Tony Stewart’s season goes up in Smoke, but not his race team for 2014

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I am sorry, Smoke, but you must sit — for the next three months.

And I don’t mean inside your stock car.

One of the biggest names in NASCAR is Tony Stewart, a three-time Sprint Cup champion and part-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing. Tony Stewart is also Danica Patrick’s boss, as One Lap Downica herself races the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for SHR.

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Four people who’ve feuded with Tony Stewart

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In a sport full of “bad boys” three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart has crafted and cultivated an enduring image as the “baddest boy” in NASCAR.

Stewart’s cocksure personality and unique driving style characterized by equal parts audacity and bravado, is a perfect fit for the audacious and wild motor sport that he has dominated for the past 15 years.

Jack Payton is a car nut and motorsports fanatic in the purest form. He loves to write about everything gear related, and rebuilt his first engine at 15. He works as a freelance writer for the online tire retailer Tires Easy. In his spare time he enjoys cruising, following NASCAR, and collecting vinyl.

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Tony Stewart looking to breakthrough at Talladega

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“You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run.” Coming from Kenny Rogers’ 1980 Grammy Award-winning song “The Gambler,” those four directives are bits of sage advice for anyone participating in a game of chance, and chance is something every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver is well acquainted with, especially for those competing in the 2012 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

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Tony Stewart readies for Richmond (interview)

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As a native Midwesterner more comfortable in jeans and a T-shirt, there is little Tony Stewart has in common with Wall Street shark Gordon Gekko, the fictional character made famous by actor Michael Douglas in the 1987 film Wall Street.

 

However, there is one aspect of Gekko’s persona that resonates with Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing, coming into the Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.

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NASCAR penalizes Tony Stewart, racing team

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So much for the afterglow of winning the big race Saturday night.

NASCAR disallowed the second-place qualifying time of Stewart when it was discovered the team had an open cooling hose in the cockpit, which is in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR Rule Book); and 20-2.1J (unapproved open vent hose inside of the car). Instead of starting second, Stewart was forced to start 42nd.

Today, NASCAR further penalized the No. 14 team. Crew chief Steve Addington has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Aug. 22. Car chief Jeff Meendering has been placed on NASCAR probation until Aug. 22. Stewart and owner Margaret Haas have been penalized with the loss of six championship driver and six championship owner points, respectively.

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Tony Stewart’s chances at the Pocono 500

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In 1971, drivers and teams from the USAC Champ Car Series – a forerunner to what is now known as the IZOD IndyCar Series – headed to Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, a brand new track on the circuit, for the Schaefer 500.

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No Double (Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600) for Tony Stewart this weekend (interview)

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For Indiana native Tony Stewart, one event on Memorial Day weekend used to trump all others – the Indianapolis 500. But after more than 30 years of racing competitively – 14 of which have been spent in the elite NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – the Greatest Spectacle in Racing has, believe it or not, taken a backseat to the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

Memorial Day weekend provides a motorsports mosaic, from stock cars in Charlotte to Formula 1 in Monaco to the cornerstone of the weekend – the Indianapolis 500. Stewart pays attention to all of it, and for the better part of his career, Indy reigned supreme. And why not?

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Tony Stewart disappoints at Subway 500

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Tony Stewart saw a potential top-10 result disappear when a freak mid-race engine issue caused him to lose two laps and finish a disappointing 22nd in the Subway Fresh Fit 500k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway.

The trouble began for Stewart on lap 248 when a caution period started. Crew chief Steve Addington told Stewart to conserve fuel in his No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet Impala for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) to hopefully complete the 312-lap distance without another pit stop.

Stewart, who has been a master at fuel-saving strategy under cautions throughout his career, shut off his engine as he has done many times in the past. By shutting off the engine, drivers can coast around the track without using fuel and then fire up the engine when it is required to get moving under power again.

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Tony Stewart part of massive race-ending crash at Daytona

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Tony Stewart was poised to notch his fifth straight win in the season-opening NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, but a last-lap crash while vying for the lead jettisoned those plans.

