Tony Stewart News

Read what's happening with Tony Stewart and the Stewart-Haas Team.

Early Accident Hobbles Stewart at Homestead

After rising to 19th from his 36th-place starting spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Tony Stewart was on his way toward securing a solid finish in the 267-lap race around the 1.5-mile oval.

But when a multicar accident involving Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Casey Mears, Aric Almirola and Ty Dillon clogged up the backstretch on lap 47, Stewart’s No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS became collateral damage.

Qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season Finale

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway by setting the 13th-fastest lap in qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale on Sunday. Harvick turned a lap of 30.779 seconds at 175.444 mph on the 1.5-mile oval in the second round of knockout qualifying.

“I don’t know how much that had to do with being the very first car on the racetrack with no one in front of me. Nobody had been on the racetrack for that first run, but the balance was good. I didn’t have any issues,” said Harvick, the reigning Sprint Cup champion who earned the title by winning last year at Homestead. “Then on the second run as I was coming to green it was just extremely tight to the center of turns one and two. 

Let’s Do It Again

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Nov. 18, 2015) – Winning a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship is no small feat, let alone three. Being a three-time champion is an accomplishment only a handful of drivers have experienced, and Tony Stewart became the most recent Sprint Cup driver to have won three or more series titles when he hoisted the championship trophy in 2011, a triumph preceded by his first series championship in 2002 and then his second three years later in 2005. 

Stewart is four years removed from his last driving championship, but he’s only one year removed from being crowned a two-time championship-winning car owner, a title he earned courtesy of Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) driver Kevin Harvick winning the 2014 Sprint Cup championship. Having survived the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Harvick goes into this weekend’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway looking to do it all again. It’s an opportunity for Stewart and Harvick to win back-to-back series titles, something that hasn’t been done since car owner Rick Hendrick won consecutive championships with driver Jimmie Johnson from 2006 to 2010. 

Stewart Finishes 27th at Phoenix

When Sunday’s Race for Heroes 500k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was delayed six-and-a-half hours by rain, a long weekend at Phoenix International Raceway became that much longer for Tony Stewart.

Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), struggled with an ill-handling racecar throughout the Phoenix race weekend. It led to a 31st-place qualifying effort on Friday and a 27th-place finish in the race on Sunday.

Race for Heroes 500k Qualifying

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Friday at Phoenix International Raceway by setting the second-fastest lap in qualifying for the Race for Heroes 500k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday. Busch turned a lap of 25.196 seconds at 142.880 mph on the 1-mile oval in the final round of knockout qualifying.

“It’s great,” said Busch, who won at Phoenix in April 2005. “The Haas Automation Chevy has been fast since we got here. The way that this weekend is shaping up for us, it’s a great start. We know we need to win. The car, the crew and everybody we are all clicking on eight cylinders. We just didn’t quite get the pole, (Jimmie) Johnson put down an awesome lap, so congrats to him. We are outside pole and we will go from there.”

For Love of the Game

KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (Nov. 11, 2015) – “For Love Of The Game” is a novel turned motion picture that was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Shaara and actually published posthumously in 1991 after the writer’s son discovered the manuscript. The fictional tale tells the story of baseball great Billy Chapel, who’s nearing the end of his career and is in the midst of pitching a perfect game while contemplating a career-ending decision after learning of his impending trade to a different team.  

Having already decided that the 2016 season will be his last as a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, Tony Stewart is in no such quandary. For more than 35 years, it’s the love of his game that has fueled Stewart. And one of the venues at which that affection has been most palpable is Phoenix International Raceway, site of Sunday’s Race for Heroes 500k. 

Short Day for Stewart in Texas

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 42nd in the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. An early-race accident caused substantial damage to the No. 14 Chevy and forced the team to call it a day after just 52 laps of the 334-lap contest around the 1.5-mile oval. 

Stewart had just cracked the top-20 when the competition caution was displayed on lap 25. After reporting that he needed more rear grip, the team made a chassis adjustment, changed four tires and added fuel. Quick pit work placed the three-time Sprint Cup champion in 16th-place for the lap-29 restart.  

AAA Texas 500 Qualifying

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Friday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth by setting the second-fastest lap in qualifying for the AAA Texas 500  NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday. Harvick turned a lap of 27.552 seconds at 195.993 mph on the 1.5-mile oval in the final round of knockout qualifying.

“Our Budweiser/Jimmy John’s team did a great job in keeping up with the changes that we needed throughout the three rounds and we were able to keep it pretty consistent,” said Harvick, who has back-to-back runner-up finishes at Texas. “I got my entry a little bit screwed up into (turn) three that time and got it pointed the wrong direction in the middle of the corner and then I had to put a wheel in it and got it cocked sideways and scrubbed some speed. All-in-all just a continuous improvement throughout the rounds and wound up being pretty good.”  

Capital Gains

KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (Nov. 4, 2015) – Tony Stewart turned in a workmanlike performance last Sunday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, where he raced to a 10th-place finish after having to start at the rear of the 43-car field due to an accident in practice the day prior that sent him to his backup racecar. After the 500-lap race around the .526-mile oval, Stewart noted that he played a bigger role than just wheeling his No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS around in circles en route to his 300th career top-10 finish in 587 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts. 

“We did something in happy hour (final practice) with this second car that, to be honest, it was actually something I had a little input on,” said Stewart after the race. “I’m not very smart, and it wasn’t because of me, for sure, but it was Chad (Johnston, crew chief) and I and everybody working together and trying to find a solution that might fix our problem.”

Stewart Finishes 10th at Martinsville

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), scored a 10th-place finish in the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. It was his 300th top-10 finish in 587 career Sprint Cup races and his 17th top-10 in 33 career Sprint Cup starts at Martinsville.

“I’m happy with it,” said Stewart after scoring his best result since finishing ninth Aug. 2 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. “We’ve struggled the last three races we’ve run here. We did something in happy hour (final practice) with this second car that, to be honest, it was actually something I had a little input on. I’m not very smart, and it wasn’t because of me for sure, but it was Chad (Johnston, crew chief) and I and everybody working together and trying to find a solution that might fix our problem. We kind of made the change and stuck with it and knew that we weren’t exactly where we wanted to be in happy hour, but felt like in the race it was going to be better, and it was.”

Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 Qualifying

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Outback Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Friday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway by setting the 12th-fastest lap in qualifying for Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Harvick turned a lap of 19.452 seconds at 97.347 mph on the .526-mile oval in the final round of knockout qualifying.

“It was just too tight in round three,” said Harvick, who won at Martinsville in April 2011.  

Qualifying consisted of three rounds. The first was 20 minutes, with every driver on the track vying to set the fastest lap. The 24 fastest drivers from the first round advanced to the second, 10-minute round. The fastest 12 drivers from that session advanced to the final, five-minute round of qualifying where they battled for the pole. Positions 1-12 were set by speeds in the final round. Positions 13-24 were set by speeds in the second round. The remaining 43-car field was set by speeds posted by those who did not advance past the first round.

Making a Name for Himself

KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (Oct. 28, 2015) – When Tony Stewart arrived on the NASCAR scene, he was already an established champion with various open-wheel titles to his credit, including the 1997 IndyCar Series championship. So it surprised no one when he qualified on the outside pole for his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut – the 1999 Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. 

What he did just seven races later, however, raised more than a few eyebrows and played an important role in Stewart proving himself among the stock-car set. This weekend, Stewart returns to the scene of what turned out to be just the first of many show-stopping moments that have punctuated his 17-year Sprint Cup career.  

Stewart Finishes 25th at Talladega

It was a typical NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finish to Sunday’s CampingWorld.com500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway when the field wrecked as the leaders took the green flag for the final restart. Unfortunately, Tony Stewart found himself caught up in the melee.

 

Despite a sorely tattered No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, the Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) driver was able to complete the final two laps around the superspeedway to score a 25th-place finish.

 

“I think it’s what you expect when you come to these races anymore,” Stewart said of the incident that led to the race concluding under caution. “Obviously, it’s not the finish we wanted for our Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy.”

CampingWorld.com 500 Qualifying

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser /Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Saturday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway by setting the seventh-fastest lap in qualifying for Sunday’s CampingWorld.com 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Harvick turned a lap of 49.720 seconds at 192.599 mph on the 2.66-mile oval in the final round of knockout qualifying.

 

“That was by far the best qualifying effort we’ve had as a team at a superspeedway,” said Harvick, who won at Talladega in May of 2010. “And it’s not even close. These guys did a great job of preparing the Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet and I give all the credit to the guys preparing the cars for this weekend. They did a great job.”

A Gambling Man

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Oct. 20, 2015) – Know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em. That’s the counsel at the heart of Kenny Rogers’ 1980 Grammy Award-winning song “The Gambler.” It’s sage advice for anyone participating in a game of chance, and chance is something every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver is well acquainted with, especially when it comes to the kind of action they will see at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in Sunday’s CampingWorld.com 500. 

