Miles the monster reached up and bit Tony Stewart square on the left front and left rear of his car. Stewart was caught up in the “Monster” lap nine melee at Dover. It isn’t a surprise really. After all, he qualified his car 29th in the field of 43 cars. I so wasn’t thrilled when I saw the results of qualifying on my cell phone- that is back in the danger zone. The zone where if someone screws up you can be innocently caught up in their mistake because of Dover’s “self cleaning” feature. I made sure that I put on my checker flag socks this morning- just in case. I just had a feeling that starting that far back would not.
Can Motor Oil Really Make A Difference In NASCAR?- Jeff Gluck for SBNATION.com
Dick Berggren Says Farewell At Dover- Amanda Ebersole for SkirtsandScuffs.com
NASCAR At Dover 2012: Drivers Theorize on Lack Of Caution Flags- Jeff Gluck for SBNATION.com
Improve Racing? Harder Cars!- Terry Blount for ESPN.com
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dreads Upcoming Pocono Test- Jeff Gluck for SBNATION.com
Gratuitous Tony Stewart Picture:
I don’t know who’s expression humors me more- Jr’s or Steve Addington’s. Anyone have a great caption?
(What? You were expecting a report on the Coca-Cola 600 today? I actually went out of town this long memorial day weekend (love that scheduled post feature of WordPress) for some non-NASCAR related fun (yes, there is such a thing) and am driving back home today…I will get the Coca-Cola 600 post up as soon as I can this week. Oh and HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY everyone!)
Well we are what 12-13 weeks into the race season and already there is silly season rumors floating around rampantly. You know- the who is going where next season with what team/sponsor thing that usually starts towards mid-late season as contract negotiations are winding down for those drivers who suddenly find themselves in “free agency.” Everyone likes to play the were will they end up game.
So far this season I have heard rumors (and that is just what they are of course rumors) of Kurt Busch going over to Joe Gibbs Racing to join brother Kyle. The rumor does not specify (as most rumors don’t) whether this ride for Kurt is in a fourth car for the team or in Joey Logano’s 20 car. It’s been rumored for a couple seasons now that Joey Logano may be ride-less at the end of this season.
The other rumor is that Home Depot (current primary c- sponsor of the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driven by Joey Logano) may be interesting in sponsoring Ryan Newman. I took that to mean that JGR is wooing Ryan Newman who is in the last year of his contract with Stewart-Haas Racing. However after batting it back and forth with Misty, it could also mean that Home Depot is looking to go with Stewart-Haas Racing. They did, as Misty kindly pointed out, win the 2011 Sprint Cup Championship after all (and in an impressive fashion I might add). Not to mention the fact that Tony recently said (forgive me for not having a link) that he was really hoping to retain Ryan as a driver.
And then there is the story of Danica- will she be going cup as soon as next season? And will it be with Stewart-Haas? And just how do I feel about that? (Mixed feelings would be the answer).
Of course, representatives for Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, Home Depot, Joe Gibbs Racing and other entities involved in these rumors would deny them if asked. It would only be prudent as negotiations are no doubt still taking place. After all when rumors that Tony Stewart was thinking of leaving Joe Gibbs to start his own race team started rearing their head in summer of 2008- I, along with most, chalked it up to ridiculous silly season rumors. Especially since at the time, Joe Gibbs vehemently denied it. Of course, we all know what happened there.
So tell me do you have any thoughts on silly season? I usually don’t put too much into the rumors just due to the fact that they are rumors. My interest is always piqued when it has to do with Stewart-Haas Racing though. So have you heard any good silly season rumors? Do you even pay attention to them?
