STEWART SEEKS STRENGTH FROM SHOOTOUT Old Spice/Office Depot Driver Scores 10th Top-10 Finish in 11 Shootout Starts Tony Stewart took full advantage of his time in Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway....
STEWART SEEKS STRENGTH FROM SHOOTOUT
Old Spice/Office Depot Driver Scores 10th Top-10 Finish in 11 Shootout Starts
Tony Stewart took full advantage of his time in Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The driver of the No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet Impala for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) came from his 13th-place starting spot in the non-points race to lead twice for six laps, and he made other drivers who tried their hand at the lead work hard to hold onto it. Stewart ended up ninth, but the result was not indicative of the overall performance.
"I wouldn't say we had a very strong car, but we did get good track position," said Stewart after logging his 10th top-10 finish in 11 career Budweiser Shootout starts. "We had to be in clean air. We got really tight even if we were second in line."
With 10 laps remaining, the handling on Stewart's red No. 14 machine tightened up considerably. A caution on lap 71 allowed Stewart to come to pit road for a four-tire change and fuel fill-up. Both would allow his Old Spice/Office Depot ride to handle better, as the new tires would provide better grip and the heavy fuel load would weigh down the rear of the car. The downside was that of those who pitted with Stewart, which was all but two of the lead-lap cars, many took only two tires, leaving Stewart 13th when the race restarted on lap 75 in a green-white-checkered shootout.
Time would be of the essence for Stewart when the green flag dropped, but when a multi-car crash happened as the field came through turns three and four of the 2.5-mile oval, the race was effectively over. The yellow caution flag came out, another lap was run, and then the checkered flag fell. The race was over, and the scoring pylon displayed a ninth-place finish for Stewart.
"We have a lot of work to do this week," Stewart said. 're going to take "Weadvantage of every minute we get."
Stewart's SHR teammate, Ryan Newman, fared worse, as he was caught up in the accident that ultimately ended the race. The driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet Impala finished 19th, but was credited with a DNF (Did Not Finish) as he had to pull his car into the garage area two laps short of the finish.
Next up for Stewart and Co. is the Gatorade Duel -- twin 150-mile heat races that set the majority of the 43-car Daytona 500 field.