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Heavy rain pounded North Wilkesboro Speedway this weekend, forcing the postponement of the All-Star festivities. But the unexpected Carolina showers on Saturday spilled water on more than just the 0.625-mile racetrack.

Recent videos surfacing across social media paint an interesting picture: Stewart-Haas cars received rain protection from the pit crew of Rick Hendrick’s unselfish race team. Nevertheless, fans online are incensed by what appears to be a blatant confusion stemming from collective dissonance spreading within Tony Stewart and Gene Haas’ garage, and some of the ill-intended remarks have left a bad taste in the mouth of one of SHR’s championship pioneers—the crew chief of iconic  #4, Rodney Childers.

Social media erupts over Hendrick Motorsports helping out struggling SHR


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Impending rains have affected the schedules of both the Wright Brand 250 Truck Series race and the All-Star main event on Sunday. First, the Truck race watched its qualifying wash out earlier on Friday. As it all unfolded eerily for the main event the following day, threatening weather cast a shadow over the entire All-Star weekend, forcing NASCAR to cancel the planned heat races on Saturday as well. Consequently, qualifying speeds and points earned have set up pole-winners Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski to lead the field from green at 8 p.m. ET.

With 17 drivers locked into the race, the All-Star Open, happening at 5:30 p.m. ET before the main event, will determine two more contestants. Fans will also cast votes for a third driver to fill the remaining spot in the 20-car field. Drivers who haven’t won a NASCAR Cup Series race in the current or previous season and haven’t won the All-Star Race before compete in the all-important “Open”.

As it currently happens, none of Tony Stewart’s “Dark Horse” drivers secured a spot in the All-Star Race through the automatic qualifiers. They will all now compete against each other in the open race. Noah Gragson, the team’s sole representative in the fan vote’s top 5, has the best shot at securing a spot through that route.

Amongst the broader background of a disruptive rain delay, Bob Pockrass explained the controversial situations best in a recent update on X: “With all Stewart-Haas teams in the Open (and not here), Hendrick has sealed their cars for overnight. NASCAR officials and SHR executive were there to oversee it.” Pockrass’s post provided a video of Hendrick crew members pulling on the rain covers for Josh Berry’s #4 car, attempting to leave the Ford intact for tomorrow.


The receptive sentiment among the majority of the fans appeared discontent at the assumed ‘negligence’ on behalf of Tony Stewart and his race team. However, the ill-informed context most discreditors based their perspectives on, from the outside did not sit well with the crew chief of SHR’s #4 car, Rodney Childers.

In retaliation, Kevin Harvick’s former crew chief reshared Pockrass’ post with a clarifying caption that read, It’s unreal to see the comments from this.” He elaborated that since the Open cars weren’t allowed to participate in any activities today, they weren’t permitted to load up into their respective haulers last night. Meanwhile, Childers even thanked Kyle Larson’s crew chief, Cliff Daniels, and “the HMS guys for backing up all of the SHR cars so they wouldn’t be in the pond” in a separate post.


A lot of the misdirected hatred surrounding Stewart-Haas’ current situations in North Wilkesboro is partly because people expect a key four-member, Ford Performance partner to display better results for their outings in the Cup Series. But with rumors of the organization closing its premier tier shop in the future resonating loudly alongside documented driver dissatisfaction, Childers can barely blame the fans for all the nasty speculations surrounding a former champion.

Fan frustration mounts as rain-fed confusion threatens to drown out the All-Star Race


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Since Kevin Harvick’s retirement last year, the only SHR stable member with a win in the highest level of stock car racing is currently #14 driver, Chase Briscoe. This solitary victory for the former ARCA champ happened two years ago. And with Tony Stewart’s new-look stable still relatively inexperienced, the developments have more often than not come off as bleak, in recent times for SHR.

Some fans opined that these recent All-Star fortunes “might be a new low for SHR” on Pockrass’ original post, the spark of all ensuing controversy.” But the collective opinion lays out a harsh one-word deduction for all the speculated fire inside Smoke’s garage; “Embarrassing” exclaimed one fan to lay out their respective opinion, as did many others.

Another shocking statement from a fan revealed a harrowing perspective further, reading, “SHR is a bottom-tier team now.” This could soon turn into a potential reality in the event that Tony is done with NASCAR.” However, the notion mostly arises from the widespread fear of Smoke selling the shop and focusing on his NHRA efforts full-time alongside his wife, Leah Pruett, for TSR.


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Regardless, this fan found some comedic relief in the distressing situation as he inquired hilariously: Will Rick Hendrick bill Tony Stewart?” Considering Hendrick Motorsports’ elite status as true pioneers and leaders of the sport across the last four decades, it is unlikely that Mr. H asks Smoke to foot the bill for his ‘inconveniences’ in North Carolina.

To comfortably accommodate returning Kevin Harvick in Kyle Larson’s #5 seat, SHR has sent the plans and necessary equipment for Harvick to adjust his seating and integrate seamlessly into the unfamiliar NextGen Chevy to Hendrick Motorsports, as Larson focuses on Indy practice despite the #5 missing valuable testing time due to the showers and thunder on Saturday. Will Stewart’s stars put in a shift in fortunes for his race team ventures with a non-points victory lurking well out of reach on Sunday?