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Bojangles Southern 500

Posted by Amy in General | NASCAR

(Sorry for the delay in the race report- my laptop’s processor decided to die on me so I am having to update this at work during my break and lunches. I suppose I could use my Kindle- but I find typing on it awkward- like I am trying to text on a giant phone with tiny hands or something. My new laptop should be here around Friday- thank goodness.  Wish me luck figuring out Windows 8).

The 14 crew hard at work at The Lady In Black

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images North America)

I really wanted to Tony to win this race- Darlington is one of two tracks that Tony hasn’t won at- so I REALLY wanted him to win at it (the other is Kentucky- if you are wondering). Of course technically I want Tony Stewart to win every race. I am competitive like that and live vicariously through my driver. Unfortunately it was not to be. He qualified 23rd- definitely could have been worse- but it also definitely could have been better.  I chalked it up to a bad couple of qual runs and hoped race day would be better.

Chad Johnston and Tony Stewart

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, speaks with his crew chief Chad Johnston during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images North America)

But alas race day was NOT better- I dare say it was worse. The car did not handle well- and there were several times Tony asked for adjustments to help – a couple of them he was quite frustrated with the way the car was or was not responding. I believe at one point Tony pretty much said “I really don’t know what more I can tell you” about how to make the car handle better.  It was around this point I believe I bemoaned: Why is it that when Kevin Harvick’s car is strong, Tony’s car is junk and when Tony’s car is strong Kevin Harvick’s is junk? WHY?!?  I was a frustrated race fan with a frustrated driver- who at one point was two laps down. Yes you read that right TWO LAPS DOWN! Sigh.

Never Give up

Apparently even Batman knows to never give up on Tony Stewart! (Photo Credit: Meme by Claudia F.)

It’s at this point that I would usually lose interest in the race- but I couldn’t. Why? Because the racing was GOOD at the front.  I mean good. I got wrapped up in that and (hangs her head) kind of stopped paying attention to where Tony was on the track. He seemed fairly much stuck in the 20s and I had resigned him to that.  What a mistake I made.

I remember that for the first Green-White-Checker hearing Chad Johnston tell Tony and the crew that they were going to do four tires but no fuel to make the nose of the car heavy.  I thought it was an interesting strategy but figured it was too little to late kind of deal.  I need to officially apologize to both Chad and Tony for that. I was so caught up with what was going on at the front of the field and the second Green-White-Checker that I still do not know how Tony ended up finishing 9th.  It was after the race and I just happened to glance up at the TV when they were scrolling through the field and I remember seeing Tony in 9th. I was all WAIT UP WAIT UP- did that just say that Tony Stewart finished 9th?! Seriously? (I had to rewind the tv to double check- yep there it was in black and white- Tony finished 9th).  That was an awesome finish.  His ninth place finish brought him up to 12th in the series points standing- something I would get excited about if points mattered for the chase- which they do not.

The winner was Stewart-Haas Teammate Kevin Harvick- whom I might add is also the first driver of the season with multiple wins (2). I think I can dare say that Kevin Harvick is locked into the chase at this point. Whoo!

Notes about Darlington:

1. At one point in the race Tony Stewart said: You’ve got to get me some grip…I’m getting my ass handed to me.  My father says: Is he hungry? I look confused. My dad said- he just said you’ve got to get me some grits. Oh the laughs. Because if he was hungry- of course grits would be the most handy thing for a Tony Stewart to snack on in the car. (By the way- for the record- I don’t think my father has ever even had grits- being California born and raised. I was born and raised in California too but I have…and I don’t like them).

2. Here is a great article about the paramedic Jay Masur that Tony credits with saving his leg and his life last August.

Gratuitous Tony Stewart pictures:

I dare say Mr. Stewart looks up to something

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, speaks with a crew member during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images North America)

Things that make Tony go HMMM?!

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, sits in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, 2014. (Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America)

This weekend is an off weekend for Easter- and then the following Saturday (April 26th) is Tony Stewart’s favorite track: Richmond!!

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#14in14 #GoTonyGo #StandWithSmoke

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