SHR- rocky start to season?

Going into the Daytona 500 this past Sunday, Tony Stewart was a favorite among many to capture his first Daytona 500 win.

He won the NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 the day before (his 5th win in 6 tries in that race), he looked stout early in the Shootout as well as in his duel, where he finished 2nd in a close finish to Kasey Kahne.

Unfortunately, many fans' fantasy picks (including mine) didn't go as planned. Both Stewart-Haas cars ran poorly all night. Apparently Smoke couldn't get the handle on his car, made several changes throughout the race- he had plenty of time to think about it due to two red flags for the track problem- but nothing seemed to work. This coming from a driver who is a master at getting a car to handle at Daytona! Ryan looked racey earlier but soon fell back and just could not get back to the front. Eventually he was in a wreck on Lap 193 with Elliott Sadler and a few others.

Ryan was out of the race after that and ended up finishing 34th. Tony finished not too far in front, in 22nd, respectively.

So what does this mean for the two Stewart-Haas drivers coming into their second season together? Did they just have a bad race, or is this going to be indictative of the rest of their season? We saw some contenders up front in this race that we hadn't seen much last season- Richard Petty Motorsports with AJ Allmendinger, Elliott Sadler, and Kasey Kahne, Roush Fenway Racing with Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards, and David Ragan taking their turn at leading, as well as Richard Childress Racing with Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick, who many thought would win the race. Guys with new teams- Jamie McMurray, the eventual winner, and Martin Truex Jr. also had great runs. That being said.. HMS, JGR, and SHR were barely factors all night.

But before we make any real spectulations, let's go to California. I'm looking for Stewart-Haas Racing to make a comeback and huge step forward from their bad day (and night) at the Daytona 500. As our readers have seen, a few of the writers here at Skirts and Scuffs have even chosen Stewart to win his 3rd series Championship. It was very uncharacteristic of Stewart and Newman to run poorly at Daytona, but only time will tell how good they can be. As a die hard SHR fan, I sure hope they get things going in the right direction!

One thing I know is for sure though... this will be an exciting season and a season to remember!


The opinions expressed are those solely of the writer.
Photo: Tony Stewart poses with Kevin and Delana Harvick in Victory Lane following the Nationwide Series Drive4COPD300 win
SHR- rocky start to season? SHR- rocky start to season? Reviewed by tstewartluvr14 on Monday, February 15, 2010 Rating: 5