Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), prefers the more literal sense of the phrase “go fish”. Together with Bass Pro Shops, America’s most popular outdoor retailer, Stewart is encouraging fans to go fish as he readies for this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
“Gone Fishing” is a nationwide campaign Bass Pro Shops is using to encourage people to get outdoors and simply go fish. As part of the “Gone Fishing” movement, Bass Pro Shops will host in-store seminars and sweepstakes activities in an effort to support and encourage fishing, conservation and outdoor activities for kids and families.
An enthusiastic outdoorsman himself, Stewart has spent numerous hours strategically reading the water and casting a baited hook into the homes of largemouth bass. This weekend at Michigan, Stewart aims to apply the same strategy as he fishes for a win.
Entering the state’s Irish Hills region, Stewart is 28th in the championship point standings with a sixth-place finish in April at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway being his best finish thus far. While Stewart has found himself a victim of circumstance on a number of occasions, it’s still unfamiliar territory for the three-time Sprint Cup champion. A little on-track angling this weekend on the 2-mile, D-shaped oval could result in the catch Stewart has been fishing for this season, and provide a springboard to the kind of consistency that has earned him 48 career victories.
Of those 48 wins, only one has come at Michigan. It was June 2000 when Stewart started 28th and rallied his way to the front to lead 13 laps and take the victory. But despite that lone victory in 30 career Sprint Cup starts at Michigan, Stewart has enjoyed a strong level of consistency in the form of 12 top-fives and 20 top-10s, giving him an average finish of 11.7. And of those 12 top-fives, eight have been results of third or better.
Should Stewart’s on-track trawling exploits prove successful this weekend in Michigan, there will be no need to catch and release. After reeling in the big one, Stewart will make it a keeper.