14 Stewart’s Lucky Number?

Posted by Genna | Posted in , , , | Posted on 6/08/2009


It took all of 14 races for Stewart-Haas Racing’s owner/driver to win his first NASCAR Sprint cup points race. It is a well known fact that Tony Stewart is never very good or consistent in the first half of the season. He’s proven everyone wrong by pulling the 14 car into Victory Lane twice this season already, the first time being at the NASCAR All Star Race in May.

Call it a fuel mileage win if you will but all that matters is that Tony has got that first win out of the way. Now he can focus on running top five every week, winning more races, and getting that championship trophy in November.

"I didn't think he was going to be a factor," Edwards said of Stewart. "I was sure he was going to run out."

He was probably counting on Stewart to run out of fuel there at the end. Edwards placed second to Stewart with David Reutimann, Jeff Gordon, and Ryan Newman rounding out the top 5.

Edwards and Gordon were also low on fuel with only Reutimann and Newman projected to make the final laps.

When asked what his fuel strategy was, Stewart retorted, laughing “I’m not telling!”

Other drivers, however, lost the fuel mileage game. Mark Martin had to pit late in the final green flag run for fuel and Jimmie Johnson ran out but managed to coast to the checkers in 7th place.

What is even more amazing about Stewart’s win is that he did it in a backup car from a 43rd starting position. His splitter was ripped off in a practice session on Saturday. Still he remained optimistic that his team and car were good enough to not only get to the front but to contend for the win. Within the first 30 laps of Sunday’s race, the 14 car had broken into the top 10. Still, Stewart took little credit for his performance on Sunday.

"Breathe easy, boys, we're gonna make it," Stewart radioed to his crew as he rolled through the final corner. "God, I'm proud of you guys. You make me look like a genius in here."

In attendance was Tony’s father, Nelson Stewart, who was seen to be shedding a few tears on his way to Victory Lane to celebrate with his son.

Tony Stewart now leads the points standings by 71 points. He gained the lead after last Sunday’s race at Dover. This is also the first win by an owner/driver since Ricky Rudd won at Martinsville in September of 1998.

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