The stakes are always high at Talladega. The vast, 2.66-mile oval produces speeds so quick that NASCAR forces team to put restrictor-plates on its engine’s intake manifold, which keeps speeds just a tick below the 200 mph mark, slowing cars enough so that if they get sideways, they won’t carry enough speed to launch into the air as the car’s aerodynamics become reversed. Chevrolets, Fords and Toyotas weren’t made to go 200-plus mph, even when they have crazy paint schemes and numbers painted on their roofs. Formula One machines they aren’t, and in the name of safety, the restrictor-plate is rudimentary technology that keeps these rudimentary cars grounded… most of the time.

No Luck for Stewart in Hollywood Casino 400

With more than 200 laps still remaining in the Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Tony Stewart had plenty of promise ahead of him.

Stewart started 17th in the 43-car field and was running respectably among the top-20. His No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Arctic Cat Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) was decent, with Stewart saying it was just a little tight when around other cars and a little loose when on its own.

Hollywood Casino 400 Qualifying

 Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Friday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City by setting the fourth-fastest lap in qualifying for the Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday. Harvick turned a lap of 27.727 seconds at 194.756 mph on the 1.5-mile oval in the final round of knockout qualifying.

“The car was really driving very well, so the guys went through everything and did a great job of getting everything straightened out on our Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevy,” said Harvick, who rebounded from a 25th-place showing during practice earlier in the day. “That’s a win for us. We thought we were going to have to race our way from 25th, so to be fourth is a huge improvement.”  

The Bounty of October

KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (Oct. 14, 2015) – Tony Stewart is a racer’s racer. He has lived and breathed the game since he was a young boy growing up in Indiana racing go-karts at local tracks. 

While racing is his thing, he respects the talent and skill possessed by his peers who compete in traditional stick-and-ball sports. For those with an appreciation of all things sport, October is a cornucopia of competition from the gridiron to the racetrack. The NFL season is in full swing. Preseason NBA games are ready for tip-off. The first puck is dropped in hockey. Major League Baseball teams are battling it out for their respective pennants, angling for a spot in the World Series. And the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is on.

Stewart Finishes 26th at Charlotte

When the Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway was postponed from Saturday night to Sunday because of rain, Tony Stewart saw a silver lining. His No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) performed much better in the heat of the day than it did in the cool of night, and when Sunday yielded beautiful sunshine and temperatures in the low 70s, Stewart was optimistic heading into the 334-lap race around the 1.5-mile oval.

Despite starting 36th in the 43-car field, Stewart made steady progress. After 88 laps he had gained 10 positions despite a tight-handling racecar.

Bank of America 500 Qualifying

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 State Water Heaters Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Thursday at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway by setting the sixth-fastest lap in qualifying for the Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night. Busch turned a lap of 28.036 seconds at 192.610 mph on the 1.5-mile oval in the final round of knockout qualifying.

“That was a unique three rounds,” said Busch, who won the 2010 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. “We had some air pressure changes, some wedge changes – more than normal – and team communication was at an all-time high. I figured exactly what (Tony) Gibson (crew chief) was doing on the air pressure and I drove the car thinking that we had a shot at the pole, but I didn’t want to end up 12th, so I gave it a nice smooth lap. Here we are we are P6. I didn’t think a pole was obtainable and that should give us a good pit box selection.” 

On Your Mark

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Oct. 7, 2015) – It’s time to get ready. 

That was the message Tony Stewart communicated last week as part of his announcement that the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season would be his last as a series regular. And when the 2016 season does conclude – more than 365 days from now – it will bring to a close one of the most decorated NASCAR careers and one that is destined to be acknowledged for its first-ballot hall-of-fame record. 

While the pomp and circumstance that goes with a retirement tour has yet to commence, Stewart did make it clear that just because next season is his last does not mean he’s planning to ride it out. The three-time Sprint Cup champion will go into his final series campaign to win races and compete for a fourth title. 

Stewart Finishes 26th at Dover

 

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 26th in the AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

“We pretty much battled the same thing we have all year with our Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevy, but it feels like we’ve made gains,” said Stewart, a three-time Sprint Cup winner at Dover (June 2000, September 2000 and June 2013). “We’d take off tight, but if I was able to move around a little in traffic then it got nicer, but we just couldn’t get the car where we needed it. I do feel like we learned some things, though.”

Qualifying for the AAA 400

Rain canceled today’s qualifying session for the AAA 400 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. As a result, the 43-car field for Sunday’s 400-lap race around the 1-mile, concrete oval was set per the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rule book. 

Because teams did not practice Friday, the lineup has been determined by 2015 owners’ points. 

Been There, Done That, Got the Trophy

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Oct. 1, 2015) – Tony Stewart is no stranger to championship battles. In the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series alone, Stewart has won three driving titles – first in 2002 and then again in 2005 and 2011. And even though he’s out of the running to add a fourth Sprint Cup championship to his resume this season, the opportunity to add a third car owner championship is alive and well.

This weekend in the AAA 400 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Stewart the driver will pilot his No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). Meanwhile, Stewart the car owner will keep a close eye on the two SHR drivers heavily engaged in this year’s title fight. 

‘Smoke’ Signals Exit

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Sept. 30, 2015) – After 17 years competing at NASCAR’s highest level, Tony Stewart has decided his 18th year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be his last. The three-time series champion will retire following the 2016 season, whereupon Clint Bowyer will take the wheel of the No. 14 machine beginning in 2017.

Since 2009 Stewart has held the dual title of driver/owner at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). He co-owns the team with Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation, the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. Stewart will join Haas as a fulltime owner in 2017, with Bowyer being Stewart’s hand-picked successor to drive the No. 14 car.

Stewart Rallies to 11th at New Hampshire

Tony Stewart overcame a poor starting position and flat tires to finish 11th in the Sylvania 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

After starting 27th in the 43-car field, Stewart drove his No. 14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) up to 16th. But contact during some hard racing among a gaggle of cars after a lap-53 restart pushed the left-side fenders in on the tires of Stewart’s No. 14 machine.

Sylvania 300 Qualifying

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 ditech Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon by setting the second-fastest lap in qualifying for Sunday’s Sylvania 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Harvick turned a lap of 27.631 seconds at 137.845 mph on the 1.058-mile oval in the final qualifying round to earn his eighth front-row starting spot of the season.

“It’s been a good day for us. To have speed in our ditech Chevrolet and go out and back it up in qualifying was what we needed to do,” said Harvick, who won at New Hampshire in September 2006. “I felt like I probably left those few hundredths of a second just not being aggressive enough on the exit of turn two considering how good the car was off of turn four. It’s just hard to balance that here because if you push the car too much, you wind up giving up two or three tenths instead of two or three hundredths. It’s definitely a fine balance. Definitely could’ve been a little more aggressive in turn two.”

Driven

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Sept. 23, 2015) – Tony Stewart is no stranger to multitasking. Best known for his duties as a championship-winning driver, Stewart is also a championship-winning owner in both stock cars and sprint cars. On top of that, he is the owner and promoter of storied Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, as well as a national sprint car touring series – the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions. 

And those are just the highlights.

While Stewart keeps a watchful eye over his business interests, he is quick to give credit to the people he has tasked with managing those properties. It’s what allows him to focus on his primary task of competing in the elite NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. It’s something that qualifies him for yet another role – ambassador for the companies that adorn the hood of his racecar. 

Inopportune Caution Thwarts Stewart at Chicagoland

Tony Stewart had a solid run going for him in the MyAFibRisk.com 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. 

After starting 23rd, the driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) had methodically worked his way up to 15th place  by lap 100 of the 267-lap race. But an inopportune caution on lap 192 moments after a scheduled, green-flag pit stop upended Stewart’s race and left him 25th at the finish.

MyAFibRisk.com 400 Qualifying

Rain canceled Friday’s qualifying session for the MyAFibRisk.com 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. As a result, the 43-car field for Sunday’s 267-lap event around the 1.5-mile oval was set by taking the fastest lap each driver posted during Friday’s practice session, per the NASCAR rulebook.

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), posted the fastest time and will start first. Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet for SHR, will start ninth. Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for SHR, will start 23rd. Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 Aspen Dental Chevrolet SS for SHR, will start 25th.

Prepared To Steal the Show

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Sept. 16, 2015) – The field for the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is set, and the 16 drivers competing for this year’s championship will garner the bulk of the attention for the next 10 weeks. That’s not to say, however, that the drivers outside the Chase aren’t prepared to steal some of the spotlight.  

Tony Stewart is one such driver, and he’s no stranger to stealing the show despite being out of title contention. 

During the next 10 races, there is plenty of opportunity to make headlines. Recapturing the consistency that made him a three-time Sprint Cup champion and getting back to victory lane are at the top of the to-do list for the driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). Sunday’s MyAFibRisk.com 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois is the perfect place to start.

No Enrichment for Stewart in Richmond

A strong qualifying effort placed Tony Stewart 10th in the 43-car field for Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. But when the race was over and Stewart finished 29th, that strong qualifying effort seemed like a distant memory.

Just eight laps into the 400-lap race around the .75-mile oval, Stewart reported that his No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS was extremely tight into the center of the corner and loose off. By lap 30, the car’s ill-handling nature was so intense that Stewart called for “wholesale changes” to the chassis, saying it “plowed” through the corners.

Federated Auto Parts 400 Qualifying

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser “Make A Plan To Make It Home”/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Friday at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway by setting the sixth-fastest lap in qualifying for Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Harvick turned a lap of 21.463 seconds at 125.798 mph on the .75-mile oval.

“We were just loose from pretty much the drop of the green flag in the first run and just never really caught up with it as we got to the end,” said Harvick, who has three Sprint Cup wins at Richmond (September 2006, September 2011 and April 2013). “We made the Budweiser/Jimmy John’s better on exit, but never really got it all the way fixed or all the way through the corner.”

Win & In

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – The task for Tony Stewart Saturday night at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway is simple. Win and he’s in.

The Federated Auto Parts 400 is the last race of the regular season before the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins in earnest Sept. 20 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. Sixteen drivers will make the Chase, and four of those spots remain up for grabs at Richmond.

The 11 Sprint Cup drivers who have won at least one race this year are locked into the Chase. Jamie McMurray, currently 12th in the preliminary Chase standings, simply needs to start the Federated Auto Parts 400 to clinch his Chase berth. The remaining four spots are held by winless drivers who are the highest in points – Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon, Paul Menard and Clint Bowyer. But should someone new win Saturday night – someone like Stewart – one of those non-winners will be sent home.

Stewart Finishes 15th at Darlington

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 15th in the Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway for his 11th top-20 result in 2015. It was a vintage performance for Stewart, who led laps and raced in the top-10 for much of the 500-mile race before trouble on pit road proved to be too much to overcome.

“The Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy was solid for us tonight,” Stewart said. “I cost us some spots there with the speeding penalty, and then we were having problems on pit road . We just couldn’t put it all together to be able to stay up front.”

Southern 500 Qualifying

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Saturday at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway by setting the second-fastest lap in qualifying for Sunday’s Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Busch turned a lap of 27.691 seconds at 177.588 mph on the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval in the final qualifying round.

“Our first lap out was almost too fast,” said Busch, who has two top-five finishes in 18 career Sprint Cup starts at Darlington. “The second outing I got really sideways through (turns) three and four but the car was good enough to be able to make it back and still be in the top-five. To have a shot at the pole is all a guy can ask for and we almost had it with our special Haas Automation paint scheme, but an outside pole is great.”  

Rockin’ the Boat

KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (Sept. 2, 2015) – Great racecar drivers stand out, and more often than not, they’ve rocked the boat from time-to-time while climbing the racing ladder. Tony Stewart is no exception, and he’ll continue to rock the boat this weekend at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway during the 66th annual Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. 

As part of Darlington’s The Tradition Returns weekend, Stewart’s No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS is sporting a throwback paint scheme commemorating the original Tracker Boat from Bass Pro Shops – the Bass Tracker. Introduced in 1978, the Bass Tracker was the first boat, motor and trailer package designed specifically for anglers, and it has remained America’s No. 1 selling fishing boat for more than 36 years.

Stewart Battles to 19th at Bristol

The Irwin Tools Night Race Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway was a fast-paced affair, with only 13 drivers in the 43-car field finishing on the lead lap. 

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, had to fend off the leaders numerous times around the .533-mile oval in eastern Tennessee. He remained on the lead lap for nearly half of the 500-lap race before succumbing to the breakneck speed of the leaders.

Back On Track at Bristol

KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (Aug. 19, 2015) – For the most part, the 2015 season has served as a paradox to Tony Stewart’s decorated NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career that includes 48 wins and three championships. The tide has seemingly been turning in recent weeks as Stewart has found the speed that’s eluded him for much of the season, turning fast laps in practice and qualifying sessions while also enjoying a streak of improved on-track performance in race situations. 

Appropriately enough, the shift in Stewart’s 2015 campaign coincides with a trip to the track where Stewart has, in recent years, also experienced a bit of a renaissance – Bristol Motor Speedway. 

Stewart Finishes 21st at Michigan

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 21st in the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. A loose-handling racecar and a rapid race pace undermined what had been an otherwise promising weekend for the three-time Sprint Cup champion.

“We started out just way too loose,” said Stewart, winner of the June 2000 Sprint Cup race at Michigan. “We made some changes to the Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevy and were able to get the car pinned to the track, but we were already a lap down at that point. When we needed a caution, it just never fell our way.”

Pure Michigan 400 Qualifying

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Friday at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn by setting the fifth-fastest lap in qualifying for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Stewart turned a lap of 36.833 seconds at 195.477 mph on the 2-mile oval in the final qualifying round.

“These guys have just done an awesome job – it’s four weeks in a row now that we have qualified in the top five,” said Stewart, who won at Michigan in June 2000. “I’m really proud of that. I’m really proud of the Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops team here. We just have to figure out how to finish it off for the rest of the weekend like we have.”

Take Two

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Aug. 11, 2015) – More often than not, sequels rarely live up to the expectations set by their original. Devoid of imagination, follow-ups can be lackluster and generate a sensation of having “been there, done that.”

It’s a sentiment Tony Stewart aims to buck this weekend at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn where he will pilot the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. 

Stewart Sees Silver Lining at The Glen

After qualifying a season-best third for the Cheez-It 355k at The Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Watkins Glen International, Tony Stewart was poised to earn his second top-10 finish in as many races. But on lap 57 of the 90-lap race around the 2.45-mile, 11-turn road course in upstate New York, Stewart dropped out of the top-10 and onto the apron of the track. 

“We just broke,” said Stewart over the radio.

A failed seal in the rear-end assembly allowed all of the oil and grease to dump out, which caused the mechanicals to seize. A safety truck was able to push Stewart behind the wall and into his garage stall, whereupon crewmen went to work on Stewart’s signature No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS.

Cheez-It 355k at The Glen Qualifying

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Saturday at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International by setting the third-fastest lap in qualifying for Sunday’s Cheez-It 355k at The Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. 

Stewart turned a lap of 69.187 seconds at 127.481 mph around the 2.45-mile, 11-turn road course in the final qualifying round. It was his third straight top-five qualifying effort, as Stewart qualified fourth two races ago at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and fifth last week at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.

The Man at The Glen

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Historically, Tony Stewart has been so good at the relatively niche art of road racing that he might as well add a few umlauts to his name, at least for this weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series invades the 11-turn, 2.45-mile road course that is Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.

For years, road racing was considered a European hallmark, where Formula One reigns supreme and oval racetracks are vastly outnumbered by the twists and turns of the continent’s seemingly endless supply of road courses. Drivers with such names as Lewis, Jenson, Nigel, Mika, Sebastian, Kimi and Fernando are most often thought of as the premiere road-course talent.

But here in the good, ol’ U.S. of A, it’s a guy named Tony that leads the pack at the tracks with both left and right turns, as Stewart’s five Sprint Cup wins at The Glen attest.

Stewart Scores Top-10 at Pocono

Progress is what Tony Stewart has sought during this NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, and that’s exactly what he found Sunday in the Windows 10 400 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) finished ninth despite running out of gas on the final lap of the 160-lap race. It was Stewart’s 23rd top-10 in 34 career Sprint Cup starts at the 2.5-mile triangle and his second top-10 of 2015. 

“We struggled the first part of the race with our Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, but we got better the last third (of the race),” said Stewart, a two-time Sprint Cup winner at Pocono. “I felt really good about the car at the end of the race, and that’s been our weakness all year. 

Windows 10 400 Qualifying

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Friday at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway by setting the second-fastest lap in qualifying for Sunday’s Windows 10 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Harvick turned a lap of 50.514 seconds at 178.168 mph on the 2.5-mile triangle in the final qualifying round.

“Just really proud of everybody on our Jimmy John’s/Budweiser team for running our fastest lap in the last session,” said Harvick, who has seven top-five finishes in 29 starts at Pocono. “A lot of that lies on me for putting the lap together – something I hadn’t done over the last couple of months. I feel like we all did a good job there and made some good adjustments. I feel like I probably gave up a little bit in turn one. I got a little bit tight in the center of that corner, but all-in-all it was a good lap and I’m glad we ran our fastest speed in the last round. That is what you have to do.”

One-of-a-Kind Driver, One-of-a-Kind Track

KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (July 29, 2015) – Tony Stewart knows what it’s like to stand out in a crowd. With a racing career that started at age seven, he’s been standing out for the majority of his 37-year racing career. 

Stewart’s versatility and the diversity of his resume have established him as a champion many times over, from the rough-and-tumble open-wheel ranks of USAC to the wheeled bullets of IndyCar to the steel chariots of NASCAR.

Strong Start for Stewart at Brickyard

The 22nd annual Jeff Kyle Brickyard 400 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway started strong for native son Tony Stewart, and it stayed strong for much of the 164-lap race around the 2.5-mile oval. But after qualifying fourth on Saturday and running as high as second in the race on Sunday, a bid to stay out on race-worn tires with less than 40 laps remaining upended Stewart’s strategy and left him with a 28th-place finish.

