READY TO GO FOR BROKE
People ask me how gratifying it was for Stewart-Haas Racing to win the first two races of the Chase for the
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in our No. 14
Office Depot Mobil 1 Chevrolet Impala.
While we were certainly happy to win,
it’s not going to be gratifying at all if we
end up finishing 12th in points. They
were just two of 10 races that determine
a championship, so I can’t say they
mean too much in the big picture.
If I were writing this right after the
first two Chase races, I’d be a little bit
more excited about it, but we’ve also had
two races that counteracted that – 25th at
Dover and 15th at Kansas, so it’s hard to
say we’ve turned everything around. We
had two really good weekends but then a
poor race followed by a mediocre one.
In the fifth race, at Charlotte, we had
a strong lap in qualifying to win the pole
and we were good out front during the
race, but when we got back in traffic we
got really tight. That was kind of the
theme of the night. It seemed like our
car’s balance changed a lot more in
traffic than some of the others did. Still,
we did OK to come out of it with an
eighth-place finish. We just kind of rallied
back – we got in a position where, when
others stayed out, we could come in, take
tires and try to get the benefit from it.
“WE LIKE THE COMPETITION.
IF IT WAS EASY TO WIN, IT
WOULDN’T MEAN ANYTHING”
into the Chase – that this is the most
competitive Chase field we’ve had.
But we like the competition. If it was
easy to win, it wouldn’t mean anything.
You want to have that success when it’s
difficult and challenging. That’s what
makes it gratifying. So for the next few
weeks, we’re going to keep doing what we
do every time we hit the track – trying to
win. If we have a chance to take the title
at the end, trust me, we’re all for that and
we’d love nothing more. But I think
where we’re at right now and how many
points we need to make up lets us have a
go-for-broke attitude. We can just go out
and try to do what we did at Chicagoland
and New Hampshire. I’ve always said
that if you win races, the points
situation will take care of itself.
For that reason and others, we always
focus on winning and not on points. We
have five races to go. You can stare at the
championship table until you’re blue in
With the 41st win of his NASCAR Cup career, Tony Stewart completed a Stewart-Haas Racing sweep of the Loudon races in 2011. Teammate Ryan Newman won at the New Hampshire oval in July.