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Race 8: Texas

Posted by Amy in General - (0 Comments)

Texas was all about the numbers. It was Tony Stewart’s 400th start. It was his first pole in five years pretty much (apparently they don’t count poles based on points when qualifying gets rained out. Who knew? Not me.)

So first I want to talk about qualifying.  I work on Fridays (most of the time with furloughs you never know) so I don’t often pay attention to qualifying. I will peek in at NASCAR.COM’s live leaderboard sometimes to see if Tony’s gone, where he is but that is it. Last Friday was no different- except I happened to peek in when the driver before Tony was qualifying. When I noticed that I stayed on the live leaderboard to watch Tony.  I almost didn’t believe it when I saw him sitting there on the pole when it was all over. I proclaimed quite loudly HELL YEAH TONY and I believed I clapped. Then I got a call so I had to work. But don’t think that I then didn’t peek in at twitter every so often to see if someone had taken the pole from him.   I don’t know what Tony and/or Darian and the guys did…but YEE HAW a pole!  It will seem crazy but it put me in a great mood the rest of the day that is for sure.

So now on to the race.  What do you have against us NASCAR fans mother nature? Sunday was a rainout for the race.  Monday I work….but decided to sign up for the scanner on NASCAR.COM’s trackpass so I could listen to Tony’s radio. It actually worked quite well. I had that on in the background and would really only check the nascar.com live leaderboard every once in awhile- like during pitting or whatever.  Tony was staying in the top 10 most of the day. I did see him drop to 14th at one point but he seemed to be able to work his way up pretty well.  Then my lunch came and I left. I left just as Jeff Gordon took the lead from Tony. But I wasn’t that concerned because I knew Tony was only on two tires and I was pretty sure Jeff had four. I needed to leave so I did my errands and was pulling into the parking lot 45 minutes later when my cell starts ringing. I answer it and my friend says “Um about the race? I am about to break your heart…but first let me start with saying Jeff Gordon crashed and his car is wrecker material. Would you like to ask me who crashed him? Yeah Tony. Except that I went into the breakroom and it looked to me like it might have been Carl’s fault.”

Did you hear someone unleash a curse laden tirade during the red flag? (It would have been about 12:45 PDT). That would have been me.  The wreck had him finish the race 32nd. He is tied for 12th in points 307 points behind the points leader Jimmie Johnson.

Teammate Ryan Newman finished 11th and maintains his position of 16th in the points standings.

Notes about Texas:

  • The NASCAR.COM  Trackpass Scanner is impressing me so far. I am gonna play with it again on my laptop during Talladega…I just may keep it.  My only issue is that it is hard to figure out where to go to get it to turn on.
  • Speaking of listening to the radio transmissions of the #14 team- I was impressed. They seemed to be doing an awesome job during the pit stops- even Tony pointed that out a couple times.
  • I am thinking there is something behind Tony’s superstition with green…and he should really get rid of the GROW GREENER rear on the Office Depot car. Please! Thanks.
  • After watching the replay of the wreck a couple times I really REALLY don’t think it was Tony’s fault. I mean yeah I heard him with my ears take responsibility. But I think it was a combination of Biffle pushing Gordon up the track causing Jeff to crowd Tony a bit…and Carl brushing up against his backside. If Carl hadn’t done that I think that Tony probably would have been able to gather himself back up.  I may be biased of course…but that is my thought.
  • I am really tanking in my fantasy league.  Bah!  I think my two highest drivers were Dale Jr and Kyle Busch…but the rest of my team tanked too. Oh well.
  • I LOVED how Tony calmed Jeff Gordon down after the wreck and then the two walked to what I assume was the waiting ambulance like buds. What I didn’t LOVE was hearing Tony say he was tender the next day during his media at the Indy tire test. I thought it looked like he got a pretty hard hit.  ARG!

Next Race: Talladega Baby!

This Sunday you might want to set your DVR’s for SPIKE TV (DirecTV channel 241) and you can see Tony Stewart and my his camaro on Unique Motorsports Miami. It will be featured both this Sunday (April 18th) and next Sunday (April 25th). I think it’s scheduled to run at 10:30 (EDT- for us on the west it’s on at 7:30am) but check your local listings. It will probably be on the same time as the race on Sunday because that is just my luck.

Smokes (sweet) Camaro (photo blatently stolen from the Tony Stewart Foundation)

This is THE very camaro that you can buy a raffle ticket to win with proceeds going to benefit the Tony Stewart Foundation (for a raffle ticket visit: SmokesCamaro.com). There is even a new pricing schematic for the tickets: ($50 for one, $75 for two, $100 for three).  You might not want to though since I am going to win it.  You will feel foolish having bought a ticket and then seeing me drive all over in my fancy gorgeous white camaro.  I know I have told you how much I LOVE the new Camaro from Chevy…and what better way than to get a customized one from none other than Tony Stewart himself.  (Not to mention that the Shop Tour you get as part of the prize would be like the most amazing part of the whole deal).  I even bought a raffle ticket this time.  Ok so I probably won’t win it…but I won’t cry if I win one of the early bird prizes…like maybe the tickets to the Brickyard. Yeah. But I still would rather have the camaro (even though I probably couldn’t afford the freaking gift tax on the thing).

