Unfortunately when things go busy for me in the real world blogging here can suffer. Doesn’t mean I am not paying attention to what is going on in the NASCAR world- it just means that I have trouble getting time to write it all down. I have been suspiciously absent for a month- but I haven’t missed a race. I just missed writing about them. I am back and I am going to use this post as a catch all for some things I have been wanting to write about but haven’t yet had the time. So here is a list of things I have been wanting to discuss: (more…)
It seemed like forever since I have watched a race? Why? Because first we had the Easter break with no racing and then first race back from Easter was Bristol which was delayed until Monday. Well we are coming up on enrollment deadlines at work so it wasn’t possible for me to be able to sit in my office and pay attention to the race as it happened. I knew I would find out who won (Jimmie) and I heard that the racing was really good at Bristol- which made me jealous that I decided to forgo DVR’ing it. Why would I do that? Well there are a couple of reasons. I knew I would know who the winner was before I could get home and watch it (and indeed I did) so I would have already known the outcome. Plus- honestly I didn’t think I would feel like coming home and watching a race. Too bad because I heard from more than one source that the racing at the track was excellent.
There was so much terrible weather across the United States I was grateful that they were able to race on Sunday at Richmond. I was jonesing for some racing action and I honestly think I got it. When I am talking about racing action- I am talking about side-by-side racing for position. It seems to me that NASCAR was right after all with this segment racing and it really shines on the short tracks. It seems to put a sense of urgency in the racing that seems to make it so that the drivers are not just biding their time for the end of the race.
It seemed that a big complaint among the race fans I follow were the in-race penalties during the race at Richmond. There were several pit road speeding penalties, a couple of lose tire and equipment leaving the box penalties but no more than any other race I thought. So I am wondering if people weren’t talking about the commitment violations for pit road (I guess technically we can’t really call them commitment cone violations since they don’t use a cone at Richmond but instead use an orange square. Apparently it use to be okay if your right side tires hit the orange commitment square on the track but this race they changed the rule so that the tires had to be completely on the left side of the box for pit road and the right side of the box to remain on track. During the national broadcast they said that the change was communicated during the driver’s meeting and I don’t know if a few of the drivers just weren’t paying attention to the rule change or if they were unaware.
I think a lot of people are talking about the incident with Joey Logano ducking in quickly and blocking the view of the commitment box from Kyle Busch who then clearly ran over the box because it was blocked from his view by Logano. Some people think it was a dirty thing for Logano to do. Some people think Kyle Busch is being a whiner. I can honestly see both sides. As the race leader Joey Logano’s job is to protect that lead. Ducking into the pits at the last minute is nothing new- it’s probably one of the oldest “tricks” in the pit strategy sleeve. Nor do I think Kyle has reason to be called a whiner- he was upset- that penalty cost him a decent finish and possibly a win. It’s quite understandable to be upset with the call- especially when you yourself can’t see the box because the view is blocked by the car in front of you. Kyle doesn’t have the vantage point the people on TV have or even the people in the stands. I would call that a “racin’ deal” pure and simple.
Stewart-Haas had a pretty good day overall. All four cars finished in the top 20 with one top five (Harvick), one top ten (Busch), One top 15 (Bowyer) and one top 20 (Patrick).
Drivers that impressed me: Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Daniel Suarez
Drivers that disappointed me: Dale Jr, Clint Bowyer,
It’s been a horrendously busy time for me at work lately and I think the tech gods are mad at me because it seems like this week in particular is trying to kill me. However- just because I am busy at work doesn’t mean I don’t have few things ping around my brain like lugnuts during a green flag pit stop:
1. Planning to be at the Aspen Dental Dirt Derby (previously known as the MudSummer Classic) at Eldora Speedway in Ohio next week to watch the CWTS on dirt? Looking to do some good and kill some time before the feature? Join the Tony Stewart Foundation’s Guinness Book Of World Records attempt at the Largest Game of Heads Or Tails! Register now for $10 to ensure your spot in the game. Proceeds will assist the foundation’s grant program! There some pretty awesome prizes if you end up as one of the top ten people lasting the longest in the game plus all registered contestants will get a commemorative bandanna (you can also donate and get a bandanna if you can’t be there)! Check out the Tony Stewart Foundation’s Flip It For Good page for more information and to register:
2. Here is a great article from National Speed Sport News on what Tony Stewart deems as his “Personal Hell Week” (but it sounds like he also loves it) but check out what the next week to ten days are going to be like in the life of Tony Stewart. I just have one question…when does he sleep? Give it a read and if you can figure out when he does…let me know.
Well looks like the lugnuts are pinging around that pitbox I call a brain again:
1. Did you hear? BadGroove is having a contest and you can enter to win some Tony Stewart swag. Pay special attention to the part about how you can earn a bonus entry on Saturday.
2. So it sounds like the new lugnut rule is in action- Crew Chief of the #18 Adam Stevens and the front tire changer Josh Leslie have been suspended through May 18th for a lugnut violation. Additionally Stevens has been fined $20,000. This according to a tweet from Dustin Long. I hate to say it but it’s been pretty obvious that the teams can’t police themselves when it comes to lugnuts so I expect to see more of these fines in the future. It’s a safety issue. You wouldn’t drive your passenger car down the freeway at 65 MPH (or higher- come on you know you don’t go the speed limit) missing lugnuts, explain to me why it’s safe for a stock car going 150 plus MPH (depending on the track) to do that on a race track? It’s common sense.
