Stewart-Haas Racing Review--Newman solid, Stewart a half lap short

The Stewart-Haas Racing drivers started sixth and seventh at The Glen
Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR
The Stewart-Haas Racing drivers were trying to stockpile enough points at Watkins Glen Monday to assure both teams will be running for a championship during the last ten races of the season.  The plan, however, came unraveled for one of the SHR drivers on the white-flag lap of a green-white-checkered finish.

Tony Stewart had an enviable record heading into the Monday morning rain-delayed Heluva! Good Sour Cream Dips at The Glen but that record was blemished during the final lap when he spun the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet in the outer loop and went from running in the top-10 to finishing in the 27th spot.
Before the Monday morning race, Stewart had won four of the nine races he had run at Watkins Glen and had never finished lower than seventh.
“What a free-for-all,” Stewart said simply as he climbed from his battered car inside the Watkins Glen garage area after the race.
In addition to seeing his streak of good finishes at The Glen end, Stewart also saw his NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase hopes slide when he fell to tenth in the standings.  Without a win, Stewart must not fall out of the tenth spot if he expects to participate in NASCAR’s championship chase. With only four races before the Chase, another bad finish could find the Stewart-Haas co-owner relegated to cheerleader for his No. 39 teammate.
Ryan Newman, who has been steady all year, drove the No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet to a 16th-place finish for his fifth straight top-20 finish. 
“We are here to win. That’s ultimate strategy. A win takes care of itself. We’re here to get the best finish we can for the U.S. Army Chevrolet. That’s pretty much it,” Newman said before the race. 
To try to achieve that win, the team tried a strategy move and pitted on lap 7 of 90 but when a caution came out on lap 27, it became apparent that the strategy would not help the team.  With an eye on making the championship, the team did not want to gamble on running out of fuel in the event of a green-white-checkered. The move was a good one since the race did go extra laps.
"We didn't want to do anything stupid and give up a lot of points. We made another precautionary pit stop towards the end of the race to top off for fuel. Again it was a conservative move because we didn't want to run out of fuel, stall on the track and drop in the standings. This was not a time and place to gamble."
If Newman and the No. 39 team continue to have solid finishes in the next four races, they are in a good position to make the Chase since Newman has a win this year.  Stewart and the No. 14 team will have to hope for four solid runs and a little bit of luck.
Stewart-Haas Racing Review--Newman solid, Stewart a half lap short Stewart-Haas Racing Review--Newman solid, Stewart a half lap short Reviewed by Rosalie Thompson on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 Rating: 5