STEWART TAKES BACKUP CAR TO 16TH AT TEXAS Home Depot Driver Recovers from Saturday Problem With Solid Finish Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), scored a solid 16th-place finish in Sunday's Dickies ...
STEWART TAKES BACKUP CAR TO 16TH AT TEXAS
Home Depot Driver Recovers from Saturday Problem With Solid Finish
Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), scored a solid 16th-place finish in Sunday's Dickies 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
It marked the ninth time in 14th races at Texas that Stewart has finished 16th or better.
While Stewart qualified eighth during Friday time trials, he had to start at the tail-end of the 43-car field after he and the team were forced to use their backup Home Depot Toyota. Their primary car was heavily damaged in Saturday's first practice session when a shredded right-rear tire ripped apart the car's right-rear quarterpanel and side window.
"I'm proud of the guys," said Stewart, who won the 2006 Dickies 500. "It's always hard to go to a backup car and they worked really hard to get the car ready for today. We got just a little bit of practice with the car yesterday, so to finish like we did, given the circumstances, was pretty good."
Stewart moved from 43rd to 25th in the first 23 laps, despite telling crew chief Greg Zipadelli that his car needed more grip. While Zipadelli helped the balance of Stewart's Home Depot Toyota through wedge and tire-pressure adjustments, the two-time Sprint Cup champion continued his rise and moved into the top-20 by lap 104.
However, he would rise no higher than his finishing position of 16th, as he fought a lack of grip on his car throughout the last half of the race and finished one lap shy of the 334-lap scheduled distance.
Stewart's JGR teammates -- Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano -- finished sixth, 17th and 40th, respectively, in the Dickies 500.
All three of JGR's full-time drivers are represented in this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup. Stewart continues to lead the JGR trio in points, but dropped one spot to ninth, 404 markers arrears series leader Jimmie Johnson. Busch gained two spots by virtue of his sixth-place finish and now sits 10th in the standings, 428 points behind Johnson. Hamlin dropped one spot to 12th and sits 431 points down to Johnson.