Stewart scores third top-five of season

Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images
Tony Stewart (left) talks with teammate Kurt Busch. Stewart led 18 laps Sunday en route to a top-five finish.

By Dominic Aragon
October 27, 2014


After starting fourth and leading twice for 18 laps, Tony Stewart scored a fourth place finish in Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

Stewart, who ran inside the top-ten for much of the 500 lap event, was one of three cars that elected not to pit during the final caution period.  Stewart led for four laps before being overtaken by Dale Earnhardt Jr., who made the race winning pass on Stewart.

“If we had to do that 100 times over, we’d do the same things,” Stewart said post-race. “We didn’t have anything to lose. It was worth the gamble. Where we were at, in fifth, you didn’t know who was going who was going to do two tires or what could happen.

“Something could happen on a pit stop. There are just a lot of variables that could have gone wrong there. I’d rather have taken the chance and had to fight at the end like that. We still ended up a lot better than we were before the caution came out.”

Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images
Tony Stewart comes to the green flag at Martinsville Speedway.

Stewart’s fourth place effort ties his best finish of 2014. His top-five result is his first in 25 races, the longest streak of his career between top-five finishes.

The race was also only Stewart’s eighth top-five finish in the last 53 races. The numbers may sound impressive, but before entering 2013, Stewart never had a season with fewer than nine top-five finishes overall.

Nonetheless, Stewart was thankful of his sponsors and fans.

“I just can’t thank Johnny Morris [of Bass Pro Shops] and Rusty Rush and everybody at Mobil 1 and Eric [Bagdikian] from Code 3 Associates and his staff; and most of all, our fans,” he said. “They have been plowing a tough road for the last 18 months and this top-five is for the fans more than anybody.”

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