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You do NOT know how tempted I was to name this post “Darlington- The Track that Bitch-Slapped Tony Stewart and Team OldSpice/Office Depot.” Urg.  Seriously…when I watch a race I have notepad open on my laptop to take notes since I now have the NASCAR.COM Trackpass Scanner so I have to have my laptop up anyway. That way when I sit down later to write the post I have my thoughts from the time…and let’s just say there is one document on my desktop right now called “LadyInBlackisabitch.”  

Tony qualified 23rd - because he pulled an early qualifying run (at least that is what I like to tell myself anyway).   After the green flag dropped Tony stated that the car was loose coming out of the corners.   During the first pit stop the crew threw everything they could at the car including  changing air pressure and track bar.  What they didn’t throw at the car that first pit stop was a full load of fuel.  Whoops. Luckily for the team there was another caution not tooo long into the fuel run and they were able to top Tony off.

The next set of pitstops Tony makes a rare mistake and missed his pit box.   The official team release said it was due to congestion on pit road making it impossible for him to angle into his box correctly.   I don’t know exactly where Tony was pitting but he complained multiple times during race about not being able to see his pitboard sign and at one time told Darian that next weekend he wanted it to be a different design and color. 

Because of an accidental run in with Paul Menard Tony received cosmetic damage on his nose and someone hit the back end of his car later…which was only exacerbated by the loose off the corners condition that caused Stewart to slap the outside wall with the right rear of the car.  That pushed the rear spoiler off center which several laps later caused his  number 14 Chevrolet to spin.  The backend of that poor car was pretty trashed.  They ended up having to tape parts of the decklid to the rear window to keep it secure.  Later when Tony was describing the car to Darian what the car was doing he said that he had been driving cars along time and couldn’t figure out why it was going back and forth from loose to tight. I think that the messed up rearend of the car could have had something to do with it.  

Now when Tony’s not running well I tend to get a wee bit cranky.  I can’t imagine how but Darian and Tony sounded totally cool over the course of the entire race with each other on the radio. I mean Tony let out some frustrated words out when he spun- but heck I can’t fault him for that.  Several years ago I had a full car of people and a dude ran a red light and hit my car hard enough to spin it a quarter revolution.  I let loose a curse laden tirade that scared my sister-in-law before we got out of the car- so I definitely can not fault him there.  Tony took two pit stops to fix damage. He finished 23rd, one lap down.  He dropped to 18th in the points but is only 59 points out of the top 12. Teammate Ryan Newman posted a 9th place finish and rose to 14th in the points.

Congratulation go to Denny Hamlin, who won the race.

Notes about Darlington:

  • After the race, Tony seemed upset at himself telling the team on the radio that he was sorry and that “you all deserve better than what you got for a driver. I appreciate the hard work guys.” However I do not think that the poor luck they had was really his fault except maybe the one pit stop where the box was missed.  And everyone makes mistakes.  They are just having bad luck this season so far. 
  • Speaking of bad luck, it was reported soon after the race that Stewart-Haas Racing has lost it’s partnership with Old Spice for the 2011 season.  I really think that sucks. A team runs into a little bit of of tough spell and one of their main sponsors go running for the hills? Nice.  What makes it worse is that it’s a sponsor that Tony has had for YEARS. You can be darn sure I won’t be buying any old spice. Well and I am a girl so…that is easy to say!
  • I am concerned about points and the 14 team making the chase, but Misty likes to reassure me with these words: You can’t keep Stewart down even if you wanted too.  She likes to point out that he is the master of recovery- and he will get into his groove soon and make the chase.  I hope she is right.
  • Speaking of the Stewart being the master of recovery- when he did spin late in the race on Saturday- he did a GREAT job of keeping that car off the walls and out of any more trouble.  I mean seriously…even my dad mentioned that.
  • One of my twitter friends said it best: We will “never giving up on Tony, EVER. He is an amazing driver and he WILL win” (via @tstewartluvr14). And I believe that! He will soon!

Next weekend we are back to Sunday races with a trip to DOVER. GO TONY GO!!!!

