Stewart shows championship form

How did Tony Stewart win at Daytona? Watch and see.
How did Tony Stewart win at Daytona? Watch and see.
Share This Story

Holly Cain

Holly Cain has covered racing in all its forms for 21 years, winning multiple awards from the Associated Press Sports Editors and Society of Professional Journalists for feature and news writing. She chronicled NASCAR Champion Rusty Wallace's final season, authoring a book called "Rusty's Last Call." Follow her on Twitter.



On the heels of the most remarkable championship run in recent NASCAR history, with a change in team leadership and facing the most competitive race fields in memory, Tony Stewart still shows no signs of conceding his title reign.


Last time at Daytona, Montoya really caught fire. Who is hot this time? PHOTOS

Stewart earned his third victory of the season Saturday night in a crazy, wild, but oh-so-typical race at Daytona International Speedway – the win tying him with Brad Keselowski for the most of the season. Stewart held that honor on his own last year when he reeled off five victories in a 10-race season-ending championship run.

If the pressure of defending a championship, the uncertainty of having a new crew chief calling the shots, the duties of owning a team or the challenge of an ultra-competitive field was supposed to slow down Stewart, it hasn’t.

He’s in championship form and it’s barely summer - the time of the year Stewart traditionally gets as hot as the temperatures.

“I’m really proud of (crew chief) Steve (Addington), everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing and the Hendrick engine and chassis department; I’m really pleased with the first half of the season,’’ said Stewart, who’s ranked fifth in points but, as it stands, would start the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup ranked first because of his three victories.

As impressive as the win tally is the fact it could be much higher. Stewart has three third-place finishes and a pair of runner-ups to go with those trophies – the most top-three finishes in the series.

It’s the five sub-20th place showings that have tempered the team’s emotions. But a win like Saturday’s delivers a strong a message. He drove through the field –having to start from the back after failing post-qualifying inspection - and got the best of the two guys who have led the championship all season, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle.

“I think there were some races that we lost opportunities on but some races that we capitalized on that we hadn’t been able to in the past,’’ Stewart said contemplating his track record.

And he's not the only one in the organization who sees this win as a sign of things to come. Teammate Ryan Newman finished fifth Saturday night - and points out just how good this team can be in the races to come.


Three-time champ Tony Stewart's impact goes beyond driving. Check out his top accomplishments.

“Well it was big for us, especially with the stretch coming up," he said. "Loudon (NH) is a place which us at Stewart-Haas have done an awesome job at in the past, we look forward to going there."

As to Stewart, he left Daytona pleased with his effort - and with where the team is heading.

“I think on the average we’re really looking good right now. I’m leaving here with a big weight lifted off our shoulders,’’ Stewart said. “I’m really proud of everybody in our organization.

“I feel like that we showed some strength today.’’

Tagged: Tony Stewart

More Stories From Holly Cain

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Chase Authentics Danica Patrick Big Rig Tri-Blend T-Shirt - Charcoal 26.95 Chase Authentics Danica Patrick Big Rig Tri-Blend T-Shirt - Charcoal
    Kyle Busch One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black 19.95 Kyle Busch One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black
    Matt Kenseth One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black 9.99 Matt Kenseth One Spot Gauge T-Shirt - Black
    Chase Authentics Carl Edwards 2013 Driver Schedule T-Shirt - Ash 24.95 Chase Authentics Carl Edwards 2013 Driver Schedule T-Shirt - Ash