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Ahh Dover.  I don’t know what it is about Dover but I usually like watching it.  I have no real comments in my notes about the prerace because frankly I missed most of the pre-race because i went out to breakfast with my parents and my dad chose THE SLOWEST PLACE IN TOWN…I am like damn I hope I see the flag drop! I actually got home just in time to realize that Tony was a hotpass driver again. So I got to see Tony’s HOTPass pre-race interview…complete with his little ziplock bag of Chrissy Newman cookies (try explaining to someone the signifigance of the “lucky cookies” and then try to have them take you seriously…yeah that’s me).

Anyway Stewart and Team Home Depot has a lackluster qualifying effort and started 33rd in the field.  Early in the race they were fighting a really tight race car and at the first caution were already taking airpressure to out to help balance the car.   By lap 116 Team Home Depot had moved all the way up to a hard fought 15th place by passing Juan Pablo Montoya.   Judging by my notes (135- Still too tight need more overall grip, 208 tight, 263 Still too tight, 60 laps to go need sitebite and to be tighted up) they never really got the car at a great place.  Tony was able to get up to about 13th and just seemed stuck there.  After the pitstop at 46 laps to go crew chief Zipadelli told his driver Stewart that he “Appreciates your patience here” to which Stewart responged with “We’re not done yet.” And he kept digging and was able to pull off an 11th place finish.  It could have been better- but it could have been a heck of a lot worse (case in point- teammate Kyle Busch who finished 43rd due to engine problems).

Team Home Depot remains in 7th place in the Chase to the Cup, 113 points out of the lead.  There is still time this season to make that up and take the lead for the Cup.

Other Notes About Dover:

  • Best radio communication of the day between Tony and his crew was when Tony stated that he was trying to move up through the field but there were “6 SCUD Missles” he’s “trying to avoid right now.” That made me giggle.
  • Jamie McMurray was having an awesome run! I did appreciate the little tift he got into with Robby Gordon for spinning him.
  • I find it incredibly annoying during the broadcasts when they displace the POINTS AS THEY ARE RIGHT NOW list. That means NOTHING because its how they finish…now where they are at any given point in the race. Please stop doing that. Thanks.

As I said in my last post- the next race is KANSAS…and I have a good feeling about Kansas.

So my fantasy racing league is still at 27% and I didn’t do much better points wise this week than I did last week.  This last weekend my picks were: A. Jeff Gordon B. Vickers and Gilliland C. Kyle Petty.  This week I have a really good feeling about Tony and Kansas…so I am telling you all right now I have already picked Tony for this week as my A driver.  Wish me and Tony luck!


I know I have mentioned the football pool I am part of every year. You pick a team each weekend following these rules:

1. You can’t pick the same team twice.

2. You pick wrong twice and you are out.

Guess what people? I am already out. Three weeks (three picks in).  The Seahawks gave me my first ding…and the Patriots my second.  I KNEW I should have picked someone else. Oh well…so I am out already. Bah.

So my official rank on the fantasy league is 27%. That doesn’t sound too good to me. I have exactly 174.2 points heading into Dover.  Carl Edwards raked me in the most points.

I decided to save Tony and Kyle again.  I don’t want to use them up! Funny that Valli is playing too and she’s saving her favorite driver too (JR). This is not to say that I don’t think Tony will win Dover- I really hope he does! I would just rather “save” him as my choice for the A driver group.

I guess people can get really into this fantasy racing stuff (or fantasy football or baseball or whatever).  What I mean by that is that they do studies…I am more of a gut player. I just pick who I think or want to be hot that particular race. I will tell you who I picked this week and how I faired next week.

Funny though- no matter who I pick for my fantasy race picks of the week- when cheering I am still all about TEAM HOME DEPOT. GO TONY!

