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Chase Race 1: Chicagoland (13 chasers, 1 red flag, 1 winner)

Posted by Amy in General | NASCAR

The 14 crew services the Mobil 1 Chevy piloted by Mark Martin at Chicagoland. (Photo credit: Stewart-Haas Facebook Page- click on link to be taken to the original)

Personally- I think that the over 5 hour rain delay was a bit much.  It has been pretty clear that mother nature is not a NASCAR far sometimes and she reared her head at Chicagoland on Sunday- just shy of halfway through the race.  That meant that the race could not be called and would have to either be postponed until later that day or delayed until Monday.  Trouble was? That rain had already delayed the start of the race by a good hour to begin with.  Honestly as a viewer on TV- I would have rather it be delayed until Monday- because while I work in an office that does not have a television it does have a fairly generous internet policy and I likely would have been able to follow along on the internet while I worked on Monday. I have done it before. It’s not the way I prefer to follow races- but what can you do sometimes?  Apparently NASCAR’s answer is a 5 hour rain delay.  It is a bit ridiculous in my mind to ask anyone to stay in limbo over any given event whether watching it broadcast on television or in-person.  I am a fairly devout NASCAR fan.  Apparently not devout enough though- because had I been one of those fans in the stands? I would have left.  As a matter of fact- I HAVE been that fan up in the stands and I left the track before NASCAR declared the race over (luckily for me- it was past half way)- and my driver was leading the race at the start of the red flag.  Granted I had been following the weather pretty closely and was pretty sure that when the weather hit the track (it was that kind of day–it wasn’t IF the weather was going to hit but WHEN) it wasn’t going to let up and that the race would be called.  Misty looked over at me and said “It’s your guy in the lead- it’s your call- do we stay or do we go?” By the time we had gotten to the hotel- it had rained so hard so fast- that we practically had to transverse three little rivers that flooded into intersections from storm drains.  It continued to rain all day and all night long. I understand that there fans who might not have been able to come back on Monday- but I am sure that there were also fans who couldn’t stay all night long either. It was a hard call for someone to have to make I am sure.

Mark Martin climbs into the 14 at Chicagoland (Photo Credit: Stewart-Haas Racing Facebook- click picture to be taken to the original).

That said it seemed to me that Mark Martin felt that the car was too loose over what part of the race I heard with the scanner.  What? I only heard part of it?! Yes that would be right. Why? Because the NASCAR Mobile 13 ap decided very suddenly that I hadn’t paid to use the scanner function and shut it off- catch is? NASCAR Mobile 13 is free to Sprint customers so I am not sure why suddenly it stopped and kept telling me to subscribe:

Thanks for asking me to subscribe

Thanks for asking me to subscribe NASCAR Mobile 13 but I am already a Spring customer and should get this for free! (Screen shot taken from my iPhone).

And that was before the red flag- and I didn’t bother to relaunch the ap after the red flag. (By the way- while I might have slightly low signal in my residence – my issue wasn’t due to the signal level because I haven’t EVER had it ask my to subscribe before (Sprint customers get the FULL ap free) and if you notice in my screenshot I have full wireless signal so I have no connections issues that way).

I have always said though that it was a good effort if team 14 finished better than what they started- and they did! Thank goodness because they qualified 29th but they finished 17th so it was ALMOST a top 15 finish and it was on the lead lap. That must mean to me that the team improved on the car towards the end!

Race winner was Matt Kenseth who is now the chase leader. He is eight points over second place Kyle Busch and 11 points over third place Jimmie Johnson. Kevin Harvick is currently fourth in the points and Carl Edwards fifth.

Notes on Chicagoland:

I don’t really have any notes- except one more comment resulting from the Richmond debacle- specifically on NASCAR’s move to increase the Chase to 13 spots this season and allow Jeff Gordon a chance to run at the chase.  I apparently am in a minority here but I don’t think it is a big issue that they added a 13th car to the chase. I understand WHY they did it. It was to correct an obvious miscarriage of fairness when NASCAR decided NOT to penalize MWR from the chase all together.  They realized the mistake they made. They are making moves to fix it in the interim.  People are saying it’s changing the rules in the middle of a season- but I don’t see it that way. I see it as trying to correct a mistake. I say bravo NASCAR for recognizing that you made a mistake and attempting to even it out this season. I am all for the #13in13 because while the fact that Clint Bowyer is still in the chase really leaves a bad taste in my mouth at least Jeff Gordon isn’t getting totally robbed by MWR because he has a chance to win the Chase now.

For a different perspective on the whole week between Richmond and Chicagoland- you MUST read Misty’s post called The Longest Week!

Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart converse on the qualifying grid

Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart converse on the qualifying grid at Chicagoland. (Photo Credit: Stewart-Haas Racing Facebook Page- click on picture to be taken to the original)

Here is an interesting article on the adding of the third wildcard this season by one of Tony’s favorite media people Bob Pockrass.  Speaking of Tony- I would LOVE to hear what he has to say on this whole matter- from the team owner perspective and the driver prospective. I am sure he has an opinion everyone seems too. I certainly and obviously do because I keep spouting it off. Damn you Mike Arning for not letting Tony Stewart tweet. ;-)

Speaking of the man- here is your gratuitous Tony Stewart:

Tony Stewart talking to the fans at Mobil 1's hospitality tent at Chicagoland.

Tony Stewart talking to the fans at Mobil 1′s hospitality tent at Chicagoland. (Photo Credit: Stewart-Haas Racing Facebook/Instagram- click link for original).

As an aside- I have ALWAYS wanted to hang out in one of these hospitality tents (it’s on the bucket list even). Someday I shall! Remind me to tell you all of the time I got my teenaged ass kicked to the curb by Havoline’s hospitality tent at my first race ever (an INDYCAR race at Laguna Seca).  Fun times- not.

Anyway on to Race 2: Louden!

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