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Tony Pre-Race at Chicagoland

Tony Pre-Race at Chicagoland (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Official Store/Tommy Grassmann/CIA Copyright)

With qualifying rained out Tony started the race with his first practice speed which meant he started 22nd at Chicagoland.  Unfortunately the car’s handling would prove to be an issue throughout the race. It started too tight and through the first part of the race- large swings to adjust the car during pitstops made the worse and then it was far too loose.  At one point Chad Johnston called for them to put a spring rubber in during one of the cautions, and that is when the handling really went away on the car.

Tony and Zippy Talk It Out

Tony and Zippy Talk It Out (photo credit: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook/Don Grassmann/CIA Photo Copyright)

At one point the #14 Mobil 1 Chevy was even a lap down- but the team never quit and eventually got their lap back by being the lucky dog. Tony finished 18th (and on the lead lap so yey!).  He is still 26th in the points standings.

Race winner was Brad Keselowski, which automatically puts him into the next round of the chase. There are two more races left in the challenger round.  The top three in the chase points are: Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon, and Joey Logano.  Kevin Harvick is currently fourth in the Chase standings and Kurt Busch is currently sitting in ninth for the chase standings.

Notes:

1. I thought that the yellow roof numbers, splitters and name banner at the top of the windshield would be cool. I decided I don’t like them. Why? I don’t know. Part of it may be the actual color of the banners.  I have an idea.  I think that to make the chase cars stand out let’s make the rest of the field race primer gray paint schemes with just their numbers and car logos the same.  I mean I assume that the yellow is to make the actual sprint contenders stand out- and it does- but I honestly find it distracting and on some of the cars- it is downright ugly.  So this is my idea to combat the ugly yellow on the normal paint schemes.

2. Was I the only one who thought OH THAT’S GONNA BE AWKWARD when Danica and Ricky collided on track on Sunday? Oh to be a fly on the wall anywhere near the vicinity of that discussion!

3. Did you notice that Dale Jr.’s trademark skeleton hand gloves were teal and not black? I did (except I thought they were green and could not figure out why). Well it is in support of Sherry Pollex  and Ovarian Cancer. The gloves will worn each weekend in September and then auctioned off- the proceeds will be donated to the charity of Sherry’s choice. Here is an article all about them.

Sorry this post stinks- but I am exhausted beyond explanation. I blame it on solar flares and vaccinations, what other explanation could there be?

The Gratuitous Tony Stewart pictures have the man greeting his people:

Tony Stewart greets fans

Tony Stewart greets fans at Chicagoland (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook/ Gayle Martens/CIA STOCK PHOTO

Pleased to meet you

Tony Stewart greets fans during driver introductions at Chicagoland (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook/Chris Anderson/CIA Stock Photo Copyright)

 

Next week we are racing in New Hampsha again.

The 16 Chase grid drivers were each set to a specific market in North America to promote the Chase and NASCAR in fun often times fan friendly events. Two drivers were even sent to other countries- Jeff Gordon to Canada and Carl Edwards to Mexico. Here are some fun pictures from several events:

What exactly constitutes a breakfast of champions at a taco house? Only Denny and Tom Sneva know for sure:

Joyride Taco House Breakfast of Champions

(L-R) Driver of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota Denny Hamlin and former Indy 500 champion Tom Sneva take part in a “Breakfast of Champions” event at Joyride Taco House in Phoenix, Arizona as part of the Chase Across North America in conjunction with Phoenix International Raceway on September 10, 2014. (Photo Credit: Phoenix International Raceway)

I think Aric is trying to give us subliminal messages that he’s hot: (more…)

Misty texted me a picture earlier in the week that sums up her 2014 Chase Driver conundrum in a single photo:

There Can Only Be One

There can only be one (image found on facebook).

It’s actually kind of a cool, yet slightly creepy picture. But it describes Misty’s chase conundrum perfectly.  See Misty has been a Jeff Gordon fan longer than she’s be a NASCAR fan (yeah I know that sounds weird but it’s true-I can completely vouch for that). However, she has lately (within the last couple of years) been pulling for Jimmie as her number two with a catch: While Jeff Gordon is Misty’s number 1 driver, Chad Knaus is her number 1 crew chief.  I know Misty would be OVER THE MOON if Jeff Gordon won the championship, but I really don’t think she’d cry in her soup if Jimmie won.  So she is being pulled in two different directions but at least it is within the same organization.