3.It was great to see the 14 lead a few (ok 12) laps on Saturday. I hope to see that Code 3 Associates Chevy in victory lane this weekend. I can’t be the only one right? Speaking of Code 3 Associates did you know that they in conjunction with Adam’s Flea and Tick Pest control are offering you a sweepstakes where you can win a VIP race experience including the chance to meet Tony Stewart? Enter today! (more…)
Points: 87 points, 37th in the standings and 59 points from 30th position
Quote Of The Race: “You still mad at me bud?” — Crew chief Mike Bugarewicz after the conclusion of the race- addressing driver Tony Stewart’s radio silence during the later half of the race. (By the way- for those curious- Tony’s response was that he wasn’t mad at his crew chief but frustrated at the situation with the vibration/slowdown of the car during the later half of the race).
If I could give a random name to the race run by Tony Stewart and crew this past Saturday at Kansas I would call it “The Lemonade Race.” No I wasn’t drinking lemonade on Saturday night. I call it that because the race was a good example of taking the lemons dealt to you and turning them into lemonade. (more…)
Points: 22, 101 points from 30th
Quote of the race: “Line them up and I’ll run 800 laps right now and not have a problem. There will be a bunch of these guys falling out of the seat if they had to run 800 more laps, but I will not be one of them.” — Tony on the radio after the race, when asked by his crew chief how he was feeling. LOVE IT!
I have had the chorus from the Welcome Back Kotter theme song stuck in my head since Thursday morning when Tony made the announcement that he would be piloting the #14 Mobil 1 Chevy for the first time this season. That of course later turned to Bill Engvall’s “Here’s Your Sign” routine- except I was stating in my head it was “here’s your fine.” But I already wrote all about the fine and my views on the subject haven’t changed so you can read that in the Welcome Back Tony, Here’s Your Fine post I made. That is all I will say about that whole debacle in this post. Anyway- what better track for Tony to make his “comeback” race at than Richmond. It’s his favorite track after all.
So on Friday I was quite distracted on Friday at work trying to pay attention to practice and qualifying (that was rained out) because I wanted to know how Tony’s first day back in his office was going. Apparently his biggest issue was that he wasn’t use to the new digital dash board they are running in the cars now which I found out via video embedded in a tweet, yet he was obviously still in good humor about it. So it wasn’t that big of an issue. Later on Sunday during the national broadcast they actually talked about what kind of adjustments they can make to the digital dash because how and what the driver sees is customizable and they have to also take into account where the driver sits, and what kind of steering wheel he uses. I found that all fascinating. So the qualifying on Friday had been rained out as I mentioned which meant that cars would be lined up on the grid according to practice speeds- putting Tony 18th on Sunday. There were changes to the Saturday schedule because of the weather issues and that meant the sprint cup teams ended up with one practice on Saturday. (more…)
Usually when my cellphone vibrates with a text message as I am coming off the elevator at work onto my floor- it’s something work related. Today it’s YEY related. Here is what has been pinging around my head like lugnuts in a pitstall during a green flag pit stop- you just never know where they will end up…except I kind of do- they end up here. Let’s get to it shall we:
1.So I am a little late with the lugnuts- I usually post them on Wednesdays- but to be completely honest it was just because I ran out of time yesterday to track down pictures to put in the post and all that but now we have something else to discuss and it’s probably the most important thing to discuss so I am bumping everything else down a notch! So in case you live in a world without social media Tony Stewart announced today not just the timeline of when he would be back in the #14 but SURPRISE he’s going to be back in the car this weekend. There are not enough exclamation marks in the world to exclaim how excited I am about this. So Tony will be racing his first race back at his favorite NASCAR track too- so that can’t hurt right? Tony has always exclaimed his love for Richmond. Also in case you didn’t know- Tony will then do a tire test at Indy and will start Talladega for the points then hand the car over to Ty Dillon because of the significant increase of crash and injury at Talladega. I can’t tell you how much better this makes me feel about Talladega. Also as expected NASCAR did grant Tony Stewart a waiver for the missed races. So come on Tony let’s go out there and rip off a win and maintain top 30 status…I want to see you in Vegas my man! This definitely made my morning!
2. Here is Tony yesterday on RACEHUB last night- actually yesterday afternoon for me on the west coast…but I dvr’d and watched it this morning well before the announcement and thought to myself- hey self- you should find the video and add it before I publish the post: (more…)
Well it seems that my brain is full of lugnuts this week! Here is what has been pinging around my brain like lugnuts during a green flag pitstop:
1. I find it interesting that Kyle Busch’s recent back-to-back sweeps has sparked a lot of interest but not in the way you would think. Instead of everyone being a buzz about what a monumental accomplishment back-to-back weekend sweeps (even haters have to be impressed) are, most of the buzz I am hearing is from NASCAR fans who don’t think that the cup drivers should be able to drive in any of the feeder series but instead should be relegated to just driving the premiere cup series. If this is the case (and I don’t believe this should be the case AT ALL just to make that clear) then by following that same logic new drivers should not drive in the cup series until they have a full time cup ride. See? Cup drivers driving in the series not just give the up-and-coming racers different driving levels and styles to drive with and around (the thought here being is that they can learn from the cup series regulars) but there is the bigger draw to having the cup drivers participate in races in the “lesser” series and that is that you are drawing fans to seats that might not have otherwise been filled. I honestly don’t see a problem with it. It’s not like the cup drivers can run for the lesser series championships anymore so I don’t really see why it’s a big deal- they should be able to run if they have the ride and sponsorship to do so. I know that when Tony occasionally would run what is now the Xfinity series I would be more apt to tune in and pay attention then not.