I know I’m going way out on a limb here, seeing as how he is the current points leader and most recent race winner, but I’m calling right now that Tony Stewart will win the 2009 Cup Series championship. How could I possibly do such a thing with 18 races down, and 18 more to go? Let me explain.
Through the first half of this season, Tony Stewart and his #14 team are not only leading the championship standings by 180 points, but they also lead most of the important statistical categories. At a quick glance, they have the most top fives, most top tens, have run the most laps, have the best average finish and own the most lead lap finishes.
And besides being the latest race winner, just to give you some more evidence on how hot Tony Stewart is right now, check out his most recent finishes. Since finishing 19th at Charlotte in May, Stewart has finished second, first, seventh, second, fifth, and first in the last six races. Not a bad start for a guy that is in his first season as an owner/driver.
But, while I know that 18 races doesn’t make an entire season, the kicker here lies in the fact that Stewart is the most prolific second half driver of the last 10 years. Most of his 35 career wins (21 to be specific), have come after the mid way point of the season.
So if Tony Stewart is just getting his season started, it appears that the rest of the field may be in big trouble.
Stewart and crew chief Darian Grubb are really starting to gel, and with the support of a great Stewart-Haas team and help from Hendrick Motorsports, this duo may be unstoppable.
And just in case all of these reasons aren’t good enough evidence for you, check out this little tidbit I found while doing some surfing today.
Via the forums over at Rubbin’s Racin’, I discovered that two years after Tony Stewart is featured on the cover of the EA Sports NASCAR video game, he wins the title. First, Stewart was on the cover of NASCAR 2001, released in 2000. He won the 2002 championship. Then, Stewart adorned the cover of NASCAR Thunder 2004, released in 2003. He went on to win the 2005 championship. And most recently, Stewart was on the cover of NASCAR ’08, released in 2007. Champion in 2009? Take it to the bank.