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« NASCAR suspends Kurt Busch until June 13th and extends his probation | Main | Informal poll shows fans mixed on Kurt Busch suspension »

Stewart’s 2012 season one of inconsistency

By admin | June 5, 2012

By Richard Allen


If one were to look over the victory totals for this season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, it might look as if Tony Stewart had simply picked up where he left off at the end of 2011. Last season, the driver of the Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet closed out the campaign by winning five of the final ten races and claiming his third series title.

But a closer look at Stewart’s statistics for 2012 do not necessarily reveal a championship contender. While he does have two victories, which ties him with Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski for most wins, he also has the lowest number of top-10 finishes(five) of any driver within the top-10 of the standings.

Stewart has finished outside the top-20 five times in thirteen starts this season, including consecutive 25th place results in Charlotte and Dover.

At the end of his championship campaign in 2011, Stewart released crew chief Darian Grubb and replaced him with veteran pit boss Steve Addington. While it may have seemed an unusual move to fire a crew chief who had just won a title, the decision had actually been made well before that final result was achieved.

In the beginning of the 2012 season it looked as if the switch from Grubb to Addington had been a seamless one as the SHR #14 team scored victories in two of the first five races(Las Vegas and Fontana). However, the inconsistency that would plague the team throughout the first half of this year was already apparent, although hidden by those initial wins.

While Stewart did have wins in races two and five of the season, his other finishes had been 16th, 22nd and 14th. The roller coaster ride had already begun but no one had really noticed yet.

Of course, all of this is really a pointless conversation when the current NASCAR Chase for the Championship system is taken into consideration. Just like this driver proved last year, a season of consistency is not necessary.

Simply making the playoff is all that is needed, and with his two wins, Stewart will likely make the Chase as either a top-10 driver or a wildcard. And like last season, if he gets hot at the right time he could win another title no matter how up and down he might be in the first 26 races.

Topics: Articles |

4 Responses to “Stewart’s 2012 season one of inconsistency”

  1. midasmicah Says:
    June 5th, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Stewart has two wins. He’ll be in the chase regardless. He’s probably testing new set ups.

  2. Tyler West Says:
    June 5th, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Stewart is going to be fine. he’s got two wins and knows how to win when it counts. At least until Johnson and Knause show up.

  3. Tony Geinzer Says:
    June 5th, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    I feel Stewart would have had a Triple Crown Year, but JJ always and forever feasts on everyone else’s bad vibes.

  4. Josie Says:
    June 6th, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Ha! Rich…I’m going to hand it to you! Whether you meant to do it or not you made me laugh this morning! I noticed you had two articles on I read them both! The first one on Kurt and his suspension and a “fan poll”! Interesting, up to date, controversial…with lots of spicy fan replies! Then the next one on Stewart’s season….full of stats and a run down on his season so far…boring and mundane…kinda mindless. Nothing really interesting! Ok you got me! I guess us fans would rather read an article gathered by fanatical paparazzi then just a boring article any old reporter tied to his desk could write! Pretty smooth!