NASCAR driver Tony Stewart just isn’t having a good year. In 18 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup season, Stewart has finished once in the top ten, when he was sixth at Bristol, and Tony Stewart’s not optimistic things will improve.
Currently, Tony stands at 28th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings. In an interview with the Charlotte Observer, the number 14 driver revealed his enthusiasm for the year has faded: “It did. I wish I could say ‘No, it didn’t.’ But it did,” Stewart told reporters.
What has the NASCAR driver specifically been battling? Tony told Sporting News that during every NASCAR race, he’s struggled to find balance in his car. Stewart claims that if he can sort that problem out, his season will have a dramatic turn around.
“We’re fighting the handling of our car so bad right now. The whole year has been frustrating. It seem just seems everywhere we go we just seem to fight the same battle. That’s what’s been frustrating for the whole No. 14 car.”
“We’re trying a ton of things and we can’t seem to find anything that really moves the needle, or something that makes significant change,” Tony told reporters at a NASCAR conference. “It just seems the further we go into the year, the more frustrating it gets.”
Some NASCAR insiders have been blaming Tony Stewart’s crew chief, Chad Johnston, for the team’s poor performance, reports Sporting News, but in a media conference call Tuesday, Stewart refused to pass the buck, blaming new NASCAR rules and himself instead.
“I… really like working with Chad Johnston… I don’t think he’s holding me back. It’s just a matter of me figuring [the new NASCAR rules package] out. One race could change our whole season… it’s not strictly about a win.”
While Stewart isn’t fully focused on a win, Tony revealed in the NASCAR media conference, however, that a win “could change everything. That’s a reason not to give up. That’s a reason to keep fighting every week and show up at the track with the same attitude you did the week before. That’s to go out there and win the race and get the year going.”
Last year, Tony Stewart was almost indicted on charges after accidentally killing another NASCAR driver who inexplicably left his car while the race was under caution. Stewart elected to sit out three races in the aftermath, and a grand jury declined to indict him.
[Image credit: Jerry Markland / Getty Images]