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Defending champion Tony Stewart hoping to get his NASCAR season rolling at Fontana

Tony Stewart's slow start to the NASCAR season is partly about bad luck. He hopes to change it Sunday.

Bad tires, wrecks and unfortunate breaks have combined to keep Smoke way down in 24th place in the overall points standings. His teammates, Ryan Newman and Danica Patrick, haven't fared any better.

Stewart-Haas Racing could use a bit of the same good fortune that made Stewart the defending champion at Fontana, where he won the rain-shortened race last year for his second victory in three years on the track.

Stewart isn't worried about his team's slow start to the year, with Newman in 23rd and Patrick 28th. He's confident they'll figure out the quirks of the new Gen-6 race car in time to make a splash, hopefully starting this weekend.