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Stewart To Make 400th Start In NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Tony Stewart celebrates another Nationwide win at Daytona on Saturday. (Associated Press)
Tony Stewart celebrates another Nationwide win at Daytona on Saturday. (Associated Press)

Tony Stewart, Smoke as his fans love to call him, makes a historic start this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.

Courtesy: NASCAR Media Relations

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 14, 2010) – Tony Stewart will make his 400th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start on Sunday in the Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.


With 37 victories, Stewart is tied for 18th on the all-time series wins list with Bobby Isaac. A two-time series champion, Stewart has logged 145 top fives and 233 top 10s throughout his 399 starts.


Stewart made an immediate impact when he joined the series full time in 1999, and success has followed him from his days driving the No. 20 car for Joe Gibbs Racing (1999-2008) to his current role as driver-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing.


Consider these accolades:


-       Two-time series champion (2002 and 2005)


-       1999 Raybestos Rookie of the Year


-       At least one victory in each of his 11 full seasons


-       Has finished in the top 10 in points in 10 of his 11 seasons


-       Victories at 19 of the 22 active tracks, missing only Auto Club Speedway, Darlington Raceway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway


Below is a timeline of some of Stewart’s career highlights on his way to 400 starts:


1 – On Feb. 14, 1999, Stewart made his first series start in the sport’s biggest race. In that Daytona 500, Stewart finished 28th.


25 – His first win, at Richmond on Sept. 11, 1999. He led 333 laps that event, still the highest single-race total of his career.


126 – First win at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 11, 2002. It was win No. 15 for Stewart. With five victories and a Driver Rating of 135.0, Watkins Glen is now his most prolific track.


229 – On July 2, 2005, Stewart won his first of three races at Daytona International Speedway (none of which have come in the Daytona 500). After the win, Stewart climbed the fence in celebration.


233 – On Aug. 7, 2005, the Columbus, Ind., native finally won his hometown race – the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.


304 – Stewart won his second Brickyard race on July 29, 2007.


350 – At Talladega on Oct. 5, 2008, Stewart made it 10 consecutive years with at least one win. It was also his 33rd – and final – win with Joe Gibbs Racing.


370 – Stewart nabbed his first victory as a driver-owner. At Pocono on June 7, 2009, he led 39 laps to become the first driver-owner to win a points race since Ricky Rudd at Martinsville in 1998.


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Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.