ANOTHER RACE AT CHICAGOLAND, ANOTHER TOP-10 FOR STEWART Office Depot/Old Spice Driver Scores Eighth Top-10 in 10th Chicagoland Start Tony Stewart drove his No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice "Back-to-School" Chevrolet Impala to a solid ninth-place ...
ANOTHER RACE AT CHICAGOLAND, ANOTHER TOP-10 FOR STEWART
Office Depot/Old Spice Driver Scores Eighth Top-10 in 10th Chicagoland Start
Tony Stewart drove his No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice "Back-to-School" Chevrolet Impala to a solid ninth-place finish in Saturday night's LifeLock.com 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. It was Stewart's ninth top-10 finish of 2010 and his eighth top-10 in 10 career Sprint Cup starts at Chicagoland.
"Throughout the night, we didn't totally miss it, but we didn't totally hit it either," said Stewart, referring to a new chassis setup he and crew chief Darian Grubb elected to try out on the 1.5-mile Chicagoland oval. "I think there were some positives to it, but I'm not sure it was exactly what we wanted, but we'll keep working at it. We'll try to figure out where we missed it and what we can do to make it better. We've got some data from this package and we'll just keep working forward."
The package worked extremely well in the race's opening laps, where from his third-place starting spot, Stewart advanced to second and ran lap times nearly identical to those of race-leader Jimmie Johnson.
A slight hiccup came during the race's first round of pit stops when the caution flag waved at lap 38. In what should've been a routine, four-tire stop, it went awry when the rear wheels of the jack caught in the seam on pit road that separates the concrete pit boxes from the asphalt. The fluke event stole precious seconds, as jackman Mike Casto had to force the jack out of the seam and underneath the right side of the Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy. He was finally successful, and upon an unhindered change of the left-side tires, Stewart was on his way, albeit in 17th-place.
No problem, for after the lap-44 restart, Stewart was back in the top-10 as the race hit the 50-lap mark. It's there where Stewart would stay for the remainder of the 267-lap race, as his car was good, but not quite good enough to get back to mixing it up with the leaders. Nonetheless, Stewart and Grubb's collaborative efforts yielded the team's sixth top-10 finish in the last eight races.
Stewart's teammate, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet Impala for Stewart-Haas Racing, finished 22nd.
David Reutimann won the LifeLock.com 400 to score his second career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his first at Chicagoland. Reutimann's only other victory came in the 2009 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, which was rain-shortened, with only 227 of the 400 scheduled laps completed.
Carl Edwards finished .727 of a second behind race-winner Reutimann, while Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer and pole-sitter Jamie McMurray rounded out the top-five. Kasey Kahne, Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin, Stewart and Paul Menard comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were four caution periods for 21 laps, with eight drivers failing to finish.
With round 19 of 36 complete, Stewart remained ninth in the Sprint Cup championship standings. He has 2,389 points, 356 markers behind series leader Kevin Harvick and 118 points ahead of 13th-place Dale Earnhardt Jr. Newman fell one spot to 16th. He has 2,187 points and is 99 points back of 12th-place Bowyer, who holds the final spot in the 12-driver Chase for the Championship with seven races remaining before the Chase begins.
The Sprint Cup Series takes a rare weekend off before heading to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the July 25 Brickyard 400.