Points: 94 points, 37th in the standings and 60 points from 30th position
Quote Of The Race:“$*^3! *(#^$! *$&$#!!!!!!” — me after Tony’s trackbar gave way.
Miles the monster got his fill of cars on Sunday didn’t he? Unfortunately the Monster Mile was NOT kind to Tony Stewart this weekend. When I tuned into practice on my phone at work- just to check how things were going the first thing I see is that Danica Patrick, Tony Stewart and Jamie McMurray all crashed during an incident on track.
Then I was seeing the words I don’t like to see- that both Tony and Jamie hit walls with no SAFER barrier. Really?? I do not understand why there are surfaces with no SAFER barrier around the track…I have been saying this a long time- but especially after Kyle Busch broke his leg in Daytona- all inside and outside walls no matter the probability of impact should have SAFER barriers. Anyway- Tony was okay but his car was not and he needed to go to a backup car. The crew was able to get the backup car out onto the track during that first practice but only long enough to make a couple laps. Then the rest of the day- including qualifying was washed away and Tony’s starting position was based on his practice speed which put him 34th in the starting grid.
Sunday started off well for Team 14. At the drop of the green Tony was on the move- and even passed two cars at one time as noted by Bob Jeffrey his spotter. By the competition caution on lap 40 Tony had already worked his way into 21st position. At the competition caution he was complaining that he was tight from the center third off and the team started making changes. The team kept working and Tony kept driving hard and gaining positions. A small incident of contact with Aric Almirola on lap 130 lead the team to worry that they might have tire damage since the lettering was rubbed off the tire and the national broadcast showed that during the contact- Tony’s car lifted slightly in the front when the contact was made. It left Aric Almirola with a significant tire rub. I wonder if this contact didn’t some how break or weaken the trackbar when the jolt of the contact was made and cause the issue that Tony would suffer later in the race (and yes I know the part that broke was in the rear of the car). Despite the crew chief and spotter concerns- the tire held until the next round of pit stops. (more…)