Tony Stewart Puts This Critic's Foot in His Mouth

Brian KennedyCorrespondent IMay 19, 2009

CONCORD, NC - MAY 16:  Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 16, 2009 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina.  (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Ten months ago, I along with millions of other NASCAR fans scratched our heads when the announcement was made that Tony Stewart was becoming an owner. It wasn't so much he was going to own a team, it was the team he had purchased.

Haas Racing? Surely this is a mistake. If Tony Stewart was looking to commit career suicide, this was the perfect team to do it with. HAAS Racing was known for having mediocre equipment with mediocre drivers that produced mediocre finishes. 

I was so miffed, so baffled that I wrote a column here on Bleacher Report stating that Tony Stewart would have a rough time as a NASCAR owner.

I was sure that Tony Stewart would be at the bottom of the barrel in the points standings, along with teammate Ryan Newman, second guessing his decision. Note to self: Never underestimate Tony Stewart. Stewart has turned a downtrodden, mediocre team into a powerhouse organization all in a 10-month time span.

In his 11th race as an owner, Tony Stewart did the improbable; he won a race with his new team. Sure it was the All-Star race where no points were awarded, but Smoke's success is no fluke. So far this year Stewart has finished fifth or better in five of the 11 races. He is second in points, 29 behind points leader Jeff Gordon.

Add in the mix that teammate Ryan Newman is eighth in the points standings and is finding his stride. Newman has not looked this productive in a racecar since he joined Roger Penske Racing as a rookie back in 2003. Tony Stewart is just the kind of owner/teammate Newman needs to resurrect his career.

Tony Stewart has shown  over the years that whatever he touches turns to gold. After purchasing Eldora Speedway in 2004, Stewart brought in numerous Cup drivers to race in the Prelude to the Dream.

The event has become an instant success and fans and drivers alike anticipate the event each year. Stewart's World of Outlaws and USAC teams have won many won races and championships in their respective series since Stewart started Tony Stewart Racing in 2000.

Stewart can now add successful Sprint Cup Owner to his already impressive resume'. For someone to turn a down and out organization into a contender in 10 months is amazing. If Stewart-Haas Racing is this productive in its first 10 months, there is not telling what is going to happen in the coming months and years.

Tony Stewart has silenced many critics including myself in a short time. There is no telling where this venture is going to take Tony Stewart. But one thing I do know is that I have a foot that is waiting to be put in my mouth for doubting Tony Stewart.

Note to Self: Never Doubt Tony Stewart.