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Monday, November 7, 2011

Stewart would be wise to avoid being overly cocky about title hopes

"Win when it counts"

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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Anonymous Anonymous said...

he isn't being cocky, that headline must be coming from a Carl fan.

November 7, 2011 at 9:17 AM 
Blogger Matt Myftiu said...

I disagree that he's not being cocky. The way he's been talking since last week, you'd think he already had the Cup won. I think that's a bad strategy.

Also, not a Carl fan ... only camp you can be me in is the "anyone but Jimmie", because I think dynasties are bad for the sport.

November 7, 2011 at 9:35 AM 
Anonymous Jwheelan said...

He's not being cocky - he's trying to get in Carl's head - and he's doing it. If Tony can get the 99 team to think about the trash he's talking for ten minutes a day, that's ten minutes that they're not thinking about getting their car ready for Phoenix.

November 8, 2011 at 4:25 AM 
Blogger Matt Myftiu said...

That's possible, and a good theory; but I doubt that strategy will work; I don't see Carl Edwards and the #99 team getting scared of anyone. I think the talk from Stewart will only make them more dedicated to beating him.

November 8, 2011 at 7:39 AM 

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