Coming out of Turn 4…
When I left work on Thursday night, I wanted so much to call in “sick” Friday morning and head on out to TMS, but alas…I went to work. I am such a good employee.
After leaving my office on Friday afternoon, I turned on Sirius radio hoping to hear qualifying, but to my surprise, Tony Stewart Live was on. I usually don’t mind this at all, but I am thinking…ah…I bet they are having weather issues. Little did I realize…there were tornadoes swirling around. This meant qualifying was canceled and the field was set by the current point standings. Now I didn’t want to wish any ill will or harm on anyone, but I had to chuckle just a little. I figured if I couldn’t be there, then why should anyone else have fun. I know if I had been there the weather would have been perfect.
I watched the Busch race on Saturday. I did have a little remorse for wishing ill will on those attending TMS because I have several of my racing buds out there enjoying the weekend. It was weird watching the race on television. I hadn’t watched a race from TMS on television for the last three race weekends. I am usually in the stands drinking an adult beverage and cheering on my favorite drivers. However, I would like to say the Busch race didn’t disappoint. I was hoping Denny Hamlin would have won. Whatever they are doing over there at JGR it is working. But kudos and major props have to go out to Matt Kenseth. That was some damn fine driving you did. You saved your car and able to bring it to victory lane. Thanks for the cleaning race Mr. Kenseth. You earned that white cowboy hat!
Now…on to Sunday’s race. I was none to pleased with the Texas weather raining out Friday’s qualifying. This meant the HMS duo of Gordon and Johnson would be staring up front. Those were the last two people I wanted to see win at the home track. I have to say to those who don’t know about Texas weather…if you don’t like it…stick around…it will change. This is exactly what happened on Sunday. They had beautiful weather…they same kind they had last April. Thank you racing Gods! I am not a fan of the pre-race festivities on Fox. They usually cover things I already heard about on Race Day over on Speed. I had to laugh when they were interviewing Gordon and Johnson about the Martinsville race and my man, Tony came up behind them like some annoying fan. You know what I am talking about. The fan that looks like a complete goober when drivers are being interviewed on tv….that was classic Tony.
TMS has not be kind to Jeff Gordon. This is one of the few tracks where he has not been able to tame. TMS is not an easy track to tame no matter who is driving. Up until yesterday, there had been no repeat winner for the April race. Gordon dominated yesterday and I thought to myself good thing I was at home. I would have been miserable if he would have won. But as we all know the fastest and best car on the track doesn’t always win. TMS has a way of making things exciting. I know the fans went nuts when Junior took the lead and looked like he was going to walk away as the first repeat winner, but in the blink of an eye…BAM!
I know there are some Stewart fans this morning who will probably curse Juan Pablo, but I thought it was all a racing deal. He did race Tony and Juan Pablo did get loose and cause Tony to spin out, but it was racing. I was a little giddy, when Johnson’s car got collected. But this isn’t where the day ended for Tony. After going in the pits to fix the #20, TMS struck back. Tony spun out and did some great driving by not hitting anything, however, what happened behind was the talk of the grand stands. Junior slowed down to try to avoid Tony and the next thing he knows Kyle Busch at a faster speed hits Junior. Now…we all know how the Earnhardt Nation can be at times. They are some of the most rabid fans I know…and you know I have to say…if you are thinking Tony is to blame…he’s not. I blame Kyle Busch for this one. Earnhardt slowed down to prevent from hitting Tony, Kyle didn’t. And I don’t know if people in the stands knew this at the time, but Earnhardt got into the #5 and drove it the rest of the race earning points for the #5. Apparently Mr. Busch was gone from the premises. I don’t know what that was all about, but the little respect that he earned is gone. Earnhardt showed some definite class. Kudos to you Mr. Earnhardt. You were raised right.
I know the booing from the Earnhardt nation bothered Tony from what I heard from some post race quotes…(taken from NASCAR.com)
“It’s like nothing we can do is right,” Stewart said. “Look at all the Junior fans that are mad at me. I didn’t even see what happened to Junior. I know I caused it, obviously.
“I’m trying to get one of my laps back right there — I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. There’s no way in hell I would ever do anything to put Dale Jr. in jeopardy [but] it’s disheartening when you have 180,000 people booing you every time you come around.
“That’s what makes this stuff not fun anymore. It’s not about the racing.”
I hope he doesn’t let these boos get to him. From my own personal experience…Earnhardt fans boo anyone who may be perceived to “hurt” their driver. Once again this is from personal experience…last year at Texas fall race.
The last few laps were some of the best racing all day. Matt Kenseth once gain put himself in place to win, but there was Jeff Burton lingering behind him. It was a good clean race to the finish. And finally…TMS has a repeat winner. And of course…if we are going to have a repeat winner it should be the man who won the first race at TMS back in 1997! WAY TO GO!!!!
WTF has happened to Kasey Kahne and Elliott Sadler this year. Did they not get the memo about the start of the NASCAR season? Both drivers have proven they can win at Texas? I don’t know what is going on over at Evernham. Is it time for Ray to take stock in the personnel he has in place? I’m not talking drivers because I think all three drivers can drive the wheels off their vehicles. I mean look what Kahne did last year. I think there is more to be done. I know they have good equipment and cars. I don’t know what can be done to stop the bleeding. I know my friend Sadler Fan was been very frustrated by this turn of events with Elliott. I know she had a fun time this weekend, but she would have loved for her man to have a better weekend.
Couple of things…they didn’t even get one lap under the belt when things went all crazy…I don’t think AAA will be able to help the #6 on this one. YIKES!!!!
There was no “chick fight” in the pits this time around. Last spring the now Mrs. Kurt Busch and soon to be Mrs. Greg Biffle got into a heated discussion. But Stone Cold Steve Austin was the Grand Marshall for the race on Sunday and gave the command to start the engines. I was expecting some exciting “Gentlemen Start Your Engines”, but it fell flat once again. Come on people…put some enthusiasm behind!
TMS always has a little something for everyone! See ya in November everyone!
Well….on to the desert for some Saturday night racing.