Tony Stewart has won the XFINITY race at Daytona, and the Coke Zero 400. He’s also won the Sprint Unlimited and the Budweiser Duels. But, he has yet to win the Daytona 500. His 18th try wouldn’t go much better as the three-time Sprint Cup Champion would find himself in the garage before the end of the event.
On lap 41 while running in the bottom lane, Tony Stewart’s No. 14 Chevrolet would get get loose, causing him to drift up the track. He wouldn’t be able to save it in time, crossing across Ryan Blaney’s nose before hitting the outside frontstretch wall.
“I’ll take the blame for that one,” he commented on the radio. “100% my fault. It started getting tighter, but we didn’t have a problem elsewhere.”
Stewart would be forced to take his car behind the wall for numerous laps for repairs as a result of a broken spindle in the right front.
“When it got three wide that particular lap it got away from me, and I got out of the gas and couldn’t even get the front end caught up when I got out of the gas,” Stewart commented. “I’m not sure if Ryan (Blaney) wasn’t there, I still was going to hit the fence.”
He would return the speedway at lap 108 and ran some more laps, before retiring from the event.
“”It was fast enough to stay with the pack there,” Stewart said. “I actually just stayed with MIke Wallace to help my buddy out there. We ran as many laps as we could that would get us….we couldn’t run any more laps and gain anything. It’s the biggest race of the year and the last thing you want to do is stay out there and have something else happen to get in the middle of something. Let’s just let those guys have their day.”
Matt Kenseth would also get caught up the incident, also getting into the wall and causing right front damage to his Toyota. The damage would be significant enough to take Kenseth out of the running as he fell numerous laps down while making repairs.