So Billy Rhythm gave me the “Make My Day” award. Here are the rules:

(1) give this to people whose blogs mean something special to you – or give it to the blogs whose persons mean something special to you
(2) leave a comment on their blog so they know they got it
(3) you get to pick the number of times you give it

Billy gave his award to three blogs, so I shall do the same. These awards go to:

  1. ETS: I have known her since preblogging days! She rocks…and is always someone I can bounce things off of…
  2. Andrea: She is someone I knew in the flesh back when we were in 6th grade we were bff. Plus I know she has one very cool light lavendar indiana jones hat.
  3. Chrissy: She is someone I “met” online through Tess- she rocks too and writes some gorgeous entries.

Well the first race of the Chase of the Sprint Cup is well over by now and looking over my notes, I really didn’t take many…So this is apparently going to be done by memory.

One thing I did take a note about is how it always disconcerts me at the Louden race that they start the pre-race ceremony with “O Canada.” You would think I would be use to it by now…but I always think to myself “DId Canada buy NH or something?” I know they are really close and all that but still it weirds me out. It always has and most likely always will.

Now onto the race itself:

Team Home Depot had a fairly remarkable finish with their eighth place finish- all things considered.  Johnny Sauter was in the pitbox in front of Team Home Depot and blocked them in a couple times.  Then there was the contact with Sauter on pit road that caused us to have to go in to pull out a bent in fender.  Then just as we were starting to get our positions back on the field  there was the Pit Road speeding violation- that dropped us back down to 22nd.

It was right around that time that I stopped taking notes. Ok I admit it- I walked across the street and watched the race at my brother’s house so I can play with my nephew at the same time…and left my notepad at home because I didn’t want to look like a big dork.  Anyway…I remember setting my nephew down on his play mat and watching team Home Depot work their way back up the field- thanks to some well timed cautions and the like.  I remember at one point sitting on my brothers couch talking to my mom and cheering “Go Tony GO!!!” And my mom laughed  and said “Look at Matthew watching you!” It was funny.  Anyway- Team Home Depot ended up 8th after a couple of late passes to Bowyer and Harvick. However we moved up one position in the standings to 7th. They are a mere 73 points out of the lead.  Nothing a good run of a couple wins can’t fix.

Other Notes About Louden:

  • Joey Logano made his cup debut in the #96 car (also painted with the home depot colors…only this car was more white and less orange).  I honestly don’t remember even noticing him too much during the race.
  • Tony wasn’t using his usual spotter at Louden. The spotter at Louden was Mike and he definitely talks a lot more on the radio than Mark ever did.
  • Boy Kyle Busch had a bad day. An odd bolt failure amongst other issues, dropped him down to 8th in the standings. That is what makes the Chase kind of cool. Someone who dominated can fall in the standings in the blink of an eye.

Next Week: Chase Race 2: The Monster Mile at Dover.

I know some of you might be expecting a post-race report and it’s coming I promise…along with other posts. However this past Saturday I got to babysit while my brother and father went to the range and my sister-in-law had to work.  When I got there he was just winding down for his morning nap…so I put him down. And when he woke back up I got to dress him:

Matthew Wakes Up Happy and Gets Dressed (By his Tony Stewart Loving Aunt)

Matthew Wakes Up Happy and Gets Dressed (By his Tony Stewart Loving Aunt)

Matthew Plays

Matthew Plays

Now if that didn’t brighten your day…there is something wrong with you!

So….I have talked about diving into Fantasy Racing Leagues…since I love NASCAR.  Well…I took the plunge and decided to play in a real bonafide league…but just for the chase races. I thought that might be a good way to ease my way into it. So I picked PAYTHEFAN.COM because it seemed well laid out and the info on the site seemed pretty easy…plus like I said before I really liked that they have a PTF Cup racing series…for us chickens who are too afraid to try for a whole season (you know how long the season is…that is a BIG commitment for a fantasy league. Plus…what if I really suck at this?  I mean there are all these big money prizes but I am not expecting to get anything out of this except maybe a little fantasy racing education.

