Tony Stewart has second date with the bricks!

First he snapped a long winless streak and now Tony Stewart has returned to victory lane in consecutive races as he added another win at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Today marked the 14th running of the Brickyard 400 (Allstate 400) as it's become one of the two most prestigious tracks to win on for the NASCAR Cup Series. NASCAR roots are deep within Daytona International Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a historic track which dates back to the early 1900's. Dale Jr. looked early on to be the car to beat as he got out front and led more laps in today's race than he has in all of his other starts at this track. His engine would give out with just 25 to go as he was running in the top 5. This was really disappointing to see as I would have loved to have seen him contend for the win late in the race. Jr. always has such a great attitude no matter what challenges he faces and he always handles himself very well with a lot of grace. You never see Jr. going off the deep end and I respect that a lot. I can't wait for him to join Hendrick Motorsports next season!

It was a mixed day for my 2 favorite drivers Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. Gordon has more wins at this historic track than any other driver with 4 victories including the inaugural race while Johnson captured both the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 last season en route to his 1st Nextel Cup Championship. Funny thing but we'll be calling this series the "Sprint Cup" next season. I had just gotten really used to calling it the Nextel Cup and they're changing it already. lol. What will I do with my Nextel Cup polo that I just bought this year at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Not to mention my "Winston Cup" polo which hasn't left the closet since they switched title sponsorship. Gordon started 21st and quickly moved through the field and was constantly in the top 10 for pretty much the whole day. He had an awesome race car today! Late in the race I was kind of hoping for a caution so that Montoya and Gordon could have a chance at passing Stewart. 😛 Gordon finished great in the 3rd spot so that made me happy! However Johnson who was running strong early in the race got caught up in an eight car wreck on lap 45 leaving his left front with heavy damage. While they did their best to fix the damage and get him back onto the track while losing just 1 lap the repairs didn't hold up as he developed a bad tire rub on his left front panel. And on lap 60 Johnson's tire blew out as he was just heading into the turn sending him hard into the outer wall. Thank goodness for the softer barriers but the hard impact did start a fire which got into the cockpit of his car. It was a scary moment as he was trying to get to the inside of the track while cars were speeding by him on the outsides while his car continued to burn with heavy flames. Johnson got out quickly and I'm so happy to see that he is okay! His eyebrows did get a little singed though. Johnson took a hit in the points and is now in 9th place and is 607 points behind his team mate and points leader Jeff Gordon. The hard racing between Stewart and Harvick towards the end of the race with about 14 to go was intense and great to watch as they battled back and forth for the lead. They're great friends but when a Brickyard 400 trophy is on the line I think that pretty much goes out the window. With just 5 laps left Jeff Gordon was timed as the fastest car on the track and…where's that caution that I was hoping for?! 😛 It was yet another awesome race at this incredible facility. This place is absolutely gigantic! This 2.5 mile long track which is basically flat with very minimal banking (9 degrees) in the turns and 0 banking on the straightaways creates such incredible speeds going into the turns! It's always a thrill to watch and since the Cup Series only comes here once a year it's an event to really look forward to. 250,000 fans pack this place every year for the Cup Series and it's not hard to see why. Congratulations to Tony Stewart on winning his 2nd Brickyard 400!! Tony is so feisty though and I wish he had held back a bit during the post race interview as he slipped out a swear word on national television. :O

This race also marked the return of ESPN to broadcasting NASCAR's top series. With their great resources they really impressed me with today's presentation of the race. Great camera work, entertaining and informative commentary by a great staff including Dr. Jerry Punch and former Cup Series Champion Rusty Wallace, and one of the most innovative new features that I've ever seen come to the sport in recent years. "Draft tracks" enables the viewer to actually see the air and its effects on the cars. Pretty cool stuff! Now we can all see what the late Dale Sr. was able to see all those years! ESPN really did a great job! I also enjoy the FOX broadcasts as I enjoy the commentary by Darrell Waltrip a lot! He has such great passion and understanding of the sport that he really is a joy to watch and listen to. "Boogity Boogity Boogity! Next week the series is off to Pocono Raceway! Can anyone stop that FedEx driver?!! Maybe we'll see Tony up there again or better yet Gordon & Johnson!

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About MorningBerryz

Lover and free spirit who's interests in Japanese culture and the like are insatiable. I am of pure Japanese/Okinawan descent, love my cats, sleep and am a bit naughty at times :).
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2 Responses to Tony Stewart has second date with the bricks!

  1. Saburo says:

    Interesting point about the ESPN angle. When there's big NASCAR buck$ involved, EVERYONE at the "worldwide leader" is involved (remember when that monniker was applied by ABC?). Even Bill Simmons, a very popular columnist on ESPN.com, had to get on the wagon train.
    He interviewed Stewart in his weekly podcast. It wasn't an especially smooth exchange to me, as Simmons clearly doesn't have NASCAR up there in his hierarchy of needs (he admitted as such to Stewart at the onset of the interview). It's possible that Stewart is funny and engaging but Simmons wasn't able to get it out of him. This time, anyway.
    And speaking of Stewart, what's with NASCAR deducting points for swearing on live TV? I understood the penalties for "illegal" cars and such but do they think their PR will take such a blow if they don't discipline drivers caught in the act of being themselves? I dunno, that just makes little sense to me as it had nothing to do with what happened on the race track, which is where all your integrity belongs. Would someone get docked for cheating on his wife too?
    Well, that's just the non-fan in me shaking his head.

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  2. Saburo NASCAR is big no question about that. ESPN and ABC will share the broadcasts for the rest of the season. I haven't heard that podcast with Stewart being interviewed but perhaps this can shed some light on the situation as there's an ongoing riff between the network and Stewart which goes back to the race at Chicago 2 weeks ago. They criticized him for his saying that he was going to celebrate that win by drinking a case of beer. Stewart didn't appreciate those comments and has had a less than friendly relationship with the network ever since. An ESPN analyst then went as far as saying that Stewart was not a good role model. Personally I think that's his own business and he clearly should be able to celebrate any way that he wants. However as far as the fine and the deduction of driver and team owner points I agree with what NASCAR handed down. First, this may sound funny but it does state in NASCAR's rulebook in Section 12-4-A that any actions detrimental to the sport is a violation including inappropriate words. And well swearing on live t.v. when families and kids are watching is never a good thing no matter how you look at it. And there are a lot of children watching out there. I've even seen a lot of children at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway first hand for that race both years that I attended. The next point I'd like to make is that there's also a precedence issue here. Dale Jr. said the exact same word after winning at Talladega. He was fined the same amount and docked the same amount of driver and team owner points for his violation. I hope that this helped explain why NASCAR reacted this way to Stewarts verbal slip up this past Sunday.

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