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.
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.
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.
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