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Coca-Cola 600: The “Double” and Baby Steps…

Posted by Amy in General | NASCAR
The 14 Car on Pit Road

Tony Stewart’s #14 Bass Pro/Mobil 1 Chevy sits in the pits at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: The Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook Page/ Andrew Coppley/CIA Stock Photo Copyright, CIA Stock Photography, Inc)

Over my life, my racing fandom has wavered between NASCAR, IRL and even NHRA for awhile before I settled back on NASCAR in the late 90s. I know I have mentioned this here before (usually right around this time of year) but I started off as a mostly IRL fan  (technically it was before the inception of what is now called IRL- back then it was called CART and if anyone mentions that I am showing my age- I will sock you in the eye) likely because that was the premier racing series that the track closest to my home ran at the that time.  I remember watching many an Indy500 “bubble day” with bated breath wondering who was going to make the field and who was going to go home sad. I knew the words to “Back Home Again In Indiana” before my own state song. I have no trouble sitting down and watching an IRL race, and did so with even more glee than usual on Sunday – all because Kurt Busch was running the double. As I listened to the Indy500 pre race show as I flitted about the house before settling into watch some racing, I said after the pre-race interview with Kurt “If he doesn’t crash the Indy car I have no doubt he will do it.” Little did I know what exactly he would do that could in the Indy500 side of the double.  I mean- technically it was his first time in a IRL race. And racing is different than testing, and qualifying and all that.  When Kurt tied Tony’s best Indy double finish…I was IMPRESSED!  I was so disappointed for him when he suffered an engine failure in Charlotte.  I HOPE that doesn’t dissuade him from attempting this again! I love the double and would actually LOVE to see more drivers attempt it- it adds something to the Indy 500 to me as well as the Coca-Cola 600.

The pit crew of the #14 Bass Pro/Mobil 1 Chevy services the car. (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart FaceBook page)

That said- let’s talk Coca-Cola 600.  It’s the longest race of the NASCAR season- I know that there has been talk that it’s too long- but I think there needs to be at least one 600 mile race in the season.  In a time when the trend is to want to shorten races in general- I think it’s important to have a long race to showcase the endurance of the drivers, team and equipment.  I think of it as the endurance race of NASCAR.

Tony qualified 18th and finished 13th- and like I always say at least he finished better than he started.  During the course of the LONG race- I listened to the scanner fodder between Tony and Chad Johnston and actually liked what I heard. I am not sure if it was just me but it seemed like Tony and Chad were communicating better.  I was pleased to see that changed made by the team actually seemed to help the car- and I think even Tony was encouraged- declaring before the checkers even waved that they were “1000% better” than they were the previous week. I am cautiously optimistic that this means that Tony will get a check in the W column- hopefully SOON!

A motley looking crew

Dale Earnhardt Jr, Martin Truex Jr, Tony Stewart, and Kevin Harvick sit on the pit wall at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Facebook Page).

Race winner was Jimmie Johnson- and thank goodness for that because now we can quit hearing about how there is something wrong between Jimmie and his Chad (Knaus) during the pre-race show. Talk about beating a dead horse.

Notes about The Coca-Cola 600:

1. I have to say the official team post-race report made me chuckle. There was a quote from Tony stating that the team is making “steady progress” and then there was a quote from Chad Johnston clarifying that they are “baby steps.” Heck I don’t care if they have to go through a hopscotch course backwards and blindfolded as long as we get that win.

2. Have you seen the new Coca-Cola Racing Family Road Trip Pit Stop commercial? It will put a whole new perspective on things…(Ha!):

3.Speaking of the Coca-Cola Racing Family- there is a new member of the family: Austin Dillon.

4. For those not in the know- Tony Stewart participated in a private test in a sprint car on Monday May 26th. It marks the first time he has been in a sprint car since the accident in August 2013 that broke his right leg.  I can only imagine he was grinning ear-t0-ear.

The Gratuitous Tony Stewart Pictures:

Scruffy:

Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Dave Blaney (Photo Credit: The Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook Page/Tommy Grassmann Copyright, CIA Stock Photography, Inc.)

Clean shaven-ish:

Tony Stewart before the start of the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Photo credit: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook Page/Don Grassmann CIA STOCK PHOTO Copyright, CIA Stock Photography, Inc.)

The next race is DOVER which is where Tony had his last win…let’s repeat that!!!

___

#GoTonyGO #StandWithSmoke

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