The Republic Masthead

Stewart riding momentum into ‘exciting’ Martinsville


Follow The Republic:


Tony Stewart is getting on a little bit of a roll.

After three finishes outside the top 15 in his first three races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season, the Columbus native has notched back-to-back top-fives the past two weeks at Bristol, Tenn., and Fontana, Calif. He’ll look for another beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday at Martinsville, Va.

Stewart’s efforts the past two weeks have allowed him to jump from 32nd in the point standings to 17th.

“I’m very proud of our team to do what we’ve done the last two weeks,” Stewart said in a news release. “A top-five finish is always a good day’s work at Bristol. And then last week at California, even though we weren’t a top-five car all day, (crew chief) Chad (Johnston) made some great calls and put us in position for the top-five. That’s the part that has me the most excited.

“Even though we have work to do, I’m not panicked about it because I know this is the group that can figure it out,” he said. “It’s still early in the year, and there’s a lot of racing to do.”

Stewart has three Sprint Cup victories at Martinsville, the most recent coming in 2011. He has won three poles at the track.

“Even on the bad days, it can be fun,” Stewart said. “And when you have a good day, it’s great. The grandfather clock you get for winning is one of the cooler trophies in our sport. Normally, 20-year-old kids don’t get too excited about grandfather clocks, but you realize it’s more than that at Martinsville. There’s a lot of pride and lot of history with this sport at Martinsville.”

Stewart said there’s usually no lack of excitement on the .526-mile paperclip-shaped oval at Martinsville.

“I don’t care how flawlessly your day goes, you’re going to bump into somebody at some point, even on a perfect day,” Stewart said. “You put 43 cars on this half-mile track, and it’s always going to be exciting. You will never have a race there where you don’t have some sort of drama during the day. I think every driver will say they will have some drama at some point. When you have 43 drivers with 43 dramatic moments, that’s a lot of action going on.

“I don’t care how old it gets or how far down the road it gets, it’s not going to be a track that I never see leaving the schedule,” he said. “It’s got too much history, too much personality, and that’s what you see a lack of in some of these 2-mile and 1.5-mile tracks. At those places, you’re going to get strung out. You’re going to get away from people. But the fans really like to see us on top of each other. That’s what ensures the longevity of Martinsville — the action they’re going to see.”

Don't settle for a preview.
Subscribe today to see the full story!

  • Hybrid
  • $11/month
  • Sat / Sun Delivery
  • Sat / Sun Coupons
  • Weekend Magazines
  • Full Digital Access
  • E-Edition Access
  • Buy Now
  • Premium
  • $16/month
  • 7-Day Print Delivery
  • All coupons
  • Special Magazines
  • Full Digital Access
  • E-Edition Access
  • Buy Now
  • Digital Only
  • $11/month
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Full Digital Access
  • E-Edition Access
  • Buy Now

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

All comments are moderated before posting. Your email address must be verified with Disqus in order for your comment to appear. If your comments consistently or intentionally make this site a less civil and enjoyable place to be, your comments will be excluded from it.
View our commenting guidelines and FAQ's here.

All content copyright ©2014 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.