It was a bitter outcome on what was shaping up to be a welcome homecoming for Stewart, who grew up 45 minutes away from the track in the towns of Columbus and Rushville, Indiana.

Qualifying for the 22nd Annual Jeff Kyle Brickyard 400

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway by setting the fourth-fastest lap in qualifying for Sunday’s 22nd annual Jeff Kyle Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Stewart turned a lap of 49.228 seconds at 182.823 mph on the 2.5-mile oval in the final round of qualifying to earn his best starting spot this season.

“I’m excited about being in the top two rows for Sunday,” said Stewart, a two-time Brickyard 400 winner (2005 and 2007) and former Brickyard 400 pole winner (2002) who hails from nearby Columbus, Indiana. “It’s the way you want to start the weekend, for sure. To have two good runs in qualifying and get a decent starting spot – that’s definitely what we were looking for today." 

Hoosier Returns to Home Track

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 21, 2015) – Many years have passed since Tony Stewart was a youngster growing up in Indiana, working his way up auto racing’s hierarchical ladder and dreaming of the day he would race across the famed yard of bricks that make up the start-finish line at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

More than 30 years later, it’s a dream that has been realized many times over – first in 1996 as an IndyCar Series rookie competing in the Indianapolis 500, then as a NASCAR superstar celebrating Brickyard 400 wins in 2005 and 2007. Stewart’s Indianapolis exploits helped make him a racing champion and played a large part transforming him into a household name. 

Stewart Grinds Out Top-20 at New Hampshire

Tony Stewart put forth a workmanlike performance Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon to finish 20th in the New Hampshire 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

Stewart started the 301-lap race around the 1.058-mile oval from 25th in the 43-car field. His No. 14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS was good off the track’s long, flat corners, but it struggled through the center of the corners. 

New Hampshire 301 Qualifying

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon by setting the sixth-fastest lap in qualifying for Sunday’s New Hampshire 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Busch turned a lap of 28.298 seconds at 134.596 mph on the 1.058-mile oval in the final qualifying round.

“It was a good qualifying session. We advanced to each of the rounds and to make adjustments, we did exactly what we needed to do,” said Busch, who is a three-time Sprint Cup winner at New Hampshire (July 2004, September 2004 and June 2008). “That last run, we had the Haas Automation Chevrolet right on the edge with the front tires and the rear tires. I’d hoped to pick up a little bit on that second lap, but we lost six-hundredths of a second. If we could’ve gained those six hundredths, we’d be starting fourth. It’s tight.”

It’s Good To Be Good

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 13, 2015) – Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), knows all too well the importance of luck in racing. He has seen his luck turn seemingly sure things into misfortune and promise into vindication. After 17 years in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Stewart has seen it all.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon has placed Stewart at both ends of luck’s spectrum – from losing a race in September 2010 that he had thoroughly dominated until his fuel cell ran dry on the final lap, to winning the very same race a year later by leading the final two laps after the previous leader ran out fuel. These two examples give credence to the notion that sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

No Turn Was No Go for Stewart Saturday Night

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 33rd in the Kentucky 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. A tight-handling racecar that would not turn in the corners proved to be more than the three-time Sprint Cup Series champion could overcome.

The Kentucky 400 served as the debut for an updated rules package which reduced aerodynamic downforce. However, a planned open test session on Wednesday was scuttled by rain and postponed to Thursday only for rain to cancel it again. That left teams with just a pair of practice sessions on Friday to acclimate themselves to the new package, which consisted of a 3.5-inch rear spoiler, a 25-inch radiator pan and a splitter overhang 1.75 inches less than before.      

Qualifying for the Kentucky 400

Rain canceled Friday’s qualifying session for the Kentucky 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. As a result, the 43-car field for Saturday night’s 267-lap event around the 1.5-mile oval was set by taking the fastest lap each driver posted during Friday’s practice session, per the NASCAR rulebook. 

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), will start 13th. Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for SHR, will start 15thTony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers Chevrolet SS for SHR, will start 22nd. Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, will start 23rd

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 7, 2015) – Northern Kentucky is, in all likelihood, not the setting William Shakespeare had in mind when penning his classic, “Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Intent aside, this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta is replete with Shakespearean implications.  

At the heart of the wildly popular “Midsummer Night’s Dream” is the illusion of a dualistic world, which has served a healthy dose of frustration for those attempting to analyze the meaning behind Shakespeare’s words. 

Plan Almost Comes Together for Stewart at Daytona

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Ducks Unlimited Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 14th in the rain-delayed Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday night at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

Persistent showers dampened the 2.5-mile superspeedway, pushing the race into the night by more than three hours. When the race finally did start at almost midnight, Stewart and Co. took a conservative approach to the annual Fourth of July contest.

Qualifying for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola

Rain canceled Saturday’s qualifying session for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. As a result, the 43-car field for Sunday’s 160-lap event around the 2.5-mile oval was set by taking the fastest lap each driver posted during Friday’s first practice session, per the NASCAR rulebook.

Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), will start 28th. Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet for SHR, will start 29th. Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Ducks Unlimited Chevrolet SS for SHR, will start 32nd. Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, will start 35th.

Like a Duck to Water

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 1, 2015) – There may be no place on Earth where Tony Stewart is more comfortable than behind the wheel of a racecar. Racing is the thing he’s been doing quite well since he was seven years old. And though Stewart cut his teeth on the open-wheel tracks which hosted sprint cars and midgets, it’s the massive tracks dotting the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series calendar that have helped make Stewart a household name that transcends motorsports.

A 48-time race winner in NASCAR’s premiere division, Stewart has won at every type of track the Sprint Cup Series visits. And it’s on some of motorsports’ most renowned stages where Stewart’s star has shown brightest, perhaps no more so than Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, site of Sunday night’s Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola.

Stewart Earns 12th in Sonoma

Tony Stewart showed strength Sunday at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, wheeling his No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS from his seventh-place starting spot to as high as second in the Save Mart 350k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race before ultimately finishing 12th. 

Stewart and crew chief Chad Johnston went into the 110-lap race around the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course with a deliberate, two-stop strategy which nearly delivered a top-five finish.

Save Mart 350k Qualifying

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Saturday at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway by setting the second-fastest lap in qualifying for Sunday’s Save Mart 350k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Busch turned a lap of 74.551 seconds at 96.095 mph around the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course in the final qualifying round.

“It’s a nice package that (crew chief) Tony Gibson gave me, and all the guys back at the shop,” said Busch, who won at Sonoma in 2011. “Thanks to them for building this special car for a road-course race. There was a little apprehension coming in because we didn’t have testing sessions or any kind of shakedown sessions. And so, to be outside pole with the Haas Automation Chevy, that’s awesome. That’s what we wanted. And now we’ve got all kinds of strategy plays to figure out to get into race mode. So, we did our job. We’re on the front row.”

A Solstice

KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (June 24, 2015) – The start of NASCAR’s “Summer Swing” has always coincided with the first race following the annual Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway during Memorial Day weekend. The actual start of summer occurs sometime later and is more commonly referenced to as the Summer Solstice. A solstice is an astronomical event that occurs twice a year when the sun reaches its highest and lowest points. With the solstice serving as the first day of summer, the season officially commenced June 21. 

For Tony Stewart, summertime has historically equated to summer fun with 23 of his 48 career Sprint Cup wins having been scored in June, July and August. That’s seven wins in June, nine in July and seven in August. Driving the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, Stewart goes into the 16th point-paying race of the year aiming to sync the seasonal transition with the evolution of his 2015 season. 

Rain Reigns at Michigan

For the second straight week it was a matter of what you see isn’t necessarily what you get for Tony Stewart.

Despite racing his way into the top-10, the driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) had to settle for a 28th-place finish in the Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn on Sunday when NASCAR was forced to call the event after just 138 laps due to persistent rain that stopped the race on three separate occasions.

Drivers took the green flag under threatening skies and made it to lap 11 before caution was displayed for the first rain shower of the afternoon. After dropping back a handful of spots at the start due to a loose-handling racecar, Stewart made some adjustments to the Chevy’s track bar and reported to the team that the car’s handling had finally started coming to him right before the caution.

Michigan 400 Qualifying

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Friday at Michigan International Speedway by setting the second-fastest lap in qualifying for Sunday’s Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Harvick turned a lap of 35.712 seconds at 201.613 mph on the 2-mile oval in the final qualifying round.

“I don’t know that I got everything out of it, but all the rounds were within seven-hundredths of each other,” said Harvick, who won at Michigan in August 2010. “The guys were doing a great job and Kasey (Kahne, pole winner) just got a little bit better lap there than we did.”

Go Fish

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (June 10, 2015) – Go Fish. It’s a classic childhood card game requiring its participants to collect as many piles of cards as possible to determine a winner. 

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), prefers the more literal sense of the phrase “go fish”. Together with Bass Pro Shops, America’s most popular outdoor retailer, Stewart is encouraging fans to go fish as he readies for this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

Stewart Finishes 21st at Pocono

Looks can be deceiving, and that certainly was the case for Tony Stewart in the Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.

A 21st-place finish masked the actual performance of Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). He raced as high as fourth, but an ill-timed caution thwarted his effort.

