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Fontana: Stewart - Where'd He Go?

Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:26 pm

To "know" what went wrong is one thing... it gives you something to go fix, to work on.

But when you DON"T know what went wrong... that's a problem. You don't know what issue to go and address.

I hope they figure it out.




After a strong day at Fontana, Stewart disappointed with a 13th-place finish…

Mike Hembree | Posted March 28, 2011 Charlotte, NC

There was every reason to believe that Tony Stewart would be in the hunt for the win as the final laps of Sunday’s Auto Club 400 approached.

Stewart’s Chevrolet had been one of the day’s strongest cars in an event dominated by Kyle Busch. Stewart was in the top five most of the day. He was fifth at lap 90, then moved into second, where he stayed much of the rest of the 200-lap race.

Then, in the frantic jumble of the final 10 laps, after a caution bunched the field and put eventual winner Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson and Busch into a fierce battle for first place, Stewart dropped off the map.

Stunningly, he finished 13th, virtually as low on the standings chart as he had been all day. The result brought back memories of the Daytona 500, a race Stewart also threatened to win before he lost the lead draft in the closing miles and finished 13th.

What happened at Fontana? Why did Stewart’s Chevrolet suddenly disappear from the radar?

Stewart wasn’t anxious to discuss the matter after the race, and crew chief Darian Grubb said the car’s collapse was a mystery.

“We’re not really sure what happened,” Grubb said. “Obviously, we’re pleased with the way the car ran for the majority of the race, but it’s pretty disappointing that we ended up where we did. For whatever reason, we couldn’t get going in the laps after the final restart, and it cost us a ton of positions.”
The result dropped Stewart from third to sixth in Sprint Cup points five races into the season. Perhaps more importantly, he missed another shot at a victory in a season in which he has had good cars but hasn’t been able to seal the deal.

Entering Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville, Stewart’s seasonal record shows a second (Las Vegas), a seventh (Phoenix), the 13th-place runs at Daytona and Fontana and a 19th-place finish at Bristol.

Nothing to sneeze at, certainly, and a sixth-place positioning (17 points behind leader Carl Edwards) in the early-season points is good for Stewart, who typically saves his best racing for mid-season. But a win could settle a few nerves.

Martinsville, the shortest track on the Sprint Cup tour, could provide a boost for Stewart. He typically runs well on the half-mile, although he hasn’t won there since 2006. His only other Martinsville win came in 2000.

Mike Hembree is NASCAR Editor for and has been covering motorsports for 29 years. He is a six-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.

Re: Fontana: Stewart - Where'd He Go?

Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:58 pm

I listened to the scanner & the car was loose , so Darian made an adjustment. It was the WRONG one. He made the car worse so that when the last restart happened, Tony's car was worthless. That's what happened.

Re: Fontana: Stewart - Where'd He Go?

Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:41 pm

Yea that really sucked. I had tony and ryan in the top 3.I was :x they were doing so good,can't believe that happened again.

Re: Fontana: Stewart - Where'd He Go?

Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:15 pm

Every time i think i'm going to see my two favorite drivers race each other for the win,%hit happens.Harvick put on a good show and i was "happy" he won,but Tony in the mix would have made it even better,at which point i wouldn't care long as one or the other won.Hope this is the last error for the crew,i know everyone makes mistakes,but dam,it sure gets frustrating! What really made me laugh was the usual comments after the race from JJ,his car got loose,wtf is that? Tony and Kyle obviously had problems and even Kevin got loose a couple times.JJ never gives credit,least that i can remember, to any other driver.Kevin made the right moves and beat him,the end.

Re: Fontana: Stewart - Where'd He Go?

Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:26 pm

he actually did give whats his name credit in a interview he did.

Re: Fontana: Stewart - Where'd He Go?

Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:23 pm

Yeah, Harvicks web said he did later on and it was also on twitter,i meant just after the race.When i think of it thou,Kevin really doesn't say much either when the tables are turned alot of times himself.Guess if it were me,where's the check and the trophy,i'm outa

Re: Fontana: Stewart - Where'd He Go?

Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:13 pm

I missed most of the race & wondered what happened to Tony, he was up there the last I seen.

I had Tony as winning the race, then Edwards then Johnson.
I got 11 points for the race.

Almost went with Harvick, but not to win the race. :roll:
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