Stewart Haas Team is Doing Shockingly Well
Topics: Stewart-Haas Racing, Tony Stewart
May 19, 2009
It sounded like a recipe for disaster. Tony Stewart was the iconic driver for Joe Gibbs Racing. Driving the number 20 Home Depot car, he had won two championships for the team. He was both a brilliant driver and a combustible sort. He was as likely to win a race as take a swing at someone. Put another way, he was old school NASCAR.
Then came the shocking announcement. Tony Stewart was leaving Joe Gibbs Racing. He was leaving the big contract. He was leaving the massive resources. He was leaving the great crew chief. He was leaving the wins and rewards. Many thought he was leaving his sanity! Why? It was all about where he was going.
Tony Stewart was leaving Joe Gibbs Racing to become a part owner in his own team. The team would be known as Stewart Haas. The then constructed Haas team was downright horrible and many thought Stewart had lost his mind. After all, we’d seen this tried before with Ricky Rudd. Michael Waltrip and many others. It rarely worked out for the best. Given the temper of Tony Stewart, it all sounded like a nightmarish 2009 season.
Tony Stewart outsmarted us all. The first thing he did right was to bat his eyes at Rick Hendrick. The Hendrick Team is the dominant team in NASCAR. It also drives Chevrolets, the car Stewart preferred over Toyota which Joe Gibbs Racing had switched to. Stewart signed an affiliation agreement with the Hendrick Team and then signed away some key players as well. This made the transition to the Hendrick equipment fairly seamless. Throw in the signing of Ryan Newman and the team had the makings of being something solid.
Solid? Try tremendous. Tony Stewart sits in third in the points after the Southern 500. Ryan Newman is in the tenth position. Yes, both teams are in the chase as I write this and the both look strong. Stewart has yet to win, but it is only a matter of time. Overall, it has been a fairy tale beginning for the team. Can it last? With close ties to the Hendrick Team, it looks like it may very well.
Tony Stewart is a controversial figure. Some love him. Some hate him. What is undeniable is he is a fiery personality. In the world of PC corporate drivers in NASCAR, that is something desperately needed. Thank goodness Tony hasn’t faded away to the back of the pack.
Lemmy Gibson is with PullingGsRacing.com - get a hardcore fans view of auto racing.
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