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Thread: Hometown Racer takes the Brickyard

  1. #1
    This one's for you Edd Heath's Avatar
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    Hometown Racer takes the Brickyard

    I like motorsports, particularly the Indy-style cars - and this guy who drives stockcars. I really like all the races at Indy. This was a big one for Tony Stewart.

    For baseball fans not racefans - you can equate this to Pete Rose being on the 1975 World Series Champion Cincinnati Reds. Hometown boy does good.

    Congrats Tony on the BY400!!


    Totally Tony
    Stewart finally earns first Indy win, grabs points lead


    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Tony Stewart was too spent to climb the fence right away and too happy to care.

    A lifelong quest to win a race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway ended Sunday with Stewart finally getting his "Holy Grail," and he made sure to draw out the celebration as long as he could while the partisan crowd roared with approval.

    It wasn't the native Hoosier's beloved Indianapolis 500, but the former IndyCar champion, who has longed to win a race at historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, held off a determined challenge from Kasey Kahne to grab an emotional victory in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.

    It was the fourth victory in the last six races and seventh top-10 finish in a row for the hottest driver in NASCAR, moving him into the lead in the Nextel Cup standings for the first time since he wrapped up his only Cup title in 2002.

    "I wish I could put it into words," Stewart said. "It's been my entire life."

    This one was up for grabs nearly to the end, with Stewart taking his first lead by passing Brian Vickers 60 with laps to go. But the 25-year-old Kahne, last year's top rookie, didn't make it easy, passing Stewart for the lead with 27 laps left in the 160-lap event -- bringing a groan from the crowd of more than 250,000.

    Stewart stayed with Kahne, though. After Jimmie Johnson -- who came into the race as the points leader -- blew a tire and hit the wall on lap 144, bringing out the last of nine caution flags in the race, Stewart took advantage of the restart on lap on lap 150 to regain the lead.

    Kahne hung onto the rear bumper of Stewart's orange No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet for a couple of laps, but Stewart finally began pulling away and raced on to win by 0.794-seconds -- about 5 car-lengths.

    Stewart, who has climbed the fence to the flagstand after his most recent victories this year, parked his car in the corner of turn two after the cooldown lap and walked up to the foot of the fence, where he popped open a can of soda and started sipping.

    Then he got back in his car, started it up and headed for the start-finish line. After getting hugs from his crew, he lay down on the concrete wall at the bottom of the fencing, holding a checkered cloth to his forehead, wearing a giddy grin all the while.

    "I'm dying right now," Stewart said. "Too tired to chase fences right now. Give me five minutes and I'll be ready."

    Finally, Stewart regained enough energy to really begin his victory celebration, taking a slow ride around the famed 2.5-mile oval in a convertible truck, smiling and waving to the cheering fans.

    He and his crew hung on the fence in front of the main grandstand for a while, then got on their knees and turned their hats backward for the Indy tradition of kissing the yard of red bricks that harken back to the days when the entire track was brick and now mark the finish line.

    Kahne, who got his first Nextel Cup victory earlier this season at Richmond, was disappointed for himself but happy for Stewart.

    "We had an awesome car," he said. "I just gave up a little bit through the restart. I couldn't do anything with it.

    "It was a big win for Tony. He wanted to win this real bad."

    Vickers finished third, followed by Jeremy Mayfield, Matt Kenseth, Casey Mears, Mark Martin and four-time Brickyard winner Jeff Gordon.

    As great a day as it was for Stewart, it was a disastrous race for Johnson, who started 42nd after his car failed inspection on Saturday.

    He was able to drive into the top 20 early in the race but spun out and wound up being sent to the rear of the lead lap cars after making two pit stops for repairs when NASCAR had pit road closed.

    Johnson was dazed after slamming hard into the wall late in the race. Calling it the "hardest hit I've taken," he had to be helped out of his car in the pits when the engine caught fire.

