The Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Motor Speedway wasn’t particularly kind to the Stewart-Haas Racing cars this year. Danica crashed halfway into the first lap, and then later in the race BOTH Ryan Newman and Mark Martin ended up collected in other people’s wrecks. Even though Tony isn’t in the car I still look to the 14 team and watch – hoping that the car will be good, that the run will be good, that there will be a top 10, or maybe even a top 5. I also however, find myself looking to the other Stewart-Haas drivers this season more than I ever have in any other season. Newman is SHR’s only championship hope this season- and while the chase is nearly half over bad luck at Kansas has Ryan Newman falling 5 Chase positions- down to 12 in the 13 spot championship points standing berths.
Therefore it is usually hard to say anything at all positive about a race when the highest finishing Stewart-Haas driver (which coincidentally happened to be Mark Martin int he 14 Bass Pro/Mobil 1 Chevy) finishes 22nd- on the lead lap- not bad at all considering all the rear end damage his car sustained on the lap 188 wreck he was involved in. For those keeping track Newman finished 35th after his wreck, and Danica Patrick finished 43rd and never made it back out onto the track. Both Danica and Ryan’s cars took pretty hard hits. However- Mark Martin did finish position higher than he qualified and I have always said it’s not a terrible day if you at least finish better than you started.
However- I found something else to be cheerful about the Kansas Race: Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch finished 1-2. I am sure you see where I am going here- that is half of Stewart-Haas’s four car stable in 2014- so seeing them finish the race 1-2 did not make me sad in the least!
For those curious as to the current Sprint Cup Championship standings, Matt Kenseth is still out in the lead with second place Jimmie Johnson nipping closely at his heels- a mere 3 points behind him. Kevin Harvick’s win moved him up to third in the standings 25 points behind the leader. Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch round out the top 5.
Notes About Kansas:
1. I am sure you have all heard by now- Tony Stewart had a third surgery on his broken leg on Monday. The team release stated it was a proactive procedure and they did not believe that it would alter Tony’s return date in 2014. Let’s hope not! Get well soon Smoke- we really miss you on track (and off)!!
2. I always love the radio banter montages- it shows the frustration and the passion to me. This week’s from NASCAR on FOX does not disappoint:
3. Not Tony Stewart related, not even NASCAR related- was the news that Dario Franchitti was injured in an Indy Car accident on Sunday in Houston, along with 13 spectators and an official. Dario has since had surgery. What is with all the racing injuries this year? ENOUGH! What is scary to me is this video (sorry there isn’t a way to embed it that I can find) of the accident shot from the stands where Dario’s car flew into the catch fence. Beware- it happens fast, so fast I doubt the average spectator would have time to even react enough to turn their face away or duck. Well wishes to Dario and all the spectators (and the offical) injured!
Next race is in Charlotte on Saturday Night!
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