Fly High or Crash and Burn?

Posted by Genna | Posted in , , | Posted on 1/30/2009


Tony Stewart is a rookie. You’re probably scratching your head since the 37 year old is a two time NASCAR series champion with more than 30 wins, over a hundred top fives under his belt and more than 10 years experience in the series. But Tony Stewart has entered a branch of the biz he knows little to nothing about. Team ownership. At least NASCAR Cup Series team ownership.

Those are two very frightening words for anyone, let alone a driver who plans on moonlighting as an owner. He’s been optimistic, though, and anyone can see why. While he left a wonderful organization to start a new career path with a sub par race team, it has potential.

The 70 team hasn’t had a very good track record with Stewart-Haas Racing, formerly called Haas CNC Racing, but Stewart still remains optimistic. It sometimes seems like he can climb into anything and put it in Victory Lane. "We wouldn't have taken this opportunity if we didn't think it was realistic to be in the Chase and have an opportunity of winning races and winning the championship," said Stewart. "Now whether that happens or not, obviously that will wait to be seen. We feel like we have the tools in place to do that, and ... I don't think all these guys would have come together if we didn't feel like we had the opportunity and resources to do that."

The 70 and 66 no longer exist now. They’ve become the 14 and the 39. Stewart chose the number 14 in honor of one of his own racing heroes, AJ Foyt. Ryan Newman will join Stewart at SHR in the number 39 with the US Army as one of his primary sponsors, while Stewart will be sponsored by Old Spice, Office Depot, and Burger King. Its been speculated that Newman will also be sponsored by Burger King for a few races.

Stewart isn’t the only one who’s optimistic about SHR’s chances this coming season. "I really think we're going to hit the ground running," said Darian Grubb, who left series giant Hendrick Motorsports to become Stewart’s crew chief. "I think we're going to go down [to Daytona], and we're going to be very competitive. We're ready to go to Daytona now. We're itching for the time we get to go be on the race track and let all this preparation pay off for us."

So will SHR crash and burn? Or will we see this organization that one year ago could never have dreamed of being a championship contender become on of the greatest in the NASCAR Cup Series? All of that still remains to be seen but there’s most definitely a much greater chance that SHR will succeed.

Comments Posted (1)

Tony being a team owner makes me nervous. That just never seems to work out for drivers. D.W. tried; Mikey tried; Bill Elliott tried and IIRC, Ricky Rudd tried. None of them very succesful. And it's not like they weren't good drivers cuz' DW and Awesome Bill were champs.

Have there been any succesful owners/drivers? Was Alan Kulwicki a team owner? Don't remember.

I surely hope Tony kicks butt, cuz' I'd really like to see him win a third championship.

Keep posting and I'll be back. @slugger41

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