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Tony drives through the garage at Texas Motor Speedway. November 2015 (Photo Source: Tony Stewart Facebook page/HHP/Rusty Jarrett )

Tony Qualified: 22nd, but started 42nd because he missed driver intros.

Tony Finished: 42nd

Points: 663 (27th in the points standings)

Tony had a short-lived day at Texas unfortunately.  He had qualified 22nd, but ended up missing driver introductions because he had been fighting a migraine all morning and had to go to the back. So Tony technically started 42nd. But it didn’t take long and he was moving that Bass Pro Chevy through the field well. It was actually good to see- because when he started at the back I was like arg…again?! He was well into the top 30 when the first caution came out – the one for Joey Logano’s spin.  By the competition caution at lap 25 he had broken into the top 20. For the rest of his time on the track he ran between 15th and 19th until he spun and took a ride through the still quite wet grass. Unfortunately this tore the splitter completely off the car, it disconnected the radiator and there was other fairly terminal damage and the team decided to just hang it up for the day at lap 52. His 42nd place finish added a new stat to his stat record: Tony’s first finish outside the top-35 in 27 career Sprint Cup starts at Texas. It was a pity because he seemed to have a good car that was able to move around on the track and pass people.

Other than Tony’s short lived day- it was a tiresome day at Texas don’t you think? I know that Goodyear was blaming lack of practice on things like rubs, teams pushing the envelop with air pressures but it was a lot of different drivers experiencing some problems. I left my notes at home but these are just the drivers that I remember: Joey Logano, Dale Jr, Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones, Trevor Bayne, and at least one other person I can’t think of (but it’s making my brain tired to try to think of it- lol tired? Get it?). A couple of the issues seemed like the tire was inflated but the tread came off- which to me seems like a compound issue.

Race winner was Jimmie Johnson- and I can’t tell you how many times on my facebook and twitter feeds yesterday I saw this (or a similar sentiment): It’s not often you will hear me cheering for Jimmie to win but I was!  I was too- but I will usually take up the team chevy driver who is closest to the lead when Tony is out of it.  As a matter of fact I cheered so loudly that I scared poor Abbie who jumped off the couch where she was dozing next to me and hid. Anyway because Jimmie Johnson is no longer chase eligible- Jeff Gordon is still the only driver locked into the final four.

Well onto Phoenix.

The Gratuitous Tony Stewart:

Tony Stewart  in the garage at Texas Motor Speedway (photo source: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

 

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Do you #StandWithSmoke? Showing him is as easy as 1. Donate at least $1.00 (but seriously if you can- do at least $10- because then your donation will get doubled by an anonymous donor) to the Tony Stewart Foundation atStandWithSmoke.Com 2. Download the sign (the link will be in your donation receipt) 3. Take a photo (or a short video) with your sign and either post it to the Tony Stewart Foundation facebook page or Tweet it using #StandWithSmoke and @14TSF. Let’s all show Tony Stewart we #StandWithSmoke.

#StandWithSmoke #KeepDiggingTony #TonyStewartFan4Life #HellbentOnVictory

(Photo Source: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

“You have to be comfortable or you’re not going to go fast. The more comfortable I am, the faster we go. This track – the grooves have moved around, especially in the last couple of years. We’ve seen the track get wider and it’s made it to where you can move around on the racetrack and where you can run the top side or the bottom side. It’s nice from a driver’s perspective to be able to have that flexibility behind the steering wheel, knowing that if your car’s not driving exactly the way you want it to, you can move around the racetrack and find a spot the car likes better.” — Tony Stewart, November 2015 Texas Release

Gratuitous  Tony Stewart Picture:

(Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Facebook)

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Read other Quotable Tony posts.

