Tony Stewart's super run at Watkins Glen comes to an end

Shawn Vargo

After six years of never finishing worse than second, Tony Stewart showed he was human at Watkins Glen International by not only placing seventh at Sunday’s Heluva Good Sour Cream Dips at The Glen, but by never challenging the leaders all day long.

“It was about an average day for here,” Stewart said. “We’re normally used to running a little better than that.”

Sunday’s finish concluded an overall average weekend for the five-time winner at The Glen. His Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet was 22nd best in the first practice. Sixth fastest in Friday’s final practice. He then qualified sixth.

It was his inability to get to the front that sunk the driver known as Smoke.

“We could run good lap times. We just couldn’t do it in a pack of cars,” Stewart said. “In a group of guys, I just couldn’t get going.”

Stewart also had a run-in with Boris Said heading into Turn 2, an incident that left Stewart unscathed, but ended Said’s day.

“Harvick got under him in Turn (10) and we got on the outside of him in (11) with no contact. We go down the front straightaway – no problem. We go through Turn 1, no problem,” Stewart said. “Then in the short straight, before the esses, I started coming right. We were already on the edge of the road, I can’t go any further left than what I was.

“I don’t know if he didn’t know we were there, or thought he had more room or what.”

That was the most excitement Stewart saw Sunday.

“There were a couple of guys that were big on the blocking thing, but for the most part I thought everyone that I was around ran pretty clean,” Stewart said.

Clean air was the only thing he was lacking.

“Once we could get sorted out and by ourselves, we could run decent lap times and run comparable times with the leader there at the end,” Stewart said. “I couldn’t do what I needed to do in traffic to get an opportunity to get up front.”

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