Tony Stewart On The Move

Misan AkuyaCorrespondent IJune 14, 2010

BROOKLYN, MI - JUNE 11: Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet, sits in his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 11, 2010 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Geoff Burke/Getty Images

Tony Stewart had a slow start to 2010.  The 5 races before the spoiler came in however, Stewart had 1 top five which was a second to Jimmie Johnson at Bristol, 3 top tens, and was 5th in points. 


But 8 races Stewart had only finished in the top ten once, no top fives, top fifteen twice, and had five finishes of 23rd or worse.  He had some bad luck like at Texas motor speedway after starting on the pole and leading over 80 laps was sweep up in a wreck, and Darlington was getting back into the top ten when he slammed the wall.  But it was mostly because he ran bad and struggled.


Then at Pocono he started 6th, ran 10th to 12th most of race and used some strategy to end up with a 3rd place finished.  Happy but not too happy about the finish Stewart was since he felt he didn’t really drive his way to top the top 3.


But at Michigan Stewart had a strong run.  Started 17th, was as high as second, ran in the top seven for most of the day, and held of Jimmie Johnson on four tires to finished 5th creating two straight top fives for Smoke in the last two races.


You have to image that Stewart was rather pleased with the results.


“I’m pretty excited about it,” said Stewart, who now has 15 top-10 finishes in 23 career Sprint Cup starts at Michigan. “That’s the best car we’ve had in a long time, so I’m really proud of our guys. We’re definitely gaining on it. I felt racy today. It was a pretty good day for the Old Spice/Office Depot Chevy.”


Stewart is typically a slow starter.  He will usually show up and win when the track get hot and slick and the car control he has comes in handy.  While some people have thoughts of Stewart not making the chase, Smoke has no worries.


“We just keep plugging away and doing what we do. I’m not as panicked about the top-12 right now as I think some of the guys that are close to that bubble. If we keep riffling off top-fives like this, we won’t have to worry about it. We’ll be there. We may not have been the best car out there today, but we were definitely a top-six or -seven car all day long. I’m really proud of the effort. I feel like we’re starting to make some ground. There’s no reason to panic. It’s not going to make us go faster. It’s just a matter of trying to figure out what we’ve got to do to get what we’re missing, and I feel like we’ve made some steps in that direction today.”


Infineon raceway is a great track.  At the California road course, Stewart has two wins, four top fives, seven top tens, 77 laps led, and an average finish of 9.27.  A win and a dominant win at that isn’t out of the question.


It is summer, the sun is out, and Stewart is just heating up.