Stewart “Smokes” ‘Em At Atlanta


(photo courtesy Leon Hammack)

Tony Stewart, driving the Stewart-Haas Racing Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy, took the lead on a restart with just 24 laps to go, more importantly, he held on to the lead after a restart with 18 laps to go, and went on to win the Emory Healthcare 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway Sunday night.  This was the first win of the 2011 season, and the first victory since the Kansas race last fall, for the two-time Sprint Cup champion.

Sunday night’s race featured two types of racers, safe racers and chance takers.  Those teams which were safely locked into The Chase, or appeared to be safely locked into The Chase, raced a more intelligent and safe strategy at Atlanta.  For those teams that were just on the cusp or slightly past the cusp of  The Chase, their strategy was “Testes Ad Mureum“!  A Latin racing phrase for aggressive driving!

One of the chance takers Sunday night was the Stewart-Haas Racing #39 Army Chevy of Ryan Newman.   Newman’s 8th place finish in the Emory Healthcare 500 leap-frogged his team over both Mark Martin and Jamie McMurray into 13th place in the standings.  Newman, however, is now 117 points out of the coveted 12th, and final spot in The Chase. With just one race to go, that 117 point deficit may be too big of a hill to climb next Saturday night in order to make it into The Chase!

With just one race to go before The Chase begins, it appears that the top 12 teams are fairly secure in making The Chase.  Nevertheless, the race Saturday evening at the Henrico County Fairgrounds, aka Richmond International Raceway, will be exciting, fast, and furious, just as it always is at Richmond!

Here is the unofficial results of the Emory Healthcare 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.


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