I never went to summer camp as a kid…but my mom did sign me up for these little classes at the parks and rec center.  I took loads of swimming lesssons and was quite the little fish. My favorite though was a cooking class when I was 8 or so and I came home and wanted to make eggs in a basket every day for like a month after taking that class. It was fun to have learned something I could bring home with me like that.  I also did go away to 6th grade science camp where I was lucky not to come home with posion oak after my partner led me into a thicket of the stuff on our blind fold/ trust hike.  Oh and I remember the blueberry pancakes were more like blueberry frisbees with syrup.  And I remember bunking with my friends…in the cabins giggling all night and writing letters home to our parents.  Anyway- the point is that summer camp can be a great place for kids to go and be kids with other kids. 

Tony Stewart Foundation has a Camp fund to do just that. It helps raise funds that assist campers attend special needs camps where the campers can develop skills that build self confidence, have fun, and make friendships.  Isn’t that what camp is all about??  Help Tony and the Tony Stewart Foundation’s Camp Fund to help special kids go to special camps.  You can donate here, whether you have one dollar or one hundred dollars to donate- every litte bit helps send campers on an experience of their lifetime. Think of the smiles on all the kids faces at camp!!

Tony Stewart will be making an appearance at the Office Depot in Pineville, NC on Friday May 28th at 4:00 pm local time.  Wristbands are required for the event and will be distributed starting at 8:00 am Friday morning.  There will be 700 bands given away one per person.  You MUST be in line by 5:00 pm.  The address is: 9610 Pineville Matthews Road (at Hwy. 51 & I-485) in Pineville, N.C.

I hope that if any of you are going you will share some pictures and stories here…I will be with you in spirit…and jealous because it means you are probably going to go to the Coca-Cola 600 too..and I would love to go to that (and the allstar race….too).

Set your DVR’s Tony Stewart will be featured in a special segment on SHOWTIME’s INSIDE NASCAR for those of you with SHOWTIME it is scheduled to air at 10:00 PM Eastern Time on May 5th, 2010.

I was looking forward to Richmond because I was SURE that Tony would have a great run! It is, afterall, his favorite track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit (he said this many times last week during his media).  However that would NOT be the case.

Tony qualified 18th for the race.  That didn’t worry me though, as Tony isn’t usually the best of qualifiers. However as soon as the green flag dropped on Saturday night- Tony slowly began dropping positions in the race because his car wasn’t handling well.  By lap 10 he was reporting the car was loose off and tight in the center.  Thanks to a blistering pace set by Kyle Busch early on and a  long green flag runs- Tony was a lap down by lap 86- not even a quarter into the race. It was going to be a long night. 

Tony and Darian worked on the radio, making adjustments throughout the evening but they just couldn’t seem to get the car handling well enough for Tony to be able to move through the field.  Darian did keep Tony out during one caution that allowed him get a lap back but it was all for naught as he was still fighting the handling on his car and fell back off the lead lap again.   Tony did seem a little better towards the end of the race-  As he began to move back up the field slightly to a hard fought 23rd place finish.  The race winner was Kyle Busch who edged out Jeff Gordon on the third Green-White-Checker of the evening. Teammate Ryan Newman finished 8th.  Tony is now 15th in the points, 307 points behind points leader Kevin Harvick.

  • The best thing about the race? When, over texts exchanged with Misty during the race, I was obsessing that Tony was going to take another hits in the points standings, she texted me with “Remember what I say: You can’t keep Stewart down.” It made me feel better- but I still worry. 
  • I am really enjoying the NASCAR trackpass scanner. The only issue I have it means I have to sit in front of the tv with my laptop on and plugged into my ear. I am sure I look the site. TV on, laptop on my lap, one ear bud in one ear bud out…and my cell phone within arms reach so that I can watch the race, listen to Tony’s scanner and text Misty!
  • I am also ready for the races to move on from Fox to the next station.

This week we will be racing on Saturday Night again (weather permitting of course) at Darlington!  Go Tony!

If you have read me for awhile you know that I support the NASCAR Foundation’s NASCAR DAY fundraising effort. I have for several years. NASCAR DAY falls on the third friday every May. The NASCAR foundation sells NASCAR DAY pins for fans and supports to wear on this special day. Money from the sale of the pins goes each year to support the NASCAR Foundation and the many foundations and causes that they support. Pins sell for $5.00 and are available at the tracks during the races as well as through the NASCAR Foundation website. The last several years I have proudly worn my pin on NASCAR DAY to work after buying one each year usually at a track…usually at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This year they are encouraging fans to wear their pin through NASCAR DAY- a great idea to spread word about their cause(s). They are using the catchphrase GET YOUR PIN ON!

