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Race 20: Loudon (the missed it by that much race)

Posted by Amy in General | NASCAR

Tony Stewart quietly ruminates in the garage at Loudon, NH (Photo Credit: From the Official Mobil 1 facebook page)

Qualified: 16th

Finished: 26th

Race Winner: Brian Vickers

Points After Loudon: 13th- five points out of tenth, and 178 out of first. We are still currently in wild card position though!

My Mood After Loudon: How could I be anything but heartbroken over that one?!

There is absolutely nothing worse than watching your driver work his way into the top 10, then the top 5, then second, then lead, then back to second, then back to fourth and then run out of gas on the last freaking lap of the race- and drop all the way from fourth to twenty freaking sixth.  Well okay- there are probably a lot of things worse than that but it is pretty damn disheartening to say the least.

I am beginning to think that Tony Stewart and Team 14 are purposely teasing me with this popping into the top ten like they did last week, then dropping out of the top ten. It’s killing me because I am a points watcher.

Tony Stewart in the car at Loudon, NH (Photo Credit: The Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook page)

Team 14 seemed to be taking risky gambles all day. First they played with tires. They just kept taking two, taking two, taking two.  Then there was the gas. First we were nine and a half laps short, then four laps short, then two-thirds of a lap to the good. Obviously that 2/3rds to the good part was a bit off. I understand WHY it was off. It has to be hard to calculate how much gas mileage the driver is getting when he’s “saving fuel” and I imagine that it depends on exactly HOW he is saving fuel. I know at one time Steve was trying to figure out if Tony was shutting the engine completely off during caution laps (he wasn’t because he got cautioned by NASCAR at one point to maintain his caution lap speed when he was shutting it off).

I am still not 100 percent sure that we should have gambled on gas like that.  I think I would rather Tony get a top 10 finish and have plenty of fuel rather than have him lead a bit and then finish 26th.  Although maybe they feel that this is the perfect time to do risky gambles like this. I can’t help but feel that we are in the crunch time of the season already though- the point at which I want to see my driver well positioned in the top 10 and not knocking on the door with a maybe wildcard in his hand. Of course, with that being said- when Steve kept making the call to stay out during each of the cautions all I can could think of he’s either going to come out of this looking like a hero or a zero…but either way I would not want to be the one making that call.

Tony Stewart drives the #14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13, 2013 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images North America)

I will say this though- I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the black Mobil 1 paint scheme…can we keep this one? LOVE IT (which is odd for me- I am not usually a big fan of black cars- especially black race cars).

Notes about Loudon:

1. I am still not sure WHAT got Kyle Busch’s dander up but he was pissed off at Ryan Newman. I am guessing for the contact Newman had with his brother maybe? Either way the two have been lobbing words back and forth at each other- here is sound bite if you haven’t heard it already.

2. Totally an aside- but I was NOT pleased on Saturday morning to be woken up at 4:50 in the morning by a twitter alert from Stewart-Haas Racing (remember I’m on the west coast- so it’s earlier here). Ever since I updated my twitter on my iphone last- it doesn’t pay any mind that I don’t want alerts from 10 pm to 7:00 am – even though this worked before. Anyone got any idea how I can fix that? (Do NOT tell me to unfollow Stewart-Haas Racing that won’t be happening).

3. Am I the only one who is glad that Loudon is over- if only because we don’t have to try to decipher the Stewart-Haas Racing New England accent tweets?

4. Did you all see that Jeff Gordon thanked Paul Menard on twitter for punting him- it gave him more gas and four fresh tires that allowed him to finish 10th after all was said and done at Loudon. Not bad considered that Menard punted him for pulling a slide job on him. This right here is one of the reasons I LOVE twitter. It’s also one of the reasons I could see Tony Stewart getting in hot water.  Oh but it would be fun for a little while right?

5. Here is the video of the “twitter chat” Tony Stewart did for Indianapolis Motor Speedway – fans tweeted questions and he answered them right there in the media center as if they were standing up and asking him questions. It was a fun way to spend my lunch- I felt like I was there at the IMS media center.

6. I was not surprised to find out that Newman was a free agent this weekend. I really don’t think that Stewart-Haas Racing is ready to field four cars and I was worried that their resources would be stretched way too thin. I do think that it’s a shame that they had to let Newman go however.

7. One more video link- this one is from Tony’s post race (post crash- where he flipped upside down into the catch fence at Eldora). It’s so classic Tony that I have to share it with you in case you haven’t seen it yet.

8. Since it’s an off-weekend for NASCAR I am going to hold a little contest- just to keep my readers intrigued. Watch for details on that coming very soon!

Next weekend is an off weekend in preparation for the Brickyard 400 the following weekend.

Gratuitous Tony Stewart:

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet, speaks during a press conference prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 12, 2013 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America)

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