I just can NOT seem to get a good feel for this season and Tony Stewart/Team14. The races I have a good feeling about- they do crummy. The races that I don’t have a good feeling about- they do decent. I had a good feeling about the race in Loudon. After all- Tony qualified 4th! I listened to qualifying at work on SiriusXM NASCAR- and was quite pleased! So I felt GREAT about our chances at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. And then the race happened.
I don’t know if they missed on the set up because it was far cloudier and cooler than it had been most of the weekend but the handling on the car just was not to Tony’s liking and after the getting shuffled out of the top five after a round of pit stops- the #14 Mobil 1 Chevy piloted by Tony began to consistently fall backwards into the pack and was often seen in positions 15-22. Tony remained mired there throughout a majority of the race. But during the second to last pit stop the team took a big big swing at the car- I am not sure what they did but it seemed a bit better and Tony- who was scored 20th I believe began to move up the field into 11th behind Kasey Kahne where he got stuck again- until Justin Allgaier spun and forced a Green-White-Checker finish. He lined up 10th on the restart. Several cars ran out of gas coming to the green flag including teammate Kevin Harvick during the caution and the green flag lap and Tony was able to eek out a 7th place finish out of a crappily handling car. I would say that is a plus- it moved us up to 19th in the points however we remain winless so do not have a chase berth YET. That win is coming.
Race winner was Brad Keselowski- who recently also won Kentucky. For those keeping track that leaves five chase berths open and 7 races.
Notes on Loudon:
1. Speaking of top tens…let’s ruminate on some Tony Stewart factoids. Tony’s top 10 finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway gave him his 296th career top ten (in NASCAR Cup only) in 540 starts and his 6th top 10 finish this year. Just thought I would add some fun facts into the post for your pleasure.
2. Morgan Shephard…sigh. He had his issues at New Hampshire didn’t he. I do not blame Joey Logano for being upset that his day was ruined. While I don’t think it was anything that Morgan Shephard did on purpose- I heard that he was warned several times by NASCAR for not maintaining a minimum speed on the track. He should have been black flagged for that. It was probably due to damage of some sort…as early as Jimmie Johnson’s exploding tire I saw Morgan’s car getting a push from a safety truck. Plus there was the pit road fire that Morgan’s car was involved in.
3. Also- Jimmie Johnson? Wow- that had to SUCK. First you get a flat which puts you at the very least a lap down since Loudon is only a mile track. Then you come back out after getting your flat changed and the second tire just freaking explodes! How disheartening- that was 20 laps at Daytona and what 7 laps at Loudon if that? I wonder if the blowout was caused by damage from the first flat- they never really came back and said what the team had decided.
The Gratuitous Tony Stewart Picture:
We have an off weekend this weekend and then we are off to the Brickyard! Go Tony Go!
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