Stewart would be wise to avoid being overly cocky about title hopes
That's the motto many have applied to the Chase, and it seems Tony Stewart has caught on to this strategy, winning four of eight races so far to pull within a few points of Carl Edwards.
To put things in perspective, let's look at how the Chase was viewed at the start.
The title was Jimmie Johnson's to lose. Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and a couple others were considered favorites too.
Stewart's name was nowhere to be mentioned. He hadn't won all year, and in fact said himself that the way he was running, he didn't deserve to be in the Chase.
But once the Chase started, that all changed. He won the first two races of the Chase, reminding people he was still a threat. Then he tapered off with some bad runs, and everyone figured he was a flash in the pan. After these latest two wins at Martinsville and Texas, it is clear he is not. Stewart most definitely can win the title, and Carl Edwards needs to be aware of this fact and step up his game accordingly.
I would caution Stewart in one area though: Don't be too cocky just because you are on a hot streak -- because those streaks are known to come to an end pretty quickly.
Look back to last year when Denny Hamlin was talking smack to Jimmie Johnson when it seemed he was on his way to a title; and remember how quickly he faded and not only lost the title, but went into a yearlong slump the next year and had to see a sports head shrinker to try and get his mojo back.
Stewart most definitely WILL compete for the title, but any overly aggressive smack talk about how the title is his might come back to haunt him. He needs to remember that Carl is very good at every track, especially Homestead, and doesn't need any more bulletin board material to motivate him.
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