Stewart finishes 7th in Aussie race

Tony Stewart gets the power down (or up) at Tyrepower Parramatta Raceway in Sydney, Australia, on Sunday. (Photo courtesy of crgphotography on Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart finished seventh in the main event at the 30th Valvoline Australian Grand Prix at Tyrepower Parramatta Raceway in Sydney, Australia, on Sunday night.

Stewart made his debut in the Garry Rush Motorsport No. 14 Old Spice Sprintcar. Battling a rain-soaked track, Stewart qualified 29th in time trials. He improved his time in the heat races but just missed the cutoff transfer from the B main. He was given a promoter's pass for the main from the 25th position -- last place. Stewart steadily moved up through the pack to finish seventh.

Reigning World of Outlaws Champion Donny Schatz, Stewart's teammate, won Sunday night's event. The North Dakota native claimed the $10,000 prize in the No. 2 Pick N Payless Shaver machine.

Schatz recently wrapped up his fourth consecutive title in World of Outlaws. How did it feel racing against Stewart, his World of Outlaws team boss?

“Tony is my boss 95 percent of the time and it's pretty neat to see him out here, he loves dirt track racing and loves these types of cars but I think tonight was a little bit trying for him.

“Tony came forward a long ways, learned a lot here tonight, had a lot of fun and got to see a lot of people out here,” Schatz said.

Stewart talked about the challenges he faced on the track. "I think to finish seventh from the tail was OK, it was a good first night for me, obviously not as good as my teammate who won the race but he runs 100 races a year and I get to run three.

“The rain really hurt the racetrack, it was hard, with the rain that we got over the last couple of days it was bound to make the track a little messy but I think everybody did a pretty good job considering the conditions.”

Australian champion Garry Brazier finished second in Sunday's main event, and All Star Series Champion Tim Shaffer from Alquippa, Pa., placed third.

Stewart will return to Tyrepower Parramatta Raceway on Tuesday, Dec. 29, to vie for the $10,000 prize at the Hogs Breath Sprintcar International. On Jan. 2-3, he will battle for $50,000 in the Scott Darley race presented by Coca-Cola.

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Stewart finishes 7th in Aussie race Stewart finishes 7th in Aussie race Reviewed by Rebecca Kivak on Sunday, December 27, 2009 Rating: 5