“I put us in a hole to start the weekend,” said Stewart, referring to his crash on Friday in practice that forced him to a backup racecar. “This whole Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops team dug in, worked hard all weekend and never gave up. I’m really proud of everybody and hate the finish doesn’t reflect that effort.”

Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 Qualifying

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Friday at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway by winning the pole for the Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday. It was the 26th Sprint Cup pole for SHR since its inception in 2009 and the organization’s fourth this season. 

Busch turned a lap of 50.676 seconds at 177.599 mph in the third and final round of knockout qualifying on the 2.5-mile triangle to score his 19th career Sprint Cup pole, his second at Pocono and his third of the season – matching the second-highest pole total of his career. He had three poles in 2011 and his highest season total was six in 2006. 

The Yin to His Yang

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Success breeds nepotism. It’s one of the reasons favorite racetracks garner all of the attention. 

For example, Tony Stewart scored his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway during his rookie season in 1999. It’s a victory that preceded two additional Richmond wins, both during the track’s fall races in 2001 and 2002. As such, it’s been well documented that, as far as beloved racetracks go, Richmond tops the list for Stewart. 

Favorite racetracks always make for a good story – much more so than perhaps a racetrack to which a driver is just plain well-suited. Without much rhyme or reason, some drivers and tracks work well, going together like peas and carrots, fric and frac or yin and yang. It just works.

Stewart 16th at Dover

While it wasn’t the result Tony Stewart was looking for, his 16th-place finish in the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway was hard-earned.

Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), started 26th in the 43-car field and dealt with a tight-handling racecar throughout the 405-lap race around the 1-mile, concrete oval. At one point, Stewart was three laps down, but he rallied and earned one of his laps back before finishing 16th.

“That’s the hardest I’ve had to work for a 16th-place finish,” said Stewart upon climbing from his car on pit road.

Qualifying for the FedEx 400 Benefitting Autism Speaks

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 ditech Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Friday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway by setting the sixth-fastest lap in qualifying for the FedEx 400 Benefitting Autism Speaks NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday. Harvick turned a lap of 22.571 seconds at 159.497 mph on the 1-mile, concrete-oval in the final qualifying round.

“It’s always good to qualify well at Dover,” said Harvick, who has three top-fives and 12 top-10s in 28 career Sprint Cup starts at Dover. “We felt like we needed a little bit of speed in practice. We definitely just kind of rolled the dice there in qualifying. It was probably a little bit better than it would’ve been, so I think it was a step in the right direction for our ditech Chevrolet.” 

A Monster of a Drive

KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (May 27, 2015) – When Tony Stewart arrived at Dover (Del.) International Speedway in the spring of 2000 as a sophomore driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, he was 10th in the championship point standings with three top-fives and seven top-10s in 12 races. He had led a total of 71 laps, and 69 of them had come two races prior at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. His best finish was a second-place effort in the third race of the season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. 

Stewart was close to catching fire, but he needed a spark. Enter the Monster Mile.

The 1-mile, concrete oval known for chewing up and spitting out even the most seasoned of Sprint Cup drivers was thoroughly tamed by Stewart. He led 242 of the 400 laps, the most of any driver, to become the 12th different winner of the 2000 season. It was a monster of a drive that kicked Stewart’s season into gear, initiating a nine-race stretch that brought two more wins and seven top-10s.

Stewart 21st in Coca-Cola 600

At 600 miles in length, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway is the longest race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. 

Tony Stewart persevered throughout the 400-lap contest around the 1.5-mile oval on Sunday, wheeling his No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) to a 21st-place finish.

Stewart started 12th in the late-afternoon sun and in the four hours and three minutes that followed, he manhandled his Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 machine as it struggled to cut through the center of the track’s 24-degree banked corners.

Coca-Cola 600 Qualifying

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Thursday at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway by setting the eighth-fastest lap in qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday night. Harvick turned a lap of 28.232 seconds at 191.272 mph on the 1.5-mile oval in the final round of knockout qualifying.

“We were just too tight,” said Harvick, a two-time winner of the Coca-Cola 600. “The Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet team worked really hard all day and that gives us a decent starting position for Sunday. It’s a long race and we’ll have to keep up with our adjustments to stay up front all race long.”  

The ‘Won’ That Got Away

KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (May 20, 2015) – As a 48-time race winner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, there isn’t much that Tony Stewart hasn’t accomplished in NASCAR’s premiere division. 

He has a trio of Sprint Cup championships in addition to the title of championship-winning car owner – a feat he has accomplished twice, first with his own championship in 2011 and then in 2014 with the title earned by Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) driver Kevin Harvick. And when it comes to winning, Stewart has done so at all but two of the venues the Sprint Cup Series visits – Kentucky Speedway in Sparta and Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

Filling out an already robust resume in what is destined to be a Hall-of-Fame career requires a bit of rapaciousness. Fortunately, an insatiable appetite for competition is what has fueled Stewart throughout his 17 years competing at NASCAR’s elite level. 

Stewart Finishes 19th in Sprint All-Star Race

Tony Stewart had a relatively quiet night in the 31st running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Saturday at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Arctic Cat Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), started 15th and finished 19th in the annual non-points race featuring drivers who met one of the following criteria:

·      Won a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in 2014 or 2015.

·      Is a past All-Star Race winner who is a full-time Sprint Cup competitor.

·      Is a Sprint Cup champion who is a full-time Sprint Cup competitor.

·      Won the first segment of Friday night’s Sprint Showdown.

·      Won the second segment of Friday night’s Sprint Showdown.

·      Won the Sprint Fan Vote.

Pick Six

KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (May 13, 2015) – Believe it or not, Tony Stewart’s first win as a driver/owner with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) came six years ago in the 2009 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. 

Stewart didn’t lead the most laps in that memorable first victory for SHR, but he led the most important ones. Stewart paced the final two circuits around the 1.5-mile oval after overtaking Matt Kenseth for the lead on lap 98 of the 100-lap event. Stewart’s margin of victory over the 2003 Sprint Cup champion was .971 of a second.

Stewart Can’t Catch a Break in Kansas

With a 39th-place finish Saturday night in the rain-delayed SpongeBob SquarePants 400 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Tony Stewart endured another tough outing in what has been a tough start to his 17th season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. 

Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was caught up in accident on lap 130 of the 267-lap race when he slowed to avoid the spinning car of Matt Kenseth. Rookie Brett Moffitt ran into the back of Stewart’s No. 14 machine, shoving the Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy against the backstretch wall.

Qualifying for the SpongeBob SquarePants 400

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Friday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City by setting the sixth-fastest lap in qualifying for the SpongeBob SquarePants 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night. Harvick turned a lap of 28.228 seconds at 191.299 mph on the 1.5-mile oval in the final round of knockout qualifying.

“The Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet was good all day, but it just got a little too tight there in the final round of qualifying,” said Harvick, who won at Kansas in October 2013 from the pole.  

A Shift

KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina, (May 6, 2015) – Since being added to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule in 2001, Kansas Speedway in Kansas City has been a welcome stop for Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). In addition to his two wins at the 1.5-mile oval in 2006 and 2009, Stewart owns six top-five and nine top-10 finishes, has led 152 laps, and completed all but 45 of the laps that have been available to him in his 17 career starts at the track for a lap completion rate of 99 percent.

To Stewart, however, it’s all irrelevant. That was then. This is now. And for now, the three-time Sprint Cup champion simply wants this weekend’s SpongeBob SquarePants 400 to be the turning point in his 2015 Sprint Cup campaign. 

Stewart Finishes 19th at Talladega

 Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 19th in the Geico 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. Despite leading twice for six laps, Stewart couldn’t muster any support to secure a second drafting lane in the race’s final laps to earn a shot at contending for the win.

 “I really don’t know why no one would try to go with us there at the end,” said Stewart, who earned a Sprint Cup win at Talladega in October 2008. “It baffled me. Our Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevy was really good, and I think we could’ve made it interesting if we got back to the front, but there’s only so much you can do by yourself at these races.”

Qualifying for the Geico 500

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Saturday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway by setting the sixth-fastest lap in qualifying for the Geico 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday. Stewart turned a lap of 49.509 seconds at 193.419 mph on the 2.66-mile oval in the final round of knockout qualifying.

“I’m proud of Chad (Johnston, crew chief) and really proud of our guys in our fab shop,” said Stewart, who won at Talladega in October of 2008. “You kind of wish – this is the event where you wish those guys could all be here because it really shows the fruit of their labor more than it does what we do here at the track. The work that takes place before you get to the shop shows up when you get here.” 

Camouflage

KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina, (April 29, 2015) – Tony Stewart has never shrunk from the spotlight. Fame is just one of those things that goes hand-in-hand with success – something all too familiar for the drivers who have made it to the elite NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. And a driver’s desire for success – leading laps, winning races, chasing championships – is an intrinsic trait that bears no guise. 

On occasion, however, some may elect to skirt the attention that success breeds. Even a three-time Sprint Cup champion like Stewart can, at times, be found attempting to blend in rather than stand out. 

