Friday, December 19, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Stewart ready to heat up at Watkins Glen

By
From page B1 | August 10, 2014 |

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — Tony Stewart didn’t compete at Watkins Glen International last year, breaking his leg in a sprint car accident in Iowa just days before the Sprint Cup race at a track he’d dominated for a decade.

Stewart broke two bones in his right leg and was sidelined for the remainder of the season as his streak of consecutive starts in Cup ended at 521.

“I still deal with pain every day, but that’s something that’s not even going to probably go away by the end of the year,” Stewart said this week trackside in Iowa at the Knoxville Nationals to mark the one-year anniversary of his crash. “The reality of it is there might be a point where it will never totally go away, but it doesn’t keep me from doing what I love to do.”

Smoke is back at Watkins Glen in need of a win, and the weatherman is cooperating. The forecast for Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at The Glen is sunny with temperatures in the mid-80s.

That means Stewart will be in his element.

“I like it when it gets hot and slick. It kind of plays into our hands,” said Stewart, who qualified 13th. “This is the part of the year when the temperatures are at their highest, and we tend to pick up. I think we can handle the slicker conditions sometimes a little better than some of the guys around us.

“A lot of guys panic because they know it’s going to get slick. I get excited when I know it’s going to get slick.”

The last of Stewart’s NASCAR-record five wins at The Glen was in the rain-delayed 2009 race on a hot, steamy Monday. He muscled an ill-handling car in the early going, then held off road race ace Marcos Ambrose over the final 21 laps for his seventh triumph on a road course, second all-time to Jeff Gordon’s nine.

“It’s great to have Tony back,” Gordon said. “Tony is such an important part of this series and our sport and such a great personality and talent that when he is not here we all feel it.”

Stewart needs a victory and quick. He ranks 19th in points with only five races remaining before the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup championship begins. Six drivers and 53 points separate Stewart from the top-16 cutoff necessary to make the Chase, but a victory Sunday would change all that.

A win and he’s in.

“When you’ve won five races, it gives you that confidence that you know how to win, and know what you have to do to get to Victory Lane,” Stewart said. “I know what I feel I need. It’s just a matter of going out and practicing and putting yourself in that position.”

Stewart’s seven top-two finishes and 10 top-10s in 14 career starts at Watkins give him an average finishing position of 7.9. His 225 laps led at The Glen are second only to four-time Watkins Glen winner Gordon, who has 233.

Ambrose has emerged over the last three years as the new master of The Glen with two wins. But NASCAR’s loop statistics, which provide an analysis of a driver’s performance profile in the last nine races at Watkins Glen, only magnify Stewart’s magnificent performance on the 2.45-mile road course. He ranks first or second in 10 of 14 categories at The Glen: best driver rating (120.4), best average running position (5.6), most laps spent in the top 15 (678 laps or 93.6 percent), most quality passes (195), and fastest in traffic (118.844 mph).

In practice Friday, Stewart didn’t fare so well. He spun off track in the first session and was 19th in the final practice and just missed the final round of Saturday’s knockout qualifying. Gordon got the pole, edging Ambrose.

Sonoma winner Carl Edwards held off Gordon in June at NASCAR’s other road course race, but Gordon never got close enough on the final laps to make it interesting.

The last three races at Watkins Glen, on the other hand, have been riveting. Defending race winner Kyle Busch was beaten by Ambrose in 2011 and 2012 in fender-bending duels also involving Brad Keselowski, who has finished second here three straight times and chose not to bump Busch out of the way on the final lap last year when the opportunity was there.

With this year’s new Chase format that stresses winning above all, don’t expect any Mr. Nice Guy to suddenly materialize.

“Whatever I have to do to win it, but I will be the first one to say I don’t want to win it in controversy, either,” said AJ Allmendinger, who started on the front row at Sonoma and led a race-high 35 laps. “If I have to stray a little bit, I will.

