NASCAR: Who’s Hot And Who’s Not Heading Into Atlanta

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

NOT – Tony Stewart

There was so much buzz around Tony Stewart last week in Daytona. Stewart seemed to be completely over his ailing leg issues and the No. 14 machine seemed to have the speed that it lacked for a better part of 2014. Stewart looked fast in the Sprint Unlimited and qualifying and he ran well in his Budweiser Duel race. Heck, Stewart even looked great at the start of the Daytona 500 when he was running up in the top-five.

However, everything came crashing down when he got loose and tagged the wall. The damage resulted in Stewart having to go to the garage and for the 17th straight season Stewart would leave the Daytona 500 without a victory. Daytona is just one race and it by no means will define Stewart’s season. If Stewart goes out and wins this weekend in Atlanta his Daytona 500 struggles will matter even less.

That being said, Stewart has accomplished almost everything in this sport except winning the Daytona 500. Fans and Stewart might not want to admit this but he really cannot race forever. Stewart will most likely have a few more shots to win the 500 but it’s truly heartbreaking to see him have a car that could have run for a win and see him leave the race the way that he did.