#HellbentOnVictory #SmokeAlwaysRises

Tony Stewart at Texas Motor Speedway April 2015. (Photo Source: Tony Stewart Facebook/HHP/Alan Marler)

 

1a. So Matt Kenseth was suspended for two races and put on probation for 6 months (a decision that was upheld by the appeals board I might add but the final appeal is still underway).  As I mentioned I really think that Matt deserved no more than a slap on the wrist because Joey had it coming to him. But suspending Matt for what I can only assume is actions detrimental to stock car racing- is just NASCAR showing how inconsistent they are with their “penalties.” What am I talking about? Well Danica Patrick and David Gilliland have been taking turns turning each other all season (actually according to this article their issues have been going on since 2013) and Danica is docked points and fined (nothing for Gilliland). Why was she not suspended? Oh because Gilliland wasn’t in the running for a championship?  And what about the whole Carl Edwards/Brad Keselowski deal from several years ago (2009/2010 here is a video I found on youtube of some of the instances I am thinking about). NASCAR did nothing in these instances.  NASCAR and certain media members make it seem like retaliation never happens ever in this sport. I call foul on their “this is unprecedented” mindset.  So what Matt was laps down when he made contact- I really don’t see why that matters? I still ascertain that Joey Logano KNEW Matt Kenseth wasn’t the happiest of campers with him after Kansas.  Matt chose not to retaliate at Dega which was actually a smart move- that I might have had issues with because that would have been dangerous on so many levels. I still say that this is a veteran driver standing up for himself- saying look you aren’t going to push me around on the track.  It’s very much you get raced how you race others. That’s how it’s always been.

1b. Part of the issue though is this “Chase Elimination format” (which for my regular readers you all know I am already not a fan of). Ricky Craven- whom I almost never agree with- has some interesting things to say about this in regards to this format breeding this mind set (somewhat). I could argue that Joey Logano purposely performed a pit maneuver on Matt Kenseth. Joey was already locked in- Matt Kenseth was fighting for the championship at that moment. Why was Joey not suspended? The penalties do not fit the “crime.” (more…)

(Photo Source: Zimbio/Jonathan Moore/Getty Images North America)

Tony Qualified: 13th, but started 43rd

Tony Finished: 10th

Points: 661 (26th in the points standings)

Wow what a great race for Tony Stewart. I will gladly take that 10th place finish especially after having started in the back.  Tony Stewart qualified 13th at Martinsville but crashed during practice on Saturday and had to go to a backup car which is never a good thing.  What made me sightly disheartened is when I heard that the team had built that car specifically for Martinsvile and that they didn’t think that the backup car would be as good.  After hearing that my mind was pretty much relegated to the fact that likely it would be another race where Tony struggled in the mid-rear of the field and would end up a lap down early on. It’s so easy to get a lap down on the short tracks like Martinsville and Bristol.  That is what I expected anyway. Thankfully it was NOT what happened. (more…)

(Photo Source: Tony Stewart Facebook October 2014/CIA photo)

“Even on the bad days, it can be fun. And when you have a good day, it’s great. The grandfather clock you get for winning is one of the cooler trophies in our sport. Normally, 20-year-old kids don’t get too excited about grandfather clocks, but you realize it’s more than that at Martinsville. There’s a lot of pride and lot of history with this sport at Martinsville. One thing about Martinsville is there is no lack of excitement. I don’t care how flawlessly your day goes, you’re going to bump into somebody at some point, even on a perfect day. You put 43 cars on this half-mile track and it’s always going to be exciting. You will never have a race there where you don’t have some sort of drama during the day. I think every driver will say they will have some drama at some point. When you have 43 drivers with 43 dramatic moments, that’s a lot of action going on.” – Tony Stewart, Martinsville Fall 2015 Release

 

Gratuitous Tony Stewart Picture:

(Photo Source: Martinsville March 2015 Tony Stewart Facebook Page/HHP/Rusty Jarrett)

 

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Read other Quotable Tony posts.

