Stewart Can’t Catch a Break in Kansas
With a 39th-place finish Saturday night in the rain-delayed SpongeBob SquarePants 400 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Tony Stewart endured another tough outing in what has been a tough start to his 17th season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was caught up in accident on lap 130 of the 267-lap race when he slowed to avoid the spinning car of Matt Kenseth. Rookie Brett Moffitt ran into the back of Stewart’s No. 14 machine, shoving the Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy against the backstretch wall.
Significant right-side damage was sustained, especially to the front and rear corners of Stewart’s black-and-orange car. It took two pit stops under the ensuing caution for crew members to patch up the car well enough for Stewart to return to the track.
When green-flag racing resumed on lap 135, smoke emanated from the car, likely from the right-rear tire rubbing on a damaged crush panel. Stewart deftly wheeled his machine around the 1.5-mile oval, and when the caution came out again on lap 186, Stewart took advantage of the opportunity by bringing the car back to the attention of his crew.
Multiple pit stops during the break in action allowed the crew to properly secure all the sheet metal around the right-rear tire. Unfortunately, the damage from the accident extended beyond crumpled body panels.Stewart restarted in 37th place, three laps down. His Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet was a handful at speed, loose through the track’s progressive-banked corners. For the remaining 77 laps, Stewart hung on to his racecar to bring home a 39th-place finish.
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