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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.

Thank you Jeff Burton

Jeff Burton and Dale Earnhardt Jr chat at Michigan. (Photo credit: Stewart-Haas Racing Facebook Page)

I have to say that Jeff Gordon is a man on a mission this season!  A pole and a win.  That win ties all three chase eligible HMS drivers with three wins each.  That is 9 wins right there people. 9 wins.  Wowl.  My favorite part of the race weekend is when Misty tweeted this:

Way to call out Dale Jr there my friend.  It actually made me chuckle because that is purely my friend and her personality right there. You gotta love her.  But in all seriousness- she had no way of knowing that Jeff Gordon would not only have a really good race- but pull off the win. Whoo hoo.

So race winner was Jeff Gordon which leaves four chase grid spots left for race winners. Anyone want to guess who will make the grid?

Notes on the Pure Michigan 400:

1. I have to say that I rewatched the Ryan Newman/Jimmie Johnson incident and then post race argument. I don’t see how Newman really had anything to complain about. It seemed to me that Jimmie just got loose and rubbed him a little bit. I do love that later well after their rather tense discussion in the garage that Jimmie Johnson challenged Ryan Newman in the ALS Ice Bucket challenge. Come on Ryan- ice yourself man- it’s for a good cause!

Gratuitous Tony Stewart Picture:

We miss you Tony! Take care and come back when you can!

Tony Stewart and Darrell Wallace Jr @ Eldora this past July (Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

(Take all the time you need to make sense of this accident but know you are greatly missed.)

______

#iStandWithSmoke

#SmokeWillRise

#SmokeWillRise adorns the area over the driver door on the #14 Mobil 1 Chevy driven by Austin Dillon in Stewart’s absence at Michigan. (Photo credit: Tony Stewart Facebook page- Click pic to be taken to the original)

I am not surprised that a Ford won at Michigan- it seems that a Ford almost ALWAYS wins at Michigan- before Logano the previous winner of the last two races at Michigan was Ford driver Greg Biffle- see what I mean.

What I am surprised with about the Michigan race? Austin Dillon’s performance in the 14 car!  I know I know- I am biased, BUT I wasn’t sure about Austin Dillon as a choice to run MI.  After all he has little cup car experience.  When Stewart-Haas Racing tweeted out the picture of the yellow rookie stripe on the back of the 14 car I cringed and thought to myself quietly- “this could get ugly” and I fretted a bit.  But then I started seeing practice times. They weren’t that bad all things considered, so I had a little hope.  But then I saw qualifying and was all “eh…that wasn’t so great. Damn rookie.” Yeah I said it…deal with it. Then I saw the results of final practice and was duly impressed. Hmm maybe I misjudged Austin Dillon’s chances (and talents) after all. (more…)