Victory for Stewart, as an owner
DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. — Tony Stewart hopped off Clint Bowyer’s pit box and wandered over to another one of Stewart-Haas Racing’s pit areas with about 80 laps left in Sunday’s Daytona 500.
That’s the luxury of being a co-owner of a four-car team. Chances are, even at this crash-laden race, you’ll have at least one car left in contention, and Stewart had Kurt Busch, who earned the coveted title for the first time for himself, and for Stewart.
“If I knew that’s all I had to do to get it done, I would’ve retired a long time ago,” Stewart quipped afterward.
Stewart ran this race 17 times and his best finish was second in 2004. Even if it’s purely as an owner after his retirement as a driver after last season, Stewart will take it.
“I mean, when you’ve grown up all your life as a race car driver you want to win it as a driver,” Stewart said. “For every driver, there’s a point where you step out of the car and you do something different. To have an opportunity to come back this year as an owner and still have the opportunity to be where we’re at right now, I mean, that’s a pretty exciting feeling.
“It’s what anybody that does anything with a race team, especially owners, that’s what you strive for. You strive to win races and you strive to win championships. But first and foremost, you want to win the biggest one of the year. That’s out of the box here at Daytona.”
Kurt Busch is congratulated in Victory Lane by team owner Tony Stewart on Sunday.