As this week’s race at Homestead quickly approaches, Tony Stewart has the opportunity to become a three time NASCAR Cup Series Champion and the first driver-owner to win it all since Alan Kulwicki in 1992.The driver-owner phenomenon is not new to NASCAR. Besides Tony Stewart, Michael Waltrip and Robby Gordon are the only active driver-owner combinations in Sprint Cup today. To give an idea of how challenging it is to even win a race as a driver-owner, consider this…Tony Stewart’s first Cup win as a driver-owner came on June 7, 2009 at Pocono, 11 years after the last driver-owner, Ricky Rudd, to win a Cup race. Ricky Rudd would go on to win 6 races as driver-owner, while Kulwicki won 5. Tony Stewart has already won 10 races as the boss.
Jimmie Johnson’s five consecutive championships at Hendrick Motorsports is an amazing feat that we may never see again in our sport. If Tony Stewart wins this year’s championship, where does that put him? Considering the challenges of owning a team, let alone a contending driver every Sunday, I would say that puts him near the top. What are your thoughts?
By Ryan Hutter
Ryan’s favorite driver is Tony Stewart. He has followed Smoke his entire NASCAR career from his days at Joe Gibbs Racing and now as driver-owner at Stewart-Haas. Other favorites include Kevin Harvick and teammates Ryan Newman and Danica Patrick (in 2012). Ryan has been known to tweet live trackside updates and also enjoys photographing motorsports, especially NASCAR.
Readers can follow Ryan on twitter @Ryan_Hutter