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This is a test … just a test

Komets Test Movie from Chad Ryan on Vimeo.

Edwards wins Carfax 250

Carl Edwards pumps his fist toward the crowd at Michigan International Speedway after winning Saturday’s Carfax 250 Nationwide Series race.
Photo by Chad Ryan.

Carl Edwards took the lead away from Tony Stewart in the 90th lap of Saturday’s Carfax 250 Nationwide Series race and never looked back. He ran away from Stewart and Brian Vickers to take the checkered flag in the 125-lap race. Danny Efland spun out on the final lap, bringing out the caution and Edwards coasted in, but even if the race finished under green Edwards had it in the bag.

Here are a couple of photos. I will have more up later.

Carl Edwards crosses the finish line at Michigan International Speedway under the white and checkered flag to win Saturday’s Carfax 250 Nationwide Series race. It was Edwards’ third victory of the season and his first in Michigan.
Photo by Chad Ryan.

Carl Edwards celebrates in Victory Lane after winning Saturday’s Carfax 250 Nationwide Series race at Michigan International Speedway.
Photo by Chad Ryan.

Tony Stewart drives out of turn No. 4 as the race leader on lap 78 of Saturday’s Carfax 250 Nationwide Series race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. Stewart lost the lead to Carl Edwards on the 90th lap and ended up in third place.
Photo by Chad Ryan.

Boy, was I wrong?!

I wrote a story for The News-Sentinel’s preview to Sunday’s Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, and in that story I considered that slower speeds and conserving tires might just make for more exciting racing at Indy. Well, let’s just say that line of reasoning didn’t quite work out the way I envisioned.

The race was bad, and when I say bad I mean I would rather have watched a day-long marathon of “The Girls Next Door.” OK, I won’t go that far, considering I’ve never been able to watch more than about two minutes worth of that garbage without wishing those girls would meet up with the local Derby Girls on the roller rink to get a slap of reality. Now, I’d watch that. I’m sure the 250,000 fans, give or take, who were at Indy might be thinking the same thing right now after Sunday’s Debacle at the Brickyard. Well, maybe not Jimmie Johnson’s fans. He did win after all, but even he said it was a long day.

On a side note, as I ran down Pit Road shooting photos of Rick Hendrick and Johnson’s team celebrating, I had to chuckle when Johnson did a burnout because it only took about 45 seconds until he blew up what was left of one of his tires. There was a pop loud enough to hear through my race headphones, and when the smoke cleared his crew laughed and pointed at the pieces of steel belting that littered the track.

Johnson Wins Brickyard

Not a problem. Really?

NASCAR has now announced their recognition of the tire issue here at Indy that they said yesterday wasn’t a problem. They’ve said there will be a competition yellow on Lap 10 with more likely to come after they inspect the tires to determine the wear. In fact, NASCAR has brought in Pocono tires as a back up to the Goodyears that teams normally use. It could be possible that officials will throw up a caution early on and have everybody switch tires at the same time.

Part of the issue is that because of limited availability of track time to the cars they haven’t been able to put enough rubber down on the track to get the grip they need. Most drivers complained on their radios all day during practice. Dale Earnhardt Jr’s team said that if NASCAR didn’t shut down practice early or bring in more tires they would run out. Mark Martin suggested under the circumstances it was going to be a matter of survival rather than race strategy that determine how he was going to drive.

New look, number for Tony Stewart

I heard about Tony Stewart long before I knew anything about Home Depot. In fact, I’m pretty sure Stewart was the reason I learned of Home Depot’s existence before they opened a store here in Fort Wayne. During his tenure as the Depot’s icon, Stewart’s relationship with the home improvement supplier has been likely as beneficial for them as it has for Stewart, if not more so.

Now with the announcement of Stewart’s move into team ownership comes the inevitable – a new sponsor. He’s trading in Home Depot for Office Depot. Well, that may be an oversimplification of the process, but one question has to be asked. Will the unshaven hero to construction types, home improvement buffs and anyone else wielding a sledgehammer become the clean-shaven face of the office supply industry? And to complete the new image he’ll throw on a splash of Old Spice, his other main sponsor. Could we see a whole new clean-cut Stewart life size stand up taking the place of Carl Edwards every time we walk into the other Depot to buy a ream of copy paper?

To keep himself from tripping up on sponsor names in the first press conference at next year’s Daytona 500, I wonder how many times during December and January Stewart will have to repeat something along the lines of: “The Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy is handling well right now.”

Stewart’s new car will don the number 14 in honor of Stewart’s long-time hero AJ Foyt. Stewart-Haas Racing was given the numbers 4 and 14 with both numbers being of personal significance to Stewart. Number 4 was the number of his first go kart, but he said there was no way he could not drive the No. 14. Stewart’s initial impression was that Foyt was excited at the news. They’ll talk soon, once Stewart gets the cell phone he left behind on vacation back in his hands.