So today I made my first official picks (gulp) and keep in mind that I am doing this by the seat of my pants and I really honestly have NO idea what I am doing).  I have to pick one driver and I can’t pick them again…so I pick one driver from the A group, two from the B Group and one from the C group.  These are my drivers this week:

Group A: Carl Edwards (My thought here is to save Tony and Kyle)

Group B: Brian Vickers, David Ragan

Group C: AJ allmendinger

So we will see what happens with me after the race. I think I might make this a weekly post to let you know who I picked and how I faired the previous week.

If you want to play with me just check out paythefan.com

Instead of doing a lengthy pre-race post for Louden where all I do is go RAH TEAM HOME DEPOT like I have been doing- I have decided I am instead going to attempt to recreate the wondrous post that was so good- wordpress and firefox3 decided to share it for dinner. So I now present you with the bullets that disappeared on me.

  • First off- did you read my accounts of the Fontana race weekend? If not start here. This is one post for each of the four days I was in Fontana.
  • Next week I will post a final recap comparing the track at Fontana with Vegas…this is a post I have had written for weeks in my head- its just a matter of getting the thoughts out in wordpress.
  • Valli over at the Fast and the Fabulous is becoming quite the reporter! Her most recent interview was with Dale Jarrett. She does an amazing job because I would probably stutter all over myself. Pretty much like when I met AJ FOYT as a teen and my dad basically had to push me at him. I was all slack jawed. Silly rabbit. Anyway- Part 1 of DJ article, Part 2 of DJ interview, Part 3 of the DJ interview. Part 4 and Part 5 of the interview are all up on her website. Check them out…you won’t be sorry!
  • Also…speaking of Valli- she was in Fontana at the same time I was, we were suppose to meet up but I forgot her phone number at work…big fiasco.  However- You have to read this post she made: fate finally throws me a bone. See Valli gets media credentials and I loved all of her behind the fontana scenes posts because I was there and I can picture them…but the one I linked too? Its the best of them all!
  • One more must read post is over at The Nascar Insiders: Helmet Cam: Pit Stops Through Our Eyes. I have noticed these Helmet cams and love the views they present. I only wonder if they are heavy enough where the crew member notices them?
  • OK- can someone explain to me how this little frustrated spattering of conversation between Tony Stewart and Greg Zipadelli got so freaking sensationalized?  Yeah there was Stewart’s sarcastic tone on the radio and his little hissy fit (which unless you were watching his hotpass channel- you didn’t even get to see the WHOLE fit! Normal broadcast only showed the incar fit. You gotta love the hotpass).  Then there was Greg Zipadelli’s defensive retort to the sarcastic Stewart…both driver and crew chief I am sure felt they did their absolute freaking best that day and just came up a little short and blew of some steam at each other. Big Woo. Are these journalists making such a big deal out of this so perfect that they have never been frustrated and blew some steam off? I mean seriously. Hell I remember once being so frustrated with a Chemistry assignment in high school that i picked up my book and threw it across the room (mostly because I got talked into taking honors chemistry only to find myself WAY over my head math wise.  I am still not sure how I passed that class). A couple months ago I was working (very hard) on a baby bunting that I needed to finish before the baby shower and found that somewhere along the line I had dropped a stitch and the damn thing was all fugly and had to undo over half of it to fix it. That pissed me off and the yarn ball went a flying. Luckily it was a yarn project and not a say…woodcarving project or something because I am sure flying wood causes damage.  Yeah…so back to my original point. Blowing off steam….not a big deal. Frankly they probably wouldn’t have even gave it a second thought if it weren’t for the fact that the Stewart/Zipadelli partnership (which I am going to post about hopefully next week as well) is dissolving at the end of this season.
  • Judging by the weather at Louden this race is gonna be a washout…and Monday isn’t looking much better.
  • I am pretty sure that there are some other things I wanted to talk about but I can’t remember what they were.  Oh well if they are still relevent- more fodder for next week.