I am purposely NOT going to mention the Richmond brouhaha that happened at the end of the race because I feel that I have given it enough of my time and energy as well as two blog posts. Let’s talk about the task at hand: Team 14 and the Richmond race!
Qualifying was not stellar. However- I learned with Tony not to put stock in where they start- but in where they finish. The uber competitive race fan in me- who lives vicariously through my driver wants nothing less than a win every single race. The points watcher in me always wants a top 5 finish. One thing that is kind of frustrating to me about short tracks (as much as I do love them)- is it is SO easy to go a lap down. And this happened again to Mark Martin in the first half of the race. I will admit it- I was a wee bit disheartened.
Communication wise? Mark seemed to be giving good feedback to Steve and Bob The Spotter- but the car still didn’t seem to be to Mark’s liking exactly. I wonder how hard it is to prep a car for a different driver when you are use to one specific driver all the time. And how do they do it in series where you have multiple drivers driving the same car (I am thinking sports cars and the like)? And can the drivers tell the difference between each other’s preferred set up? These are the weird things I wonder and would love to ask someone in the know.
Mark Martin did get his lap back- thanks to a well timed caution and us being the lucky dog. I pretty much nearly launched myself off the couch and said YEY WE GOT OUR LAP BACK! Gracie the beagle puppy just looked at me, unimpressed to be woken from her mid-evening nap in her chair. She best be glad Tony wasn’t in the car- because I would have likely been far more animated. Then- at the end of the race, during that spin that was, Steve Addington called a two tire pit stop. While the car still wasn’t great- Mark Martin was able to get a top ten during the last several laps- crossing the checkers 9th. That was our first top ten finish since Tony’s accident and it was about time. Mark Martin mentioned really wanting to get at least one win for team 14 and I think he might be able to do it- especially if they can get that car into that “just right” area.
Race winner was Carl Edwards, who did his usual backflip off of his Ford.
Of course the best part of the Richmond Weekend was seeing Tony Stewart, the bossman, back at the track:
Notes on Richmond:
1. Here is a great audio interview from MRN’s Steve Post with Tony pre-race from Richmond.
2. I am sure most of you have heard that Juan Pablo Montoya is entertaining the idea of going back to IndyCar after not being reupped in the 42 car- which will be driven next season by Kyle Larson. But have you heard that IndyCar’s Tony Kanaan is entertaining an offer from Joe Gibbs Racing to run the NASCAR Nationwide series next season? That is what they are reporting over at Racer magazine. Some of the comments on the article are actually pretty good- it was an interesting read for me. Especially considering I am a very casual watcher of the series.
3. A little overlooked factoid from this week: It was announced that Ryan Newman will indeed be the driver of the #31 Catapiller Chevy fielded by Richard Childress Racing.
4. Not necessarily Richmond related but did anyone happen to catch CHOPPED with Danica Patrick as one of the contestants? I love CHOPPED and had no idea she was going to be on so I was pleasantly surprised to see her and even more pleasantly surprised that she did really well. Spoiler Alert: She won.
5. Also not Richmond related but racing related. I know I have mentioned my love of the Two For The Road blog before- written by mystery writers Tammy Kaehler and Simon Wood. Today’s blog post was one of my favorites from Simon- which is saying a lot because I like lots of his stuff but I enjoyed this one particularly because he went into his time as a race car driver – I so love those posts the most. Check it out- this one by Simon is called Could I, Should I, Would I check it out!
The Gratuitous Tony Stewart Picture:
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