It was St. Patrick’s Day, but there was no luck to be found by Tony Stewart in the Food City 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, as he finished 31st.
Just nine laps into the 500-lap race around the .533-mile oval, the left-rear tire on Stewart’s No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) deflated. Stewart spun and impacted the SAFER Barrier on the outside of turn one with the left side of his race car. Stewart was OK, but his race car was not.
Damage was extensive, and it took a prolonged stay on pit road to make repairs. But no one on the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 team gave up, and after 15 laps of green-flag racing, Stewart returned to the racetrack in 41st.
Through the attrition of others and Stewart’s dogged determination to make the most of a bad day, he picked up 10 positions to salvage the best result possible.
“I felt the tire going down, and I just could not get down to the inside to get to pi...