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Thread: Stewart no lock for 2009 Chase

  1. #1
    Senior Member Wingfoot's Avatar
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    Default Stewart no lock for 2009 Chase

    Two-time Cup champís new venture brings risk of missing playoff


    OPINION
    By Johnny Benson - 23 November 2008

    Only once in the five year history of the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship has Tony Stewart not been a part of the field that battles it out for the series title over the final 10 races of the season. That was in 2006 when a mid-summer slump cost Stewart a chance at defending his Cup crown.

    But now with Stewart having left the only organization (Joe Gibbs Racing) he has driven for in the Cup Series to go out on his own next year as a driver/co-owner for Stewart-Haas Racing, his chance of making the 2009 Chase is not what it would have been with JGR. Iíd say itís 50-50 for Stewart to make the playoff.

    Stewart, who made his Cup debut in 1999, won 33 races to go with his two championships while with JGR. He has no easy road ahead, especially since heíll no longer have Greg Zipadelli as his crew chief. Zipadelli decided to stay with JGR and team with Joey Logano, an 18-year-old rookie who gets the seat in the No. 20 Home Depot-sponsored car in 2009. The parting of ways between Stewart and Zipadelli marks the end of NASCAR's longest-running current driver and crew chief combination.

    Stewartís new crew chief is former Hendrick Motorsports crew chief Darian Grubb, who won the Daytona 500 with Jimmie Johnson in 2006 (when Johnsonís crew chief Chad Knaus was suspended). In addition to giving Stewart a car he can win races with, Grubb will need to be prepared to deal with his driverís fiery and sometimes explosive personality. Stewart hasnít always been able to keep his emotions in check.

    Stewart-Haas Racing was formerly Haas-CNC Racing, which received its engines and technical support from Hendrick Motorsports but had little to show for it. So thereís plenty of work to be done by Stewart and those he hires since Haas-CNC Racing is winless since debuting in the Cup series in 2002.

    Stewart has stayed away from giving a timetable for how long it will take for the organization to improve its results but the first 10 races of 2009 should give a good indication of whether his new team is headed in the right direction. Remember that while they may run good, the key is will they be able to run good enough to make the 12-driver Chase field?

    Stewart-Haas Racing will field a pair of Chevrolets in 2009 with Stewart driving one and his fellow Indiana native Ryan Newman driving the other. Newmanís race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 16 marked the end of his run with Penske Racing.

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    Senior Member beyond help's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stewart no lock for 2009 Chase

    He's still a brashole.
    STRESS: The confusion created when one's mind overrides the body's basic desire to choke the living daylights out of some idiot who desperately deserves it.

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    Senior Member Wingfoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stewart no lock for 2009 Chase



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    Default Re: Stewart no lock for 2009 Chase


    New York Grand Jury Exonerates "Smoke" Stewart



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