By Jared Turner
Sunday’s race marked the two-year anniversary of Tony Stewart’s last win, which came at Dover in the summer of 2013. Since that time, Stewart has not only failed to find Victory Lane, but has been out to lunch – nowhere near being in contention for a win – more times than not. This season has been nothing short of embarrassing for the Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner/driver as he’s hovered around 30th in points and put just one top-10 finish on the board. I’m not saying it’s time for Stewart, who recently turned 44 years old, to pack his bags and go home, but the kind of results he’s delivered in 2015 are unacceptable. As the co-owner of SHR, he has the power to make a change – either by removing himself or removing someone within his team, in hopes of boosting performance. This much is certain: Something has to change, because, right now, the three-time champion is little more than a field-filler.
Jimmie Johnson’s latest win at Dover moves him within two victories of the late, great Dale Earnhardt on the all-time win list for NASCAR’s top series. Johnson, now with 74 career triumphs, has at least a working shot to tie and even eclipse The Intimidator’s mark of 76 trophies later this season. When that happens, of course, the milestone will immediately invoke discussion about how Johnson stacks up to Earnhardt in terms of overall accomplishments in the sport. While it might be tempting to claim that Johnson is superior to Earnhardt once he has more wins, it’s important to note that Johnsons wins have come in a totally different era. In any case, it’s intriguing to compare Earnhardt’s wins to Johnsons, and even more intriguing to consider how Johnson would stack if up if he and Earnhardt had ever had the opportunity to be on the track together.