Ok- the title of this entry might just be a little weird but I couldn’t think of anything else to call it.  So last month my beloved nephew MXM turned two years old.  At the time he had a brand new month old brother and my brother wanted him to have a good party outside in a county park with a bounce house and bbq and all that…and the weather was still pretty crappy…plus time snuck up on them and they didn’t have a chance to reserve the picnic ground so this Saturday I will be out at the park celebrating his birthday.

I asked my sister-in-law if there was anything he needed- and she said clothes. So I obliged:

Lots of Clothes for MXM. My favorite is a shirt that says "My Favorite Color is DIRT"

However- I didn’t want to be the aunt who gives the boring presents either. Yeah I know he is only two and probably won’t remember what I gave him on his second birthday or anything…but I had to get him SOME sort of toy. He loves two things: Cars and Sharks. Well Aunty found this the perfect opportunity to share her love of Tony with MXM:

Aunty found some Tony cars for MXM's Birthday!!!

Ahhh!!!!!! That is all I can really say about the race at Phoenix except that the night after the race I actually DREAMED about the race (more on that later).

The thing with this Phoenix race is that it starts in the afternoon and ends in the evening- so it goes from BRIGHT sun to DARK night…and what is interesting is that they say that those who do well during the light hours do not necessarily do so hot after the sun goes down behind the bleachers and that is exactly what happened to Tony Stewart.

I can see you in there!

I can see you in there Tony! Tony sports the Office Depot Grow Greener car at PIR. Not bad considering it was taken through a fence. (April 2010. Photo Credit: ME)

I don’t know exactly what happened. Tony led for awhile (YEY at least we got 5 points for that) and even when he wasn’t leading his car seemed to be a top ten car. Then I could have sworn I heard the announcer say something about contact between Gordon and Stewart and then he seemed to start dropping like someone had tied a 50 lb boat anchor to that fancy new spoiler.  I can not for the life of me however find ANYTHING on the national broadcast about the contact (nor on the team race report release)….so now I wonder if I didn’t dream that up.  In other words? The sun went down and for some reason Tony was struggling for the rest of the night. Was it handling problems due to contact? Was it handling problems due to a wrong set up? Did Digger actual succeed in tying previously mentioned boat anchor to Tony’s car when no one was looking? Did the #14 Office Depot Chevy suck too many bugs into the grill (seriously people the bugs? They were a freaking problem). The reason I do not know- but Tony finished the race 23rd.  I am sure he HAD to be frustrated with that finish because I know I was and I wasn’t the one sweltering in the heat in that car and firesuit. That finish dropped Tony to 9th in the points, 204 points behind the leader Jimmie Johnson.

However, one could not say it was a bad evening.  Why? Teammate Ryan Newman got his first win under the Stewart-Haas banner! I was extremely excited for Ryan and the number 39 team.  And I was excited that he won in the Tornados car because I actually find that paint scheme to be pretty. I like the orange and yellow against the black.  Plus Tornados are yummy.  Anyway…cogratulations to team Tornado!!

Notes About Phoenix:

  • So the dream…I dreamed that Chad Knaus was really pissed off about the 4 tire call at the last pit stop. Like lividly pissed. To the point he was telling media that anyone who took two tires were idiots.  I think this is the reason I dreamed that is that we were directly across from the 48 pitbox- pretty much at eye level with Knaus.  I couldn’t even see Tony’s pit from where I was…but it didn’t stop me from watching the 48 guys each and every pit stop.  They fascinate me (pitstops…not the 48 guys).  Anyway don’t believe me? Here is proof:

Chad Knaus watches his 48 crew in action. (PIR April 2010. Photo Credit: ME)

  • My DVR cut off the end of the National broadcast so I couldn’t even really revel in Ryan Newman’s win when I got home.  Bah. Dumb DVR.  At least I remembered to DVR SpeedTV’s Victory Lane just in case. Arg. Dumb DVR.
  • Tony Stewart’s firesuit was still the traditional Office Depot Red even though his car was white and green.  Now I am guessing it’s a bit expensive to make a new firesuit for the paint scheme….but it was just funny looking and if you look above at the picture of Tony in his car you can see he kinda sticks out in there because you can actually see him in there.
  • Some Pictures:

Ryan Newman during the parade lap. (April 2010 PIR. Photo Credit: ME)

Tony Stewart parade lap. Told you he wore his regular red firesuit. (April 2010. PIR. Photo Credit: ME)

So that’s the race summary.

This weekend we are in TEXAS where everything is bigger….including Tony Stewart’s starts (number 400!).

I have hit the wall so to speak.  Seriously I have the posts there…they just don’t want to come out of my fingers.  For some reason when I get home the last thing I want to do is sit down and type them out. I mean I still have to do my Phoenix race review (and let me tell you do I have mixed feeling there) plus there is all this talk about Kasey Kahne signing with Hendrick and possibly being housed at SHR for a year…so it’s not for a lack of stuff to post about.

So for now you get to look at this cute picture of my nephew MXM playing in his front yard…

Know I am alive and I am trying to get you a real post soon…as in within the next day…

April 18th is the race at Texas Motor Speedway – it will be Tony Stewart’s 400th career start in the Sprint Cup series.   There are a couple of Tony Stewart events to keep my ardent Smoke fans occupied during non-race time hours at Texas Motor Speedway!

First off is the Ride of A Lifetime NASCAR Foundation event. You can bid on a chance to ride with Tony Stewart during his parade lap after driver introductions (teammate Ryan Newman is also participating as well as a whole slew of other drivers).  To bid on your chance you have to go to the live auction on April 17th.  Visit Speedway Children’s Charities to find out how you can bid on a chance to ride with Tony (or Ryan).

Also there will be an autograph session with Tony Stewart at the Office Depot in Grapevine, Texas on April 14th.  There will be 700 wristbands given out starting at 8:00 am on the day of the event in a first come first serve method. The event will begin at 4:00 pm and those with wristbands need to be in line no later than 5:00pm. The address of the Office Depot where the event will take place is: 1317 State Highway 114 West, Grapevine, Texas 76051.  Autographs are limited to one per person with wristband. I think that since the autograph session is on the 14th of the month- it’s gonna be a good day.

Hope you all have a great time!

Well I honestly can’t say a whole lot about Martinsville because I didn’t get to see it. It was rain delayed on Sunday and the DVR attempt didn’t work so honestly I have nothing. What really sucks about that is that I enjoy Martinsville- it is one of my favorite tracks to watch.

Apparently it was quite the finish- and while I have heard a couple of accounts of it from different sources they are all slightly different so I can’t really give my opinion on it.  It might have been a good thing for me that I didn’t see the race- I would have probably ended up in a bad mood since Tony didn’t do so well (sounds like he did great for the first 70 laps or so and then the handling on the car went away or changed and he and the Office Depot/Old Spice crew fought to chase it all day. Tony ended up finishing 2 laps down in 26th.  He dropped to 8th in the points standings.  Teammate Ryan Newman however, bagged his first top 5 of the season, finishing 4th at Martinsville. Denny Hamlin won the race. 

Easter weekend is an off week. Then NASCAR heads to another favorite track of mine: Phoenix.

The non-points All-Star Race is right around the corner.  I love the All-Star Race because it’s all about the money and the trophy- and not about the points.  Tony Stewart won last years All-Star Race- the first race win for the newly formed Stewart-Haas Racing team. It was a great victory for the team and set a blistering pace that included four wins and a spot in the Chase for both Stewart-Haas drivers. 

The 2010 All-Star Race is going to throw something a little bit different into the mix- a mandatory full four-tire pit stop.  I think this is great because often times it is the pit crews that can make or break a driver’s luck during the a regular points race so why not include them in the All-Star Race as well.   This is the new format:

  • Segment One: 50 laps with a mandatory green flag pit stop at lap 25. At the end of the fifty laps a yellow caution flag will wave where optional pitstops will be allowed.
  • Segment Two: 20 laps after which a yellow caution flag will wave and optional pitstops will be allowed.
  • Segment Three: 20 laps after which a mandatory ten minute break will be had. Crews will be allowed to adjust on the cars during this break. The finishing order at the end of this segment will determine the line up order for the four-tire stop .
  • Mandatory Four-Tire Stop: Once the field lines back up and takes the yellow flag after the ten minute stop all cars will be required to enter the pits for a mandatory four tire pit stop. The order in which the cars exit the pits will be the line up order for Segment Four.
  • Segment Four: 10 lap shoot out in which all laps must be green flag (yellow flag laps will NOT be counted).

So that adds a little excitment to the All-Star Race. I really really wish Misty and I were attending the All-Star Race (we would actually like to take in the whole week between the All-Star Race and the Coke 600).  One of these days Misty and I will make it to Charlotte.  This year would be a great year for Tony Stewart fans to attend the All-Star Race. Why?   In celebration of his 2009 win Charlotte Motor Speedway is offering a special Smoke Double Down ticket special.  The package is actually a GREAT deal.  For $149.00 you get two tickets on the front stretch grandstand area for the May 22nd 2010 All-Star Race  thus creating a cheering section for Tony and the team!  The ticket package also includes two tickets to a special fan forum lunch with Tony Stewart at CMS on May 3rd as well as two Tony Stewart Souveniors. Plus there is the added benefit that $20.00 of every ticket packet purchased goes to the Tony Stewart Foundation. So really it’s win win. Tony fan’s get a great deal on tickets, a special lunch with Tony and other Tony fans, not to mention the Tony Stewart goodies.  Tony and his Stewart-Haas Racing team win because they get their own cheering section at the race right there on the front stretch- which I am sure provides them with a great boost.  And the Tony Stewart Foundation gets a donation that supports their grants assisting chronically ill children and animal charities as well. So I guess really it’s win-win-win really! For more information on the Smoke Double Down ticket package visit the Charlotte Motor Speedway website or call 1-800-455-FANS