    Asked if he realized the car was on fire, Johnson said, "No, I don't really remember coming from turn four to the pits. I just remember kind of waking up on pit road and the guys pulling me out of the car. So, it's all good."

    Johnson, who fell to second place in the standings, 75 points behind Stewart, was taken to Methodist Hospital after the race for observation.

    Blown tires caused several other cautions on Sunday and Goodyear, the exclusive tire supplier for the Cup series, said it appeared the problems were caused by running over curbing on the inside of the turns or by overinflation or underinflation of the tires.

    Another significant yellow flag came on lap 63 when Dale Earnhardt Jr. was hit from behind and turned sideways into the inside wall by Mike Skinner before sliding back up the track and making contact with teammate Martin Truex Jr., Scott Wimmer and Robby Gordon.

    The crash ended the day for Earnhardt, who had been struggling with an ill-handling car and was running far back in the field. It also all but eliminated the fan favorite from contention for a spot in the Chase for the Nextel Cup championship that will include the top 10 drivers in the standings and any others within 400 points of the leader after the race Sept. 10 at Richmond.

    "That's life," a smiling Earnhardt said. "We'll be all right. I mean, if we make the Chase, we make it. If we don't, we don't We'll still try to win some races before the year is out."

    Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
    Some people play baseball. Baseball plays Jay Bruce.

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  3. #2
    Member 919191's Avatar
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    Re: Hometown Racer takes the Brickyard

    Stewart is supposed to be from Rushville, Indiana, my hometown. As you enter town, there are signs reading "Home of the Rushville Rocket- Tony Stewart". My mom told me years ago he wasn't from there- he just "listed" it as his hometown. Something about his fan base during his midget car years. I know this could be wrong, but is he really from somewhere else? I don't follow this sport at all.
    I've been to dinner at Jimmy Buffet's house, and I've eaten it at a homeless shelter. And there's great joy and harrowing terror to be found in both places.
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  4. #3
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Hometown Racer takes the Brickyard

    I wish that Stewart, Jeff Gordon and several other current NASCAR stars who got their start in open wheel racing were still racing open wheel cars and trying to win the Indy 500.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

  5. #4
    Smells Like Teen Spirit jmcclain19's Avatar
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    Re: Hometown Racer takes the Brickyard

    Quote Originally Posted by 919191
    Stewart is supposed to be from Rushville, Indiana, my hometown. As you enter town, there are signs reading "Home of the Rushville Rocket- Tony Stewart". My mom told me years ago he wasn't from there- he just "listed" it as his hometown. Something about his fan base during his midget car years. I know this could be wrong, but is he really from somewhere else? I don't follow this sport at all.
    http://cgi1.usatoday.com/mchat/20050519003/tscript.htm

    edinburgh,indiana: What do you consider your hometown, columbus,indiana or Rushville, Indiana?

    Tony Stewart: Both. I was born and raised in Columbus. Then I moved to rushville and that was home and that's where I made my name. But Columbus has always been very supportive and I'm proud to call both towns home

  6. #5
    Dunnilicious creek14's Avatar
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    Re: Hometown Racer takes the Brickyard

    Good to see Tony has made some changes and actually enjoys life now instead of always being angry. Makes it a lot easier to cheer him for this victory.

    91 - I think he lives in Columbus IN.
    Will trade this space for a #1 starter.

  7. #6
    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: Hometown Racer takes the Brickyard

    Is anyone else bothered by the longer-than-needed post race celebrations that seem to be par for the course nowadays? I think a victory lap is fine, but anymore these guys turn it into a sideshow. I am probably old-fashioned, but I don't like the fence-climbing, stopping and getting out of the car 10X, etc. I am not picking on Stewart (although he takes it to the limit). You didn't see this crap back in the day. I just don't like it. Do your victory lap and then pull into winner's circle. Then get out and celebrate.

    It reminds of track athletes parading all over the track with flags draped on them after a win or a WR pulling out a cell-phone after a TD. Cocky, egotistical and not necessary. But such is life in the arrogant sports world that we live.
    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.


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