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Race 19: Daytona Night Race

Posted by Amy in General | NASCAR

Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, races Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Cessna Chevrolet, and Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Ducks Unlimited Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images North America)

Qualified: 13th

Finished: 2nd! WhooHoo- that is nearly a win and I will take it!

Race Winner: Jimmie Johnson

Points After Daytona: 1oth- six points over 11th, and 159 out of first. Houston, we are back in the top 10!

My Mood After Daytona: How could I not be happy with a 2nd at Daytona?! 

I have to start by saying I miss that they don’t call the Daytona night race the Firecracker 400 anymore.  You think that it could at least be called the Firecracker 400 presented by Coke Zero (or whomever the race sponsor is). At least then it would retain some of the nostalgia that the race use to have and the meaning of the July 4th holiday.  I also read this article that stated the race should be moved back to running on July 4th no matter what day of the week it is on. I think that is a good idea.

Apparently the “audible” call that Tony and team 14 decided to make on their strategy for the race would be to ride around the back of the field and stay out of trouble the best they could.  Steve even asked Tony to let him know what he was going half throttle so that they could better track their gas mileage for the race.

After dropping back, sometime around lap 30 Tony decided that he wanted to test what kind of car he actually had as he notified Steve “I’m fixin’ to start playing…” and he popped out of the draft line a couple of times and changed his line around the track.  I imagine it had to get boring after awhile.  The only other things of interest Tony really said during the race that I heard was that it was really hot in the car and then at a subsequent pit stop he asked Shane to prepare him a flat ziplock bag of ice that he could slip between his belts.  Other than that the race for Team 14 was fairly uneventful while Tony pretty much just minded his p’s and q’s near the rear of the first pack for a majority of the race.

Tony during driver intros

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Ducks Unlimited Chevrolet, greets fans during driver introductions during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images North America)

Of course thanks to TNT running the race during a commercial fest- I missed the move Tony made to get from the rear of the pack into 7th. And did they replay it when they came back from the commercial break? NO! All of the sudden- there was Tony in the top 10 plain as day! Still not sure how he got there.  I mean seriously TNT? I do understand that whatever station plays a race needs to have commercials- they need the ad revenue to support their station- I am not stupid.  The amount of commercials played during the race this week though? Was absolutely ridiculous.  My favorite tweet about this was from Stewart-Haas Racing actually:

I mean I also got the fact that they were going to run the last 30 laps of the race “commercial-free” and thus likely had more of the ads to fit in- so I was trying to keep an open mind.  But when then didn’t even really mention HOW Tony got into the top 10? I was done with this commercial fest that was taking brief race breaks…at least that is what it seemed like to me anyway. I thought it MIGHT possibly be worth it seeing the last 30 laps commercial free so I really really tried. But when they didn’t show Tony AND THEN they actually weren’t commercial free- they played at least once side-by-side commercial that I saw I decided that the races are already so commercially laden that this race was just over the top during the “meat” of the race- even though it wasn’t THAT exciting during that part of the race.

During that Green-White-Checker though was I the only one who was alternately hoping against hope that Tony would actually win and hoping against hope that someone wouldn’t do something stupid and end up wrecking him out. Yikes I was on edge. Luckily it all worked out- especially points wise. Although I feel like I am constantly being teased- out of the top ten, into the top ten, out of the top ten, into the top ten. Please for the love of Pete can we just stay in the top ten. And another win or three would REALLY make this Smoke fan a happy happy girl.

This picture needs a caption:

Zippy in the Garage

I so think this picture needs a caption. Greg Zipadelli, Director of Competition for Stewart-Haas Racing sits in the garage area at Daytona. (Photo Credit: The Official Stewart-Haas Racing Facebook page).

Notes About Daytona:

1. I got schooled that I am in the minority for saying this but: Since Tony couldn’t get his fifth Daytona Summer race win- I thought it was neat that Jimmie could at least complete the double. I like it when a driver does something cool like that- whether it be tying David Pearson for wins at Daytona (which is what Tony’s win would have done) or doing the first double since- what was it 1982 or 1983? Something like that? That is AWESOME. So I think.

2. Speaking of drivers completing a cool goal- did you know that Casey Mears had his first top ten finish in 4 years? Did you hear that? Did I hear that right? Because I don’t know if I should feel happy for him (YEY!) because he really is a nice guy or if I should feel sad for him.

3. I do NOT understand why people are so against Jimmie Johnson. I am a Smoke fan through and through. I really am…cut me and I bleed Bass Pro Orange, Rush Truck Centers Yellow, and Mobil 1 Blue and whatever other color sponsors Tony is running this season.  But seriously? Because he’s doing good we have to call him a cheater? I was surprised- so I went back through the list of drivers with the illegal roof flap spacers or whatever they were because I thought I missed him being in the list- but the only Chevy car I saw on the list was Jamie McMurray (and actually I didn’t notice BigMac on the list- but someone on Facebook kindly pointed it out to me- THANK YOU).

4. I was glad that TNT came back after showing Carl’s pit stop and showed it again and showed that his crew guy that got ran over was okay- because it looked like it could have been pretty ugly. I am always fascinated by the work the pit crews do- and think that what they do is crazy dangerous…so glad it wasn’t serious.

5. The spotter cam- it was cool- I have always wanted to go to the Spotter Stand and watch the spotters do their thing. I don’t know why since I am afraid of heights I would actually WANT to do that…but I do. It will probably never happen- but you never know.

Next week are in Louden New Hampshire.

Gratuitous Tony Pictures:

I have two of them this week!

Tony Stewart

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Ducks Unlimited Chevrolet, stands in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2013. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images North America)

Tony Stewart and Brooklyn Newman

Tony Stewart interacts with Brooklyn Newman, daughter of Driver Ryan Newman at Daytona. (Photo Credit: The Official Tony Stewart Facebook Page).

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