Stewart among many in NASCAR’s field in dire need of a top-10 finish

Leave a comment

Tony Stewart is a notoriously slow starter in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. But this year, “Smoke” has yet to ignite in a good way.

The Stewart Haas Racing co-owner enters Darlington just 22nd in the standings, 56 points outside the top 10 and with just one top-10 finish in the first 10 races of the season.

In the same interview he told the Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin that he supports Kurt Busch’s IndyCar test for Andretti Autosport at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Stewart conceded he needs to think about winning races to have a shot to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

“We’re going to need some help to get (to the Chase),” he admitted. “Some guys in front of us are going to have to have some bad luck. If I felt our cars were really good but we’d had back luck I’d feel a lot more confident right now. But we’re struggling to find what these cars want. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.”

Stewart isn’t alone in the “needs a top-10 finish” department. Others in the field with just one include Marcos Ambrose, Juan Pablo Montoya, Danica Patrick, Denny Hamlin, Talladega 1-2 finishers David Ragan and David Gilliland, and four drivers with underfunded teams (JJ Yeley, Michael Waltrip, Michael McDowell, Scott Speed).

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has yet to score a top-10 finish this year but still ranks a respectable 16th in points for Roush Fenway Racing.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

Getty Images
Leave a comment

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”