Stewart-Haas Racing In Position to Race
Practice and patience breeds success in life and NASCAR, it seems as a team that often talked a big game during the preseason, hasn’t been exactly the new kids on the block and has recently achieved a level of success that many thought they would be hard pressed to achieve. Stewart-Haas racing struggled to stay competitive last year, but Saturday night at the Richmond International Raceway it took a big step toward making this level of success a reality.
Tony Stewart combined fresh tires with great driving skills, crossed the finish line in second place, while his teammate Ryan Newman bounced back from an early encounter with Mark Martin to finish fourth for Stewart-Haas racing on a short .75 mile oval track. This marks the dawning of a new day for Stewart-Haas racing and is the first time since becoming teammates, the two have both finished in the top five in the same race. This result also places both Stewart-Haas drivers in the top 12 in championship points, with only 15 Sprint Cup races before NASCAR’s premier series pulls into Richmond again to determine this year’s championship field. Not bad for an organization that often had difficulty being organized, until Tony Stewart took the reigns in his hands and tightened-up the team’s technical relationship with Hendrick Motorsports.
Stewart and Newman have both shown obvious progress since the beginning of the season. Newman moving from failed to finish better than 2oth place in the first four races of the season, but has steadily climbed since then and currently sits 10th in the standings. Stewart has been more consistent since the start and has had his issues, but despite his problems, sits in third in points.
Stewart-Haas racing’s relationship with Hendrick Motorsports has supplied the team with chassis and engines, obviously two important aspects of any NASCAR team. The lack of success last year lead to Stewart being given a half-share in the team, who went to work and hired a group of top-notch industry professionals and attracted top sponsors, where the team would have been laughed at in previous years. Months later, the results of Stewart’s magic are becoming more and more visible on the race track, it will be fun, engaging and entertaining to watch and see what tricks he can pull off, both on and off the race track, to move his team up in the Sprint Cup series.