Started: 17th (Set by points due to rain cancelling qualifying on Friday)
Finished: 35th (DNF)
Points: 426 points (27th in the standings, locking into the chase)
I love the Southern 500,especially the cars with all the throwback paint schemes. I loved Tony’s Coke paint scheme the best- but there were so many awesome paint scheme it was hard for me to choose a second favorite…but I finally decided it was Greg Biffle’s Alan Kulwicki Hooters paint scheme on his number 16- and how awesome was it that Hooters came back to sponsor a car during the race. How awesome was it though that Tony’s throwback Coke paint scheme won the vote for best paint scheme?? That is awesome.
Tony was running a fairly decent race until his car started overheating. He had run up into the top 10 during the longer runs (a rare thing at Darlington) seeming to have a pretty solid long run car. The team seemed pretty spot on with their pit stops and pit strategy. Unfortunately there wasn’t much that the team could do because of the overheating engine- and it eventually grenaded with about 50 laps left to go in the race. Seems like the screen protecting the radiator from trash got damaged- likely during contact with Brian Scott and trash collected under the screen and killed the radiator.
So for those who think Tony was being a bully on track when Brian Scott wrecked- I guess you could say he got his karmatic justice since he ended up with a DNF because the engine overheated from damage to the grill. I, personally, don’t see it that way. He shouldn’t just passively let a multiple laps down car race him hard like that and that is just what they caught in view of the camera- you have to remember that you are only seeing what they think lead up to the wreck- you aren’t seeing laps worth of interactions between the drivers. This is, after all, stock car racing where “rubbing is racing”- not IRL where you can get penalized for touching another car. Besides- maybe it could be considered part of the theme of the weekend- a throwback to the golden days of stock car racing when the cars were actually stock. By the way- when his crew chief told him he had a meeting scheduled after the race at the NASCAR Hauler Tony just said okay- it was his crew chief Mike Bugarewicz who said that he had made it 25 races- not Tony as reported by some media.
My favorite part of the race was when Tony mentioned that he was a few spots a head of himself on the track and had been passing and passed by himself a few times throughout the race. He was referring to the 19 paint scheme driven by Carl Edwards that featured a throwback to Tony Stewart’s rookie year paint scheme with Joe Gibbs and also the paint scheme on the 22 that was a throwback to his first Xfinity paint scheme. Tony said it was creepy and kind of like an out of body experience.
Anyway- race winner was Martin Truex Jr. Stewart-Haas teammate Kevin Harvick finished 2nd, Danica Patrick finished 24th, and Kurt Busch finished 34th after sustaining damage during a wreck.
Next weekend we are Saturday night racing at Tony’s favorite track: Richmond.
Gratuitous Tony Stewart pictures:
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