So after a strong start to the 2011 Sprint Cup season it is hard to see Stewart-Haas racing strugggling. As a Tony Stewart fan it’s REALLY hard.
Over a week later I still don’t understand what happened at the end of the race in Fontana. Tony seemed to have a strong car- but that car just faded away that last run. Was it lack of tire? Mechanical? I still don’t understand what caused the fade away that left him finishing 13th after such a strong run all day long.
Then today- we have Martinsville. Tony didn’t have speed in practice earlier in the weekend. He qualified poorly (28th) on Saturday. Then when the race started, he just seemed to fight an ill handling car all day while trying to conserve tires. He was able to work his way up to a high of 20th at one point. Judging by radio communications Darian seemed to have some sort of plan to get Tony track position so he has something to work with. Unfortunately that plan wouldn’t really get placed in effect after Stewart was penalized for changing lanes before reaching the start finish line during a restart. I admit- that one had me shaking my head. Okay…shaking my head and cursing like a sailor. I it is disheartening to watch your team have a couple of bad weeks. Tony finished 38 laps down in 34th position. He dropped to 11th in points.
Race winner for both Fontana and Martinsville was Kevin Harvick. I can only imagine Junior Nation is NOT a Harvick fan after the last several laps of Martinsville.
- Two drivers who had GREAT days- Dale Earnhart Jr and Jeff Gordon. I swear I could hear the crowd at Martinsville go wild all the way over here in California when Jr took the lead during the last 30 laps of the race. Jeff Gordon also had a great finish considering he qualified 21st. He rose from 19th to points to 12th in points. That puts him right behind Tony. Jeff is going in the right direction. Tony however is not. Dont think I am not starting to panic about points. Yes I know that there is a lot of racing left in the season…but I worry because we are going in the wrong direction.
- The tire issue that everyone seemed to be concerned about didn’t really seem to be that big of a deal after all.
- Was it just me or did Martinsville seem to take FOREVER to finish? Maybe it was just because I was cranky because Tony was having a bad day. Any Kevin Harvick fans want to weigh in on the length of the race?
Next week we are racing under the lights at Texas on Saturday night.