Tony Stewart the last 2 races has finished 17th and 33rd. At Bristol everything that could go wrong went wrong. Stewart went to teammate and driver Ryan Newman's radio channel to wish them a good race as always. But was not able to switch back until midway during the race. He could only he Newman's spotter. This caused the team to have to pit a few times in the early cautions to fix , thus getting out of the pits when the field resumed to green flag racing making Stewart go a lap down. After they finally got the radio connection working and they both Stewart and crew chief Darin Grubb could talk to each other they changed the car and it was fast but they lacked 2 laps.
After a caution Stewart stalled, went to garage and came out. He finished 33rd 11 laps down.
Lest we forget before this race Stewart had completed all but 3 laps. So he has completed all but 14 laps this season which still leads all drivers.
Tony Stewart has had a fantastic season. Tied for 2nd in wins with 3 wins, the most top fives with 13, the most top tens with 18, the best average finish with an 8th place average finish. And leads the points standings 220 points over Jimmie Johnson.
Before Michigan, Stewart was on a streak of 10 straight top tens, including 3 wins and 8 top five finishes. If he can do that in the chase there is no doubt he can become champion for the 3rd time.
2005 Stewart became the only driver to end the regular season as the points leader and still go on to win the championship. He has history on his side.
The number 14 team has 2 weeks to regroup and try to gain extra bonus points before New Hampshire.
At Atlanta, Tony Stewart has 2 wins, 8 top fives, 13 top tens, an average finish of 12.05 and 790 laps led.
At Richmond Smoke has 3 wins, 9 top fives, 15 top tens, an average finish of 10.5 and 815 laps led.
These are 2 tracks that you can expect that Stewart and his group will take advantage of the coming 2 races.
So don't be fooled by the recent struggles. Stewart still remains the favorite to win his 3rd Sprint Cup championship.