This week, Tony Stewart announced that he’ll be retiring from the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit after the 2016 season.
While the Columbus native outlined his goals of winning races and a championship next season, he isn’t taking the rest of this year lightly. With eight races left in the season, he’s still looking for his first win, and the next opportunity will come in Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover, Delaware.
Stewart has had a little success at Dover, sweeping the two races in 2000. His last Sprint Cup victory came in June 2013 at Dover International Speedway.
“I remember thinking that if someone had told me we were going to win, I would’ve told them they were crazy,” Stewart said in a news release. “We just didn’t have the car to win the race, but we had great pit strategy at the end. Our car was solid, but we just never could get the track position to get in clean air. We changed only two tires on that last stop to get up front.
“The car felt a lot better up there, and it didn’t seem like the guys who took four tires had a huge advantage taking off,” he said. “When we noticed we were catching the leaders, we kind of got going on the bottom and made up even more time. It was just a big win for us and really gave us some momentum for the next few races.”
Including the three wins, Stewart has 11 top-five finishes and 17 top 10s in 32 career starts at Dover. But prior to the 2013 win, he had struggled there.
“Dover is probably the track where we have struggled the most, which certainly made the 2013 win that much sweeter,” Stewart said. “It was the one track that we always had to look at and say, ‘This is one that we have to figure out and do better if we’re going to have a shot at this.’ We have to survive there. What we did there that year helped us out for our next two races at Dover; but even with the win, we have some work to do.”