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Race 6: Martinsville 1

Posted by Amy in General | NASCAR

Martinsville- what can I say except Tony Stewart lucked into a 7th place finish by attrition thanks to that big wreck at the end there that took out several of the front runners.

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, sits in his car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. (Photo credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America)

I love watching Martinsville- it’s my favorite track to watch on TV but this race kind of sucked because Tony seemed pretty much stuck between positions 12-15th all day long. He started the race by qualifying 15th and while he moved forward a bit here and there he never seemed able to get the car to handle well.   He even went a lap down to the leaders towards the end of the race- where you can bet I wasn’t too happy and hoping for a caution of some sort so he could get the lucky dog and be back on the lead lap.

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, stands in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America)

Enter David Ruetimann, who in the effort to keep driving his injured call round ended up breaking down on the front stretch and needing a tow.  This set several things in motion.  First Tony ended up getting the lucky dog and getting his lap back.  YEY for being on the lead lap again.  However, this restart, bunched the cars up with Jeff Gordon and teammate Jimmie Johnson out in front on older tired, yet many in the field had fresher tires.  Clint Bowyer, on fresher tires decided to try to dive bomb into the corner making it three wide. Yes you read that right- three wide in turn one at Martinsville. Newman bumped into Bowyer, causing him to bump into Gordon, who in turn bumped into Johnson. Both Hendrick cars, who were incredibly dominate all day- especially Jeff Gordon, ended up with significant damage. Ryan Newman ended up winning, and Tony Stewart ended up 7th. Much better than the 14th (or maybe he was 12th by then- but either way he ended up in a much better position) that he was running prior to the accident.  Tony Stewart is now 3rd in points, 12 points behind the leader.

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, gives Ryan Newman, driver of the #39 Outback Steak House Chevrolet, a thumbs up after Newman won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images North America)

Race winner was Ryan Newman.  And yes, I suppose I should be happy that Tony’s teammate won. I am sure Tony was happy for Ryan. But I hate it when my driver’s teammates finish better than he does- even if he happens to own the team. (I guess I am a #soreloser- amy).

Notes on Martinsville:

  1. Did you notice that while two of his drivers were battling hard for the lead at the end (Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson) Rick took neutral ground by standing on Junior’s pit box?  I found that funny. I actually think he was robbed of his 200th win because Jeff Gordon had such a dominate car all race. Even Jimmie and Junior were strong.
  2. I am using the off-week to play catchup here at BadGroove- and will be posting about the two races I have attended this season (Vegas and Fontana), as well as at least one book review for your pleasure.  So keep your eyes open for that.
  3. Have you noticed how much taller Steve Addington is than Tony Stewart? The man must be hugely tall which makes for awesome garage pictures. This one in particular from Martinsville, humors the heck out of me because it looks like a parent scolding a child:

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, and Steve Addington, crew chief of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, talk during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. (Photo Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images North America)

Remember- this weekend is an off weekend for NASCAR and the following week is a Saturday night racing at Texas Motor Speedway.

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