Michigan was NOT the race for my boys at Stewart-Haas Racing this week was it? I mean it was bound to happen sooner or later- that Team Office Depot/Old Spice would have an off day- and that is exactly what happened. I mean it could have been a lot better. But it could have been a lot worse…(like Bobby Labonte for instance- who broke on lap 2 and never came back- thus securing himself a last place finish!). While I watched the race, I am so use to Tony being a hot pass driver that I couldn’t hear what was going on with him but he was definitely struggling all day. He didn’t qualify very well (18th). At the beginning of the race he just didn’t seem to be able to come up through the field past 11 or 12th. Like he was stuck there.
Then the crew did a wicked cool two tire pitstop around lap 117. I was honestly puzzled why they choose to do a two tire stop but it DID put Tony out in front (Tony was apparently puzzled too because ESPN played a snippet of him asking Darian “Now can you explain to me why we just did that?” and Darian explained to him that it was purely for track position). Unfortunately the track position didn’t last long as Tony then began to fall further and further backwards in the pack. He finished a dismal 18th, but not only retained his position as points leader, he also clinched a spot in the chase. GO TONY. Ryan Newman finished 15th and remained 9th in the points. Brian Vickers was the race winner.
Notes about Michigan:
- According to the official Stewart-Haas Racing race report they found out after the race was over that Tony’s car “had a spring that was out of its bucket” which I assumed is what caused a whole mess of handling issues (first he was tight and then he was loose). What exactly that means I am not sure…sounds like a doohickey come out of a thingamabob to me.
- When they threw that caution for rain at lap 7 and then the red flag? I was about ready to go outside, look up at the sky and shake my fists whilst yelling WHY??? WHY MUST YOU RUIN RACE DAY YOU INSIPID B*$#@? but worry not…I didn’t have to curse anyone- real or imaginary and the race continued on as normal not twenty minutes later. Of course that doesn’t mean I didn’t curse during the race. I certainly did. But I didn’t feel the need to go outside to do it.
- Speaking of the brief rain delay- I loved all they drivers talking smack about how meteorologists are never right and they wish they could have a job that easy. That cracked me up!
- Remember that those wanting to watch the rescheduled Prelude to the Dream- that will be run on Wednesday September 9ths at 7pm eastern (4pm pacific).
- If you are going to be at Autoclub Speedway for the Pepsi 500 on October 11th, Stewart-Haas’s own Ryan Newman will be on the Opportunity California Fan Zone stage for a “story time” reading activity for children.
Next Weekend: Short track Saturday Night as Nascar moves to BRISTOL, TN!