In a word, it’s about camouflage. And it can be a necessary technique for navigating the pitfalls that exist when drivers operate within inches of each other as part of a 200 mph freight train – the very type of racing that will unfold during the Geico 500 Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. 

Potential Top-10 Derailed in Richmond

Coming off a sixth-place finish last week at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Tony Stewart was poised to earn his second straight top-10 finish in the rain-postponed NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.

Instead, after positioning his No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS in and around the top-10 for all but the last 40 laps of the 400-lap contest around the .75-mile oval, Stewart was left with a disappointing 41st-place finish after tangling with Dale Earnhardt Jr. on lap 360. 

Qualifying for the Richmond 400

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Friday at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway by setting the third-fastest lap in qualifying for the Richmond 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night. Busch turned a lap of 21.326 seconds at 126.606 mph on the .75-mile oval in the final round of knockout qualifying.

“I think we surprised ourselves a little bit, which is a nice gift,” said Busch, who won at Richmond in September 2005. “The Haas Automation Chevy was on the tight side all three runs. Heck, I ran an extra lap, which was a fourth lap, and that was our 12th timed lap in qualifying here at Richmond. It got us all the way to third. So, a nice pleasant surprise. We need to work on the front to gain grip in race trim as well and go from there. All in all, I’m really pleased with this Friday practice and qualifying.”

Where It All Began

KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (April 22, 2015) – Finding success in the ultra-competitive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is hard. Sustaining success is even harder, but it’s something Tony Stewart has done since his rookie year in 1999. For 17 years Stewart has been a fixture in Sprint Cup, amassing three championships, 48 point-paying wins, 182 top-fives and 298 top-10s with 12,767 laps led spread out among 562 starts.

In his rookie season, Stewart quickly advanced from young up-and-comer to NASCAR superstar. It began with a pole in just his eighth career Sprint Cup start in April at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. It grew with a win in the non-points Winston Open in May at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. A near-win in July at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, where Stewart led 118 of 300 laps before a thirsty fuel cell left him 10th, let everyone know that a trip to victory lane in a point-paying race was only a matter of time.

Stewart Snares Sixth at Bristol

The tenaciousness that earned Tony Stewart three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships and 48 career victories was on display Sunday night at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. 

Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished a strong sixth in the rain-delayed Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up To Cancer. It was Stewart’s best finish this season and his 10th top-10 in 31 career Sprint Cup starts at Bristol.

“It was a decent run for us,” Stewart said. “I’m proud of Chad (Johnston, crew chief) and all these guys. We have just been battling and battling. Really proud of them.”

Qualifying for the Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up To Cancer

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Friday at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway by setting the fourth-fastest lap in qualifying for the Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up To Cancer NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday. Harvick turned a lap of 14.966 seconds at 128.211 mph on the .533-mile oval in the final round of knockout qualifying.

“We just got really loose on entry into the corner,” said Harvick, who won at Bristol in March 2005. “We carried that through all three sessions. It was just kind of really had to guard against it all three runs. All in all, the Jimmy John’s/Budweiser team did a great job and it’s still a solid starting spot. We have a lot to work on, but a good starting spot for us.”

More Feast, Less Famine

KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (April 15, 2015) – In his 30 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Bristol Motor Speedway dating back to 1999, Tony Stewart has endured a feast-or-famine existence at the half-mile, high-banked oval in eastern Tennessee. 

The feasting has come in the form of a pole, a win, four top-threes, seven top-fives, nine top-10s and a total of 1,355 laps led. The famine has been nine finishes outside the top-25, oftentimes after a dominant run was derailed.

With the aptly-named Food City 500 next up for Stewart and his No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, he’s looking to restock the cupboards.

Stewart Finishes 24th at Texas

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil Delvac 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 24th in the Duck Commander 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

Stewart appeared poised for a solid run early in the 334-lap race around the 1.5-mile oval, working his way up to eighth from his 11th-place starting spot within the first 15 laps. A lack of forward drive was the only issue reported by the three-time Sprint Cup champion during the early stages of the race, and he was running lap times comparable to his nearest competitors.

Stewart-Haas Racing - 2015 Texas I Qualifying

Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) drivers Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick qualified 1-2 for Saturday night’s Duck Commander 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. It marked the third time SHR drivers swept the front row for a Sprint Cup race. The last time SHR drivers qualified 1-2 was just two races ago when Busch and Harvick took the front row at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California last month. 

Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet for SHR, turned a lap of 27.857 seconds at 193.847 mph on the 1.5-mile oval in the final round of knockout qualifying. It was his 18th career Sprint Cup pole, his second of the season and his first at Texas. It was also the 25th Sprint Cup pole for SHR since its inception in 2009 and the organization’s third of the season. Busch won the pole award at Fontana and Harvick won the pole at Phoenix International Raceway.  

Grip It and Rip It

KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (April 8, 2015) – Tony Stewart has spent the majority of his life behind the wheel of a racecar and has competed in racing’s biggest and most prestigious events, from the Copper World Classic to the Indianapolis 500 to the Daytona 500. Having performed in such storied races, Stewart can appreciate the task at hand for the athletes this weekend who will vie for one of the most prestigious titles in all of sports – Masters Champion. 

Golf’s elite take to the lush greens of Augusta (Ga.) National Golf Club where they will demonstrate precision, strength and mental dexterity – qualities shared by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers such as Stewart, who will compete nearly a thousand miles to the west at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. While Stewart’s irons consist of the parts and pieces that make up his No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil Delvac 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), he’ll still employ the grip-it-and-rip-it methodology of his golfing counterparts who carry their irons in a bag.

The Best Laid Plans…

Tony Stewart hovered in and around the top-10 throughout much of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. But when a late-race bid for track position didn’t work out as planned, Stewart finished 20th.

The result was not indicative of the effort. Stewart qualified sixth on Friday in his No. 14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), and then Saturday saw two solid practice sessions that had Stewart and his racecar dialed in for 500 laps around Martinsville’s .526-mile oval on Sunday.

Martinsville 500 Qualifying

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Friday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway by setting the sixth-fastest lap in qualifying for Sunday’s Martinsville 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Stewart turned a lap of 19.428 seconds at 97.468 mph on the .526-mile oval in the final round of knockout qualifying.

“We’ve got a great start to the weekend here,” said Stewart, a three-time Sprint Cup winner at Martinsville (October 2000, April 2006 and October 2011). “This place is so tough, and qualifying is half the battle here. If you can just get a good pit spot and get a decent starting spot to where you don’t have to beat the car up trying to get to the front, that’s half the battle. Our Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevy is in a good spot for Sunday.”

A Call To Action

KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (March 25, 2015) – Tony Stewart’s love of competition is in a league all its own. It’s what drove him to strap into a go-kart as a seven-year-old and it has continued to fuel his racing career in the decades following. 

Matching Stewart’s passion for sport is his commitment to giving back. Through the Tony Stewart Foundation, the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion has spearheaded various projects and events to raise money for and bring awareness to causes ranging from childhood disease to animal welfare. It’s the latter of those interests that led to a partnership with Code 3 Associates, with Stewart carrying its colors on his No. 14 Chevrolet SS this weekend at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. 

Statement from Tony Stewart on the Passing of Earl Baltes

ROSSBURG, Ohio (March 23, 2015) – Earl Baltes, the racing pioneer who founded Eldora Speedway in 1954, passed away early this morning. The 93-year-old visionary sold the iconic, half-mile dirt oval to Tony Stewart in November 2004 after making the track a premiere destination for racers and fans alike. The following is a statement from Stewart.

“Earl Baltes was the yardstick other track promoters measured themselves by. He constantly raised the bar, and he did it by creating events everyone else was afraid to promote. He did them himself, too. Not as a fair board, or a public company, or with major sponsors or millions of dollars in TV money. He put it all on the line with the support of his family. He and his wife, Berneice, created a happening at Eldora. They turned Eldora into more than just a racetrack. They made it a place to be. They were integral to the evolution of dirt-track racing and the sport as a whole. Earl will be missed, but he won’t ever be forgotten because of his devotion to auto racing.”

-TSC-

Keep On Truckin’

Tony Stewart drove his No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS to a solid 14th-place finish in the Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. The effort was Stewart’s best of the season, but it didn’t come easy.

A skirmish with the No. 78 Chevrolet of Martin Truex Jr., on lap 163 punched a hole in the nose of Stewart’s machine. Truex, unhappy with another competitor, drove across three lanes on the backstretch of the wide, 2-mile oval and in doing so, cut across the front end of Stewart’s Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevy. This damaged the rear of Truex’s bumper, but the impact to Stewart’s car was far greater. The hole drastically affected the car’s aerodynamics, and it couldn’t be fixed until a prolonged pit stop while under caution on lap 186. That dropped Stewart from 13th to 20th when the race restarted on lap 190.

