose this is due to the fact that I figure every driver is allowed to have an “off year.” That does not mean, however, that I do not want his butt in the Chase.

    On that note, could NASCAR please stop playing with the Chase? They are making me dizzy!

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