Tony Stewart will have a different view than most of Kevin Harvick competing for the Monster Energy Series title this weekend.
“It’s just as tense, probably more tense, when you’re not in a car, to be honest, then you are when you are in a car,” Stewart said of being in championship contention as both a driver and owner. “At least when you’re in the race car you in control of what’s going on. This will be the first time I haven’t been in the race car when we’ve ran for a championship.”
Three years ago, Stewart was a still a competitor in the premier series when Harvick won the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway as well as the championship. It was the second title for SHR after Stewart accomplished the feat in 2011, which was his third and final championship in the series.
Sunday, Stewart will be in full car owner mode as Harvick battles for the 2017 crown.
“I know the races; it’s a little more stressful when you know the scenarios, and you know everything that’s going on versus being in the car, and you only know a piece of the information [for] the big picture,” Stewart said. “It will be probably tougher to watch it on Sunday from a pit box versus being in the car.
“But at the end of the day, if you’re up there hoisting a trophy, no matter whether you’re the winning owner or the winning driver, the feeling is the same but for different reasons.”
Harvick advanced to the championship race after winning two weeks ago at Texas. The performance of the No.4 Ford at that 1.5-mile track has everyone at SHR, including Stewart, feeling very optimistic about his chances this weekend, and he goes into the race with an average finishing position of 6.9 from his 16 previous starts at the venue.
Stewart even offered a warning to Harvick’s competition after Texas, saying he’s seing his driver hitting peak form at the perfect time. Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex Jr. are going to have something to be worried about, Stewart claimed at the time.
Friday morning, Stewart didn’t back down.
“Feel like two weeks ago at Texas, that team really set the tone for what’s going to happen this weekend,” Stewart said.
“There’s been a gain at the right time of the year for our team; gained a lot of momentum. The last two weeks, in particular, getting this Homestead car ready, I’ve been excited to hear all the guys at the shop that work on that No.4 car, they feel like it’s one of the best cars we’ve had all year, if not the best car we’ve had all year.
“That’s exactly what I want to hear as a car owner coming to Homestead – is we have the best piece, the best bullet in the chamber.”