Auto Club 400 Qualifying

Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) drivers Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick qualified 1-2 for Sunday’s Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. It marked the second time SHR drivers swept the front row for a Sprint Cup race. The last time SHR drivers qualified 1-2 was July 15, 2011 when Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart took the front row at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, turned a lap of 38.889 seconds at 185.142 mph on the 2-mile oval in the final round of knockout qualifying. It was his 17th career Sprint Cup pole, his first of the season and his series-best fourth at Fontana. It was also the 24th Sprint Cup pole for SHR since its inception in 2009 and the organization’s second this season. Harvick won the pole last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway.

Keep On Truckin’

KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (March 17, 2015) – Now in his 17th year as a driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Tony Stewart has learned a thing or two about navigating the series’ marathon-like schedule.

Thirty-six point-paying events lasting two to three days at 23 venues across the United States are packed into a 10-month span beginning in mid-February and carrying through the penultimate weekend of November. It’s a challenge that has yielded only seven different Sprint Cup champions in the last 14 years when the schedule expanded to its current 36-race slate in 2001. 

Phoenix Offers No Solace for Stewart

Tony Stewart’s subpar start to the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season continued Sunday in the CampingWorld.com 500k at Phoenix International Raceway.

After driving his No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS into the top-10 from his 17th-place starting spot, two separate accidents conspired to leave Stewart 39th when the checkered flag dropped.

It all came undone on lap 237 when Stewart was in 13th place after a round of pit stops jumbled the running order. Making his way back toward the top-10, Stewart was racing Justin Allgaier in turns three and four when the two made contact. 

CampingWorld.com 500k Qualifying

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Friday at Phoenix International Raceway by winning the pole for the CampingWorld.com 500k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday. It was the 23rd Sprint Cup pole for SHR since its inception in 2009 and the organization’s first this season.

Harvick turned a lap of 25.577 seconds at 140.751 mph in the third and final round of knockout qualifying on the 1-mile oval to score his 15th career Sprint Cup pole, his first of the season and his first in 25 races at Phoenix. Harvick won a series-leading eight poles last season on his way to the 2014 Sprint Cup championship.

Rise Like The Phoenix

KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (March 10, 2015) – When Tony Stewart first turned a lap at Phoenix International Raceway back in 1993, it was love at first sight for the driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS.

The setting was the famed Copper World Classic where a 21-year-old Stewart was competing in the season-opening USAC Silver Crown race. Stewart qualified second to Davey Hamilton – a former IndyCar veteran – and led 31 of the 50 laps before finishing second to Mike Bliss – the 2003 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion. The $3,500 payday for his second-place effort made eight-hour days at $5 an hour in the cold confines of the machine shop where Stewart worked in Columbus, Indiana, seem unnecessary. Packing the rest of the 1993 season with Silver Crown, Sprint and Midget races across the nation, Stewart’s quick ascent up the racing ladder began.

Snake Eyes for Stewart at Las Vegas

Like many who come to Las Vegas, Tony Stewart arrived optimistic. Count Stewart among the many who leave Las Vegas disappointed.

In his 17th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Stewart struggled with an ill-handling racecar in the Kobalt 400. When the checkered flag dropped, Stewart was 33rd. Adding insult to injury was a NASCAR pit road penalty that went against Stewart and the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops team during a caution period on lap 84.

Kobalt 400 Qualifying

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway by setting the 12th-fastest lap in qualifying for Sunday’s Kobalt 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Stewart turned a lap of 28.083 seconds at 192.287 mph on the 1.5-mile oval in the final qualifying round.

“It got a little two tight in (turns) three and four that last run,” said Stewart, who won at Las Vegas in 2012. “Still, it’s a decent starting spot for Sunday. We worked in race trim a little bit today, and tomorrow is where we’ll get this Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops ready for the race.” 

How the West Will Be Won

KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (March 5, 2015) – For the next three weeks the West Coast will serve as the pseudo headquarters for all things NASCAR. The “West Coast Swing” kicks off with this weekend’s Kobalt 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway where Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is the 2012 winner. 

While adding another trophy to his vast collection is top-of-mind for Stewart, so too is the big picture the West Coast Swing represents with back-to-back-to-back races at Las Vegas, Phoenix International Raceway and Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Beyond the logistical challenge of racing west of the Mississippi River for the better part of a month, these three tracks serve as a composite for the majority of tracks the Sprint Cup Series visits.

2015 All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series Tour Dates Announced

INDIANAPOLIS (March 4, 2015) – The All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series, recently purchased by three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, today announced its 2015 tour dates. The schedule will consist of 54 total events spanning six states, including 29 events in Ohio and 14 in Pennsylvania.

While the schedule began in February with five non-points events in Florida between Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala and Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, races counting toward the season-ending championship get underway in late March.

Long Day in Atlanta

Five hundred miles at Atlanta Motor Speedway takes a long time, and when you’re struggling with an ill-handling racecar, it takes even longer. Sunday’s Folds of Honor 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race took three hours and 49 minutes to complete. For Tony Stewart, it felt like an eternity.

Stewart, the three-time Sprint Cup champion, finished 30th in the 325-lap race around the 1.54-mile oval. 

From the drop of the green flag, Stewart was already playing from behind. He started 39th in the 43-car field after NASCAR’s technical inspection process on Friday dragged on so long that 13 drivers, including Stewart, were never able to make a qualifying lap. Stewart took a provisional to make the race, and was joined by fellow champions Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson at the back of the field.

Folds of Honor 500 Qualifying

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway by setting the second-fastest lap in qualifying for Sunday’s Folds of Honor 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Harvick turned a lap of 28.608 seconds at 193.792 mph on the 1.54-mile oval in the final qualifying round.

“In the first round, I missed turn one, and in the last round, I missed turn one again and just didn’t get to the bottom like I needed to in order to get back in the throttle,” said Harvick, who scored his first Sprint Cup victory at Atlanta in 2001. “I’m just really proud of everybody on our Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet for everything they’ve done. We have a fast car. I feel really good about our car on the long haul and that’s what matters.”

Game Stays the Same at Atlanta

KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (Feb. 25, 2015) – Atlanta Motor Speedway plays host to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for a daytime race in the crisp air of late winter rather than a nighttime race in the heat of late summer. Gone is the Labor Day weekend event at the 1.54-mile oval and back is an early-season race in March, which had been an Atlanta staple dating back to the 1960s. 

Rather than serving as the penultimate race before the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup as it had since 2009, Atlanta now serves as the second race of the year. The stop in NASCAR’s Southeastern base allows teams a return to the routine of a three-day race weekend after spending nearly two weeks in Daytona Beach, Florida, for Budweiser Speedweeks and the season-opening Daytona 500.

Wait Till Next Year

Tony Stewart felt confident heading into the 57th Daytona 500 Sunday at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. It was his 17th career start in the Great American Race, and his No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS was fast throughout Budweiser Speedweeks.

But just 42 laps into the season-opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Stewart lost control off turn four. In the short chute entering the frontstretch of the 2.5-mile oval, the right-front corner of Stewart’s Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy smacked the outside retaining wall. The damage forced Stewart to the garage area for repairs. 

Stewart Fourth in Budweiser Duel at Daytona

Tony Stewart put forth a solid performance in the Budweiser Duel Thursday night at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, finishing fourth in his qualifying race for the 57th Daytona 500 on Sunday. The result earned Stewart the seventh-place starting spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ season-opening race.

Getting that top-five finish didn’t come without a close call, however. When the engine on Casey Mears’ car blew up on lap 17, Stewart’s No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS was right behind the stricken machine. Stewart skated up the track and just grazed the outside retaining wall with the right-front fender. 

Daytona 500 Qualifying

For the first time, NASCAR used group qualifying to determine the front row for the 57th Daytona 500 on Feb. 22. Previously, time trials were used to set positions 1-2 in the Daytona 500, where a driver made two timed laps around the 2.5-mile Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The fastest driver earned the pole and the second fastest driver earned the No. 2 starting spot. 

The new format to set the front row for this year’s Daytona 500 did not go well for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). Here’s how it happened.

Qualifying consisted of three rounds with the first round divided into two groups based on a random draw. Teams drawing an odd number were placed in the first group with even numbers in the second group. All four SHR drivers were in the first group.

Limited Run for Stewart in Sprint Unlimited

Tony Stewart had a strong run going in the Sprint Unlimited Saturday night at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Unfortunately, his time in the non-points exhibition race was limited after a crash on lap 68 ended his race seven laps short of the finish.

Stewart had driven his No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) from 22nd in the 25-car field to as high as second with 15 laps to go. But coming off turn two of the 2.5-mile oval on lap 68, Stewart got sideways and collected his teammate, Kurt Busch. Both cars sustained heavy damage, and while the drivers were able to walk away unharmed, their racecars had to be towed back to the garage.

Vintage Smoke

KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (Feb. 11, 2015) – It was all there. The trademark mischievous grin. The perfectly timed wisecrack. The twinkle in the eye. It was vintage Tony Stewart, and it was on display a few weeks ago during the annual Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Media Tour. 

It’s Stewart’s state of being as the driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS begins his 17th year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, where his aim is a return to the championship form he displayed in 2011 when he scored his third Sprint Cup title.

