Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Driver Scores 14th Top-15 in 16th All-Star Appearance
Date: May 17, 2013
Event: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (non-points event)
Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Start/Finish: 15th/12th (Running, completed 90 of 90 laps)
Winner: Jamie McMurray of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (Chevrolet)
Tony Stewart had a relatively quiet night in the 30th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Saturday at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), started 15th and finished 12th in the annual non-points race featuring drivers who met one of the following criteria:
· Won a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in 2013 or 2014.
· Is a past All-Star Race winner.
· Is a Sprint Cup champion from the past 10 years.
· Won Friday night’s Sprint Showdown.
· Was the runner-up in the Sprint Showdown.
· Won the Sprint Fan Vote.
The 90-lap race around the 1.5-mile oval was broken up into five segments of 20 laps, 20 laps, 20 laps, 20 laps and 10 laps and featured a 22-driver field. Throughout the race, Stewart’s No. 14 Chevrolet battled a loose-handling condition.
“I never had the confidence to really hustle it because the back of the car never felt like it was planted into the racetrack,” said Stewart, who won the 2009 Sprint All-Star Race to record SHR’s first victory of any kind.
Even though the race didn’t produce the desired outcome, Stewart and crew chief Chad Johnston used the rest of the race as a test session as they tried to determine what ailed their racecar.
“Mechanically, I know we made the car tighter, but I just don’t think the car was any tighter aero-wise,” Stewart said. “We’ve got some work to do.”
The 12th-place finish was Stewart’s 14th top-15 result in 16 career All-Star Races.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet for SHR, finished second after leading once for five laps. It was Harvick’s third top-five in 14 career All-Star Races.
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet for SHR, finished 11th.
Jamie McMurray won the All-Star Race. It was his first victory in eight All-Star Races. Harvick finished .696 of a second behind McMurray in the runner-up spot, while Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Carl Edwards rounded out the top-five. Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Brian Vickers, Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski comprised the remainder of the top-10.
The Sprint Cup Series returns to points-paying racing on Sunday, May 25 with the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. The longest race on the Sprint Cup schedule gets underway at 6 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX beginning at 5:30 p.m.