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(photo source: Zimbio.com/Sarah Crabill/Getty Images North America)

Start: 25th

Finish: 15th

Points: 2192 (15th in points)

(photo source: zimbio.com/Sean Gardner/Getty Images North America)

Dear Phoenix- it had been too long. I hadn’t been at your track since November of 2014 and I forgot why I love you so much. Last year I forsake you to attend my first race in Homestead-Miami because Jeff Gordon was retiring and since it’s so close to the Phoenix race there was no way I could attend both.  This year- I thought I would miss you. I had decided in the shadow of my driver Tony Stewart retiring to attend my first and his last Brickyard 400 at IMS. I assumed that I would again forgo Phoenix. For no other reason than for me to drive the crazy trek to Phoenix is a taxing one- first to Vegas to pick up my friend which is about 500 miles door -to-door from where I live and usually takes me between 7 and 8 hours. The drive from Vegas to Phoenix is another nearly 5 hours. That’s a lot of time in a car- to then have to turn around and do the same thing in reverse order the Monday and Tuesday after the race.  Especially when you consider I would likely be doing the same thing just a few weeks later for Champions Week in Vegas (minus the trip to Phoenix). But then I got a text from Misty asking if I wanted to do something a little bit crazy. See when we went to Indiana for the Brickyard we were caught up in the major meltdown Southwest suffered when it had issues with it’s reservation software in late July. Our outgoing flight to Indianapolis was cancelled with 3 hours notice (not delayed but CANCELLED completely).  Despite the stress of us having to figure our own way out to Indiana (because if we stayed with Southwest they MIGHT be able to get us to Indiana on Saturday when we were suppose to be there on Thursday) on another carrier who was more than willing to get us there on Friday- Southwest gave us vouchers for flights to prove they can indeed provide us with the service we expected.  Misty’s crazy idea was for me to drive to Vegas and then together we would hop a flight from Vegas to Phoenix stay just long enough to see the race and then fly back to Vegas and I could drive back to my central coast home.  That flight ended up being approximately 45 minutes.  And let me tell you it was worth every penny. Flying was so so much easier than the long, desolate desert drive between Vegas and Phoenix that I since have a hard time seeing myself doing that drive again.  Ever. (more…)

Tony and team in the garage

Tony and team in the garage at Phoenix Raceway 2015. (Photo credit: Tony Stewart Official Store Facebook Page/Rusty Jarrett)

Tony Qualified: 17th

Tony Finished: 39th

Points: 32 points, currently 36th in the standings

What is that saying? If it wasn’t for bad luck I wouldn’t have any luck at all or something like that? I feel that could definitely be used in the case of Tony Stewart’s season. He has yet to finish a race on the lead lap. That ugly stat makes this Smoke fan sad. (more…)

Tony Stewart in the garage area at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (photo credit: Tony Stewart Official Store facebook/ Rusty Jarrett)

 

“I think just learning the way the car is going to respond every week with the rules in place and finding the combination that works the best. We’re basically starting from scratch. There are some things that you take away from what we did last year, but anytime you have significant rules changes like the ones we have this year, that’s the No. 1 obstacle – trying to figure out what our Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy likes and dislikes so it gives you a direction in which to work.” –Tony Stewart, Pre-Phoneix Team Release

 

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*TQMS= The Quotable Mr. Stewart

Read other TQTS posts.