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Race 23: Watkins Glen

Posted by Amy in General | NASCAR
The #14 crew work hard on getting that Smokin' 14 car right for Max!

The #14 crew work hard on getting that Smokin’ 14 car right for Max! (Photo Credit: Stewart-Haas Racing Facebook Page- Click picture to be taken to the original)

Ahh- Watkins Glen is hard to write about.

I felt somewhat like a girl without a driver- which was odd territory for me to be in.  A couple of days after Tony’s accident- Misty emailed me and asked me who I would be rooting for.  I know that sounds kind of crass- but it really wasn’t.  I knew exactly what she was doing and what she meant.  She, above everyone else, knows that I am more than concerned about Tony Stewart’s injury- to the point of being a little more than bummed (hence the reason that I fell a little behind on my race posts).  I just happened to be chatting online with her when I first found out about his accident- so she knows (we are best friends but unfortunately live 500 miles apart these days).  Misty knows I absolutely have always been a Stewart fan and that I absolutely always will be.  She asked it to pull me back into the RACES at hand and not have me dwell on what may or may not be going on with Tony.  She knows that I will pull for whomever is in the 14 in his stead but the realist in her (and in me) know that Tony’s accident and injury means no chase for him THIS YEAR. She was pulling me back into the task at hand- the “invisible contest” as she calls it- of our dynamic as NASCAR fans (not as friends but as fans that are friends).  I am the stalwart Stewart fan and she is the uber-competitive Gordon fan.  That dynamic only works if she has someone to root against.

I did not hesitate while picking the driver to root  for the in the “chase”- I emailed back almost immediately with Martin Truex Jr (hold on a second- let me duck while you all throw tomatoes and other hopefully soft vegetables at me). Why Martin you might ask? That boy is on fire! He won at Sonoma and has been HOT this year- and cold…but more HOT than cold. His performance has really impressed me this season- so that is why I did not hesitate to pick Martin.

In theory it was a great idea; to pull for Martin. But when the race actually started it seemed so wrong.  I am a Tony Stewart fan after all- in his Joe Gibbs days I bled Home Depot orange. These days the color I bleed depends on which of his multiple sponsorships is the “primary” sponsor of the week- so any given day I could be bleeding yellow, camo, black, white/blue- it could be purple with green polka dots and if they sponsor Tony Stewart- I would bleed it, wear it and support it.  Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with Martin Truex Jr (really Martin- it’s not you- it’s me)- he should take it as a compliment that I picked him really…I still pick him for the Chase- but as far as “rooting and cheering” go? My heart is still with Team 14, Tony Stewart, and whomever will be driving.

Greg Zipadelli and Max Papis do media at Watkins Glen

Greg Zipadelli and Max Papis do media at Watkins Glen. (Photo Credit: The Stewart-Haas Racing facebook page- click on pic for link to original).

That said- for the Glen- I was impressed with Max Papis!  He did a great job on short notice.  I loved that he was insistent in the media that no one wants to see another driver in their car- but that he would take care of Tony’s “baby” for him.  I listened to a lot of the scanner fodder for team 14 and Max seemed to work well with both Bob (and the other spotters) and Steve Addington giving him feedback on the car. Plus when Max spun the car he was still able to bring the #14 Rush Truck Centers Chevy in 15ht!

Thoughts on The GLEN:

1. Had to hold back from saying that this was the Cheez-iest race ever- and I probably would have if I hadn’t been more worried/discombobulated about there being no Tony in this race.

2. Dear NASCAR- please take away a chase race from Talladega and add a road course. Any road course would do- but it would BE AWESOME if you would pick Laguna Seca (somehow I doubt- I wonder if the paddock area at Laguna is big enough) because that track is 10 miles from my house!

3. That commercial for the NASCAR Mobile 13 ap neglects to mention that the scanner content is CENSORED! Urg…how do we really know what they are thinking if you censor it. Also- I do NOT want to know what it’s like to go upside down…please take that part out! (Shake my damn head).

4. So when I checked my email bright and early Saturday morning I had a notification in my email from BOFA that my atm account number had possibly been breached and that they were cancelling my card and sending me out a new one before anything could happen. I called and unfortunately they can not tell me what company had the breach (I have a sneaking suspicion it was my local grocery store- my parents also had a breech recently and that would be one of the stores we share in common). The sad thing? Is that they do not have NASCAR banking anymore- so while I can get a generic NASCAR debit card (and indeed that is the one they sent me) they no longer have the TONY STEWART card I LOVED.  Sad because I could have used my Tony one for a whole other year but no more Tony Stewart Debit cards from BofA.

Next week we are racing at Michigan with Austin Dillon at the helm.

Max Papis lets his son test out the seat of Tony's #14 Rush Truck Centers Chevy.

Max Papis lets his son test out the seat of Tony’s #14 Rush Truck Centers Chevy. (Photo Credit: The Stewart-Haas Racing Facebook Page- click picture to be taken to original).

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