Up and Down day for Stewart.

Sprint Cup Series

Sporting News Wire for Nascar.com

For the second time in four weeks, Tony Stewart will attempt to win a Sprint Cup race after crashing his primary car in practice.

Midway through practice Friday, after he’d made 29 laps and was 18th on the time sheet, Stewart crashed in Turn 2  at the same time as Mark Martin was scuffing the wall and spinning into the infield in Turn 4.

Martin’s car was not severely damaged but Stewart had to pull out a backup.

“I just got loose going in the corner,” Stewart said. “Goodyear came down and was worried, but it wasn’t a tire problem. I just got loose and once out of the groove I was staying right with it — I just needed another 50 feet to finish getting gathered up. I just ran out of race track.”

The difference between this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and three weeks ago at Pocono is that Stewart will maintain his starting position from the pole after qualifying for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 was rained out.

Stewart’s team put the engine from his primary car into the backup, apparently believing that was necessary to conform to NASCAR’s one-engine rule. However, Sprint Cup Series director John Darby said the engine change was not required since the accident occurred before rain hit the track and washed out the scheduled qualifying session.

“As a driver you hate having to have those guys do that — you hate putting them in that position,” Stewart said of the engine change. “These are long, hard days each day of the race weekend anyway without having to throw bringing the backup car and all the switching.”

Stewart’s backup car rolled out of its garage stall with about 17 minutes left in practice. He did 16 more laps and improved his speed from 127.304 mph to 127.316, but fell to 41st on the final sheet behind quick man and defending race winner Kurt Busch (130.667 mph).

“By going out, we made sure that the package we had on the other car worked on this car — each car has got a little bit different characteristic,” Stewart said. “I do feel like it’s a car that’s very comparable to the one we started with, which was very, very good.

“I’m not sure we’re in a situation we were in at Pocono where the second car is better than the first one, but I feel like this one [backup] is even to the first car.”

Tony Stewart New Hampshire Crash

Fin de Entrada

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~ por Mikel en 27 junio 2009.

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