Nonetheless, Stewart comes into 2015 fresh off a championship, albeit as a car owner. As the co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas, Stewart was able to hoist the championship-winning car owner trophy when his driver and teammate, Kevin Harvick, triumphed in the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

But there’s a reason Stewart is referred to as a driver-owner, for driving is his first priority. Since earning his most recent driving title in 2011 when he outdueled Carl Edwards in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Stewart has won only four times in the three years since. For someone who is used to winning multiple times in a single season to earn a total of 48 career Sprint Cup victories – tied for 13th on the Sprint Cup Series’ all-time win list with NASCAR Hall of Famer Herb Thomas – Stewart is ready to go retro. 

In a career that has seen three championships (2002, 2005 and 2011) and victories at all but two of the tracks the Sprint Cup Series visits, Stewart has a robust resume any racer would covet. But one trophy missing from his mantle is the Harley J. Earl, given to the winner of the season-opening Daytona 500. 

The 57th Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 22 will be Stewart’s 33rd career, point-paying Sprint Cup start at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. And while he has yet to score a Daytona 500 win, the “World Center of Racing” is a likely place for Stewart to return to his winning ways.

Among active drivers, Stewart is Daytona’s all-time race winner. Between point-paying Sprint Cup races, non-point races, the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the former IROC series, Stewart has a total of 19 Daytona wins. The tally places Stewart second on the track’s all-time win list, 15 behind the late, great Dale Earnhardt, who has 34 total victories at Daytona and is part of the inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame class of 2010. 

Stewart is a four-time Sprint Cup winner at Daytona, having scored victories in the annual Fourth of July weekend race in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2012, the most among active drivers. Augmenting those four wins are nine top-fives, 14 top-10s and 668 laps led in 32 career, point-paying Daytona starts.

In his most recent Sprint Cup win at Daytona – the 2012 Coke Zero 400 – Stewart exercised textbook patience, waiting to make his move for the win well past the race’s halfway mark. He took the lead on lap 131 and led 21 circuits before relinquishing the top spot to the duo of Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle on lap 152. A massive crash set up a two-lap dash to the finish and Stewart regained the lead on the final lap with an impressive drive around Biffle and Kenseth off turn two and down the backstretch. When another multicar wreck brought out the caution, Stewart’s victory was sealed. It was his 47th career Sprint Cup win.

Stewart arrives for Budweiser Speedweeks at Daytona with a reinvigorated focus on the future that is buoyed by past success. It’s the perfect balance, and it’s vintage Smoke.

TONY STEWART, Driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

What is your outlook as you prepare for the 2015 season? 

“I can tell you that from a desire to still compete at a high level and win championships, it’s as high as it’s ever been. I’m not happy about the last two years of my life, by any means, but I’ve never questioned who I am or what I do. It’s probably made my desire stronger than ever. We’ve had two rough years back to back – something I would never wish on anybody – but deep down inside I know who I am as a person and I know who I am as a driver. It’s given me more drive and desire to get back to the old form that our fans and our sponsors like Bass Pro Shops and Mobil 1 and everybody is used to seeing us in. That’s what I want to get back to, and that’s what makes the start of 2015 so exciting for me. It’s flipping the page and getting ready to get focused again on what we love doing.”

How much does last year’s car-owner championship shape your outlook for this season? 

“Kevin Harvick and crew chief Rodney Childers and that No. 4 team winning the championship proves we have the right tools in place to have that kind of success. It’s a matter of just putting the pieces together. We know we have room for improvement as an organization and getting all of our cars performing at the same level. That’s what we’ve worked on in the offseason, to try to match what Kevin’s done.”

This is your second year with Chad Johnston as your crew chief. How much has the relationship with him grown since this time last year?

“I think from day one – when it comes to personality – we are a perfect fit for each other. When you hear people talk about driver and crew chief combinations, you hear them talk about it as a marriage, and you really have to be in sync with the person that is your crew chief. It’s just taken a while for me to get used to the path that he was going down with the engineering. As everything evolves each year, you have to keep changing as a driver to catch up to it. So I feel like getting that first year under our belt was important. I’ve seen a lot more confidence, especially at the end of last year. He made some key personnel changes in the offseason, and I think they’re changes he’s very, very comfortable and confident with. It’s just given us more time during the offseason to develop our relationship, but I see more confidence in him now than ever.”

What is the status of your leg since having that fourth surgery in December?

“I haven’t been in a car since Homestead, but everything else I’ve been doing with just everyday life shows that it’s been feeling much, much better. There is one more surgery scheduled at the end of next year – about the same time as this past year – and it’s just to take the titanium rod out. At that point I will have all of the hardware out of my leg. That should be the last surgery, and it will be a short recovery period.”

Restrictor-plate racing isn’t your favorite type of racing, but it is one at which you seem to excel, particularly at Daytona. What makes it frustrating?

“I wish I could explain it. I’m certainly not any happier about it than I’ve always been, but we’ve had a lot of success at restrictor-plate tracks, especially Daytona. I’m glad we’re halfway decent at it, but it’s still always frustrating when you have to rely on what everybody else does. It’s not what you do. It’s what you do along with somebody else who decides that they’re going to follow you and help you. That’s the part that frustrates you as a driver. The great thing about restrictor-plate racing though is that 43 cars all have the same shot at winning the race, but again, that’s also part of what makes it frustrating, too. It’s just being at the right place at the right time.”

It seems that luck plays as much of a factor at Daytona as everything else. Why is that?

“Someone described racing on the superspeedways of being a combination of a science project and the luck of a casino, and it’s exactly that way. You do everything in your power to take care of the science or technology side. You do everything you can to build the fastest car. If you don’t have the luck to go with it – even if you don’t have any drama with getting the car touched, nothing happens to the car – if you’re just in the wrong spot at the wrong time, it can take you out of the opportunity to take the best racecar in the field and win.”

What would winning the Daytona 500 mean to you?

“You look at marquee events around the world, and not only in NASCAR but in all of motorsports – the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 24 Hours At Daytona, the Indy 500, the Knoxville Nationals – and to be a driver that can cross off one of those marquee events as a winner, that cements your legacy in motorsports. To be able to win the Daytona 500 is the ultimate dream of a racecar driver.”

Where would winning the Daytona 500 rank for you?

“No. 1. I may never get a chance to run in those other marquee events, so that’s why it puts the Daytona 500 at the top, because it’s something that we actually have a shot at. But it is hard. It’s a hard race, and it’s not like you get to come back next week and try it again if you don’t accomplish it. You get one shot a year to accomplish this goal.”

In 2008, you nearly won the Daytona 500. How close were you?  

“I’ve run that race over in my mind a million times on what I thought I could’ve done differently. If it would’ve been the Daytona 498, I had it won. I was forced to make a decision of whether I was going to put my whole race in jeopardy to win it, or know that I was getting passed but I may have a shot to get it back in the end. I took the safer route, and I wish I would’ve thrown caution to the wind. I think I would’ve rather crashed out of it knowing that I did everything I could, but I wasn’t sure that if I made the move to block Ryan (Newman, the 2008 Daytona 500 winner) to get in front of him – they were coming at such a high rate of speed, I was probably going to crash half the field if I moved.”

If you had to do that race over again, would you make the other decision?

“Yes. That decision to play it safe has haunted me ever since. So, if that situation happens again, I may come back on a hook, but at least I can say I know I did everything I could do to give myself that shot.”

Why was a Daytona 500 win just not in the cards for you that day?  

“Ahhh, you know, I was working really good with my (then) teammate Kyle Busch. It was just being at the right place at the right time and, you know, Ryan (Newman) and Kurt Busch had just got hooked up and were making a huge, huge run, and that’s what it took to get by us. That was the only way they were going to get by us, was to get locked together, and they did a really good job at it.”

When you’re in the draft, how much control do you feel you have inside the racecar? 

“It depends on the circumstances. You can’t see the air and you hit different pockets (of air). You hit a pocket where you get a real big tow or you hit a pocket where it seems they’re getting a tow and pulling you back, and you just have to play the circumstances. You just try getting in different scenarios and try to learn if you get in the middle of the draft, what does it do? Will it give you a push? Will it not give you a push? If you get next to this car, does it suck you up or does it slow you down? It’s trial and error, but at the same time, it’s like pulling a pin on a grenade. You know through that process that if one guy makes a mistake, your car’s torn up. It’s just a delicate balance of how hard you go, how many things you try, and how much time you spend doing it.”

Tony Stewart To Acquire All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series

INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 28, 2015) – Motorsports entrepreneur Tony Stewart has agreed to terms with Guy Webb, owner of the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series, to become the sole owner of the original winged sprint car tour.

The All-Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series is one of the oldest traveling sprint car organizations and is a staple of grassroots, open-wheel racing. The transaction between Webb and Stewart will proceed immediately. 

“I’ve put my heart and soul into the All Star Circuit of Champions for many years, and it gives me great peace of mind to hand over the reins of this series to Tony Stewart,” Webb said. “Tony is dirt track racing’s biggest advocate, and he’s always working in the best interest of sprint car racing. His leadership will ensure the success of this series for many years to come.”

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