FORTH WORTH, TEXAS – Tony Stewart has six races left.
2,377.08 miles if you’re a stickler for details.
After that, Stewart hangs his NASCAR firesuit up for good.
That gives Stewart six race weekends to reach the 50-win mark in his career, 18 seasons after he started it in 1999.
And the three-time Sprint Cup champion doesn’t care where that hypothetical win takes place.
“I want it anywhere,” Stewart said Wednesday at Texas Motor Speedway, where he has won twice in the Sprint Cup Series.
Stewart was taking part in the annual “Smoke Show” fantasy camp that benefits the Speedway Children’s Charities.
Win No. 49 occurred in June at Sonoma Raceway, a track Stewart has conquered three times in his career. With the end in sight, “Smoke” has said he’d be “content” if the Sonoma win was his last.
But Stewart knows where win No. 50 would mean the most.
“Of the remaining race,s we got Kansas, which I really don’t have ties to,” the two-time Kansas winner said Wednesday. “Martinsville, I really don’t have in ties there as well.”
Stewart has three Martinsville wins in 33 starts.
“Talladega, I don’t really have any big ties,” said Stewart, who won at the 2.66-mile track in 2008. “Texas and Phoenix are the two tracks that are left on the schedule that really mean a lot to me and I’ve got a history with.”
Stewart has three wins between those two tracks, the last coming at Texas in 2011. His lone Phoenix win was in his 1999 rookie campaign.
Stewart was eliminated from the Chase for the Sprint Cup two weeks ago at Dover International Speedway. But that’s lifted a huge weight off the shoulders of Stewart’s and his team. Now they can have some fun and take risks in the last chapter of Stewart’s NASCAR career.
“We did that last weekend,” Stewart said of the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “We were in a scenario that if it went green, pretty much everybody was going to have to pit for just a little of fuel and work really hard. I started fuel mileage racing (and thought) ‘I might cherry pick one here on fuel mileage.’ Then we ended up losing about four or five spots and then a caution came out, and we had to race our way back. It’s things like that where we can take chances now where some of these (Chase) teams can’t. It’s kind of fun to be in that position where you don’t have anything to lose. You have everything to gain, and nothing to lose.”
The only thing Stewart has to gain is one or more victories in a Hall of Fame career. The next would tie him with Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett for 10th on the Sprint Cup wins list.