Me? I am extremely singular in my fandom. (more…)

2014 Chase Class minus Jimmie Johnson

The post-Richmond 2014 Chase Class Photo minus ailing Jimmie Johnson. (Photo Credit: Credit: 301215 Richmond International Raceway)

So- the CHASE for the Sprint Cup Championship starts this weekend at Chicagoland.  There will likely be a lot of banter about it- since it’s the first year for the newly implemented grid style Chase that mimics more of a March Madness type of playoff (I am assuming- I am not a big Basketball person so you are lucky I even know what March Madness is). I am still not quite convinced that this is the format for my NASCAR but then again- I am old school.

So since everyone is doing it- I sat down on Sunday and picked my Chase Grid: (more…)

Landon Cassill Snap Fitness

Landon Cassill, post workout. (Photo courtesy: Snap Fitness).

There is always going to be that buzz about whether or not NASCAR drivers are athletes. This issue is nearly as old as the sport itself. I think that perhaps hearing on Sports Center that Jimmie Johnson missed is own triathon on Sunday after becoming incredibly dehydrated during the race may change some non-believer’s minds. I have posted videos of NASCAR drivers and crew members working out…and here is another one. Landon Cassill’s workout at his local SNAP Fitness, who just happen to be one of Landon’s sponsors and his sponsor for this week’s race at Chicagoland this weekend.

Just more proof to prove “the NASCAR drivers are not athletes” foolios so very wrong- his personal trainer goes through the exercises Landon does and WHY they are important to his skills as a driver: (more…)

Tony on track Saturday night at Richmond

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, leads Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, and Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America)

Well it was the last race before the new chase. I, and I am sure all other Smoke fans, were hoping that there would be a win so that Tony could indeed compete in the chase.  For Tony Richmond was a MUST win if he was going to compete in the chase- and a little tiny part of me hoped against hope that they would pull that out.  Tony qualified for the race 19th. When the green flag flew he was able to move up a little bit but was stymied by a loose loose car. Tony had to hang on until the competition caution at lap 50. (more…)

 (This is what originally came out of my pen when I sat down to pen my weekly race review. It wasn’t my usual race report so I kept this and wrote a usual race report which became Oral B 500: Back In  The Saddle Again (Part 1) –  Amy).

Pre-Race Invocation in Atlanta

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, looks on prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway (Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America)

As I sit here, in a car wash of all places, scratching out the rough draft of my weekly race report, the song Back In The Saddle by Aerosmith is a constant refrain echoing against the walls of my skull and will not leave me. It echoes even louder and more constant then the golf tournament playing on the ancient television set turned up far too loud that needs two types of converters just to get the digital signal to the local station. I have effectively started and crossed out and then started over again (because I am old school and use paper and pen most of the time- then convert my posts to digital) this post at least three times, all while waiting for my SUV to be be brought around from the back where the washing happens to the front where the hand detailing takes place, because I just can’t seem to get the post quite right. Because obviously I have more to say about the emotion of the race than I do the race itself. (more…)

(Note: This is not what first came out of my pen when I sat down to write my weekly race report- that will follow tomorrow. But this is the race report much akin to what you are use to- Amy)

Tony and Crew walk to the grid

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, walks with crew members on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America)

Much to the glee of Tony Stewart fans (myself included) their driver was back this week at Atlanta for the Oral B 500. The weekend started of with a presser, a heart-felt statement read by a Tony Stewart we haven’t seen before: a very raw, obviously heartbroken one.  It was hard to watch and some wondered why he even bothered with a presser since he wouldn’t be taking questions himself. Personally I think that was mostly a “I am here to race, but I won’t answer your questions because the investigation is still ongoing and I frankly I am still quite raw about the incident so please for the love of Pete just leave me alone while I get back into the swing of racing.” I can’t imagine the amount of media pressure and scrutiny he felt like he was under, what the team felt like it was under. (more…)