NASCAR Number: 41

May 28, 2013, Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service,

41: The number of Tony Stewart’s 47 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories recorded after May 31. A notoriously late starter, Stewart has won only six races in 14+ years before the calendar turned to June. Those who discount Stewart’s prospects for making the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup this year should take another look. With his seventh-place finish Sunday night at Charlotte, Stewart moved into the top 20 in the standings. Also consider that Smoke has won at least one race in each of the last 14 seasons, the longest active streak in Cup racing. Consequently, it would be foolish to bet against Stewart qualifying for the Chase this year -- as a Wild Card, if not as a top-10 driver in points.