Stewart-Haas Climb Continues

A pair of top-10 finishes from Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway has the Stewart-Haas Racing team moving in the right direction.

Stewart's third-place finish was his career best as the owner-driver of the new team. It was his fourth top-10 finish in the year's first six races.

Newman notched his second straight top 10 with a sixth-place finish and continued his climb up the Cup Series point standings with a move to 18th place.

"Yeah, I mean, I don't know that it's really gelling," Stewart said of the improving picture for the team. "We've been like that from day one. It's just kind of figuring out, you know, Ryan's learning a new package, I'm learning a new package, and it's learning what each other wants. Every week when we make changes, we know how much it affects us percentage-wise."

"That's things that each week as it goes on, it makes it a little easier. I think we changed like six or seven things before the race today. It's just having that confidence and knowing that from his input and his feel, my input and my feel, plus the four Hendrick cars, knowing how much we need to make those adjustments to be good."

After a tough start for Newman, Stewart sees things starting to come together for the duo.

"You know, it's coming," Stewart said. "It just takes time. It's like we say every Monday in our competition meeting. We just got to build a database first. Once we get that established, then I think the second time we come around, we're going to be a little better yet."

Newman was pleased with the team's performance Sunday and the turnaround from the beginning of the season.

"The guys did a good job making adjustments and we did make a lot of changes today," said Newman. "The pit stops were good -- the bottom line is we stayed headstrong and got our positioning back and got up to sixth."

"The first half of the race the car was really, really tight," added Newman. "There wasn't much I could do with it. There at the end it came to us. We just made the best of it today."

Newman was also pleased about how the No. 39 team has improved its finish in each of the first six races.

"Each race has been better all year long -- there's something to be said for that," noted Newman.

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