Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, led the two-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Sunday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., by finishing fifth in the Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. It was Stewart’s 11th top-five result of 2012 and his sixth top-five in 14 career Sprint Cup starts at the 1.5-mile oval. Stewart gained 27 positions after starting the 267-lap race from 33rd in the 43-car field.
Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Code 3 Chevrolet for SHR, finished 30th after being involved in an accident with Kyle Busch on lap 183. Newman’s car was too damaged to finish the race.
SHR driver Danica Patrick, who is driving the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for Tommy Baldwin Racing via a collaborative agreement with SHR, finished 32nd after being involved in an accident with Landon Cassill on lap 156. Her car was too damaged to continue.
Matt Kenseth won the Hollywood Casino 400 to score his 24th career Sprint Cup victory, his third of the season and his first at Kansas.
Martin Truex Jr. finished .495 of a second behind Kenseth in the runner-up spot, while Paul Menard, Kasey Kahne and Stewart rounded out the top-five. Clint Bowyer, Regan Smith, Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were a race-record 14 caution periods for 66 laps, with 16 drivers failing to finish the 267-lap race.
Stewart is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and came into the sixth race of the 10-race Chase in eighth place among the 12 Chase drivers, 50 points behind Chase leader Keselowski. Stewart leaves Kansas seventh in the standings, 47 points behind Chase leader Keselowski.
Newman dropped one spot to 15th in the standings with 903 points, 61 back of 13th-place Kyle Busch.
With four races remaining before a champion is crowned following the season finale Nov. 18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the top-12 drivers competing for the title rank as follows:
1. Brad Keselowski (2,250 points) +/-0 positions
2. Jimmie Johnson (2,243 points, -7) +/-0
3. Denny Hamlin (2,230 points, -20) +/-0
4. Clint Bowyer (2,225 points, -25) +/-0
5. Kasey Kahne (2,220 points -30) +/-0
6. Martin Truex Jr. (2,207 points, -43) +1
7. Tony Stewart (2,203 points, -47) +1
8. Jeff Gordon (2,199 points, -51) +1
9. Matt Kenseth (2,195 points, -55) +2
10. Kevin Harvick (2,191 points, -59) +/-0
11. Greg Biffle (2,188 points, -62) -5
12. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2,128 points, -122) +/-0
The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the seventh race of the 10-race Chase – is the TUMS Fast Relief 500 on Oct. 28 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. The race begins at 2 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a pre-race show at 1 p.m.