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AAA 500 in Texas- where everything is truly bigger…including the Bobbleheads.

Posted by Amy in General | NASCAR

(photo source: Zimbio.com/Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America)

Start: 23rd

Finish: 31st, 5 laps down

Points: 2166 (14th in points)

Ahh you have heard the saying everything is bigger in Texas right? Well that is also true of the NASCAR race- because was was suppose to be an afternoon race stretched into a HUGE rain delay…and then a rain shortened race.  When it started to rain right after the drivers got in and all buckled up there was a lengthy (six hour) rain delay.

Way to stick it out Texas race fans by the way. Rain delay coverage was the usual…I don’t know if they talked about it during the coverage- because I actually left the house for a bit when it was clear that the race wouldn’t restart for at least another couple hours and that was the Team Hendrick pit crews doing the Mannequin Challenge (where you hold still like a mannequin). You can see it here on the Hendrick Motorsports website. I thought that was awesome- it can not be easy to hold those poses like that.

When they finally called the drivers to their cars at just after 7:00 pm local time- I started to get excited. Then we watched the longest warm up laps in recent memory as the drivers ran around the track for twenty something laps before the race trying to help dry the track. Then the race started under a Green/Yellow as that continued for several laps until the track was finally deemed dry enough and the cars were allowed to race. 

And race they did. During the competition caution at race 30 the pit crew worked extra hard and got Tony out 22nd which was an improvement because he went into the puts 25th.  Unfortunately they had major handling issues and Tony complained on the radio that the front end of the car and the rear of the car were fighting like siblings.  Despite the team working hard on the car when they could it didn’t help Tony who fell a lap down around lap 60 and continued to fall back in the field. He was unable to keep up and eventually fell to 4 laps down from which he was never able to recover because of the ill-handling beast. The nail in the coffin was having to serve a late race speeding penalty put him down an additional lap down.

However the good thing about the race? Is that Texas Motor Speedway actually celebrated Tony Stewart’s last race there. Which is something the fans like to see (I know that Tony was adamant about not getting gifts and having a big ta-do made about the whole retirement deal- but the fans want…nay need to see Tony being celebrated like the three time champion that he is).  First thing they did was light up the Omni hotel with THANKS TONY and his SMOKE logo – which was awesome. Tony got to see it on a helicopter ride with track president Eddie Gossage and tweeted out these pictures:

(photo source: Tony Stewart Twitter)

That was not all however! Texas Motor Speedway also presented Tony with his very own copy of his bobble head that was distributed to the first 30,000 fans through the gates…however the one Tony got? Was a little bigger. Here is the video of him receiving it from the national broadcast (yes I know and I agree they ruined it by yapping over the presentation):

I have it on good authority from someone who was there though that the first thing Tony said after seeing the bobblehead was “I hate you.” Ha. Also for fans who weren’t aware- Tony’s image graced the program cover in not just one but four different collector covers. Thank you LYNN for offering to get them for me :) I am grateful and can’t wait to get them!

This is exactly what Tony fans want to see- appreciation for their driver. His face on the program. A little bit of a ta-do during driver intros. Some hoopla despite the fact Tony doesn’t want gifts. We hope to see more of the same in Phoenix- but we already know they are falling short of the mark since last season they renamed the race after Jeff Gordon but Tony doesn’t appear to be getting any such honor from PIR. I also seriously hope NASCAR has something in store for him during After The Lap in Las Vegas (fingers crossed).

Gratuitous Tony Stewart Photo:

(photo source: Tony Stewart Facebook page)

(photo source: Tony Stewart Facebook page)

 

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