Monday, August 10, 2009

Stewart Shows Why He Is A Sponsors Dream Come True

First it was Office Depot for his first win as an owner-driver back on June 7 at Pocono.

Stewart was able to conserve enough fuel to take the checkers beating out Roush Fenway driver Carl Edwards for the win.

“We went out there, it was like we had not missed a beat and just thankful we got a good group of guys like that and good partners that were willing to help out when we needed a hand.”

This was after members from Jeff Gordon’s as well as Jimmie Johnsons team, came over to help when Stewart spun during practice damaging his primary car.

“Then having to go to the backup car, it was great to see everybody just keep their heads about them, stay calm and stay cool. We made all the changes we needed to between the two cars, and I think we actually made the second car better.”

Next up, was Stewarts second win of the season on July 7 at Daytona International Speedway, with none other than Burger King on his hood.

The race in itself had to be one of Stewart’s most exciting wins, and probably Kyle Busch’s worse nightmare.

“I don’t want any part of winning a race because the guy who was leading the race got wrecked,” Stewart said.

"I don’t know that we did anything wrong. I’ve seen replays of it, and he’s protecting his position, which is what he’s got to do.”

With Old Spice on the hood this weekend, Stewart was able to give all three of his sponsors a season to remember.

Stewart has been able to take all three of his sponsors to victory lane, while at the same time continuing to establish himself as a very legitimate championship contender.

With the win on Monday, Stewart can now call himself king of Watkins Glen with his record winning fifth win.

Stewart also added win number seven on the road courses, while putting himself two wins away from tying Jeff Gordon who has a record nine of his own.

Stewart, who earlier in the year finished second behind Kasey Kahne at Infineon Raceway, would not be denied while holding off Marcos Ambrose who had just won the Nationwide race two days earlier.

With 24 laps left, Stewart was able to take the lead from Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch and never look back for his third win of the season.

“I'm excited about it. Obviously it's a great day for Stewart-Haas Racing and an awesome day for Office Depot and Old Spice. Finally got Old Spice in Victory Lane. Office Depot, Old Spice and now Burger King.”

Stewart, who now leads the series by 260 points over HMS driver Jimmie Johnson with four races to go until the chase for the Sprint Cup Championship begins.

Talked about what it was like to win his fifth race, and make history on Monday afternoon.

“It's awesome. I mean, I think the bigger honor was last year when we got inducted into one of the drivers of the decade here. It's a track we've had a lot of success at.

"It's neat to be a guy that's won the most races here in the series. It was awesome that last -- both the restarts where we were able to stay ahead of Kyle."

"Both on the outside and inside we were able to get good jumps, beat him to turn two, up to the top of the S's."

"That was really key for us, especially when we did it the second time, the opposite side when he chose the opposite side as he did the first time, we still beat him there, I thought that was a pretty big moment in the race, showing our strength.”

Stewart also talked about what it was like to race with Marcos Ambrose the last 21 laps of the race.

“There were spots on the track he was a little stronger than us, but I thought there were equally the same amount of spots that we were a little better than he was."

"I felt like lap time-wise they pretty much evened out. It was a matter of not making mistakes, not giving him an opportunity to get there. I was pretty happy with the day.”

Darian Grubb, Stewarts’ crew chief took a page out of Chad Knaus’s playbook on lap 19, when he made some major changes to put his driver in contention for the win.

“We knew the car was off a bit based on the lap times and Tony's comments. He was struggling to get by some of the guys we thought they were faster than."

"He gave us some feedback. We knew the changes we made going into the race. We were able to back out of some of those, spring rubbers, wedge, changes along with that.”

Stewart who has had nothing but praise for his crew chief, along with all the hard work that the team puts into his car each week.

Was not short on words during the post race press conference, knowing that the changes they made are what put him in victory lane.

“I came in on the first stop and I asked for a lot of changes there. I appreciate Darian and the guys. They did an awesome job."

"There was a lot of stuff to do that was lengthy time-wise. I think we only lost six spots."

"To do what they did in that short amount of time was pretty phenomenal. That kept us up good enough in track position to where we could start working our way through there.”

So Anthony Wayne Stewart, how does it feel to get your first road course victory as a team owner?

"Ah, the same as it did when we won the All-Star race and Pocono. It's a great feeling but it's all due to these guys at SHR; you know, Bobby Hutchens and Darian and Tony Gibson and Ryan Newman and all those guys, and the Hendrick engine and chassis department."

"Rick (Hendrick) sent me a message this week and said, 'Hey, don't you think it's about time for another win?' So, this one's for you Rick, buddy."


  1. It sickens me that HMS is basically a 6 car team now...well 5 since Jr apparently doesnt count anymore.

    Smoke was still being an arse to the media -- this time Jeff Gluck.

  2. 3Fan very nice write up on Smoke.

    The one thing I hated was when He thanked Hendrick. Yuck!

    Kristen was being a new arse or just his usual self? lol

    I heard part of the media conference he gave. Didn't sound like he was being anything but his usual self. Guess us Stewart fans overlook his humor, because we are blinded by his talent.

  3. LOL TSFan...blinded by talent that must be it!

    Usual self-- Gluck wrote that piece about how much it would take for JJ to retire, asked other drivers about it. Smoke was annoyed with the question and took up a fund to get Gluck to retire - $22, a pencil and a twizzler...

    "humor" yes, but definitely with a hateful edge.