Stats & Info: Alan Kulwicki
August, 6, 2013
By Matt Willis, ESPN Stats & Info | ESPN.com
Andy Lyons/Getty ImagesTony Stewart will miss his 1st Sprint Cup Series race this weekend after breaking his leg on Monday.
If there was ever a race Stewart didn’t want to miss, it’s Watkins Glen, where he’s won five of the last 11 races and holds the track record for NCSC wins.
In addition, this will be the first Sprint Cup Series race that Stewart will miss since his debut in the 1999 Daytona 500. That is currently the third-longest active consecutive starts streak.
Monday’s wreck was the third sprint car crash Stewart has been involved in in the last three weeks. On July 16, Stewart went uninjured in a 15-car wreck, but a 19-year-old girl suffered a compression fracture in her back. On July 29, he was also uninjured after flipping five times in a race in Canada.
Impact of Missing Races on Chase
Since the Chase started in 2004, no driver has ever missed a race during the “regular season” and gone on to make the Chase. Two drivers did make the Chase and then miss races inside the Chase.
In 2005, Kurt Busch missed the final two races after being removed from the car by his team. Busch finished last among the 10 Chasers. In 2012, Dale Earnhardt Jr. missed two races due to a concussion and finished last among a dozen Chase drivers.
Stewart’s credential’s already put him among the legends of the sport.
• He’s one of only nine drivers to win at least three Sprint Cup Series championships
• First driver to win a championship as an owner/driver since Alan Kulwicki in 1992 (only two to do so since 1980)
• Tied for 13th-all time in Cup Series wins (48), second-most among all drivers since the start of the 1999 season (Jimmie Johnson, 64)