Tag: Stewart-Haas Racing

Who Will NOT Be Filling In For Tony Stewart

News came out earlier this week Tony Stewart was involved in a “non-racing” accident (because that makes it better for us to take? Weird emphasis on “non-racing” on nearly every press release) and will miss significant time after sustaining a burst fracture of his L1 vertebra. This will take a substantial amount of time to heal, thus opening the door for a replacement driver in the #14 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). Continue reading “Who Will NOT Be Filling In For Tony Stewart”

Bowyer’s Plans Coming Into Focus

What seemed to be a stretch of an idea by Motorsport.com is now being reported by another media outlet. Earlier Claire B Lang of SiriusXM Radio confirms the Motorsport.com report that Clint Bowyer will head to HScott Motorsports (HSM) in 2016 and then move to Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in 2017.

When Bowyer gets to SHR, he would take over the seat of Tony Stewart, who will hang up his helmet after 18 seasons in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. This would be another big blow to NASCAR on the national radar, as this year marks the end of Jeff Gordon’s illustrious career.

Originally the idea seemed crazy that Stewart would ever walk away, but at age 45 (Stewart in 2016) time and circumstances have taken their toll on him. A broken leg in 2013 and then the tragedy in 2014, Stewart has yet to regain the form that has led him to three Sprint Cup Series titles and 48 wins in his career. The last win coming in early 2013, which was done with fuel mileage rather than out pacing the competition. So far this season, Stewart sits 26th in points with only two top-10 finishes in 24 starts.

When looking at what HSM might do for that one season, no matter what, it will be an improvement over what it is currently getting from drivers Justin Allgaier and Michael Annett. Logic would dictate that one of those drivers would be out of a job to make room for Bowyer, rather than expanding for three teams for one season. Allgaier is a favorite of owner Harry Scott, but lacks full sponsorship and is currently 30th in points. Annett has sponsorship, but sitting 35th in points with no top-10 finishes (Allgaier has one) I can’t imagine there’s enough Pilot Travel Centers money to keep him employed at HSM.

The benefit to Bowyer spending a year in the minor leagues, as outlined by Motorsport.com, is with HSM’s Hendrick Motorsports affiliation, he can spend a year getting accustomed to their chassis. While the results haven’t been there for HSM, it is not from lack of effort, and getting a talented driver like Bowyer in there might turn their luck around. Many would point to when Kurt Busch went to HSM’s predecessor, Phoenix Racing, and turned them into a potential contender. While that is an honorable comparison, what Busch did for Furniture Row Racing might be a better parallel.

With the eventual move to SHR, Bowyer will be reunited with his for Richard Childress Racing teammate Kevin Harvick. Looking at that aspect, maybe it is better to go backwards in time, to then be able to go forward.

Question Marks Heading Into Atlanta Over Replacement Drivers

The season opening Daytona 500 is over, but there will be many questions to answer in the coming days for the next event on the schedule. Ironically it involves both of the Busch brothers and polar opposite reasons. Continue reading “Question Marks Heading Into Atlanta Over Replacement Drivers”

NASCAR Making Right Call With Stewart Exemption

Ever since the tragic events that took place early in August at the Canandaigua (NY) Motorsports Park, public opinion has been split on Tony Stewart. Once again, after NASCAR’s announcement Friday that Stewart has been granted an exemption for the Chase for the Sprint Cup, opinion was split. This means if Stewart wins this weekend at Atlanta or next weekend at Richmond, he would be able to run for the championship. Continue reading “NASCAR Making Right Call With Stewart Exemption”

Furniture Row Racing Trying To Get Blaney?

With how silly season has been going, anything might be possible, especially when you start talking about the Furniture Row Racing team. Their season within the season has had more twists and turns than a road course. Continue reading “Furniture Row Racing Trying To Get Blaney?”

