Stewart hopes Chase bubble doesn’t burst

Following a 16th-place finish in last week’s Chase for the Sprint Cup opener at Chicagoland Speedway, Tony Stewart is squarely on the bubble.

The top 12 of the 16 drivers that qualified for the Chase advance to the next round after next week’s race at Dover, Delaware. the Columbus native is sitting in 12th place, one point ahead of 13th-place Austin Dillon.

“Don’t leave anything on the table each week,” Stewart talked about his Chase strategy in a news release. “Once the Chase starts, every race that we run, it’s not about saving anything.”

Today, Stewart will battle his Chase competitors in the Bad Boy Off Road 300 in Loudon, New Hampshire. The race is scheduled for 2 p.m.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway, nicknamed “The Magic Mile,” is a threat to Chase drivers because of its history of accidents.

“Because it’s a mile racetrack that races like a short track,” Stewart said. “The corners are tight and flat. It doesn’t take much to get caught in somebody else’s problem. It’s historically a place that normally has caused some Chase contenders to be eliminated.”

Stewart has excelled at New Hampshire. In his 34 career Sprint Cup starts, he has three wins, 15 top-five finishes and 19 top-10s and has led a total of 1,302 laps.

In July, Stewart finished second in the New Hampshire 301.

“New Hampshire was a good race for us in the (summer), but I mean some of the guys behind us are guys who are really good, too,” Stewart said. “We are going to have to be on our game these next two weeks.”

At a glance


Bad Boy Off Road 300, 2 p.m. (NBCSN)

Starting position: (qualifying Saturday)


Finished 16th in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400


Last race: 25 points

Chase total: 2,028

Current position on Chase grid: 12th

Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5628.