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Tony drives through the garage at Texas Motor Speedway. November 2015 (Photo Source: Tony Stewart Facebook page/HHP/Rusty Jarrett )

Tony Qualified: 22nd, but started 42nd because he missed driver intros.

Tony Finished: 42nd

Points: 663 (27th in the points standings)

Tony had a short-lived day at Texas unfortunately.  He had qualified 22nd, but ended up missing driver introductions because he had been fighting a migraine all morning and had to go to the back. So Tony technically started 42nd. But it didn’t take long and he was moving that Bass Pro Chevy through the field well. It was actually good to see- because when he started at the back I was like arg…again?! He was well into the top 30 when the first caution came out – the one for Joey Logano’s spin.  By the competition caution at lap 25 he had broken into the top 20. For the rest of his time on the track he ran between 15th and 19th until he spun and took a ride through the still quite wet grass. Unfortunately this tore the splitter completely off the car, it disconnected the radiator and there was other fairly terminal damage and the team decided to just hang it up for the day at lap 52. His 42nd place finish added a new stat to his stat record: Tony’s first finish outside the top-35 in 27 career Sprint Cup starts at Texas. It was a pity because he seemed to have a good car that was able to move around on the track and pass people.

Other than Tony’s short lived day- it was a tiresome day at Texas don’t you think? I know that Goodyear was blaming lack of practice on things like rubs, teams pushing the envelop with air pressures but it was a lot of different drivers experiencing some problems. I left my notes at home but these are just the drivers that I remember: Joey Logano, Dale Jr, Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones, Trevor Bayne, and at least one other person I can’t think of (but it’s making my brain tired to try to think of it- lol tired? Get it?). A couple of the issues seemed like the tire was inflated but the tread came off- which to me seems like a compound issue.

Race winner was Jimmie Johnson- and I can’t tell you how many times on my facebook and twitter feeds yesterday I saw this (or a similar sentiment): It’s not often you will hear me cheering for Jimmie to win but I was!  I was too- but I will usually take up the team chevy driver who is closest to the lead when Tony is out of it.  As a matter of fact I cheered so loudly that I scared poor Abbie who jumped off the couch where she was dozing next to me and hid. Anyway because Jimmie Johnson is no longer chase eligible- Jeff Gordon is still the only driver locked into the final four.

Well onto Phoenix.

The Gratuitous Tony Stewart:

Tony Stewart  in the garage at Texas Motor Speedway (photo source: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)



Do you #StandWithSmoke? Showing him is as easy as 1. Donate at least $1.00 (but seriously if you can- do at least $10- because then your donation will get doubled by an anonymous donor) to the Tony Stewart Foundation atStandWithSmoke.Com 2. Download the sign (the link will be in your donation receipt) 3. Take a photo (or a short video) with your sign and either post it to the Tony Stewart Foundation facebook page or Tweet it using #StandWithSmoke and @14TSF. Let’s all show Tony Stewart we #StandWithSmoke.

#StandWithSmoke #KeepDiggingTony #TonyStewartFan4Life #HellbentOnVictory

(photo credit: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

So I guess this would be the unlucky version of the Loose Lugnuts post since it’s number 13. Run and hide people! Run and hide and don’t forget to cover your lugnuts (sorry today is the Great Shakeout here in Cali- which means we all do your standard duck and cover earthquake drill- so if you are looking for me tomorrow around then check under my desk).  Anyway- onto the the things that have being ricocheting around my brain like loose lugnuts during a green flag pit stop:

1. Speaking of unlucky- I guess we might as well lead with the fact that Charlotte wasn’t really that lucky for team 14. Not only did we finish laps down but we were dinged with two penalties that have us losing 15 minutes of practice time (and we seem to need all we can get lately) AND losing our pit stall selection that is usually based on qualifying. Seems the infractions were due to failing pre-qualifying inspection too many times and failing pre-race templates too many times. Sigh- so we already have been having a tough year and now we can’t practice for 15 minutes and we get the pit stall that went over the fence last. This season man…this season.

2. While on the subject of Tony Stewart- have you seen this awesome Mobil 1 GridTV Video detailing the progression of his career:


September 18, 2015: during practice for the myAFibRisk.com 400 at the Chicagoland Speedway, in Joliet IL . (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook/HHP/Andrew Coppley)

Tony Qualified: Qualifying was rained out so he started 23rd based on first practice speeds.

Tony Finished: 25th, 3 laps down

Points: 530 (26th in points standings)

I admit it, I didn’t watch the race on Sunday. Go on and digest that one for a tad.

Before you get upset- I did listen to every second of it as broadcast on SiriusXM 90 because I was traveling back up to my home from Pomono in Southern California. (more…)

Tony pilots his Chevy through the garage

Tony pilots his Chevy through the garage at Texas Motor Speedway, November 2014. (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Official Store FB/Mike Calamungi/CIA Stock Photo)

I wanted to let the race soak in a bit this week before writing my post (okay who am I kidding- really I was totally slammed at the day job yesterday and not in the mood to write by the time I got home).

Let’s start with my usual fodder- Team 14 and their run at TMS.  I admit I started the weekend a bit excited after hearing that Tony was the first driver to break the 200 mph mark in a stock car at Texas Motor Speedway.  Of course it’s all relative considering Tony has gone around TMS in an indy car at well over 200 mph. Still it’s cool and like Tony mentioned who knows how long the record lasts- but it’s always cool to be the first one to do something!  Tony was able to qualify for the race 6th which is not bad at all! (more…)

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…)

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…)

The 14 Crew tends to the Mobil 1 Chevy

The 14 Crew tends to the Mobil 1 Chevy piloted by Jeff Burton substituting for Tony Stewart (Photo Credit: Stewart-Haas Facebook Page)

Jeff Burton stepped in to substitute for Tony Stewart at this past weekend’s race The Pure Michigan 400.  He was starting to pull up through the field after qualifying the 14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet 27th.  It was a brand spanking new car and unfortunately it seems that at some point during the beginning of the race the tailpipe had cracked and caught the heat shields of the car on fire.  Jeff Burton radioed in and stated that he smelled smoke in the cockpit- and it smelled electrical.  Around lap 75 or so he brought the car in for a regular pit stop and a quick look from the 14 pit crew.  While they smelled the odor they were unable to figure out what was causing it. Jeff Burton returned to the track only to be called back in a lap later.  After another look Chad Johnston decided to take the 14 back to the garage to fix it right.  The crew worked really hard to get the 14 car back out on the track- albeit 24 laps down.  I love that never quit spirit! Jeff Burton continued to pilot the car for the rest of the race and brought it home to a 37th place finish. The 14 car is now 23rd in owner points. (more…)