By admin | May 4, 2011
By Richard Allen
If you were to tell me that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was about to visit an old, worn out slick track and then ask me to name the driver who would be the obvious favorite going into that race, my answer would be Tony Stewart without much hesitation.
Well, the series is going to just such a track this weekend in Darlington. However, a quick look a Stewart’s Sprint Cup record there reveals a bit of a surprise. He has never won on the ‘Track Too Tough to Tame.’ For that matter, the driver with extensive dirt experience has scored only three top-5 results on the track that offers less grip than virtually every other speedway on the NASCAR circuit.
Perhaps the most unbelievable statistic about Stewart at Darlington is that the driver who is an almost certain Hall of Famer has led only fourteen laps on the storied track in eighteen Sprint Cup starts. He has won a single time on the track in the Nationwide Series.
Unfortunately for the two time champion, this does not exactly look like a time in which he will reverse his fortunes on ‘The Lady in Black’. While he ranks tenth in the Sprint Cup standings, he has not run up to the high standards he almost certainly sets for himself. Stewart himself admitted last week in Richmond that he is “embarrassed” by his team’s performance so far this season.
Prior to his 9th place run in the Richmond race Stewart had been mired in a five consecutive race streak of finishing outside the top-10. He has scored a total of three top-10 finishes in 2011.
The Darlington Raceway seems like a track made to specifically highlight the talents of Tony Stewart. However, to this point in his career, that has not been the case. Based on the way he has run to this point in the current season, it does not look as if his fortunes will change this weekend in South Carolina.
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