Success for Owner Tony Stewart

May 20, 2009


Who can count the number of NASCAR racing cynics grousing about Tony Stewart’s choice to leave Joe Gibbs Racing to so he could be an owner and driver and with an “also ran” team to boot ? What’s up here?

Tony Stewart left an incredible winning NASCAR racing team with a record of 33 races won and 2 championships. He is now owner and driver with a team that hardly has 5 top finishes since 2003. In 1999, Stewart won rookie of the year award at the Winston Cup Series while driving with Joe Gibbs Racing, which is where he started in 1998.

It only took 8 races for Stewart to shut up the critics simply by winning 6 of them in the top ten. Right now he is fourth in the Sprint Cup standings. This keeps Tony right up there with the NASCAR racing heavy hitters like Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon.

Furthermore Stewart improves every week! At Phoenix, Stewart had his best finish so far in second place. Stewart is a favorite to win at the Talladega Super Speedway. If Stewart wins that NASCAR race, he would be the first driver to win a race in a car that he owns since 1998, when Ricky Rudd won at Martinsville. That would be a fantastic feat for Stewart.

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Stewart is in the top 5 in the Sprint Cup championship standings and in other categories too such as average running position and driver rating. Stewart Haas Racing is using resources from Hendrick Motorsports, a real powerhouse team. Naturally they are doing so well so early in this season of NASCAR racing.

Ryan Newman, Stewart’s teammate, has not been as successful. Even so the team has improved tremendously since the season began. It was a shaky start, after only the 4th race, in Atlanta; Newman nearly lost his place in the top 35 of the Sprint Cup owner’s standings. He is number 17 now and looking to be 12 soon. Newman had top ten finishes at Bristol and Martinsville. Newman saw potential in Tony Stewart’s NASCAR racing ideas at Stewart Haas Racing and decided to join his team. Sure, it was a risk to leave Penske Racing. Back in 2000 Newman started racing stock cars with Penske Racing part time for the ARCA series. He won 13 races including one Daytona 500.

Stewart Haas Racing looks good now with a lot of good management and experience on this NASCAR racing team. With crew chiefs like Darian Grubb and Tony Gibson the team has real talent in the pit. Bobby Hutchens and Matt Borland fill out the team. Hutchens came to the team from Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Newman and Borland worked together at Penske Racing.

Tony Stewart is at ease right now while he directs his own career. As long as he is pleased with the effort and results, there will be no inner qualms. Tony Stewart feels like a win is on the horizon for Stewart Haas Racing. And so do a lot of NASCAR racing fans in the stands.

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