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Race 13: Charlotte (Coca-Cola 600)

Posted by Amy in General | NASCAR
Tony Stewart on the qualifying grid for the CocaCola 600

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images North America)

Qualified: 25th

Finished: 7th

Race Winner: Kevin Harvick

Points After the Coca-Cola 600: 20th in the points standings. That is 154 points out of first, and only 44 points out of 10th now.  We have no wins for the wild card berths yet.

My Mood After the Coca-Cola 600: More than cautiously optimistic for Team 14 / Glad that the 600 is in the books because I always forget how blasted long that race really is.

I always look forward to the Coca-Cola 600 for a myriad of reasons.  It sits there on my calendar signalling the beginning of summer.  What I always forget? Is how freaking long the 600 is! I am not saying it needs to be shortened- I think it is nice to have one be extra long – a marathon if you like. Still, I think one 600 mile race a season is plenty. Especially when that 600 mile race gets stopped for THREE red flags totaling more than thirty-five minutes.

Tony qualified 25th. I wasn’t paying too much attention to actual qualifying but did know that he went out 16th to qualify.  Somehow my brain turned it into that he actually qualified 16th so I was kind of hopeful until my dad is all “Um- he qualified 23rd or something.” My optimism balloon popped just like that.  Ok it didn’t actually pop until I verified that his information was correct (it wasn’t- it was even more dire- 25th) because sometimes he doesn’t know what he speaks of.

The best part was the actual race though. Right away I thought that Tony started moving up the field from 25th – which to me was a good sign. Then they seemed to get stuck right around 19th for awhile. Although not as long as I thought thanks to my NASCAR 13 mobile ap sticking him at 19th the whole dang race..and don’t get me started about how halfway through the scanner would just dump and when I would go back into the ap to turn it back on it would go to Dover which of course had no live scanner. Thank GOODNESS this ap is free for me (sprint customer) because I wouldn’t pay for it.

Then there was the cable, rope whatever you want to call it that snapped during the race. They were lucky that not more people were hurt I will say that because consider this. Ok…so the rope was laying on the track and going over the grandstands.  Car  hits rope going nearly 200 mph and stretches rope until it breaks. Rope snaps and rebounds into the crowd. Yeah…that could have been REALLY ugly.  I was glad when I saw the report on Facebook later that night that all fans- even the three taken to the hospital were released. I hope they are all doing okay.

It really wasn’t until the very end of the race that Tony heated up- after the last pit stop especially- He seemed to finally be able to move around the track. I WISH I could have heard what he was saying on the radio about this part of the race but my scanner ap died AGAIN…and I was frustrated.  My dad even noticed it too because he was all “It there were another 50 – 100 laps Tony would have been in the top three.” To which I said “They just drove 600 miles I am sure they don’t want to add another 100 miles to that.  Even Tony who loves to race. I am sure he was done.”

And when they kept Tony out to lead a lap? I did a little happy song and dance that went something like this “We got a bonus point we got a bonus point we got a bonus point.” I won’t subject you to the little dance though.

Even Tony was pleased to finish 7th!  YEY! I was so disappointed that no one interviewed him for the TV after the race.  But I did find this article about his post race for MRN. My favorite quote:

I’ve never been so happy to run seventh in my life,’’ Tony Stewart to MRN

That isn’t even what made me optimistic though. It was this quote:

“We go to our debrief (Tuesday) and instead of sitting there, I don’t even know what direction (to go),’ I can pick apart 20 things with the car tonight because it was close enough to where I could actually pick it apart vs. sitting there and just guessing. It’s easy to get so far out of balance that you cannot give them any guidance on what to do to even get to square (one)” Tony Stewart to MRN

Also- I have been SCOURING the web for a picture of his helmet because it looked pretty cool judging by the quick glimpse I got from this picture:

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images North America)

Notes About the 600:

1. This video CRACKS ME UP. NSFW really because you don’t have to be a lip reader to figure out what this girlfriend was saying to her boyfriend who just launched a waterbottle onto the track after the All-Star Race:

2. This article pisses me off (apparently these are all about emotions today).  At the end the author surmises the reasons why Tony Stewart has been struggling this season. One of those reasons? He is getting older. Um REALLY?  You do realize that Greg Biffle is older right (Misty kindly pointed this out to me as we were batting this back back and forth over email today).  He is currently 13th in the standings and while his season hasn’t been stellar he’s most definitely NOT been struggling the way Tony has. Urg…get over the age thing people. Seriously. I really want Tony to go on a ramp and kick some ass just to prove that WRONG. Now excuse me I have to go get my eyes fixed- they were damaged by excessive eye rolling while reading the article. Just saying.

3. For the first time ever I wore a Tony Stewart shirt on race day. Hmm and he did pretty damn good. Guess I will be wearing it next weekend too. Hey it can’t hurt right?

4. The photographer in me by the way? LOVES that picture up at the top. It’s well framed. LOVE IT.

Speaking of pictures here is the Gratuitous Tony Picture for you all:

NASCAR driver Tony Stewart attends iHeartRadio and Coca-Cola’s Open For Summer Concert Featuring Trace Adkins and Josh Thompson on May 24, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The concert kicks off Coke’s Open For Summer initiative, which helps families get out and get active all season long through prize giveaways – such as tickets, gift cards and once-in-a-lifetime experiences – which can be won on MyCokeRewards.com. The Open For Summer Kickoff Concert will stream across more than 100 Clear Channel Mainstream Country stations nationwide and on iHeartRadio’s Country Road Radio during a 60-minute Memorial Day broadcast. (Photo Credit: Brian Ach/Getty Images North America)

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