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Chase Race 3: Dover

Posted by Amy in General | NASCAR

Was it just me or was that race at Dover about 150 laps too long?  Maybe it was just me because when my driver doesn’t do so well I get grumpy about it and the Dover race wasn’t the best for the Tony and the 14 team.  I remember hearing Tony say that Dover was one of the chase tracks that they were concerned with- so I wasn’t surprised to see the team struggle with handling issues.  I do NOT like it when my driver finishes a lap down…and it makes me uber cranky when he finishes more than a lap down.  The car was ill handling the entire weekend as obvious by Tony’s practice speeds, qualifying effort and race. I wasn’t listening to the radio so I don’t know the exacts of HOW the handling was but but I honestly don’t think it matters much. They were bad. They know they were bad. According to the team report for Dover, Darian says that they have been routinely bad at concrete tracks:

The biggest thing is just that we don’t have the concrete tracks figured out yet. It’s obvious. At Bristol and Dover, we’ve just struggled for three years now with Tony there. We just need to figure out what we need to do. It’s not because of a lack of effort. We’re going to keep trying to find a few things and keep fighting.” Darian Grubb, Crew Chief of the #14 Chevy Impala.

Also from the team report, I don’t understand the technical aspects of what Tony means when he says “even when we got the balance halfway decent we didn’t have speed.” Now shouldn’t the car have speed? It’s too technical for me to wrap my beady little brain around I guess. I do take some solace in the face that Newman seemed to be struggling too. I guess that they were equally crummy across the board leads me to think that it IS a technical issue that will be ironed out and hopefully soon. So the race really is NO fun to watch when you driver is struggling ALL race long just to attempt to be competitive.

To make this post a tad more cheery I would like to share with you a series of photos from photographer Glenn Bure who kindly shoots a couple of the NorthEast races and then kindly sends me his Tony pictures. I love this series by Glenn because they show off Tony’s helmet. Tony must have quite a few helmets and it seems to me that they all have different designs. I know he ran a cool patriotic design to go with his Richmond car- but I don’t know exactly how many helmets he has. I get frustrated because sometimes I want to see what his helmet looks like but never get to see it.  Glenn was able to get some shots of this one that I hadn’t seen before:

Tony Stewart futzes with his helmet pre-race at Dover. (Photo Credit: Glenn Bure for BadGroove)

Now the pink on the helmet is all reflection (I think) from the number on the roof of the car- which I will get to later. Here is a little different view of Tony and his helmet:

Tony and his helmet- pre-race at Dover. (photo credit: Glenn Bure for Badgroove)

Again I think the pink (except for the pink ribbon on the shield) is reflection from the number on the roof of his car.  Because the car was all pink-ified for breast cancer awareness month:

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, drives on track during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images North America)

Most of the Chevy drivers (not all- I didn’t see any pink on Jimmie Johnson’s car -but I did see that his crew chief was wearing a pink hat) had pink on their cars because October is breast cancer awareness month.  It was a little odd. However then I watched some football that afternoon- more pink in the football and then in the late evening I watched some bull riding and even the cowboys were either wearing pink shirts or had a pink bandana tied somewhere on their person (one guy was even wearing his like a pink cape).  But I totally digress.

Back to racing and Tony Stewart! Even though they had a bad run at Dover I still have faith that Tony Stewart and the whole #14 team can pull of a championship…they need to just #KeepDigging. Tony is currently tied for third in the points standings with Dover winner Kurt Busch and are only 9 points out of the lead.  Current chase leader is Kevin Harvick.

Notes:

Remember to enter the Office Depot 14for14 contest on the Office Depot Racing website this month the prize is the poster of Tony and the team and is autographed by Tony and team.  While you are there at the Office Depot Racing website, don’t forget to get the coupon to take to the Office Depot print center to get your NOVEMBER poster.  Does anyone have them all? I am missing June….and I am sad about it cuz I loved June- it was one of my favorite months.

Oh and here is another picture of Tony from Glenn:

I can't decide if he's thinking or if he's confused...but it's a silly face all the same. (Photo Credit: Glenn Bure for BadGroove)

#KeepDiggingTony and #GoTonyGo at Kansas next week.

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