Newman Rocketing To Break A Record At Atlanta

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Coming into this weekend’s AdvoCare 500 Ryan Newman is looking past the awkwardness of this past week and onto breaking a record he holds with a friend. Newman and Buddy Baker are tied atop the all-time lead for poles with seven apiece.

“Buddy Baker has been a good friend and mentor to me since I got my opportunity to race stock cars with Penske Racing back in 2000. He was someone I had admired and, when I got to know him, we had a lot in common and really enjoyed each other. I still talk to him pretty frequently – we both have a lot of stories about each other, which we won’t get into – and we have fun. A lot of people have heard me tell the stories about how and what Buddy taught me, but it’s something that’s pretty cool and has been really important to my career. Buddy and I would go to racetracks and we would take our rental car out on the tracks at tests and drive around the racetracks forward and backward. Driving the tracks backward gave me a different perspective of the entry and exit points of each corner. What Buddy did was teach me how to approach those areas on the racetrack when I was driving the track the right way. Atlanta was a track that he helped me with a lot. Back when I tied him for the pole record, I think he joked that he shouldn’t have taught me quite so well,” explained Newman.

He continued discussing the impact that Baker had on his career. “To be honest, though, Buddy probably helped me more than I realized at the time because he never told me what to do – he told me what not to do. He would never tell me when I was doing something right, but he always told me what I was doing wrong because he wanted me to learn from my mistakes. He was an amazing teacher and I count myself very lucky to have Buddy as a friend and mentor. Teaching me the things not to do rather than the things to do made a big difference and a big impact. If I could not make some of those same mistakes he did that cost him a shot at a victory and to make an addition to his resume, those were things that were going to help my resume.”

Bottom line is pole or no pole, they need to be up front when the checkered flag flies on Sunday. “I think we’ll be good in Atlanta.  It’s obviously very important for us to have a strong finish this weekend to keep climbing in the point standings. We need to focus on having good, strong runs in these next two races. If we can do that, then we’ll have a chance to compete for the championship.”

The action gets underway for the AdvoCare 500 Sunday night at 7:30. All the action from the Atlanta Motor Speedway can be seen on ESPN.

Rough Road To Start With Martin And SHR

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It was an ugly 20th place finish last weekend for Mark Martin and the #14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet team. In his first race subbing for the injured Tony Stewart, Martin didn’t quite have the handle on the car for the finish many expected.

“We struggled at the beginning of the race hitting the racetrack really, really bad and then we had some tough luck and a few things that we could’ve done better, but we were pretty fast at the end. That’s why I went home feeling good about it because we were able to improve the car and get it competitive and that’s hard to do with the short pit stops that we get at Bristol. The guys did a good job. I think we’ll be better this week at Atlanta and as the next few weeks unfold. Our practice time was so short at Bristol and we had so much trouble, we just needed another day to be ready. The positive is the guys did a great job. We were way off in the beginning and at the end we were a top-10 car,” commented Martin.

Some, me included, believed that Martin could just jump into this car and get to the front. Martin is used to challenges and will not back down from this one.

“It certainly is hard and it’s challenging, but challenges are good for me. They push me hard. They drive me hard, and I will do everything I can to step up to the plate and dig in. But it is a new situation, and it’s not like you sign on with a new team in November and you have January and February to get to know each other before you go off racing. We were faced with racing together in just a few days. I felt like we did a pretty good job given the short amount of time we had together,” explained Martin.

The biggest thing Martin and his team need is to keep working together. Earlier in the week they were able to test at the Richmond International Raceway, which will help communication.

“I’ve just got to have some more time. Being familiar with all this stuff may be a little over-rated, but to be real honest with you, I was quite challenged in Bristol and I don’t feel like I was able to rise to the challenge. We learned so much and even if we just had one more day before last week’s race to work together a little bit, it would’ve helped us a ton. It’s just a matter of time,” said Martin.

The action gets underway for the AdvoCare 500 Sunday night at 7:30. All the action from the Atlanta Motor Speedway can be seen on ESPN.