In his last year of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing, Tony Stewart came to Sonoma Racing asserting on Friday he wasn’t having much fun driving a Sprint Cup car.
That all changed in Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at the 1.99-mile road course, where Stewart bulldozed Denny Hamlin into the outside wall in Turn 11, executing a dramatic last-lap, last turn pass for his first victory since June 2, 2013 at Dover.
In the three years since that victory, a succession of injuries and a personal tragedy have limited the three-time champion’s time in a Sprint Cup car and limited Stewart’s effectiveness when he was behind the wheel of the No. 14 Chevrolet he co-owns with Gene Haas.
But on Sunday, after a prescient pit call by crew chief Mike Bugarewicz put Stewart in the lead for a restart on Lap 91 of 110. Stewart held the top spot at the start/finish line for the rest of the race, but that hardly describes the excitement of the final lap.
For the second straight circuit, Stewart wheel-hopped the No. 14 Chevrolet into Turn 7, and Denny Hamlin took full advantage, giving Stewart a bump and charging past him. In hot pursuit through the esses and Turn 10, Stewart caught Hamlin in the hairpin (Turn 11) when Hamlin slipped and ran wide, allowing Stewart to politely parked Hamlin in the retaining wall for the victory.
The Fraternal Order of The Go Fast
This week nobody had the foresight to select Smoke as the Sonoma winner.
The Shakers and Movers
The biggest scorers this week are Linda The Cookie Mom and A&M Aggie Sue, each scored 38 points for Carl Edwards’ fourth place finish.
There were seven players, Dan The Numbers Cruncher, Cole The On Demand Baseball Player, David The Mudslinging Throttle Jockey, Kathy The Church Forecloser, Doug the Former Mudslinger and Psychic, Turned Kettle Corn Dude, Bobby Blue Crush and Karen The Highly Opinionated Southern Belle, who gathered up 35 points via Kyle Busch’s 7th place finish.
The trio of Skid-Marc, Lonna The Quilt Angel and Leon Your Most Humble Sheriff faired well, 31 points, with Kurt Busch’s 10th place finish.
Zee, aka Sissy rallied this week gathering up 29 points from “Young Money, Kyle Larson’s 12th place finish.
Lastly, there is a quintet of players that logged a nice 28 point tally for their Sonoma work. Those five players include Carole, aka Rudy, Jim, aka Chiefy, Bernie The Bay Area Bandit, Jeremy The Coach, and Jason The Latent Tie Dye Hippie and All-Around Edgy Dude. Everyone, with the exception of Jason The Latent Tie Dye Hippie and All-Around Edgy Dude, received their points from AJ Allmendinger’s 14th place finish. The Edgy Dude got his 28 points from Jimmy Johnson’s 13th place finish.
Once again there was widespread movement within the totem pole! The only players who remained in their previous spots after Sonoma were our leader Dan The Numbers Dude, Bernie The Bay Area Bandit, Zee aka Sissy, Lonna the Quilt Angel, and Skid-Marc.
The single biggest mover of the week is Edie The Las Vegas Super Star. The Super Star dropped like a Prom dress, falling 8 spots and landing solidly in 10th spot!
Cole The On Demand Baseball Player rocketed up the leaderboard five spots to land in 7th place this week.
There were three players who moved four spots this week. David The Mudslinging Throttle Jockey moved up four spots to reside in 4th place. Conversely, both Carlton The Doorman and his better half, Snoopy Dawn, fell four spots to rest in 14th and 22nd, respectively!
Meanwhile, Kaen The Highly Opinionated Southern Belle climbed up three places to sit in third place.
Rounding out the big movers for the week is a trio of players, Doug The Kettle Corn Dude, A&M Aggie Sue, and Jeremy The Coach. Both The Kettle Corn Dude and A&M Aggie Sue moved up two places, whereas Jeremy the Coach dropped two spots.
Straight From The Crapper
This week it was very simple to award “the crappiest pick of the week”. Having only gain one point this week the award goes to Snoopy Dawn, hands down! Additionally, that microscopic one point also was enough to evict LInda The Cookie Mom out of “The Outhouse” and for Snoopy Dawn to move all her belongings into it this week!
Next week NASCAR rolls into Daytona for the annual Fourth of July weekend races.
TIL NEXT TIME, PULL YOUR GLOVES UP, FLIP YOUR VISOR DOWN, AND LET’ GO RACIN’!