STEWART WINS AND LOSES AT PHOENIX Office Depot/Old Spice Driver Finishes 23rd, but Teammate Newman Wins Tony Stewart won Saturday night at Phoenix International Raceway, but not in the traditional way that most view the driver of the No....
STEWART WINS AND LOSES AT PHOENIX
Office Depot/Old Spice Driver Finishes 23rd, but Teammate Newman Wins
Tony Stewart won Saturday night at Phoenix International Raceway, but not in the traditional way that most view the driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet. In fact, Stewart the driver finished 23rd in the Subway Fresh Fit 600k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the 1-mile oval. Stewart the owner, however, got to stop in victory lane to congratulate his Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) teammate Ryan Newman on his first win as a member of SHR.
"As a driver, I hate the way I ran tonight. But as an owner, I'm very happy for Ryan, Tony Gibson (crew chief) and everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing for getting that '39' car into victory lane," said Stewart, who co-owns SHR with Haas Automation, the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world. "They've worked so hard. They certainly earned this win. Just a really good win for all of our partners, especially Tornados, the U.S. Army and Haas Automation."
Newman led the final two laps of the 378-lap contest, which was extended three laps past its originally scheduled distance via a green-white-checkered finish. The driver of the No. 39 Tornados Chevrolet Impala took the lead from four-time Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon on the race's final restart and held the point until the checkered flag waved. It was Newman's 14th career Sprint Cup victory and his first since winning the 50th running of the Daytona 500 in 2008, a span of 77 races.
You wouldn't know it from the result, but Stewart began his race the way Newman finished it. Stewart drove from his 11th-place starting spot to take the lead on lap 23, a position he held for 15 circuits around the desert mile. But changing track conditions derailed Stewart's time up front, and as day slipped into night, the handling of his No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet went away and left him with a 23rd-place finish.
Finishing .130 of a second behind Newman was Gordon, while Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin and Juan Pablo Montoya rounded out the top-five. Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer and Joey Logano comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were nine caution periods for 59 laps, with six drivers failing to finish.
With round seven of 36 complete, Stewart is ninth in the Sprint Cup championship standings. He fell one spot and now has 869 points, 204 markers behind series leader Johnson. Newman vaulted six positions to climb to 16th in the standings. He has 802 points and is 271 points back of Johnson.
The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the April 18 Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.