Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tony Stewart Dover AAA 400 Notes & Chassis Info

Chassis No. 14-530:
This was a brand new racecar for 2009 that, prior to its debut at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway in May, had only been tested in the wind tunnel. At Richmond, Stewart used Chassis No. 14-530 to qualify 16th and rally from the 17th position in the final 50 laps around the .75-mile oval to score his second runner-up effort of the season. It saw action unexpectedly in June at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon when the team’s primary car was crashed in the opening minutes of the weekend’s first practice. Chassis No. 14-530 was unloaded in time to get a few laps of practice in before the session ended. The team got a reprieve when qualifying was rained-out and the field was set by car owner points, which allowed Stewart
to start from the pole. He used that starting spot to his advantage, as he led 40 laps and was in contention to pick up the win. But rain cut the race 28 laps short of its scheduled 301-lap distance, aiding those who successfully gambled on fuel mileage and penalizing drivers like Stewart, who wound up fifth.

Chassis No. 14-530’s third career start came at Richmond in the series’ return visit in September. It was a subdued outing, with it qualifying 29th and finishing 17th. Its fourth career start and last of 2009 came at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in October. There, Stewart qualified 13th and was in contention for a top-five until a late-race caution thwarted his forward drive, forcing him to settle for ninth. The off-season brought about a complete rebuild for Chassis No. 14-530 in preparation for its first start of 2010 at the concrete-clad Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, where it qualified 11th and finished second to Jimmie Johnson in a late-race duel. Its sixth career start and second of 2010 came in June at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, the only other concrete oval on the circuit. It started 16th and finished ninth, which was Stewart’s best result since his second-place run at Bristol.

Chassis No. 14-530 returned to Bristol for the track’s annual night race in August. It qualified fourth – its best qualifying effort in six attempts – and ran second to leader Johnson for the race’s first 125 laps before the .533-mile bullring showed its horns to Stewart, with multiple on-track incidents conspiring for a 27th-place finish. It returns to the concrete with this weekend’s race at Dover.

Office Depot / Old Spice Racing Team Report
Round 28 of 36 – AAA 400 – Dover
Office Depot/Old Spice Racing Team Report – AAA 400 Page Two

Dover Notes of Interest:
· The AAA 400 will mark Stewart’s 420th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and his 24th Sprint Cup start at Dover.
· Stewart has a career total of 38 wins, 12 poles, 151 top-fives, 244 top-10s and 11,083 laps led in 419 career Sprint Cup races. His most recent Sprint Cup win came three races ago on Sept. 5, 2010 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. His last pole came seven races ago on July 30 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. Stewart has won at least one race in each of his 12 years in Sprint Cup.
· Stewart comes into the 28th race of the season at Dover and the second race of the 10-race Chase for the Championship as the 11th-place driver among the top-12 drivers competing for the 2010 Chase. Stewart led three times for 100 laps in the first Chase race last Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, but while leading with less than two laps to go, he ran out of fuel. Stewart coasted around the 1.058-mile
oval for the final circuit of the 300-lap race and finished 24th, the last driver on the lead lap. Clint Bowyer, who served as Stewart’s primary competition for much of the race, wound up with the victory. With nine races remaining before a champion is crowned following the season-finale Nov. 21 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the top-12 rank as follows:
1. Denny Hamlin (5,230 points)
2. Clint Bowyer (5,195 points, -35)
3. Kevin Harvick (5,185 points, -45)
4. Kyle Busch (5,168 points -62)
5. Jeff Gordon (5,155 points, -75)
6. Kurt Busch (5,144 points, -86)
7. Jimmie Johnson (5,138 points, -92)
8. Carl Edwards (5,135 points, -95)
9. Greg Biffle (5,122 points, -108)
10. Jeff Burton (5,118 points, -112)
11. Tony Stewart (5,106 points, -124)
12. Matt Kenseth (5,094 points, -136)
· This is Stewart’s sixth appearance in the Chase. Stewart won the Chase in 2005 – the second year of the Chase – to collect his second Sprint Cup championship. (Stewart’s first championship came in 2002 under the old NASCAR Winston Cup Series format.)
· Stewart is the most recent Sprint Cup champion not named Jimmie Johnson. Stewart scored his second championship in 2005, book-ending the first championship he earned in 2002. Johnson has won the past four Sprint Cup championships (2006-2009). Stewart, however, remains the only driver to win a championship under the old Winston Cup-style format (2002) and the current Chase for the Championship-style
format (2005).
· Of Stewart’s 38 career Sprint Cup victories, 11 have come in the last nine races of the season.
· Of the nine races remaining on this year’s Sprint Cup schedule, Stewart has won at eight of those venues – Dover (6/4/2000 & 9/24/2000), Kansas (10/1/2006 and 10/4/2009), Charlotte (10/11/2003 & 2009 Sprint All-Star Race), Martinsville (10/1/2000 & 4/2/2006), Talladega (10/5/2008), Texas (11/5/2006), Phoenix (11/7/1999) and Homestead (11/14/1999 & 11/12/2000) – to collect a total of 13 victories. The lone
venue where Stewart has yet to score a Sprint Cup win – Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. – is actually home to one of Stewart’s nine career NASCAR Nationwide Series victories, as Stewart won the Stater Bros. 300 on Feb. 25, 2008.
· Stewart has two wins, three second-place finishes, 10 top-fives, 15 top-10s and has led a total of 1,072 laps in his 23 career Sprint Cup starts at Dover. His average Dover finish is 11.4.
· Stewart has led at least two laps in 11 of his 23 Dover starts.
· Stewart has completed 8,826 of the 9,204 laps available at Dover in the past 11-and-a-half seasons (95.9 percent).
· Stewart has recorded only three DNFs (Did Not Finish) at Dover (September 2006, June 2007 and June 2008).
· Stewart has driven an Indy car, a NASCAR Camping World Series Truck, a NASCAR Nationwide Series car and a Sprint Cup car at Dover.
· Stewart swept both Dover races in 2000 en route to becoming the winningest driver on the circuit that year with six total victories. Eight other drivers have swept both Dover races in a single season. They are David Pearson (1973); Bobby Allison (1983); Bill Elliott (1988); Dale Earnhardt (1989); Rusty Wallace (1994); Jeff Gordon (1996); Jimmie Johnson (2002 and 2009); and Ryan Newman (2003).

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