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Chase Race 6: It’s TallaKansas (Kansas Speedway with all the wrecks of ‘Dega).

Posted by Amy in General | NASCAR

I try to think of some witty title for each race post and I admit it isn’t always the easiest of tasks.  This time I did NOT come up with it myself: I totally credit my TwitterPeep @darksider14 with coming up with TallaKansas!  So Kansas was a complete wreck fest on Sunday with a new track record of 14 cautions, the previous track record being set the day before at the Nationwide Series race on Saturday with 12.

(Photo Credit: Borrowed Without Asking From The Official Tony Stewart Website- click on photo to be taken to original)

So about Tony Stewart; he qualified 33rd. There is not much to say there except that Tony has never been be best of qualifiers- which is why us Smoke fans tend to get really into celebrating it when he gets a pole- because it isn’t often. Anyway- not a stellar effort- but it could have been worse I suppose. During the pre-race show- the weather at Kansas looked beautiful- skies were blue and clear. By the time the green flag dropped the skies over the Kansas Speedway were clouded and dreary looking. I wonder if that effected the way the car handled because Tony seemed to be able to gain a couple of positions here and there at the beginning of the run but would complain later that the car was tight tight tight (and later in the race that changed to plowing).  The first caution, Steve Addington wanted to make a big swing at it- so that is never a good sign to me.

Tony on track at Kansans. (Photo Credit: Borrowed Without Asking From The Official Tony Stewart Website- click on photo to be taken to original)

Anyway- I forget what caution it was- but the team was adjusting wedge and *someone* left the wedge wrench in the back window during a two tire stop.  Tony was NOT pleased and admonished the crew over the radio (“Feel free, at any time guys, to get your heads out of…” well you get the picture I am sure). Since he was coming in to serve the penalty for removing equipment from the box, they just went a head and changed the other side’s tires while they were in.  As he was out there on the track while the yellow flag was still waving, Tony THEN went from “pissy driver Tony” to “cheerleader Tony” encouraging the team by saying something to the effect of “We still have 200 laps to get done what we need to get done. We have done it before.” If you are wondering- he stayed pretty much pissy-free the rest of the race (except for one incident where he asked his spotter to go talk to the the 22 of Sam Hornish Jr for him- I wasn’t clear though on what exactly Hornish did to tick Tony off).

Tony at Kansas Speedway. (Photo Credit: Borrowed Without Asking From The Official Tony Stewart Website- click on photo to be taken to original)

So Tony worked his way up solidly and fairly quietly and ended up with a 5th place finish.  A fifth place finish after overcoming a pit penalty, snagging Jeff Burton ten laps later on the front of his car- causing Jeff Burton to spin, oh…and did I mention that Stewart spun around lap 166 or 167? Because he did. He managed not to hit either wall- and although the car ended up with a flat or three after the spin Stewart was able to return the car to the pits without incident and again start working his way up to his 5th place finish.  Tony is now 7th in the standings 47 points behind points leader Brad Keselowski. Matt Kenseth was the race winner.

Notes About Kansas:

  1. So you can probably tell- I am a little bitter about the media portraying Jimmie Johnson’s 9th place come back as being heroic while barely bothering to MENTION the effort that Tony and Team 14 did to get to a 5th place finish.  Sure Johnson actually sustained damage in his wreck (I would tell you that Tony’s talent kept him off the wall) but did he have to overcome adversity three separate times? No. And WHY OH WHY does the national broadcast have to play Chad Knaus saying “New Leader 48″ every single stinking time he takes the damn lead? It’s getting old.  Sorry but it’s true.
  2. My favorite race statistic was tweeted by Stewart-Haas Racing last night: Stewart passed a total of 74 cars during the Hollywood Casino 400.
  3. Not really about Kansas per say: A couple races ago I tweeted: Hey ESPN why are there no “I am Tony Stewart and this is my chase” commercials?” A couple of my followers responded that it was probably because he was the defending champion. Well yeah he definitely is- but that is like writing Tony off just because he won the 2011 championship.  Granted Tony has never won back-to-back championships and it’s not looking promising at this point in the season- but I wouldn’t put it past Tony to be able to rip off a couple of wins…so that reasoning is flawed.
  4. Back to Kansas: It humored me that crew chief Greg Zipadelli admonished Danica after her on track run in with Landon Cassill (“You know better than that“). Landon Cassill’s response humored me even more: “First thing you learn in NASCAR is how to wreck someone with out wrecking yourself.”
  5. If you haven’t read this interview by Valli of The Fast And The Fabulous with Jade Gurss – the authof the book In The Red about Dale Jr.’s first year in Sprint Cup racing stop reading this and go read it now (but don’t forget to come back to me). (By the way- I have not personally read In The Red yet- I did read Gurss’s Driver #8 which I LOVED so I imagine In The Red is good too).

Gratuitous Tony Stewart picture from Kansas:

I love his expression- to me it looks like he is thinking WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? (and yes he is thinking it in ALL CAPS- don’t you think in ALL CAPS sometimes? I know I do):

Tony thinking in ALL CAPS at Kansas. (Photo Credit: Borrowed Without Asking From The Official Tony Stewart Website- click on photo to be taken to original)

Next Race: Martinsville


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