Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Driver Secures 10th Top-20 of Season
Date: Aug. 22, 2015
Event: Irwin Tools Night Race (Round 24 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (.533-mile oval)
Start/Finish: 40th /19th (Running, completed 497 of 500 laps)
Point Standing: 26th (466 points, 154 out of 16th)
Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
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.
A tight-handling racecar that didn’t allow Stewart to cut through the track’s high-banked corners and a massive, green-flag run between laps 258-359 conspired to leave Stewart three laps down. Nonetheless, Stewart kept a tenacious hold on the steering wheel of his Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 machine, rallying from his 40th-place starting spot to claim 19th-place when the checkered flag waved. It was Stewart’s 10th top-20 finish of the season and his 19th top-20 at Bristol.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent at Bristol by finishing second, his 12th top-two this season. The top-five result was Harvick’s 17th of the year, and it marked a single-season career high, eclipsing his 16 top-fives earned in 2010. This was also Harvick’s 250th career top-10 in his 526th Sprint Cup start.
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 14th. It was Busch’s 17th top-15 in 20 Sprint Cup starts this season
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 27th.
Joey Logano won the Irwin Tools Night Race to score his 11th career Sprint Cup victory, his third this season and his second at Bristol.
Harvick finished .220 of a second behind Logano, while Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top-five. Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ryan Newman comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were eight caution periods for 52 laps with four drivers failing to finish.
With round 24 of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is first with 908 points, 43 ahead of second-place Logano. Kurt Busch is eighth with 713 points, 195 out of first. With two wins apiece, Harvick and Busch are locked into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Patrick is 21st with 525 points, 95 out of 16th, the cutoff position to make the 16-driver Chase field on points. Stewart is 26thwith 466 points, 154 out of 16th.
The Sprint Cup Series takes a rare weekend off before returning to action Sept. 6 with the 66th annual Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. The second-to-last race before the Chase starts at 7 p.m. EDTwith live coverage provided by NBC.