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Tony Stewart’s weekend starts off with having phone stolen

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HOMESTEAD, Fla. — Tony Stewart’s final weekend as a Sprint Cup driver began … with having his cell phone stolen.

The three-time series champion has been without one since Thursday when it was taken. He expects to have a new one Saturday.

“It’s been a hell of a start to the weekend to get your phone stolen,’’ said Stewart, who will make his final NASCAR Sprint Cup start Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. “Probably the biggest thing that was disappointing when I realized my phone was stolen was the fact that I was in the process of answering text messages from people. I got a flood of text messages.

“I think I’m going to have a phone by (Saturday) and I’m sure it’s going to be absolutely crazy when I turn it back on.’’

So what happened?

He was with his girlfriend and went to a carnival in the Miami area when it was taken.

“We were just getting ready to leave when I realized it wasn’t in my pocket,’’ Stewart said of his phone. “We had bumped into some people right before that and I’m fairly certain that’s when it decided to go a different direction.’

They still had his girlfriend’s phone and used it to try to track down his phone.

“They have that find iPhone app and we went chasing people forever trying to find it until we realized they were in the parking lot and they got in the car and they were gone,’’ Stewart said.“I hit block on it and deleted it. Now I’ve got to get a new phone, which is devastating because I do everything on my cell phone. My life is on that cell phone. I start my life over (Saturday).’’

NASCAR America: Is there cause for concern with Jimmie Johnson’s performance thus far?

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It’s no secret that Jimmie Johnson is off to a slow start in 2017.

The defending and seven-time NASCAR Cup champion has a starting average of 21.8 and a finishing average of 18.8 in the first five races of this season.

He has just one top-10 finish (ninth at Phoenix), along with 34th at Daytona, 19th at Atlanta, 11th at Las Vegas and 21st Sunday at Fontana.

And let’s not forget he’s 17th in the NASCAR Cup standings heading to one of his strongest tracks, Martinsville Speedway, this Sunday.

On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, we discussed this: After such a slow start to the season, is there a cause for concern over Johnson’s performance?

NASCAR America: Mark Martin is definitely a Kyle Larson fan

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On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin shared his experience of racing in his home state of Arkansas, as well as the excitement he feels watching  Kyle Larson compete in the Cup series.

NASCAR America: Kyle Larson involved in minor fender bender while leaving Fontana

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Kyle Larson‘s spectacular weekend at Auto Club Speedway — winning both Saturday’s Xfinity Series race and Sunday’s Auto Club 400 NASCAR Cup event — left him feeling good.

But shortly upon exiting the facility, Larson and several others were involved in a fender-bender right outside the Speedway. Larson was a passenger, not the driver.

No one was injured, Larson tweeted.

But somehow, isn’t that strange fate?

NASCAR America: Kyle Larson’s Fontana win shows continued maturing as a driver

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Kyle Larson finally broke his streak of three straight runner-up finishes with his win in Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway.

On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, the crew discussed his win as well as his maturation as a driver.