Wow, what a weekend for Stewart-Haas Racing. I admit I was quite pleased when Ryan and Tony qualified 1-2 (although that little teeny competitive person inside me was chagrined that it wasn’t the other way around). Tony isn’t always the best qualifier- so when he qualifies top 10 I get pretty happy. When he qualifies top 5 I get damn happy. When he qualifies top 2? I do a jig. Ok not really- but I was ecstatic and hopeful for his run on Sunday.
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, poses with his team and Ryan Newman, driver of the #39 U.S. Army Chevrolet, and his team on the grid prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LENOX Industrial Tools 301 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images North America)
It appears I had every reason to be hopeful. EVERY REASON. I settled in for the race with my cell phone and my note pad close. I started off on the TNT national broadcast- only for the pre-race. Once the command was given to start engines I switched it over to Stewart’s DirecTV HotPass channel where for the second week in a row I just stayed on the HotPass Channel. I have decided that I like the HotPass because I get the radio communications between Tony, Darian and Bob without draining my battery on my phone and having to relaunch the Sprint ap every time I go to read a text or a tweet- which during the race is quite often.
Anyway- it was quite obvious by the way Tony Stewart moved through the field that he had a car to be reckoned with. Especially if you consider that during the pre-race show all the drivers interviewed mentioned how hard it would be to pass at Louden. I don’t remember anyone saying anything different. Tony seemed to be able to work his way up through the field a couple times and made it look easy. EASY! Whoo.
Ryan Newman (R), driver of the #39 U.S. Army Chevrolet, is congratulated by team owner and second place finisher, Tony Stewart (L), driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LENOX Industrial Tools 301 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America)
I will readily admit that the competitive side of me came out when Tony was running hard trying to catch Ryan. I was standing there in front of the TV-hoping Ryan would run out of gas. I know, I should hang my head in shame a little for hoping Ryan would run out of gas, after all that is Tony’s teammate. All I can say is that, Tony is my driver and he could be racing my mom out there and I would still be rooting for Tony. It’s just how this fan/driver relationship works.
Tony’s second place finish has moved him into a tie for 10th place with Denny Hamlin. I can only hope that this 1-2 weekend at New Hampshire signals the start of better luck for Tony Stewart and Stewart-Haas Racing.
Ryan Newman, driver of the #39 U.S. Army Chevrolet, is congratulated by teammate Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, after Newman won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LENOX Industrial Tools 301 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images North America)
Notes on Loudon:
- You see that picture up there of Tony congratulating Ryan in the car. The one right above this notes section? You might have to look carefully because it’s small but Tony’s hand is out congratulating Ryan. I LOVE that picture. Why? Well, as I mentioned I was watching the race on Tony’s HotPass channel and seeing him celebrate Ryan’s win and his second place from his incar camera was GREAT! He was UBER excited!!! Then hearing that one of the first things Tony said when he got out of his car was that he was “so damn proud” that he “couldn’t see straight” made me laugh.
- I love listening in on the radio communication. How else would I have known that Tony was mad because the hose that cools his feet wasn’t hooked up and I found that out because he stated over his radio that he in charge of hooking up said hose could drive the car the next time the hose didn’t get hooked up. So Tony wasn’t hot-headed he was hot-footed. Ha! I crack myself up. Not to mention the kind words he had to say about Andy Lally. LOVE it because that is what is going on right then and there in the car in my driver’s head.
- Oh and I am hearing that there is a rumor out there that Carl Edwards may be signing with JGR for next season…I am not sure if JGR is going to a 4 car team or if that means someone is out of one of the JGR cars. I guess we will find out soon enough.
- I still have to say that I would be happier if Ryan and Tony’s finishes were reversed, but still pretty damn happy.
- But we really need a win now. Just saying.
- Oh and before I forget- Tony mentioned during his post-race press conference that Darian was dealing with pneumonia while on the pit box…I sure hope he’s feeling better soon!
Gratuitous Tony picture:
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 15, 2011 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Elsa/Getty Images North America)
Don’t forget next weekend is an off weekend for the Cup cars…they will be back the following weekend at Indy. Go Tony Go!