Driver-owner Tony Stewart has to be the happiest man in NASCAR about the way things are going for his team heading into today’s Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. His Stewart-Haas Racing teammate, Ryan Newman, is on the pole for today’s Lenox Industrial Tools 301 and Stewart will be right there beside him on the starting grid.
Kansas City-area drivers Carl Edwards, from Columbia, Mo., and Emporia, Kan., native Clint Bowyer are 12th (Bowyer) and 15th in today’s starting lineup.
Polesitter Newman is currently ninth in the standings for the Chase for the Cup, and could really use a win or high finish to better secure his position in the standings. Newman has no wins this season, but five top-five finishes in 18 starts.
This is the fifth time Newman has won the pole position at New Hampshire, more than any other driver. Edwards, who is just four points back of Kyle Busch in the Cup standings, has never won at New Hampshire.
Today’s Sprint Cup race marks the start of the second half of the 36-race Cup schedule. The final ten races, for which 12 drivers will qualify, are part of the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.