“With the new rules it could be a little bit different, but it could be the same,” added Allmendinger, who qualified sixth for Sunday’s race. “Hopefully, I cause a problem for them.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

     
     
    Sondheim’s ‘Woods’ holiday showcase for Missouri Street Theatre

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Groundbreakings, ribbon-cuttings play role in civic life

    By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Frankye Kelly ready to spread holiday cheer

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

    Celebrate the magic of Christmas

    By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

     
     
    Safe streets task force work nets 3

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

    Santas have busy week at schools

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Longtime Suisun harbor master to retire

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

    Mosquito abatement district board has opening

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

     
     
    Solano College approves officers, meeting schedule

    By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

     
    Fairfield police log: Dec. 17, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

     
    Suisun City police log: Dec. 17, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

    Police arrest 2nd suspect in Fairfield credit union robbery

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    US / World

    Sony hacking fallout puts all companies on alert

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Sony film took aim at North Korea’s biggest taboo

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Timeline of the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Rubio, other Congressional Cubans step up Obama criticism

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Spy’s parents search for son after Cuba-US deal

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Hope and some fear in Cuba amid thaw with US

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Next steps on Cuba: Normalizing could take awhile

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    California’s top utility regulator defends record

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    ‘Pretty horrible’ scene; car slams into crowd

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    San Francisco Bay Bridge fasteners not in danger of failing

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Police: Drunk man shot while entering wrong house

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    CHP, Oakland in tiff over plainclothes officers at protests

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Local emergencies in Northern California counties after rain

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Tsarnaev appears in court for 1st time since 2013

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    President signs legislation ending Nazi benefit checks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    2 states challenge Colorado marijuana legalization

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

     
    ‘Prison Houdini’ set to make his 1st legal escape

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

    Top Islamic militants killed; more US troops going to Iraq

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

     
    Feds sue NYC over Rikers Island jail violence

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

    Russian sailors leaving France without warship

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Putin: West wants to defang, declaw Russian bear

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    Suspected Islamic extremists kidnap 185 in Nigeria

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

     
    European court rules obesity can be a disability

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

    .

    Opinion

     
    America’s response to the torture report shameful

    By Clive Crook | From Page: A11

    Another look at school bonds

    By George Guynn Jr. | From Page: A11

     
    Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 19, 2014

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

    News of the day strikes a chord

    By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Living

    Today in History: Dec. 19, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: Dec. 19, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Horoscopes: Dec. 19, 2014

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D8

     
    Should I use Child Protective Services threat to get back rent?

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D8

    .

    Entertainment

    Week in preview Dec. 19-25, 2014

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

     
    Sweet ‘Night at the Museum’ bids farewell to Robin Williams

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Review: ‘The Hobbit’ wraps with a Middle Earth melee

    By Jake Coyle | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Craig Ferguson to end 10 years as host of ‘Late Late Show’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Eric Idle brings ‘Not the Messiah’ to Carnegie Hall

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Entertainment calendar Dec. 19, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

    .

    Sports

     
    Warriors beat Thunder 114-109 after Durant injury

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    A’s acquire lefty De La Rosa from Arizona for cash

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    Raiders defense depleted by injuries

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    49ers’ Harbaugh mum on reported offer from Michigan

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    49ers’ Aldon Smith hopes to build off tough year

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    A’s trade All-Star catcher Derek Norris to Padres

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    Rodriguez boys open Les Curry Tournament with victory

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

    39 bowl games and a reason to watch every one

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Column: Thaw in US-Cuba relations warms up MLB

    By Jim Litke | From Page: B8

    Rivera: Newton ‘probably’ will start vs. Browns

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Bears bench QB Jay Cutler for Clausen

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    ‘Hands Up’ players to attend Ferguson Christmas party

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Celtics trade Rondo to Mavericks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Signups for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

     
    This date in sports history for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

    Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B11

     
    .

    Business

    Roomiest Subaru Legacy debuts for 2015

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

     
    Dow industrials have their best day in three years

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    Ford expands drivers air bag recall nationwide

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    Constantly changing online prices stump shoppers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    .

    Obituaries

    Dominic C. Scolaro

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Ernest “Ernie” Moretti

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    Travis Curt Price

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Jennie Ponce Reyes

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    Patricia “Pat” Anne Stringfield-Pierre

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Lisa Dee McHughes

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics