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Race 10: Talladega 1

Posted by Amy in General | NASCAR

I have never made it a secret that I do not like watching races at Talladega. I watch it through my fingers worried about “the big one” and fretting about my driver’s position (the closer you are to the middle of the field the more likely you are to get caught up in said “big one”).  However after watching the flip during Friday’s Arca race and Eric McClure slam (and I mean SLAM) into the wall during the Nationwide race- I was even more unsettled as I settled in to watch the delayed start of the race at Talladega on Sunday.

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 6, 2012 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit- Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America)

Tony did lead 16 laps early in the race at Talladega after jettisoning himself into the lead from his 8th place starting position, but then was mired back in traffic for most of the rest of the race.  Towards the end of the race he managed to make it up towards the front mostly through attrition- I think to 13th by the second to last crash but unfortunately Tony ended up a casualty of someone else’s wreck as often happens at this track. He ended up limping his car across the finish line in 24th position. This is how much of a wild card Talladega can be- because even though Tony came in a dismal 24th? He went UP one position in the points standing- up to 7th. Remember last week he finished 3rd at Richmond and stayed the same in the points. Race winner at Talladega was Brad Keselowski.

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, jokes with a crew member in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 4, 2012 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit- Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America)

Notes About Talladega:

  1. It seems to me that in an effort to dissuade the tandem drafting, NASCAR’s package caused more issues with overheating cars than improving the “racing” at the speedway. I know it was hot in Talladega, but it often is there and you don’t often see so many cars having water temperature issues.  It’s not racing when the cars are having to move down to the apron or back off just to cool their cars. Tony Stewart said it (somewhat sarcastically- which I will talk about in a minute), Jeff Gordon said it.  Numerous cars were having issues. It was disappointing because as I mentioned a few weeks ago- races with too many mechanical failures make me sad- because that is not a race.
  2. As I mentioned in the opening paragraph Eric McClure had a heck of a collision with the wall as part of a multi-car accident at Talladega during Saturday’s Nationwide race. He was hospitalized at University of Alabama Birmingham hospital for a concussion and internal bruising. He was released from the hospital last night.
  3. Ahh the return of Tony Stewart- master of sarcasm (aka “old Tony” or as Stewart-Haas Racing tweeted- “Retro Tony”).  What surprised me about the whole deal? Was not that Tony was being sarcastic – no that didn’t surprise me at all.  What surprised me is that media members couldn’t tell if he was being serious or not.  Granted I was NOT there BUT I read it. Then I listened to it. Then I watched it. And at no time did I ever think that Tony was NOT being sarcastic. I propose a new position (perhaps an internship?)- a person to stand right there next to Tony and his PR guru Mike Arning (the guy in the red shirt in the video) during Tony’s media sessions. The intern’s sole purpose would be to hold up a SARCASM sign ala one of my favorite TV Shows- Big Bang Theory to help the media understand when Tony is engaging in sarcasm:

    Leonard (center) deploys a SARCASM sign so Sheldon (right, partially off-camera) knows when Penny (left) is being sarcastic. (photo credit: Stolen off the internet to prove a point)

Next race: Darlington on Saturday night.

Gratuitous Non Tony Stewart Picture:

Not Tony, but his crew chief Steve Addington this time. This picture cracks me up.

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, talks to crew chief Steve Addington (R) in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 4, 2012 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images North America)

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One Response

  • Billie Samuelson says:

    Yeah, I was wondering how many newbies must be in the media center to think Tony was not engaging in sarcasm. I got it because I read it. I got it because I know NASCAR and knew his reputation LONG before I ever considered myself a Stewart fan.
    But even IF I didn’t know, what kind of IDIOT would say those things and mean it??? I honestly think that McClure’s injury weighed heavily on everyones mind and heart and showed up in Tony’s rant.



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