“We’re not giving up (expletive)” could be heard on Tony Stewart’s radio near the midway point in the race as he battled hard to keep the race leader at the time, Denny Hamlin, behind him and himself on the lead lap. Stewart’s car had been brough to Martinsville with teammate Ryan Newman’s race set up in the hopes of hitting on something that would work better for Stewart. Unfortunately with only one practice because of weather the set up was mostly an unknown. It’s frustrating because Martinsville is my favorite track. I love it’s close quarters, the bumping and rubbing, the short tempers. It makes for good racing but I can only imagine that 500 laps of fighting an ill-handling car can take a toll on a driver physically and mentally. I know at the point during the race that Stewart was fighting so hard to keep from going a lap down I was disheartened that he was in that position (but proud as hell he was putting up a right good fight).
Warning: Thar be curse words ahead…ones that start with F so if you are sensitive to that (even though they are totally necessary) here is a link to a picture of Roxy (my adorable beagle) in my Flickr account that you can look at instead of reading this post that has
a few F-words in it (I really did try to write this without the curse words…but it doesn’t have the same impact nor did it feel as cathartic):
There is a reason I don’t post my race reviews directly after races. It’s not that I don’t have the time, I usually do, unless there is some sort of weather delay or something that has made the race eat up a majority or my day. The reason I don’t post directly (same thing with why I don’t live blog races) would be because if I had posted right after the Kansas 2 race it would have read something like this: (more…)
Settling in to watch the race at Richmond, the 26th race of the 2011 season, I was a ball of nerves. It was one of those races that I would have fast forwarded through just to see the results without going the stress (and I mean STRESS) of the race. Tony was one of the drivers on the chase bubble. So to remain in the chase Tony had to finish in the top 18 because if he fell out of the top 10 in points he would NOT be eligible for a wildcard position because he has no wins (YET). He qualified 22nd. See what I mean- I am sure Tony Stewart is trying to kill me- or give me an ulcer anyway.
I was encouraged by his little beginning of the race radio pep talk that he ended with: WE CAN DO THIS! I settled in and thought…of course WE CAN DO THIS!
It seemed at the beginning of the race that every two or three laps there was a caution because of agressive driving causing someone to spin someone out. I believe I proclaimed a couple of times that at this race the race wouldn’t be over until midnight west coast time (I told you I might have been tempted to fast forward during this race to see what the outcome was). All my readers know that I was crossing every appendage I physically could in hopes of Tony making the chase. Apparently turning myself into a pretzel worked (yeah sure that’s what did it…I am sure of it).
I started to relax during the end of the race, when I was pretty sure that, barring some catastrophic accident (although I still worried about it slightly) and was able to actually enjoy the racing- but for 90 percent of it I was on pins and needles. PINS AND NEEDLES people. Were you? Tony seemed to be able to work his way forward through the field sometimes but other times he seemed stucked where he was. But in the end- he ended up finishing 7th- well above the 18th place finish he would have needed to clinch his place in the chase.
Tony’s “Honoring Our Heroes” symbolic memorial paint scheme was BEAUTIFUL on the track. It looked like he had an equally amazing helmet. This is the best picture I could find of it- if you have a better one- please share:
Tony’s car was one of four cars in the field in the Saturday night race who raced a special commemorative paint scheme honoring the Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation- a foundation that supports the families of first responders, provides scholarships for their children, as well as supports veteran’s wounded in conflict. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the diecasts of Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, David Gilliland and Jamie MacMurray cars will go to the foundation. Lionel NASCAR Collectibles presented the Stephen Siller Foundation with $125,000 as the first installment of the proceeds of the money raised from the sale of diecasts.
Notes About Richmond:
- I was so glad that Dale Junior also made it into chase.
- The race coverage by ABC – on what to most NASCAR fans considered a crucial race- wasn’t very good. It seemed to me like there were far too many commercial breaks and a lot of times, when returning from a caution we missed the initial drop of the green flag- to find the cars already taking the first turn of the race.
- The race at Richmond had a record tying number of cautions: 15
- There were just as many sparks off the tracks as on. Tony got snippy with AP reporter Jenna Fryer at his media availablity between practices on Friday. After the race Kurt Busch is reported to had to have been physically restrained in an argument with Joe Menzer (NASCAR.COM), then later exchanged further heated words in the media center with him and even later with Jenna Fryer, when it’s reported that
he ripped a transcript from her handthen ripped it in half. So you think that there were no emotions running high at that race (and after?). (Ok so I found the video of Kurt tearing the transcript…it appears to me that Jenna just handed it to him- he didn’t “rip it from her hands”- he did tear it in half though.)
