Stewart hits a speed bump

AVONDALE, Ariz. — Tony Stewart is a master at saving fuel, but on Sunday, his car didn’t cooperate.

As soon as caution flew for David Reutimann’s blown engine on Lap 247, Stewart shut off his engine to stretch his fuel mileage. Only one problem — the engine wouldn’t re-fire.

Stewart got a push into the pits from a safety truck, but he lost two laps before his crew could diagnose the problem and get the engine started. Stewart finished 22nd and fell to 15th in the Sprint Cup standings, trailing leader and race winner Denny Hamlin by 37 points.

AVONDALE, AZ - MARCH 04:  Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/ Mobil 1 Chevrolet, competes during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 4, 2012 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)
AVONDALE, AZ - MARCH 04: Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/ Mobil 1 Chevrolet, competes during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 4, 2012 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)

“I mean, I just shut the car off like we did at Daytona and turned it back on and it never re-fired,” a mystified Stewart said after the race. “That’s all I can tell you. I don’t know why it didn’t re-fire. I honestly don’t know.

“It’s not really my department. I just turned the switch back on and it never re-fired. I don’t know why that was; but it definitely cost us a good day.”

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.

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