Tony Stewart won the NASCAR Championship in 2011 in a dramatic fashion by winning five races in the Chase. It looked like in spite of that he was positioning his race team in order to continue that success by hiring a new crew chief, Steve Addington. Although Tony and the Office Depot team didn’t win the Championship, they were in contention.
Tony Piloted his Stewart Haas Chevy to 12 top five finishes, three more than he did the year before when he won the championship. Eight of those finishes were actually top three including three wins. Tony’s Stewart’s season was more about what he and his team was not able to do. His twelve finishes of 20th or worst were momentum and points killers, he only had seven the year before.
The three finishes of 20th or worse in the Chase took him out of contention. Tony was asked about his poor finishes in the Chase before the last race. “A lot of places that we were so good at last year in the Chase, not being good this time and this year around was a little disappointing.”
Tony isn’t worried about continuing the problems of 2012 into 2013. He doesn’t think it matters due to the new car.
“We’ve got such a different car and different package next year, everybody just kind of starts over. I am discouraged that we are finishing this way, but not because of what it’s going to lead to next year.” Tony said, “Everybody is going to start with stuff that is totally different package wise than what we have. A totally new body that is obvious to everybody, but things underneath the car that the guys are doing to the cars this year that we are not going to be allowed to do next year. There are a lot of changes and it’s going to be a whole new learning process starting over in Daytona.”
Tony Stewart and Stewart Haas Racing will have three cars next year enabling them to have plenty of track time to figure the cars out. In reality SHR gets there cars from Hendrick Motorsports so the new cars will not be a problem. Tony Stewart will be in contention next year for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship.