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Tony Stewart Posts First Top-10 Finish Since NASCAR Return

Tony Stewart Posts First Top-10 Finish Since NASCAR Return

by October 26, 2014 0 comments

Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/The Fourth Turn

RIDGEWAY, Va. — Though he may not have rolled onto Martinsville Speedway’s frontstretch as the winner in today’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500, Tony Stewart is viewing his fourth-place finish in today’s race as a victory.

With his fourth-place result, Stewart recorded his first top-10 finish since his return to his No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet after his three-race hiatus in August and his first since the Camping World RV Sales 301 at Loudon in July.

Stewart’s finish at Martinsville also tied his best finish of the year that came in the Food City 500 at Bristol in March.

The three-time series champion benefitted from a strategy call during the final caution of the day that would keep him off of pit road and push him to the lead for a restart with five laps to go.

Once the race went green, Stewart would manage to hold off eventual winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. for one lap before the driver of the No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet would power to the lead with four laps remaining.

“We didn’t have anything to lose, it was worth the gamble,” Stewart said of the late call by crew chief Chad Johnston. “Where we were at in fifth, you didn’t know who was going to do two tires, you didn’t know what could happen – something could happen on the pit stop. There was just a lot of variables that could have gone wrong there.

“I would rather have taken the chance and had to fight at the end like that. We still ended up a spot better than we were before the caution came out. I think that’s about all you can ask for on this Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy. Chad Johnston and all these guys just did an awesome job.

“This car was pretty good all weekend, and it was better today than it had been on both Friday and Saturday.”

For the three-time Martinsville winner, Sunday’s result was not just a victory for himself, but for his supporters as well – “This top-five is for the fans more than anybody out there … this is as good as a win to me today,” Stewart said.

Stewart and his No. 14 crew will head off to Texas Motor Speedway next for next Sunday’s AAA Texas 500.

In 24 career starts at Texas, Stewart has two wins along with six top-fives and 13 top-10s. In April’s Duck Commander 500, Stewart drove the No. 14 Chevrolet to a 10th-place finish from the pole.

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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