Stewart-Haas Racing Texas Report - Just Mediocre

Stewart rolls through the garage at Texas  Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs

The Stewart-Haas Racing drivers left the Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway both disappointed that the night did not end better and grateful that it did not end worse.

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet Impala, started 26th at the 1.5-mile oval and finished 12th after an up-and-down night that at times looked like disaster and at times looked like victory.

Stewart took advantage of the night’s first caution and came onto pit road at Lap 11 where a pit road collision damaged the right front fender. The team was able to minimize the damage and Stewart continued without a major problem.

A speeding penalty on Lap 276 led Darian Grubb, Stewart’s crew chief, to make a late-race call to try to stretch fuel in the closing laps. Unfortunately for Stewart’s team, the fuel ran out when the white flag waved.

By the time Stewart had coasted across the finish line he had dropped from third to 12th in the final lap. “You know, it took almost the whole race to crack the top-10, so to be in the position we were in there at the end, I guess is a good thing,” Stewart said. “But when you’re in that position and you can’t capitalize, it’s pretty frustrating. Speeding on pit road didn’t exactly help the cause either.”

Stewart led twice for 12 laps and moved up one spot to 10th in the Sprint Cup points standings. He now has 213 points which leaves him 43 points behind new series leader Carl Edwards.
Newman addressed the media at TMS  Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs

Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 U.S. Army Reserve Chevrolet Impala, finished 14th in a car that needed constant adjustments to address speed and handling issues.

A special paint scheme on the hood and rear-quarter panel of Newman's car honored the Army Reserve, which is the Federal Reserve force of the U.S. Army. Newman has never won when carrying the Army banner. His only victory at Stewart-Haas Racing was in a Tornados-sponsored Chevrolet.

Tony Gibson, crew chief on the No. 39 Chevrolet, paid tribute to his driver for finishing 14th in a car that was never great. "We knew we were behind the eight ball with speed and handling and never could find the right balance in our U.S. Army Reserve Chevrolet," said Gibson. "I feel we got everything and more out of our car tonight. Some days it's not going to be there and you just hope you can squeeze out every ounce of possible performance. That is exactly what Ryan did - an awesome job to finish a respectable 14th."

Newman dropped from sixth to seventh in the points standings and has 233 points - 23 points back of Edwards.
Stewart-Haas Racing Texas Report - Just Mediocre Stewart-Haas Racing Texas Report - Just Mediocre Reviewed by Rosalie Thompson on Monday, April 11, 2011 Rating: 5