Stewart Shows Strength With Top Ten Finish

Misan AkuyaCorrespondent ISeptember 28, 2009

DOVER, DE - SEPTEMBER 25: Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Burger King Chevrolet walks to his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 25, 2009 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Tony Stewart started 20th on Sunday in the AAA 400 presented by Burger King.  In the first 25 laps , Stewart fell to 24th before the competition yellow.  After a pitstop he was making his way thru the field when Joey Logano on lap 30 slowed down after racing hard with Bobby Labonte, Stewart hit him and Logano had one of the wildest crashes at Dover flipping 7 1/2 times.  Smoke sustained some front end damage and a little right rear quarter panel damage.

But Stewart and the 14 team would not be denied.

He began his march to the front, and deep into a long runs was even gaining on leader Jimmie Johnson was led 271 of 400 laps.  He made his way to the 5th position looking to maybe even challenge for the lead.  But during the last call the team made a questionable call to pit sending them to the 12th position , but they came back to finish 9th.

Still not as good as the 14 should have ended up and he did lose points on Mark Martin, but think about this. 

He is now back in the top 5 in points only 31 points behind Kurt Busch in 4th and 41 points behind Juan Pablo Montoya in 5th.

He was as low as 37th and to come back to get a top ten from being that low is outstanding.

He flirted with Disaster after getting damage from Dover's version of the big one and overcame it.

Stewart 106 markers behind leader Mark Martin is still very much in this championship hunt.  The the remaining 8 tracks he has 9 wins and the only track he is winless at is Auto Club where he has ran well in the past.

The 14 team is one of a few teams that can run with and beat the 48 team on a consistent basis.  Look for them to make the next 8 weeks interesting. 

The 14 team is up for a championship  They have proved it the first 2 chase races being face with difficult circumstances and have came out better than they should have.

Stewart knows how to win championships.  Don't be surprised that in the end, he has dethroned Jimmie Johnson.