#HellbentOnVictory #SmokeAlwaysRises

Unfortunately it seems that the Lugnuts are rolling around a bit (a lot) slower than normal this week…I don’t know why but I have a feeling it was because I covered too much stuff in my race post that would have normally been good fodder for a Loose Lugnuts post. Anyway- at least the lugnuts are somewhat rolling:

(Photo Source: Tony Stewart Official Store/HHP/Rusty Jarrett)

1. By now everyone has seen Tony Stewart’s Halloween costume pretty much everywhere you look…and probably many of the memes that have been streaming in with it. This is my favorite meme thus far:

Via @nascarasm

But what I really want to know about the whole deal? Is did he do his own makeup/false eyelashes? Oh I chortle at the visual.

2. My favorite NASCAR related thing that I have seen this week actually comes from Jeff Gordon.  The story and videos of Loraine- Jeff Gordon fan whom he met at a fanclub (Jeff Gordon Experience) event at Sonoma raceway.  She had him sign the tags to her much beloved 2003 Jeff Gordon Monte Carlo at the event where she told him the car had caught fire and burned up.  Jeff Gordon brought her to a dealership and gifted her his personal JG Monte Carlo- it only has 124 miles on the car.  Here is the video of Jeff presenting Loraine with the car- but you should check out the whole story on the Jeff Gordon website because it has pictures of Loraine’s burned up car right on the side of highway 580 in Northern California:

Is that not an awesome thing of Jeff Gordon to do? Since I live in Cali I will keep my eyes on the road for Loraine- although if I were her- I would only take that sucker out on special occasions! (more…)

(Talladega May 2015. Photo Source: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

“It depends on the circumstances. You can’t see the air and you hit different pockets (of air). You hit a pocket where you get a really big tow, or you hit a pocket where it seems they’re getting a tow and pulling you back, and you just have to play the circumstances. You just try getting in different scenarios and try to learn if you get in the middle of the draft, what does it do? Will it give you a push? Will it not give you a push? If you get next to this car, does it suck you up or does it slow you down? It’s trial and error but, at the same time, it’s like pulling a pin on a grenade. You know through that process that if one guy makes a mistake, your car’s torn up. It’s just a delicate balance of how hard you go, how many things you try, and how much time you spend doing it.” – Tony Stewart, Talladega October 2015 Team Release

Gratuitous Tony Stewart Picture:

(Talladega May 2015 Photo Credit: Tony Stewart Facebook)

 

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Read other Quotable Tony posts.

#HellbentOnVictory #SmokeAlwaysRises

(Photo Source: Tony Stewart Facebook Page)

Okay there has to be something lucky about edition number 14 of Loose Lugnuts right (fingers crossed)? Let’s get right to the items of the week that have been pinging around my brain like lugnuts in a pitstall during a green flag pit stop, shall we:

1. A lot of you probably saw this already but there is an article that basically is just a lot of classic Tony commercials throughout his career here. It’s missing my two personal favorites though!! My one favorite was this one (sorry for the crappy quality) for the C0ca-Cola Racing family. It’s OLD.  But it is kind of fun to watch because it features both Tony and Kevin Harvick- WAY before they were teammates.   Then there is this one which is my all time favorite commercial of Tony’s (I think a lot of female fans feel the same way- it’s the longish hair I am convinced of it) plus it has a great companion video: the outtakes from a commercial stewn together but it makes me laugh. What are your favorite Tony Stewart ads?

2. It sounds like Stewart-Haas Racing is trying to get together some special sponsors for Tony Stewart’s last year in NASCAR next year. I think that would be great. I would personally love to see some special paint schemes. What I liked most about this article though was the mention of the fans helping honor Tony.

3. Speaking of honoring Tony, I have been trying to get some of my readers to submit stories about their fandom of Tony. I have had one so far that I published here. If you go to this article and scroll towards the bottom there are some examples that a journalist has collected. Anyone have anything they want to share? Shoot me an email at (badgruv@netzero.com) (more…)