Tony Stewart happy with 6th place finish at mayhem struck Brickyard 400
Towel around his neck, sweat dripping from his face, hot favorite in the race; Tony Stewart emerged from his hauler. Although the star was unable to grab a position at the podium as Stewart stood beside Gasoline Alley grizzled and perspired, his aura felt that of a winner.
As the Hoosier hero from Columbus, Ind. stood silently it soon dawned that Stewart hadn’t won the race but he certainly had surfaced as a fighter. Stewart’s racing team, Stewart-Haas Racing, clocked an impressive 1-2 in the previous race alongside Ryan Newman, who was the victor of Loudon, N.H. However, Brickyard 400 was a very different story for Stewart.
This was quite surprising as Stewart considers Brickyard 400 as one of his favorite tracks. The two time champion of Brickyard commented on his performance, “That's a long day at the office. Yeah, that's a hard way to do it, man. We had to fight from the back a couple different times to get up there.”
In spite of finishing less lustrously, experts were impressed by Stewart’s resilient driving. There was a point in the race when Stewart was running at the 32nd spot and chances of him entering into the top 10 seemed grim. Therefore, Stewart is right to admit it was a miracle after finishing 6th. When questioned about it Stewart exclaimed, “Man, I don't even know.”
Stewart’s no. 14 Chevrolet started off from the 24th spot but positioned itself at 16th place before entering the pits. However, on his return, Stewart swerved to miss Kevin Harvick’s braking No. 29 Chevrolet causing a disruption just outside the pits. A penalty was implemented on Stewart which forced him to drive slowly out of the pit pushing him further down the pack.
Stewart spoke on the issue saying, “Kevin lifted earlier than I did coming off (turn) four. Versus running into him, I went to the outside of him and the problem is, when I got to the cone I was in the wrong spot.” He added, “It was just one of those things where you're trying to get everything you can get. It was either hit the cone or run over the guy in front of me and I chose to hit the cone.”
Nonetheless, Stewart was satisfied with his team’s performance all round. He praised their efforts extolling, “We got the penalty for it, but I'm proud of our guys for working from the back and getting us where we got at the end of the day.”
Stewart faced more trouble when Kyle Busch in his no. 18 Toyota came from the pits to collide with him. Busch had to go back for major repairs while Stewart lost 56 seconds as his repairmen worked on his suspension. With so much bad luck, Stewart is planning to enter the next race with a bunch of Irish clovers strapped to his chest.
Stewart realized that it had been a tough day for all drivers. He admitted that the affairs on the tarmac of Brickyard 400 were quite chaotic this Sunday. Stewart concluded, "It's a long pit road, but it's a narrow pit road. I feel bad for Kyle and those guys because they had a good day going at that time, too. A rough day, but we fought for everything we could get.”