Started: 39th (after qualifying 21st but getting dinged for “unapproved body modification” when pushing the car out to the grid on Sunday afternoon)
Points: 111 points, 35th in the standings and 60 points from 30th position (David Ragan)
When you have a race as long as the Coca-Cola 600 (the longest race on the NASCAR circuit) and your driver is having a good day it’s a great and glorious culmination to a day chocked full of racing. When your driver is struggling, and laps down by the end of the race- it’s just a long-ass day and it’s hard to find good in the day when your driver finishes four laps down after struggling for hours and hours with a car that is “up out of the track.”
Unfortunately for Tony Stewart and team 14, Martin Truex Jr set a dominating and blistering pace for the first quarter of the Coca-Cola 600 and by lap 87 while improving his position from 39th to 24th, Stewart ended up getting put a lap down. Handling would be an issue for the entire race and the team would ultimately end up finishing 4 laps down in 24th spot.
But being the glass half-full person I try to be, I found two “little” things that make the race a little easier to swallow. First off being that Tony despite finishing 24th Tony was able to gain two spots in the points standings and is now 35th (although he still remains 60 points from 30th place David Ragan). The second little thing is that at the beginning of the race- through the competition caution Tony was able to move UP through the field to 24th after starting 39th despite the ill-handling machine he struggled with all night. It could have been worse…he could have been relegated to a last place or near last place finish- or worse suffer a DNF. So there was good in the race if you look hard enough. (more…)