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Race 7: Texas Motor Speedway (The “It Had To Be Written” Post)

Posted by Amy in General | NASCAR

I am going to say something that I don’t like saying: it’s obvious that something is amiss with Stewart-Haas this season- specifically the #14 team of Tony Stewart. I know I know- thank you Captain Obvious right?  But as stalwart of a Tony Stewart fan that I am- I can not go on being the girl with the rosy camouflaged colored glasses any more. We are going into race 8 of the season now and Tony’s mired way down in 22nd in the Sprint Cup points standings- a full 111 points behind current points leader Jimmie Johnson.

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America)

Sure mechanical failures happen; tires blow, fuel pickups fail, wheel hubs break.  Pit road mistakes can plague your team during a race or two- tires roll away, wrenches go for rides around the track, pit boxes can be missed.  Set ups can be bad right off the truck.  And yes I know this is a new car that they are still learning.  But we are almost 8 races in- this can’t be bad luck anymore.

It’s hard to write a post after each race when each race it seems sucks for your driver.  I know I am not the only frustrated fan- I see the calls for a new crew chief and/or engineers and the surmising that maybe Tony as the boss is stretched just a little too thin with his other endeavors- mainly racing dirt. It all comes from a place of frustration as a fan because we can’t do ANYTHING to help our driver except continue to root each week. It’s the same place that makes me groan when my brother says “Oh hey- how’s Tony doing this season?” and reply plainly “Don’t ask.”   It gets frustrating.  Heck this last race- our DRIVER was frustrated… immensely frustrated! At one point during the race he pointing out to the team that he wasn’t sure if they noticed but he had just been passed by “Blaney, Reutimann, and Stremme.” During a subsequent caution he demanded that he didn’t care how many times he had to come down pit road but they needed to fix the car.  So the frustration is not lost on him- he wants to win. He wants the chance to win.

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, and his crew chief Steve Addington stand in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images North America)

What can we do as we wait for the 14 team to find whatever mojo they may have lost, whatever link might be broken?  Continue to support our driver, his team and sponsors. How can we not right? I know – people poke fun at fans of teams or drivers with less than stellar records and wonder how can you root for them, him, her?  It’s because something drew you to your team, your driver that even you don’t necessarily understand (see Musings On Being A Tony Stewart Fan 1). So we wait for them to turn it around…because they will.  But don’t think that I don’t want to find another pair of pink socks with checkered flag on them like the ones I wore every race day through the end of the 2011 championship season…until they were so threadbare that my heel practically poked out of the suckers. They were my good luck Tony socks and I really need a new pair people.  Sigh.

So that’s not really a traditional race report I guess…but it’s what I feel. Anyone got a lead on a cute pair of pink socks with checkered flags on them? I think I might need a pair.

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series NRA 500.
(Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images North America)


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5 Responses

  • sue says:

    I feel the same. Somethings broken. Not many fans over at the SHR website are looking through those rose colored glasses either. Tony during the race expressed his frustration when he exclaimed that he had been passed by 2 3rd tier teams. The response for the crew chief was a soft spoken 10-4. I’ll back any changes they make. Tony’s too good of a driver to be in this position. All I can say is for the son of a gun that he can be he certainly has more patience than I have. I would have made changes some time ago.

    I too wish I had some cute pink socks.

  • @kevinmboots77 says:

    Tony seemed pissed. Grubb and Zippy always listened to him about changes and made them. Addington doesn’t seem to listen and tries to make what he thinks the car needs. I like Steve but something needs to change and soon.

    On a side note; anyone else listen to the driver audio? I know you do Amy, do they censor it? I am awfully mad the I paid a subscription to have a censored audio feed.

  • billie says:

    My status upon leaving TMS was: “so this is what it’s like to be a Dale, Jr. Fan.”
    Do you remember a movie called “Sommersby”? Richard Gere and Jodie Foster? He was sentenced to hang and he didn’t want to face it alone. She stayed n the crowd and watched him hang because of loyalty. Yep…that’s it, right there…

  • Mary Ann says:

    TOTALLY AGREE, AMY! My son and I were just talking about that same quote – being passed by the “slow guys” (please note, that is MY term). Son asked “Are we even competitive, where are we in points?” I told him I have been afraid to look – but it is not good. (Even tho I have been mocking the TV talking heads who usually say things like “Smoke typically doesn’t win until it gets hot and slick,” but of course, not this year.) And Our Boy was definitely frustrated this week. I too have wondered if his plan to run 50 dirt races, or whatever, might be part of the problem. He is the master of racing multitasking…has there been enough time testing?…has there been enough late night Saturday talking out the issues?…And what is the 39 team doing that they can what seems to be a so-so day, with a mid-pack start as well as some mistakes, and still sneak in a top 10 finish??? Is there a girlfriend – or not – it has been an issue in the past? As for the pink socks…I will keep an eye out for them.

  • Mary Ann says:

    Re: Radio question from Kevin – I listen to audio/scanner on Raceview, when it is working. Once in a while it does seem to be censored. I also saw someone on Twitter complaining that the Nascar App that she had paid for seemed to 1) censor, 2) stop right at the checkered flag – meaning we missed those last few comments that Smoke often makes. So, you could have a valid concern.

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