Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 8/28/12
We've all seen Tony Stewart and that No. 14 car go through some adversity these last few weeks. What people can't lose sight of, however, is the fact they are actually doing much better than a year ago. If you pull out and look where the No. 14 car was after 24 races this year vs. 24 races last year, they are in a whole lot better shape. Obviously, Steve Addington is guiding the ship this year with Tony's former crew chief, Darian Grubb, having moved to the Denny Hamlin car. A year ago at this point, they were sitting just barely inside the top 10 in points with zero wins. This year, yes, they are once again 10th in points, but they already have those three wins to fall back on. They are going to make the Chase. That's not the issue. What's at stake in these next two races is keeping Tony in the top 10 in points. If they don't, then Tony will still get in the Chase with a wild card spot due to those three wins. But here's the rub: If he falls outside the top 10, the nine bonus points he would receive from those three wins don't count once the Chase starts. That's one of the provisions of a wild card berth - you get in the Chase but you don't receive any bonus points for your previous regular-season wins. The guys and gals at Stewart-Haas Racing and particularly that No. 14 car have all been here before. They are professionals and they know what to expect. They are smart enough to focus on what is coming up at Atlanta, Richmond and the 10 Chase races as opposed to looking back at what's happened to them these last three weeks. After what happened with Matt Kenseth at Bristol, will Tony race Matt any differently? Let's just put it this way: I don't think Tony will cut him any slack. Tony has a way and a knack for getting his point across, while not necessarily getting himself in trouble. He just has his way of letting you know that you got his attention, he knows how you race now and more importantly, Tony is going to show you how he's going to do it from here on out. So finishing off these last two regular-season races and then those 10 Chase races, Matt better not expect that No. 14 to give him any slack whatsoever.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Chiefs LB Tamba Hali goes on Twitter rant, seemingly wants out

O.J. Simpson still invited to attend Hall of Fame ceremonies

WATCH: 49ers and Seahawks players working out together

WATCH: Vince Carter throws out first pitch for 'SagerStrong Night'

Knicks GM Scott Perry has yet to meet with owner James Dolan

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Karl-Anthony Towns, Jimmy Butler reportedly recruiting Kyrie Irving to the Timberwolves

Cardinals QB Carson Palmer gives David Johnson stitches

Report: Dodgers interested in Mets RP Addison Reed

Report: Despite Kyrie Irving rumors, Carmelo Anthony still focused on the Rockets

Pablo Sandoval appears at AT&T Park after signing with Giants

Report: Brewers interested in 2B Ian Kinsler

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

Best of Yardbarker: General managers take the spotlight

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

The unexpected rise of the Connecticut Sun

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

Kicking It: USMNT struggles to find consistency in Gold Cup as World Cup qualifying nears

Three Up, Three Down: The Dodgers are a complete juggernaut right now

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

Who won the Open Championship in the year you were born?

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

Box Score 7/21: Stay cool this weekend sports fans

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

The 'Yoan Moncada era starts now' quiz

The Orioles need to unwind past deals if they are going to rebuild

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Sam Hinkie is calling the shots

The 'No one is betterer than Roger Federer' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker