Tony Stewart Kicking Ass

(I don’t blog about NASCAR often, so you’ll have to indulge me)

Last night the NASCAR season came to an end with the showdown of all showdowns. Going into the final race of the season, Carl Edwards held a three point advantage over Tony Stewart for the championship. Nobody else was in contention. And nothing else mattered—Carl and Tony would take the first two spots, they just had to fight over the order.

With all the different scenarios, Carl could spot Tony a few positions at the end of the race and still claim the championship, unless Tony won. If Tony won, there was nothing Carl could do. Even if Carl led the most laps (bonus points) and finished second, they’d still tie and the tie-breaker goes to the driver with most wins, which was Tony.

And that’s exactly what happend. Carl led the most laps and finished second, about 1.2 seconds behind winner—and now three-time champion—Tony Stewart.

  • It’s the first time NASCAR has determined a champion with a tie breaker.
  • It’s also the first time an owner-driver has won the championship since Alan Kulwicki in 1992.
  • It’s also the first time a driver has come from behind to win a championship by winning the race.
  • It’s also the first time a champion has won the final race since 1998 when Jeff Gordon did it.
  • It’s also the first time a driver has won five races in the season-ending Chase.
  • Tony also came from 9th place when the Chase started, the farthest back a champion has ever started (since the Chase format started in 2004).
  • It’s also the first time a driver has entered the Chase winless and went on to claim the championship.

And Tony did all that while passing 76 cars in Sunday’s race. Debris punched a hole in his car’s grill and the team fell back to 40th place while making repairs. They pitted again during another caution for more repairs and fell back again, only to climb back to the top, going three and four wide on multiple restarts to pick up positions.

“They’re going to feel like [expletive], after we kick their ass after this,” Tony said over the radio.

I’m not a big fan of Tony Stewart. I was rooting for Carl Edwards, who was robotically consistent over the Chase, with an average finish of 4.9 and finishing no worse than 11th in any of the 10 races. But winning is what matters and Carl’s consistency wasn’t enough. And I don’t think anything was enough for hard-charging Tony Stewart. I’m not a fan, but what he did to win this championship was incredible.

And in the end, I’ve been rooting for anyone but Jimmie Johnson for the last six years.

Sidebar 1: People complain all the time about NASCAR. Non-fans don’t get why it’s exciting. Those folks need to watch Tony Stewart pass 76 cars to win a race and a championship. Fans complain about everything, but you couldn’t ask for something better than a history-making finale like this one.

Sidebar 2: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won NASCAR’s Nationwide series championship on Saturday (it’s kind of like the minor leagues), running most of the season without sponsorship. He literally ran a blank, white race car throughout most of the year. There’s been a lot of economic fallout in NASCAR the past few years with major teams closing up shop or merging with other teams. This is just proof that it’s not getting better. And maybe proof for interested advertisers that there should be some deals available. Anybody want to sponsor a stock car?

M83 Backup Singer Audition

So the other day I watched this video of a guy trying out to be a backup singer for M83. I don’t know anything about M83, but it was kind of a funny video. The best part is that Lexi and Milo were watching it with me and started singing along.

A few days later, the song, “Midnight City,” came on the Current and Lexi and Milo both started singing the backup part. Hilarous.

New in Nov: M83 Vocal Audition (Nov 3rd) from DaveAOK on Vimeo.

Kim Kardashian & Gay Marriage

Next year Minnesota will be voting on a constitutional amendment to define marriage as only between one man and one woman (and if you can’t guess, we’re deeply divided).


That means in addition to the typical presidential year politics, Minnesota will be having a knock down, drag out fight over gay marriage. I’m not looking forward to this one.

It means we’ll be hearing all sorts of arguments that seem to have nothing to do with one another. Gay marriage advocates will argue for civil rights. Traditional marriage proponents will argue to preserve marriage and the family. And you’re left scratching your head, wondering what civil rights has to do with the sanctity of marriage. Both sides will the think the other is crazy and our already polarized society will get even further apart.

Which brings us to Kim Kardashian and her 72-day marriage (Sidebar: I love it when Kardashian appears on How I Met Your Mother and Marshall makes a comment about how his wife keeps telling him why Kardashian is famous, but he can’t remember). Perhaps part of why the gay marriage debate depresses me is because we sit around and argue about whether or not gay people who love each other and are committed can get married, how that act is somehow going to ruin other peoples’ marriage, how marriage is supposedly all about children—and in the midst of all that half of marriages end in divorce and the celebrity spectacle machine celebrates a sham of a marriage that couldn’t even last three months.

Marriage is certainly under fire. But it has little to do with homosexuality.

Whatever side of this debate you’re on you probably value the idea of marriage. Maybe instead of clubbing each other for the next year, we should support that idea of marriage. Maybe we should help couples figure out if they’re really ready for marriage. Maybe we should help married couples in trouble navigate the relational rocks that lead to divorce. I have no delusions that divorce isn’t necessary, but I think most people would agree that fewer divorces would be better.