NASCAR’s Top 12


Finishing ninth in points in 2008, is driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing #20 car, Tony Stewart. For Tony, 2008 was a milestone. After racing for JGR for his whole career, Tony decided to go off on his own. Haas/CNC Racing made him an offer of 51% of the team and a new name for 2009. And Tony found that a deal he could not refuse. The new Team will be Stewart/Haas Racing. Tony has two Cup Championships. The first in 2002 in Winston Cup, the second in 2005 in Nextel Cup. Let’s see if he can get one in Sprint Cup.

2008 was an unremarkable year for Tony. He had only one win, and that was controversial. In the last lap, near the start/finish line, the #20 car moved over to block the #01 car of Rookie Regan Smith. Smith went below the yellow line to get to the finish line first. NASCAR decided he couldn’t pass below the yellow line and was relegated an eighteenth place finish. Many drivers and fans felt this was wrong. In past years, the line no longer came into play that close to the finish line. And the other drivers had to wonder what, exactly constitutes pushing someone below the line, as opposed to just going down there to pass. In the replay, Tony clearly pushed Regan down there. And his only other choice was to go back onto the track into Tony. So, in the minds of many fans and drivers, Tony had no wins in 2008. Something that has never happened. And #01 Regan Smith should have had his first win.

Never the less, he was still in the Chase. And the outcome really had no baring on his ninth place finish. Kyle Busch, JGR team mate finished tenth and the other JGR team mate, #11 Denny Hamlin finished eighth. Not nearly as good as anyone had antisipated. And Tony is usually good at the last ten races.

Next up is eighth place Denny Hamlin. Stay tuned.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

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