Stewart Battles to 19th at Bristol

The Irwin Tools Night Race Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway was a fast-paced affair, with only 13 drivers in the 43-car field finishing on the lead lap.

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, had to fend off the leaders numerous times around the .533-mile oval in eastern Tennessee. He remained on the lead lap for nearly half of the 500-lap race before succumbing to the breakneck speed of the leaders.

A tight-handling racecar that didn’t allow Stewart to cut through the track’s high-banked corners and a massive, green-flag run between laps 258-359 conspired to leave Stewart three laps down. Nonetheless, Stewart kept a tenacious hold on the steering wheel of his Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 machine, rallying from his 40th-place starting spot to claim 19th-place when the checkered flag waved. It was Stewart’s 10th top-20 finish of the season and his 19th top-20 at Bristol.