- Tony helped the Office Depot Foundation donate 2000 sackpacks filled with school supplies to local Virginia children:
And finally- I just have to point out a favorite quote from the official team post-race report:
“It’s going to be a long 10 weeks, but every Friday when we show up at the track we start with a clean slate and just do the best we can. So, we’ll keep digging.” – Tony Stewart (emphasis mine)
That’s right: #KeepDiggingTony!
Next Race: Chicagoland
These last few races have had Tony Stewart scratching and clawing to make gains in position and Pocono’s race on Sunday was no different. After qualifying 28th for the race, Stewart was able to claw his way up to 16th and was heading (albeit slowly) in the right direction when a devastating flat left front tire around lap 92 caused Stewart to have to put and put him a lap down the 2.5 mile track and back down in 28th position. What is worse than being in 28th position I ask you? Being in 28th position and a lap down when the rain comes is my answer.
You know what I have always wanted? I have always wanted access to one of the swanky suites at NASCAR race. The closest to that I have ever gotten was when I was invited to the Ferrari Challenge out at Laguna Seca – I was given access to the Ferrari hospitality. I have to say it was the nicest food spread I have ever seen- but I got so distracted by being shown the awesome Ferrari FF that I didn’t take advantage of the spread. Regardless, I still want the VIP NASCAR race experience one day. I guess you could say that it’s on my bucket list.
I got to thinking about this by perusing the many MANY items up for bid in the National Silent Auction being hosted by and benefiting the Tony Stewart Foundation. One of the unique items on the long list of items to be bid on- is a race package for the 2012 running of the Brickyard that includes access to the Tony Stewart suite (and lots of other goodies like cold pit access). Awesome because for me anyway that would be TWO things off of the bucket list- swanky suite and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Unfortunately its a wee bit too pricy for my blood…but that is okay because there is TONS of other stuff I could (and I have- so it’s easy to do) bid on. There are tons of autographed guitars (including a bitching Paul Reed Smith Custom Corvette guitar signed by Tony), Cds (hey I have my eye on that Blake Shelton one- I am just saying), lots of Prelude stuff including two separate helmets signed by all the Prelude drivers (2009 and 2010), A helmet signed by the Indianapolis Colts (and a football in a separate auction), A ride in a two seater Indy car at Indianopolis Motor Speedway, 4 tickets and backstage passes to a Toby Keith concert, lots of autographed WWE stuff, some signed Tony Stewart Foundation shirts, there are even some cool things to bid on for those in the local Indianapolis area like golf, wine tasting, or behind-the-scenes tour at the Indianaoplis Zoo. Of course there are NASCAR items- I already mentioned the Brickyard 2012 package, but there is also signed stuff from Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr- not to mention the Jeff Gordon Celebrity Bowl before the 2012 Brickyard. It really is an EXTENSIVE list of stuff with bids starting at $14 for some stuff.
Bidding is easy – after you register all you need to do is text in (or call in) your bids. It’s all helps the Tony Stewart Foundation help kids and animals and animals that help kids. Bidding is open now through July 31st so check out the auction items, sign up and bid today!
Like I said I have already bid on something and I have my eye on the Blake Shelton CD, there really is something for nearly everybody and every price range on this Auction. So take part today!
By the way…if I had unlimited funding and could bid on anything- it would be hard for me to choose. I would love the Brickyard package…but the Stewart-Haas racing tour would be damn fun too. Luckily I don’t have to make that choice.
I was crawling the web as I usually do on Friday mornings- looking for what was happening in the world of NASCAR, this being before the inaugural Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky, when an article by Dustin Long (one of my favorites among the NASCAR media) about what the drivers were talking about caught my eye. I was surprised to find out that a couple of drivers were quoted as being concerned about the lack of SAFER barrier at the speedway in Kentucky. You can read Dustin’s whole article yourself, but I have culled out the quotes regarding SAFTER barrier from it for you: (more…)
I was gonna try to fit the entire Infineon post into one…but it was just too large and I couldn’t do that to you. I hope you will enjoy part one. Stay tuned for part 2).
After checking into our hotel, Misty and I went to Infineon Raceway Thursday for like 10 minutes- just to pick up our credentials and remind ourselves how to get there because it had been a couple years (2009 to be exact- where the first time we were there we got misguided and ended up in Petaluma). We returned bright and early Friday morning got ourselves situated in the media center- grabbed something to drink and headed out to get some pictures before things filled in. We even wandered through the area of concessions behind the grandstands at the Start/Finish line – which was kinda creepy actually since most if not all of them were still closed. We got a good look at the Infineon Hall of Fame…which honestly should be called the Wall of Fame…but that’s just semantics I guess.