2009 was a remarkable season for the Columbus, Indiana native. Co-Owner of his own team, Tony was contending for wins, and the championship, even winning the regular season title. Even though he fell short of winning his third championship, everything looked up for the aging veteran of the NASCAR Cup Series. With his first season away from his ten year crew chief; Greg Zipadelli; many figured tony would struggle as the team "Haas Racing" was very uncompetitive in years past. Receiving equipment from NASCAR powerhouse Rick Hendrick, Tony thrived as being his own boss, on way to recording 4 wins, 15 Top 5's and 23 Top 10's. His teammate, and fellow hard head Ryan Newman also had his most successful season in many years, as he made the chase, on way to a 9th place finish in the standings. What was the reason for their success?
-New found excitement for both drivers
Whatever the reason was, the table has flipped; and now both drivers sit outside the Chase after 11 events. Ryan, can be excused as he has been running very well, and has rebounded from an atrocious start to the season. Tony, on the other hand has fell off the face of the earth. Many say Tony Stewart is a slow starter, but some analysis is needed. Here are point totals for Tony Stewart after the first 11 events of every season tony has raced in the NASCAR Cup Series:
This is his second worst start in his NASCAR career. The car doesn't look fast, tony doesn't look excited, and most of all the passion isn't there. In my opinion I like the old Tony. The one who would start fights, push photographers and spin out the competition. Whatever the reason is for his terrible start, he has to turn it around or he'll be one of the 31 drivers that ESPN will never show come September.
In addition, full time sponsor Old Spice is leaving Tony Stewart, leaving Tony to not only focus on the track, but to target a sponsor for next year.
Do you think tony will turn it around? Is it a slump? or is this the future of a two time champion?
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