I have no idea why- but I am compelled to share this picture from Stewart-Haas Racing that they tweeted complete with their caption from last weekend’s All-Star Race. It humors the heck out of me and I just thought you all should see it:
So let’s talk about the Sprint All-Star Race. What did you all think of the new 5 segment format (20 laps, 20 laps, 20 laps, 20 laps, 10 laps with the winners of segments 1-4 coming in P1-4 during the last mandatory pit stop before segment 5)? I didn’t like it one bit. I felt it was about 2 segments too long and the winners of segments 1-3 sandbagging to stay out of harms way was ridiculous. I do not think that should have been allowed- however this format encourages that. My thought on the matter is that there should be 3 segments and 3 segments only: 20 lap, 30 laps, 50 laps with one mandatory pit stop between segments 2 and 3 that require a 4 tire change from everyone. There would be no reason to sandbag during this race. Now you can argue with me that what Jimmie and the other guys were doing was strategy- but I still say they weren’t racing…and that really isn’t fair.
Tony’s All-Star race was anything but stellar (get it?). The car had handling issues and then the nose was damaged during segment 3 (I think it was maybe it was four?) and the race just seemed to get worse. Tony started the race 9th and finished 17th. Since it’s a non-points race there was no change in points. The race winner was Jimmie Johnson.
Notes on the All-Star Race:
- Speaking of race winner Jimmie Johnson- how CRAZY was it for him to take Rick Hendrick out for a ride on the track after winning? That was crazy. And poor Rick Hendrick looked uncomfortable.
- Dustin Long wrote about a GREAT idea he had for the All-Star Race! In a nutshell he proposes that the winner of the race be given the option of the $1 million dollars or an automatic spot in the chase. I LOVE IT.
- Speaking of LOVING things…I also really liked the fan videos introducing the All-Star drivers…maybe next year they can have fans do it in person.
Gratuitous Tony Stewart Picture:
I don’t know what it is- but the Pit Crew Challenge on Thursday this year did nothing for me. It’s something I usually LOVE to watch but I just couldn’t get into it this year. I think it’s because it doesn’t move fast enough between rounds for me and really what these guys are doing is not a real pit stop. I want it to be a REAL pit stop. Speaking of REAL pit stops have you seen this from Quicken Loans Racing (Ryan Newman’s Primary co-sponsor?)? It is a really visual of what a pit stop looks like through the eyes of the different crew members: Pit Crew Experience. I love this and highly suggest you check it out!
I also want to share a gratuitous Tony Stewart picture from the event:
And this humorous picture from the winner’s (the 48 crew) celebration:
Hey Smoke Fans- if you are lucky enough to be in Charlotte NC next week (and I envy all of you that are there- let me tell you) – Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman are doing a rare joint Autograph appearance at the Office Depot located at 8658 JW Clay Boulevard. You will need a wristband for the event. The wristbands will be distributed starting at 8:00 am local time on May 23rd at the Office Depot on JW Clay Blvd (one autograph per wristband one wristband per person). The event will happen at 3:45pm local time (autograph seekers with wristbands will need to be in line no later than 4:15pm local time).
While you are there you may want to stick around because BOTH Tony and Ryan will be participating in another Office Depot Racing Ask Tony (AND RYAN) LIVE event at 5:00pm at the same location! I am looking forward to this one because I *should* be able to watch the stream of this one on the net….so wave at the camera if they show you because I will be watching you all!
Inside A Helmet, Everthing Can Seem Different- David Caraviello for NASCAR.COM
Will Ryan Newman Return To SHR In 2013- Jeff Gluck for SBNATION.com
Whittling Crew Chiefs Down To Top Ten- Terry Blount for ESPN
Newman’s Gone Fishing- Ryan Newman for NASCAR.COM
TV Reporter Juggles Motherhood, NASCAR’s Grinding Road- Nate Ryan for USAToday.com
NASCAR At Darlington: Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman Teams Scuffle After Southern 500- Jeff Gluck for SBNation.com
If I Were A NASCAR Owner, I’d Hire Kurt Busch- Jordan Bianchi for SBNATION.com
Faith On The FrontStretch: A Speedy Apology Calms A Conflict- Beth Reinke for SkirtsandScuffs.com
Gratuitous Tony Stewart Picture: