Miles the monster reached up and bit Tony Stewart square on the left front and left rear of his car. Stewart was caught up in the “Monster” lap nine melee at Dover. It isn’t a surprise really. After all, he qualified his car 29th in the field of 43 cars. I so wasn’t thrilled when I saw the results of qualifying on my cell phone- that is back in the danger zone. The zone where if someone screws up you can be innocently caught up in their mistake because of Dover’s “self cleaning” feature. I made sure that I put on my checker flag socks this morning- just in case. I just had a feeling that starting that far back would not.
So I looked up and there not even 10 laps into the 400 lap race was Tony Stewart nosing into the wall after contact with Landon Castle and Regan Smith. Arg- if you all could have seen and/or heard the royal hissy fit I threw- luckily only miss Roxy was subjected to that and she isn’t talking. She is too embarrassed of her owner. At least the hit didn’t seem “THAT” hard- and it was nice to hear that the three of the major instigators that started the melee (Stewart, Castle and Smith) each take responsibility for their part of it and didn’t play the blame game. As I saw it the wreck was a little bit of Castle, Stewart and Regan’s fault. Stewart made slight contact with Castle after Castle seemed to come down the track a little (Castle later said that he was already so loose but when he got close to Stewart he’s got even more loose) but I do believe that both Castle and Stewart probably would have gathered it back up if Regan Smith hadn’t made the poor judgement call of deciding to use their “rubbing” to his advantage and try to pass the two cars as they tried to right themselves.
Of course Tony wouldn’t have been in it at all if he had qualified better. I am not sure who is to blame for missing the car set up. They seemed to miss it for the All-Star Race AND the Coca-Cola 600 as well. I can only hope against hope that this is going to be Team 14′s rock bottom and the rest of the season will look up.
Tony finished the race in 25th, 69 laps off the lead. Race winner was Jimmie Johnson with his 7th win at Dover International Speedway.
Notes About Dover:
1. Despite the fact that Tony’s day was pretty much ruined by the early wreck at Dover, I was proud of the crew for getting Tony’s car back together so quickly despite the fact that it was so damaged. I was proud of all the team for getting the car back out to try to salvage the points. And I was proud of Tony for driving it- as much as I am sure it has to be hard to go back out there knowing you are 60+ laps down at the time and give it your best. For that effort by everyone I am proud.
2. HMS Cars all seem to be on fire. There was a win by Jimmie- the second in as many weeks. Dale Earnhardt Jr was strong most of the day as was Jeff Gordon.
3. Speaking of Jeff Gordon- if that team didn’t have bad luck they would have no luck at all. They work their way up from 14th steadily and end up with a loose wheel taking them to over a lap down? Yet they fought back to a 13th place finish and also went up in the points one position. I love it when the drivers/teams don’t give up and keep fighting.
4. OK and I have to admit I LOVED the lighthearted humor that Jimmie Johnson’s team seemed to have with their Madagascar 3 paint scheme. The rainbow fro wigs donned by Jimmie in Pre-Race and several 48 crew members after the win was epic! LOVED that. Absolutely loved it.
5. Special thanks to photographer Glenn Bure for providing us with pictures from Dover- we always appreciate it when he is able to provide us with pictures from the East Coast races!
Next Race will be the first race on TNT- Pocono this Sunday.
Gratuitous Tony Stewart Pictures:
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