Stewart-Haas Racing Driver/Owner Tony Stewart Enjoys Banner Day in Brickyard 400
Date: July 28, 2013
Event: 20th Annual Brickyard 400 (Round 20 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Location: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
Start/Finish: 5th/4th (Running, completed 160 of 160 laps)
Point Standing: 11th (558 points, 182 out of first; 1 behind 10th)
Winner: Ryan Newman of Stewart-Haas Racing (Chevrolet)
Tony Stewart the driver finished fourth in the 20th annual Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Tony Stewart the owner won.
Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, started fifth and finished fourth to earn his seventh top-five and 11th top-10 in 15 career Sprint Cup starts at Indianapolis. It was also his fifth top-five and seventh top-10 this season.
But crossing the stripe just a few cars ahead of Stewart was the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS piloted by teammate Ryan Newman, who finished first in the Brickyard 400 to secure the 19th point-paying Sprint Cup win for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) since the team’s inception in 2009. Stewart co-owns SHR with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas.
“Oh my God, what a dream. I’ve been waiting for the day we could get Ryan in victory lane at a big one like this. Man, it’s just awesome,” said Stewart, a two-time Brickyard 400 winner (2005 and 2007). “Ryan did an awesome job getting on the pole and an awesome job all day. He and Matt Borland (crew chief) and everyone on the Quicken Loans team executed perfectly. I’m proud of all of our guys because we had a solid day too. Our Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevy was quick. We had great Hendrick horsepower. You look up at the board there and see six cars in the top-seven that are Hendrick engines. That pretty much tells you where the power is.”
The 160-lap race around the 2.5-mile oval turned into a power grab, as the track’s 3,330-foot-long straightaways necessitated gobs of horsepower. Drivers with Hendrick engines had it, and it showed when the race ended, with the top-four finishers of Newman, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Stewart powered by Hendrick engines, while the horsepower house also built the engines for sixth-place Dale Earnhardt Jr., seventh-place Jeff Gordon and ninth-place Juan Pablo Montoya.
“We had really good power all day long, and there were a couple of scenarios in particular where I noticed how good it was,” Stewart said. “Mobil 1 is more than just a sponsor at Stewart-Haas Racing. They’re a technical partner and having them aligned with us is a real advantage. We saw it today. You’ve got to get down the straightaways here. You’re not going to pass somebody on the outside in the corners. You have to get off the corner and get down the straightaway. Mobil 1 is a big asset, and having Hendrick power under the hood is a big asset.”
Newman started the Brickyard 400 from the pole after a track-record qualifying lap on Saturday. He led four times for 48 laps en route to his first win of the season and his first at Indianapolis. He is the third driver to win the Brickyard 400 from the pole, joining Kevin Harvick (2003) and Johnson (2008). This was Newman’s 17th career Sprint Cup victory and his first since April 1, 2012 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 30th in her first Sprint Cup start at Indianapolis.
Johnson finished 2.657 seconds behind Newman in the runner-up spot, while Kahne, Stewart and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top-five. Earnhardt, Gordon, Joey Logano, Montoya and Kyle Busch comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were three caution periods for a total of 14 laps, with all 43 cars running at the finish of the 160-lap race.
With round 20 of 36 complete, Stewart continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He moved up two spots to 11th and has 558 points, 182 back of series leader Johnson and just one point behind 10th-place Gordon. By virtue of his victory, Newman gained three spots and sits 16th with 534 points, 206 out of first and 25 behind Gordon. Patrick gained one spot and sits 26th in the standings with 364 points, 376 behind Johnson and 195 away from 10th.
Six races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. In the event of multiple drivers having the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.
Stewart, Martin Truex Jr., and Newman are the only drivers between 11th and 20th in points with a victory. Since Stewart and Truex Jr. sit 11th and 12th, respectively, in the standings, they hold the first and second wild-card spots.
Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished five spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 25th.
The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the GoBowling.com 400 on Sunday, Aug. 4 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with its pre-race show at noon.