Tha Sports Junkies 101

Stewart And Johnson Still Seeking First Kentucky Win


There’s little doubt that Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson are among the most elite of drivers in NASCAR Sprint Cup racing, not only currently but throughout its history. Between the two, they have made 1,123 starts, won 126 races, and possess 9 series championships over the past 14 years. There’s also one more significant stat among those, particularly at Kentucky Speedway.

Neither has won there.

Granted, with its relative recent addition to the series schedule, they haven’t had as many opportunities to win at Kentucky as they have at some other tracks. But for almost any driver chasing wins at every venue, one start without a victory may as well be a hundred starts. But for these future Hall of Fame drivers, the zero in the win column is about where the similarities end.

Johnson has certainly had the more impressive record. In 5 starts, he has 5 top 10 finishes and has led 203 laps. But despite running up front, he only has a single top 5 run, a third place finish in the inaugural event in 2011. Kentucky is one of three tracks where Johnson has yet to record a Sprint Cup win, along with Watkins Glen and Homestead.

Meanwhile, Tony Stewart has had a much less enjoyable time on the 1.5 mile oval. In 5 starts, Stewart has not garnered a single top 10 finish and has led only a single lap, back in 2011. His best result to date is an 11th place finish in the 2014 event. Stewart only has 2 venues that he has yet to pick up a Sprint Cup trophy, the other being Darlington Raceway. He has one final chance at each in this last season of his long and successful career.

For the winningest active drivers to be shut out of the win column by the same facility is surprising. But if these two have shown anything over the course of their time in NASCAR, it’s that they can conquer any obstacle. Given their overwhelming success thus far, few would be surprised to see either standing at the peak of this mountain when the checkered flag falls at Kentucky Speedway Saturday night.