Stewart Staying the Course

Tony Stewart

Tony Stewart is 107 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson as the Chase hits the midway point. (Photo: Getty Images)


Tony Stewart moved up five spots in the Sprint Cup Series point standings after his win last week at Auto Club Speedway and looks to continue his climb in the Chase with another good run in Saturday night's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

"We definitely have the potential to do it," Stewart said. "I still think there is going to have to be some bad luck on a couple of guys in front of us to get us in that position.

"We gained 60 points in the last two weeks. Our performance is there. We are controlling the part that we can control. There are some variables in the equation that are out of our control that we are going to need some help with still. We are doing our part."

Stewart's second victory of the season was good enough to shoot him several spots up in the standings. However, he's 107 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson as the Chase hits the midway point this weekend and says that's the number he's most focused on.

"You could be 107 points back and 12th in points," said Stewart. "That 107 points is what we're focused on right now more than physical position of where we're at.

"We're not looking to say, 'Hey we just want to get in the top five and stay in the top five.' We're still trying to win this championship."

Stewart started the Chase with a near win at New Hampshire before running out of fuel on the final lap. With six races left to decide this year's championship, the two-time title holder plans to take each week as it comes regarding strategy, with finding victory lane still the ultimate goal.

However, Stewart and crew chief Drian Grubb plan to continue doing what got them to the post-season in the first place.

"We've got to stay the course right now," Stewart said. "With the way we're performing and the way we're running on the race track, we've got to stay on the course that we're on.

"If we were in a situation like last year where even before the Chase started, we started losing that edge, I think then that's when you've got to start searching. I think we've got to stay the course. The important thing is not to lose focus on how we got here."

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