Tuesday, Dec 07

Inopportune Caution Thwarts Stewart at Chicagoland

Tony Stewart had a solid run going for him in the MyAFibRisk.com 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois.

After starting 23rd, the driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) had methodically worked his way up to 15th place  by lap 100 of the 267-lap race. But an inopportune caution on lap 192 moments after a scheduled, green-flag pit stop upended Stewart’s race and left him 25th at the finish.

Already a lap down because of the torrid pace of the leaders (there were only 12 cars on the lead lap before lap 100), Stewart lost a second lap during his green-flag pit stop on lap 188. It was expected, however, as once the pit stops cycled through – because even the leaders eventually had to pit – Stewart would get that lap back. But when the yellow caution flag waved just a few laps after Stewart had come in for service, most of the field still hadn’t pitted. That stopped the cycle and left Stewart unable to regain that lap. It ended up being an obstacle that could not be overcome.

In fact, Stewart wound up losing another lap as the race pace around the 1.5-mile oval remained stout, as evidenced by its duration being less than three hours – two hours, 51 minutes and 30 seconds to be exact. The 25th-place result was only the fourth time Stewart had finished outside the top-10 in 14 career Sprint Cup starts at Chicagoland.


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