Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Stewart stays calm about slow start

FONTANA, Calif. — A few hours after putting his footprints and signature in drying concrete on Fontana's walk of fame, Tony Stewart hopped on his jet with Kyle Larson and flew 400 miles north to Stockton, Calif., where Larson beat him in a dirt-track race.

Just a typical Friday for Stewart — and just another indication he's not worried about Stewart-Haas Racing's slow start heading into today's fifth race of the NASCAR season.

Wrecks, bad tires and unfortunate breaks have combined to keep Stewart 24th in points, near the three-time Sprint Cup champion's teammates, Ryan Newman (23rd) and rookie Danica Patrick (28th). Stewart isn't worried yet, but Smoke would love to figure out the new Gen-6 car in time to celebrate a third win in four years at Fontana in the Auto Club 400.

"Everybody wants an answer that nobody has an answer to right now," said Stewart, who starts eighth today. "Every track that we're going to is a learning deal right now. You're going to go through a lot of races before we all figure out what the car likes and dislikes."

Still, Stewart is the defending champ at Fontana, where he won a rain-shortened race last year.

"It's just early in the year," he said. "If all of us had finished all the races and we're back there because we've been running bad, that would be one thing. We've all had races that we've crashed out of."

Nationwide: Another series race at Fontana, another victory for Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing. Busch earned JGR's ninth consecutive victory at Fontana in NASCAR's second-tier series, beating Sam Hornish in the Royal Purple 300 for his third win in five races this season. Busch pushed ahead late in a duel with points leader Hornish. "It's really cool," Busch said, adding of JGR, "they're known for having great stuff, but you've still got to be able to wheel it."

Formula One: Three-time defending series champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull won pole position at the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang. The race was run overnight.

Stewart stays calm about slow start 03/23/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 23, 2013 11:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. The 10 silliest names for college football bowl games

    College

    The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl hadn't even been officially announced when SBNation called it the silliest bowl name ever. Ten others worthy of consideration:

    Logo for the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl. [MATT BAKER | Times]
  2. Austin Pruitt faces the Blue Jays tonight at the Trop.
  3. USF football and the undefeated degree of difficulty

    College

    TAMPA — In the wake of the latest solar eclipse, USF fans eagerly await the next astronomical phenomenon.

    USF head coach Charlie Strong leads his team during practice last month in Tampa. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  4. Nature Coast puts unbeaten streak on the line vs. IMG White

    Footballpreps

    BROOKSVILLE — Nature Coast currently rides a 22-game regular-season win streak, but first-year football coach Cory Johns was not around for any of those wins. Neither was most of his coaching staff. This is an entirely new campaign with new obstacles ahead.

    Nature Coast offensive lineman Louis Miele (66) blocks a Sunlake defensive player during the Clash 4 Clayton football scrimmage and fundraiser Aug. 12 at Springstead High School.
  5. Crosstown rivals Bloomingdale-Newsome kick off season

    Footballpreps

    LITHIA — In a week filled with area football rivalries, there is a game on the east side of Hillsborough County — Bloomingdale vs. Newsome — that has matured into a classic crosstown battle, complete with classic cliches.

    Bloomingdale wide receiver Ed Amos charges through a drill a few days before tonight’s big rivalry game against Newsome.