Bristol- I like you. I really really do. But damn- why did you have to be so mean to Tony on Saturday night? Tony qualified strong- a 4th place starting position. And at the begining of the race he was doing so well. He even led for a lap or two (five points right there). I was optimistic at the beginning!
Then it all went to hell in a hand basket. First David Ragan spun. Tony slowed up on his sponsors advice as to not hit Ragan who was sitting in the middle of the track and sliding ever so slowly towards the infield. Ragan looked like a sitting duck. I was worried that it could get ugly for Ragan. Apparently he was not the one I needed to be worrying about as Stewart ended up with the worse of that deal when Tony Raines smacked him in the right rear as Stewart was slowing to avoid Ragan. It looked ugly- parts sticking out from the car. It took him two trips to pit road for the crew to fix up the damage but Stewart was able to stay on the lead lap- he was 25 or 26 but still on the lead lap (I am pretty sure that he was the last car on the lead lap actually).
Understandably the car wasn’t handling as well as it was pre-accident…and what might have even been a salvageable evening for Stewart turned to crap when Stewart smacked the wall pretty hard because the car was looser than a caboose. Then he had a tire start to go down and was forced to pit under green- and lost three laps changing only right side tires (Bristol is that small and the race leaders were running that fast). He would not come up any farther and unfortunately finished 27th- 6 laps down. Stewart would lose two positions in the points standing and is now 6th behind points leader Kevin Harvick. Race winner was Kyle Busch who completed the first ever trifecta- winning three series events in a single weekend.
Notes About Bristol:
- When Tony got the 4th starting position in qualifying, the StewartHaasRacing twitter account claimed it was his second consecutive STEWART POLE…that being the highest qualifying position not required to do after qualifying media.
- Speaking of media…what does Jeff Gluck have against Tony Stewart anyway? He made a snide twitter comment after Tony’s first incident at Bristol “Fortunately for Tony Stewart, he won’t have to visit the media center tonight. Fortunate for the media, too.” He always has something rude to say about Tony. It riles me up.
- Best National Anthem of the season so far. I am just saying…maybe they should get away from the weird acts and go for the kids more often.
- Pre hell in a handbasket radio was interesting. Tony instructed them to calm him down if he got riled up during the race during his pre-race peptalk.
- After the contact with Ragan but before he had a tire come apart on him Tony got riled up about something and Darian told him to “chill out.” That cracked me up because when I am ramped up and someone says that to me? It just riles me up more.
- Post hell in a handbasket radio was pretty depressing. Stewart didn’t say hardly anything. Neither did Darian…mostly it was his spotter Bob saying things like “Clear.” And “The x car has a hole if you need it.”
Next weekend is an off weekend for the Cup Drivers.