Nonetheless, Stewart was able to nurse his No. 33 Oreo 100th Birthday Chevrolet Impala across the finish line in eighth place while unheralded James Buescher scored a surprise win in the DRIVE4COPD 300.

“The hole that we had all of a sudden not only closed up, it shut – pretty quickly. It got slammed on us. We just ran out of real estate,” said Stewart, who had won six of the last seven season-opening Nationwide Series races at Daytona, including the past four.

Stewart started seventh in the 120-lap race around the 2.5-mile oval and quickly asserted his familiar position at the front of the field. He took the lead on lap five and went on to lead four more times for a total of 22 laps.

As the field took the white flag for the final lap, Stewart hooked up with his Richard Childress Racing (RCR) teammate Elliott Sadler and rode the high line around turns three and four in a bid for the win.

“Elliott (Sadler) did a great job,” Stewart said. “Once we got going we got a big, big, big run down the backstretch. We got on the outside – we had that lane and then all of a sudden someone turned right, right in front of us. I don’t know how they got there or why they got there, but it was a pretty abrupt right-hand turn in front of us. Just all of a sudden the door got slammed on us. I don’t know why whoever it was turned right, but it wasn’t a very good time to either try blocking or moving.”

Eleven cars were collected in the last-lap melee, with Stewart and his No. 33 Oreo 100th Birthday Chevrolet getting pinned against the outside wall. Smoke and debris filled the tri-oval, but Stewart kept his foot in the gas and willed his smoldering, smoking and sparking remnant of a racecar across the finish line in eighth.

“Richard Childress brought us an awesome Oreo Chevrolet today. Their whole crew just did a great job,” Stewart said. “It’s always so much fun to come here because I just sit in the car, I go run about a dozen laps and then they get it ready for qualifying. We ran around by ourselves most of the day when guys were in a two-car tandem and we could run with them. It showed how good a car we had.”

The loss didn’t deter Stewart’s spirits. The Nationwide Series race proved to be another solid outing in what has become an impressive Speedweeks for Stewart. He finished second in the Budweiser Shootout last Saturday night and won his Gatorade Duel qualifying race on Thursday. He starts third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ season opener – the 54th Daytona 500 on Sunday. He has a total of 17 Daytona victories, but none in the coveted Daytona 500.

“I think we still have a pretty good batting average here, and we were a factor in it again today,” said Stewart after being asked if he was disappointed that he didn’t win the Nationwide Series season opener for the seventh time in the last eight years. “A lot can happen here at Daytona. The big prize is Sunday.”

His RCR teammates – Sadler, driver of the No. 2 Chevrolet Impala, and Austin Dillon, driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet Impala – finished third and fifth, respectively.

Buescher’s win was his first career Nationwide Series victory. Brad Keselowski finished second, while Sadler, Cole Whitt and Dillon rounded out the top-five. Tayler Malsam, Timmy Hill, Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch comprised the remainder of the top-10.

There were eight caution periods for 35 laps, with 18 drivers failing to finish the 120-lap race.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart: Daytona 500 speedweek interview

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Indiana native Tony Stewart went winless during the first 26 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ regular season in 2011. Then he went and took five of the year’s final 10 races. In doing so, the driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet Impala for Stewart-Haas Racing captured his third Sprint Cup championship; knocking off Jimmie Johnson.

Then he won a couple more courses in the Hoosier state: the inaugural Karting Classic at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Dec. 11, where he was one of six NASCAR drivers in a race with six IZOD IndyCar Series drivers. A few days later on Dec. 31, Stewart won again, this time at the Rumble in Fort Wayne (Ind.) USAC Midget feature on the 1/10-mile track inside the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

Now, Stewart kicks off his 2012 NASCAR season as the reigning Sprint Cup champion. That the 36-race marathon that is the Sprint Cup schedule begins at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway means Stewart could very well extend his winning streak, for the Columbus, Ind., native owns 16 total victories at Daytona.

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