By Jon D. Gaede
Race officials knew a storm was coming on Sunday. NASCAR’s policy has always followed the halfway rule. Any lap after that point would constitute an official race. Tony Stewart, NASCAR’s hottest current driver, had won half of this season’s races. His good fortune continued at Fontana, as his Home Depot Chevrolet held the lead on lap 129. The sky had darkened over the track and the rain began to fall.
The drivers lined up on pit row to wait it out, but it wouldn’t be for long. NASCAR officials called the race official, 35 minutes into the down pour. Tony Stewart collected another 2012 win.
The weekend was also billed as Southern California’s NASCAR debut of Danica Patrick. She raced her ‘Go Daddy‘ Chevrolet on Saturday night’s Nationwide ‘Purple 300‘ Patrick, who has experienced success on the Indy car open wheel circuit, has had some difficulty crossing over to the bumper to bumper grind of NASCAR.
She has dedicated herself to the entire 33 race Nationwide series. Associated with Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s racing team should prove to be a boost.
The Joe Gibbs racing team had won seven consecutive nationwide races at Fontana. Saturday night would be their eighth, as Joey Logano took the checkered flag. Logano passed Ricky Stenhouse after the final caution and held on for the victory.
On the eve of her 30th birthday, Danica Patrick would have loved an appearance in the ‘Winner’s Circle,” but it was not to be. A radiator leak led to a blown engine and early exit.
Throughout the barrage of interviews, she remains positive, however, she feels that mechanical issues have kept her from being competitive. Patrick currently ranks 17th in the points with most of the season ahead of her. A reminder to all fans of Indy cars, they are returning to the Auto Club Speedway in September.
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