NASCAR, Texas Motor Speedway and Endless Left Turns

Tony Stewart at Texas Motor Speedway: Oops. And, Surprise, I Had Nothing to Do With It

The bad news: Tony Stewart had a pit-road collision, was dinged for speeding and ran out of gas during Saturday night's Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

The good news: Somehow he still managed to finish 12th.

The better news: I had very little to do with any part of it.

Yes, I was an honorary pit crew member on Stewart's No. 14 car, but my duties were limited to things like waving his pit-road "stop here" sign and fetching tires from the Goodyear trailer.

After Stewart was penalized for speeding into pit road, he ran out of gas on the last lap, fading from third to 12th place as he crossed the finish line.

On his team's radio he blared: "Sorry boys, I fucked us again."

Couple things I learned after a night "working" the pits:

*The smell of gas and rubber is almost overpowering.

*Teams pour Coca-Cola in their pit box, as to give sticky traction for crew members.

*Tires are dang expensive.

Midway through the 334-lap race a member of Stewart's team had me get two new right front tires from the Goodyear trailer. The price? $449 each. The purchase took Stewart's running Texas tab to almost $30,000.

And somehow, I signed for it.

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt