MONSTER MILE BITES STEWART Office Depot/Old Spice Driver Finishes 21st at Dover It's odd that in racing one can be found to be going too fast. Yet, that's exactly what happened to Tony Stewart when he was tagged for excessive speed on pit road...
MONSTER MILE BITES STEWART
Office Depot/Old Spice Driver Finishes 21st at Dover
It's odd that in racing one can be found to be going too fast. Yet, that's exactly what happened to Tony Stewart when he was tagged for excessive speed on pit road early in Sunday's AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
The lap-115 infraction dropped Stewart two laps off the pace, and it was a deficit the driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet could not overcome, as he finished 21st.
"I'm sorry guys," said Stewart over the radio on the race's cool-down lap. "I knew it as soon as I came in. I just couldn't get slowed down enough."
Prior to that, Stewart was turning laps around the 1-mile, concrete oval as fast as the leaders, despite enduring a tight-handling racecar. He was running among the top-20 after starting the 400-lap race in 25th when the pit road speeding penalty was handed down.
While Stewart ultimately regained one of his lost laps on the 295th circuit, the pace set by the leaders was torrid, and he wound up going back down two laps just past the 300-lap mark.
Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet Impala and Stewart's teammate at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), enjoyed a much better day by finishing eighth. It was his 10th top-10 finish this season and his 11th top-10 in 18 career Sprint Cup starts at Dover.
Jimmie Johnson beat Jeff Burton by 2.637 seconds to win the AAA 400 and score the 53rd victory of his Sprint Cup career, his sixth of the season and his sixth at Dover.
Finishing third was Joey Logano, while Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards rounded out the top-five. Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, Newman, Denny Hamlin and A.J. Allmendinger comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were four caution periods for 19 laps, with eight drivers failing to finish.
Stewart represents SHR in this year's Chase for the Championship. He came into Dover 10th among the top-12 drivers competing for this year's title, 124 points behind Chase leader Denny Hamlin. He leaves Dover still 10th in points, but 162 markers arrears Hamlin.
Newman remained 13th in the standings with 3,363 points, 19 markers ahead of 14th-place Jamie McMurray.
With eight races remaining before a champion is crowned following the season-finale Nov. 21 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the top-12 drivers competing for the title rank as follows: