Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press
OK, so one of your four drivers won the race in Phoenix. Now what?
Kevin Harvick’s win was a much-needed shot in the arm for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). Harvick is fourth in points while team owner Tony Stewart sits 20th. The news is not that good for teammates Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick, who are 30th and 39th respectively.
Not to worry though. This organization is still hopefully headed in the right direction, even if the stats don’t show it. You see, there’s this guy named Stewart at the helm of this ship and he knows how to win.
Stewart is back to being his grumpy self with the media after a stint of self-imposed “Mr. Nice Guy” played out on his return to racing at Daytona. Stewart had little patience for the media in Phoenix. They just couldn’t stop asking him about his leg.
“I’ll be honest, I’ll be more happy when everybody quits asking me how I feel,” said Stewart at a pre-race press availability. “I’m not 100 percent. I’m not going to be 100 percent for a while.”
Maybe he’d rather prefer the press ask him about his racing organization, especially the three drivers he truly cares about—himself, Kevin Harvick and Danica Patrick.
And that fourth driver at SHR, the one that his partner Gene Haas hired, you know, Kurt Busch? Wait, I get it now. Busch has been talking about the Indy 500. Maybe he told Haas "OK, so one of your four drivers won the race. Now what?"
The racing world is still trying to figure out why Gene Haas hired Kurt Busch, in spite of his explanations. He just doesn't seem to fit. Wait, I get it now. Busch has been talking about the Indy 500. Maybe he told Haas (whose focus these days is in the heady world of Formula One) that his heart is really in open wheel and that he wants a real challenge and he offered to drive the F1 car— for cheap, after the Indy 500 experience.
That’s exactly why Haas hired him.
Smoke wasn’t all that happy after leaving Daytona. He’s likely feeling a little better after Phoenix. And Vegas? Despite Harvick’s win at Phoenix, this is an organization that is in desperate need of a good weekend in Las Vegas, all around.
Then again, aren't we all?
Who knows how this special setup—the trio of friends plus one—will perform? Just think, if it’s not the kind of weekend they need, the media could always go back to asking Stewart about his leg.