Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Driver Finishes 39th After Accident
Date: May 9, 2015
Event: SpongeBob SquarePants 400 (Round 11 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (1.5-mile oval)
Start/Finish: 16th/39th (Running, completed 258 of 267 laps)
Point Standing: 30th (179 points, 258 out of first)
Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
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.
Significant right-side damage was sustained, especially to the front and rear corners of Stewart’s black-and-orange car. It took two pit stops under the ensuing caution for crew members to patch up the car well enough for Stewart to return to the track.
When green-flag racing resumed on lap 135, smoke emanated from the car, likely from the right-rear tire rubbing on a damaged crush panel. Stewart deftly wheeled his machine around the 1.5-mile oval, and when the caution came out again on lap 186, Stewart took advantage of the opportunity by bringing the car back to the attention of his crew.
Multiple pit stops during the break in action allowed the crew to properly secure all the sheet metal around the right-rear tire. Unfortunately, the damage from the accident extended beyond crumpled body panels.
Stewart restarted in 37th place, three laps down. His Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet was a handful at speed, loose through the track’s progressive-banked corners. For the remaining 77 laps, Stewart hung on to his racecar to bring home a 39th-place finish.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent at Kansas by finishing second. It was his eighth top-two result in the 11 races run this season and his ninth top-10 in 19 career Sprint Cup starts at Kansas.
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished eighth. It was his fifth top-10 in 19 career Sprint Cup starts at Kansas and the seventh straight race this season where Busch has finished among the top-15.
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 27th.
Jimmie Johnson won the SpongeBob SquarePants 400 to score his 73rd career Sprint Cup victory, his third of the season and his third at Kansas.
Harvick finished .487 of a second behind Johnson in the runner-up spot, while Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Joey Logano rounded out the top-five. Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Newman comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were nine caution periods for 49 laps, with three drivers failing to finish.
With round 11 of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is first with 437 points, 46 ahead of second-place Truex. Busch is 14th with 292 points, 145 out of first. Patrick is 17th with 270 points, 167 out of first. Stewart is 30th with 179 points, 258 out of first.
The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 16 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Coverage of the non-point-paying event begins at 7 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX Sports 1.