Sigh. That is really all I have after the night race in Kansas is a long forlorn sigh. What does team 14 have to do to catch a freaking break this season. The weekend started with a really STRONG qualifying showing from Stewart-Haas Racing. All four cars qualified in the top 10 (Kevin had the pole, Kurt qualified 6th, Tony qualified 8th, and Danica 9th). I am not sure- but I think that might be a first right there, but regardless it was a strong qualifying showing and even had the pre-race show talking heads yabbering about how Stewart-Haas was doing so well (which cracked me up because all we have been hearing previously from them was about how something is missing at SHR) and was the team to beat. Make up your mind guys…seriously.
The 14 car was looking pretty strong and spent the whole first half of the race in the top 10, and a good portion of that even up in the top five. I figured it was a good sign…and that we would finally have another decent finish. But during the last half of the race everything just seemed to go to hell in a handbasket. Chad called for a two-tire pit stop which gave Tony some awesome track position for the restart. Then the restart happened and Tony just started sinking like a boat anchor through the field because the car lost it’s handling. He ended up mired in the back of the field and was never able to advance from there. Insult to injury came around with about 11 laps to go when Tony had to come in for gas, putting him a lap down. He finished 20th, 1 lap down. He also lost another position in the points standing and is now 22nd. Team 14 really REALLY need a win now guys! And by win I am not talking just an All-Star win- which in itself would be good. We need a win that will get us into the chase. Please?!
Race winner was Jeff Gordon and I will say this- if any driver out there “deserved” a win it has been Jeff- their consistency this season has been spot on this season as evidenced by the fact that he has been in the points lead for quite awhile previously- with no win. Those guys really deserved to close the deal and they have. Good for them. Now if we could only get Tony that elusive win.
Notes About Kansas:
1. A portion of the lights on the speedway that shine onto the track actually went out for a short time at the track. Luckily for everyone it did not inhibit racing at the track because Kansas apparently also has tracks shining from the inside walls onto the track. The drivers were polled and apparently thought it was safe enough to race in. I did hear Tony’s spotter ask him if he thought it was light enough on that part of the track to see and he said said it was plenty light enough. However the camera views from this portion of the track showed a very dark track- to the point it was hard to even see who was who. Luckily they got the lights back on fairly quickly.
2. Boy there were a couple of fiery crashes at Kansas- I was worried for David Gilliland especially- he seemed so slow to get out and not so steady on his feet when he did. Glad everyone was okay. Later they played some in car audio from the same accident and Justin Allgaeir’s crew asked him if he was okay he replied that he was but he had the breathe knocked out of him.
3. Michael Waltrip stopped by Tony Stewart and Danica Patrick during his gridwalk and while Michael was asking Danica questions, Teammate and Owner Stewart gave Patrick a boost by lifting her up to make sure that the interview worked. Love that!
The Gratuitous Tony Stewart:
#14in14 #GoTonyGo #StandWithSmoke
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