Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Not only do I appreciate Tony Stewart’s superb driving ability, but there is also something to be said for his strong will. He set out to win NASCAR’s Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. And he pulled it off, darned near, flawlessly. I have a sneaking suspicion that his desire to win the 2011 Sprint Cup Championship might just work for him as well. At least that is my hope.
Tony win was about the only redeeming quality of the race Sunday. It was certainly not action-packed by any means. Passing was difficult. There were few instances of side-by-side racing, few cautions broke up the single file driving, and once again the thrill of the race was trumped by the strategy of the crew rather than abilities of the drivers.
Tony’s winning made it worthwhile, however. His taking the checkered flag in four races during the chase is a spectacular feat, especially with his winless regular season. Talk about peaking at just the right time—oh yeah. Smoke is on it!
Carl Edwards certainly did a yeoman’s job Sunday as well. He almost pulled off the win himself. He managed to stay three points ahead of Stewart in the points race, which is nothing to sneeze at. Suffice it to say that the two of them going at it during the remainder of the 2011 season, with just two races left to go, will be great fun to watch.
Image by Getty Images via @daylifeBeing a diehard Ryan Newman fan, I wasn’t looking forward to this race. The stars have just not been aligned for Newman toward the latter part of this season. His chances for a great run at Texas seemed especially slim after qualifying and practice when Newman’s car failed to clock the speeds necessary to compete in the top ten all day.
Then there was that mysterious vibration that turned out to be a lug nut lodged between the tire and the wheel that caused Newman to have to pit twice under green. At only the 50th lap, he was already two laps down. He struggled all day. Finally getting back onto the lead lap during the nearly caution-free race was nothing short of miraculous. To eek out a 16th place finish under all those circumstances was really
I’m not so sure what has happened to Ryan’s team, however. It seems that during every race there are pit stop problems or bad calls that result in improper balance. I know Newman isn’t happy. I know his fans aren’t happy. Newman is far better than what shows up in the race results.
Phoenix is a good track for him, though. I’m still hoping for a good ending to this season.