Office Depot and the Office Depot Foundation are making it easier for you to get YOUR PIN on.  They are now available at all Office Depot locations for the same $5.00 donation. So you should listen to Tony and

GET YOUR PIN ON!!!

Sidenote to those who don’t have Office Depot’s close to them- you can also buy your pins online.  I also saw them at sale at the Bass Pro in Las Vegas- so you might want to check your local Bass Pro.

Ok- I know I have mentioned this several times before about needing my own pit crew…or at the very least a crew chief. I feel quite inept when it comes to issues with my car (not that I have had any lately) because I have a distrust of mechanics (I won’t go into why because I think I have talked about it before but it’s a long and involved story).

Anyway…this new Tony Stewart Armor All Commercial has me thinking twice about wanting my own pit crew- even though they look handy it might be more of a…disruption than it’s worth. Ha! Just kidding. I still want my very own pit crew…or crew chief on call…or something like that.  Anyway check out Tony’s newest ad:

This ad has me cracking up every time I see it…especially the splash and go Tony gets in the middle (literally- pun kinda intended).  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Talladega should comes with mylanta or tums or something. Delana Harvick (@DelanaHarvick) tweeted it best when she said “Oy Vey”

Qualifying at the restrictor-plate race was cancelled as were all ontrack activities for Talladega as incliment weather entered the southeast area of the country.  This meant Tony started 13th -based on points (even though he was tied for 12th the tie breaker is apparently based on best average finish at which point Logano bested Stewart so far this season).  Stewart-Haas Racing was already down one car as Mark Martin sent Tony’s teammate Ryan Newman into the wall during last practice- so the 39 car resorted to a back-up car. 

The racing action did seem a little better this year- I will say that. It was more exciting. Tony even took a turn at leading for awhile towards the beginning of the race.  Then it seemed he fell back. While I was listening to his radio I honestly couldn’t tell if he was heading back there to play the waiting game or if he was back there because he lost the draft- either way he didn’t seemed to concerned so I wasn’t too concerned.  He didn’t think the balance was right on the second set of tires he ran and Darian told him later that he was right- the liner had come loose in on of the tires.  Anyway the pit stops seemed to go good. Everything seemed copestetic.  Heck at one point he even told a pretty damn funny joke.  He was in a good mood, I was in a good mood…it was all good. 

The two car break aways would happen and that particular duo would head towards the front for a bit. There were a record number of lead changes during the race.  I assume that this is because the drivers were pretty much using the first part of the race as a test session as to how long it would take to get to the front and how to time the swoop and dive for the lead. 

Within the last 20 laps thanks to a good pits stops Tony was in the top ten and by eight laps to go he was in second thanks to the two car breakaway as he teamed up with Dale Earnhardt Jr.  However, soon with manuevering becoming much hairier as the cars all jockeyed for position Tony got hung out and dropped significantly.

The race had the maximum of three green-white-checker, shootout or overdrives or whatever the heck they are calling it these days.  Luckily Tony was able to miss a couple of late race accidents and come in 16th.  On the radio after the race he immediately praised the crew and sounded disappointed as he apologized to the crew for not getting a better finish. By finishing 16th Tony has dropped down to 14th in the points 262 points behind points leader Jimmie Johnson.  Teammate Ryan Newman suffered an even more disappointing day as he was collected in a late race crash. Newman finished 35th which dropped him to 18th in the points. The race winner was Kevin Harvick who made a last lap pass on Jamie McMurray.

This race was one for the record books. It was the longest race at Talladega (532 miles) thanks to the extended overtimes. It also had the most lead changes (88) and the greatest number of leaders (29 which coincidently is the same number as the car number of race winner Kevin Harvick).

  • Personally I am enjoying the rivalry going on between Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon. I really like that Jeff is standing up for himself and his crew and I will say that I don’t blame him- I would be pissed too.  I like that he isn’t just saying “Well we had a great car- and we did our best.” He’s mad and he’s telling us he’s mad. I like that- it bothers me when a driver gets out of his car and kind of glosses over the face that he’s pissed or upset or whatever.
  • I am thinking maybe Tony should ditch the whole paintscheme cars for awhile. I am starting to stress about points and his luck this season in the alternate paint schemes hasn’t been the best. 

That’s all I have. Next weekend we are at Richmond for some Saturday Night racing and I can’t wait!