That is my new name for Pocono. I have no reason except that I don’t like this track (I have said that many times). Team Home Depot came in second today after battling an extremely loose race car. When the race started I saw some ominous and obvious thunderheads in the area and I said (to myself since I am the only one in the room) that I was sure there would be a rain delay at some point today. I would be right.
During the warm up laps before the race the banter on the radio between Stewart and his crew was lighthearted. Stewart even claimed that the crew might be able to work on their tans from where they were. The race started out with two fairly quick cautions, one of which (the Harvick/Nemechek spin), I heard Tony ask his spotter if he caused (he didn’t). Tony then moved up quickly through the field. At the first pit stop they opted to put in a spring rubber and that is when he started falling backwards like a brick. Despite the first couple of spins there were relatively few cautions (especially when compared to last weeks all-caution 400). First there is the yellow for a sprinkling on the track. Then it goes green again…. Then we ended up with a red flag rain delay. By the rain delay team home depot had fallen back to 26th position with something like 69 laps to go because of a pit stop right before the rain delay. During the rain delay it was fun to see all the drivers out of their cars on pit road socializing. When Tony was giving his HotPass interview during the red Jeff Burton came over and doused him with a cup of water. That was pretty funny.
It was after the red flag that Team Home Depot really seemed to turned it on. Tony quickly worked his way up through the field…sometimes passing people two at a time. Pitting right before the red flag actually worked to their advantage and they were able to make the rest of the race on only one more stop where many had to take two more stops. With Greg Zipadelli urging Stewart to save him a little bit of fuel each lap Tony was able to make it to the checker flag with just one more pit stop which brought him up to second -where he finished. This brought Tony up one position in the points up to 9th spot. Carl Edwards, race winner, gained two positions in the points standings bringing him up to third behind second place Dale Earnhardt Jr and first place in points -Kyle Busch.
Some Notes About Pocono:
- Keifer Southerland gave a damn good command to start engines. Almost as good as Brendan Fraiser.
- Rear tire changer for Team Home Depot made an excellent recovery after slipping/tripping on the hose and still got Tony’s tire changed and out on pit row in a decent time. Good job.
- Funniest thing I heard was when Greg Zipadelli relayed to Tony that “the two just spun all by himself they just showed it!” and then you see the Home Depot crew watching the hotpass feed.
- I found out the best way to kill time during a red flag…take pictures of my nephew. Those will come tomorrow.
- Also- while watching Tony on HotPass I swear my nephew was occasionally watching him. It seemed like he would watch for awhile and then play with his toy…watch for awhile and play with his toy. I swear he was checking to see where tony was! (remember he is only 4 months old)
- And? Cheering with a four month old in my lap? A whole new experience. I tend to be very…vocal in my cheering but didn’t want to scare the boy-child on my lap…so I found myself motioning for him to pass people with my hand…you probably had to be there…but it was…different. Maybe my nephew brings tony luck.
Next week: Watkins Glen (aka The Glen). Tony does well on road courses usually…lets hope he brings us Smoke fans home a trophy!