And just like that the season is over. Not much fan fare for this Tony Stewart fan. The last two races in the 2012 season weren’t great for Tony. He spun at Phoenix to finish 19th and fought another ill-handling race care to finish 17th at Homestead-Miami. Points wise, Tony finished 9th in the points standings for 2012. The 2012 Sprint Cup champion is Brad Keselowski.
Brad went into Homestead the points leader to a second place Jimmie Johnson. Jimmie gave a valiant fight but was foiled by a bad pit stop and then a mechanical failure of a rear gear. The Race winner at Homestead-Miami was Jeff Gordon- who won at the track for the first time. Jeff has now won a race at every current sprint cup track except Kentucky (Tony Stewart is right behind him at having won a race at every track except for Kentucky and Darlington).
Important Notes about Homestead Miami-
Tony Stewart ran two special decals at Homestead Miami on his car:
Tony completed his 500th start at Homestead-Miami (photo courtesy of The Official Tony Stewart Facebook page- click on picture to be taken to the original).
Tony Stewart also ran a special sticker thanking Office Depot for their 14 wins and 1 Championship. Office Depot resigns their spot as a primary co-sponsor of the #14 at the conclusion of this season. (Photo Credit: The Official Tony Stewart Facebook page- click on picture to be taken to the original.)
Important notes about Phoenix:
The biggest news out of Phoenix was the ontrack and off track altercations between Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer and their respective crews. While yes I was at the track- I did NOT witness the altercations personally. However- I will say this about the whole thing: Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer have been rubbing each other the wrong way all season. Jeff Gordon finally had enough and took matters into his own hands. He stood up for himself and I really don’t have an issue with that. Yes he retaliated and yes he owned up to that right away. He was fined a significant amount of money and points as well. I felt the penalties were just. I do NOT think he should have been parked. If you remember when Kyle was parked he had been parked because he had had multiple incidents of retaliation ontrack- some of which on pit road. He had altercations in multiple series. He was a serial repeat offender. Prior to this Jeff Gordon’s last real altercation was fighting with Jeff Burton on track at Texas two years ago. My only issue with the fines that NASCAR levied as a result of the melee at Phoenix is that I think that Clint Bowyer should have been placed on probation as well…after all he showed intent to join the melee with his now famous sprint through the garage area and then having to be restrained at Jeff Gordon’s hauler.
I did attend the race at Phoenix. Phoenix is one of my favorite tracks that I have been to. Here is a collage of some of the pictures I took:
All photos in this collage are credited to me Amy K. Marbach. Click on the collage to be taken to the flickr photo album with the full sized copies of these pictures (and more!) that I took during my race weekend in Phoenix.
I got a couple of good post ideas from my time at Phoenix that I hope to flesh out and share with you within the coming weeks.