When the Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway was postponed from Saturday night to Sunday because of rain, Tony Stewart saw a silver lining. His No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) performed much better in the heat of the day than it did in the cool of night, and when Sunday yielded beautiful sunshine and temperatures in the low 70s, Stewart was optimistic heading into the 334-lap race around the 1.5-mile oval.
Despite starting 36th in the 43-car field, Stewart made steady progress. After 88 laps he had gained 10 positions despite a tight-handling racecar.
Running among the top-25, Stewart grazed the wall on lap 110 as he searched different lines on the racetrack that would better complement the handling of his Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy.
While the damage appeared cosmetic, Stewart radioed that he had a flat tire on lap 124. Forced to make an unscheduled pit stop under green-flag conditions, Stewart lost valuable track position. When the tires were taken off the car, it was confirmed that the right-rear tire was flat, but also that there was no tire rub. The cause of the flat tire was a puncture.The stop put Stewart two laps down to the leaders, and he was mired in the turbulent air of the race traffic around him. Nonetheless, Stewart kept his focus and hustled the Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy up to 26th when the checkered flag dropped.