How does the Stewart-Haas Racing camp feel about stage racing?
Tony Stewart became a NASCAR Xfinity Series team owner at the start of the 2017 season. At the same time, stage racing was introduced to the sport.
Tony Stewart never ran races in stages. He retired after the 2016 season. While he never turned a lap in the new format, Tony Stewart approves.
The new Stewart-Haas Racing NXS team picked up their first win. It came in the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“I think it’s been good in all 3 series to be honest. Especially if you get something that happens with about 10 laps to go in a segment,” Tony Stewart told reporters. “It’s fun to watch the strategy of guys that go ahead and pit or guys that stay out for the stage points.”
You get some movement in the field.
“The guys that pit, when that segments over, they stay out and they get some track position. You get some movement in the field because of that. I think it’s been a little bit of chaos for the crew chiefs. From the drivers’ standpoint, they’re just feeding off the crew chief.”
“It has created a lot of excitement. I think it’s been a positive thing for the sport. I know it wasn’t very popular at the beginning of the year with the fans. But, it’s really created a lot of excitement and a lot of scenario’s that I don’t think we would have had without the stages.”
“In all 3 series it’s been a position deal and created a lot of movement in the field.”
Tony Stewart ran a total of 718 races in the MENCS, NXS and NCTWS. He collected 62 wins across those 3 series.
“I think it’s good,” Cole Custer stated of stage racing. “It just creates more things to talk about during the race. I don’t if it changes our perspective [as a driver] it might change our strategy a little bit.”
“But, I think it’s good that you’re having cautions in the middle of the race. Where it could have just been going green. It creates some chaos and everything.”
“I think the stages are great,” Kevin Meendering stated. “Coming up 4 points short, coming into the Chase I probably didn’t play the stage game well enough over the course of the season. I feel like I definitely learned from that.”
“Going into next year, we’ll definitely race different to set ourselves up better for the end of the year. I enjoy that type of racing.”