Tony Stewart seemingly comes from nowhere to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway.
Tony Stewart didn’t qualify well and subsequently started the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks 22nd. He then proceeded to remain stuck in the 20th position throughout the first half of the race. He even went down a lap. He got the lucky dog on the first caution on lap 81 of 400. Tony said, “We had a car that was solid we just never got track position to get in clean air.”
The first half of the race was dominated by Joe Gibbs Racing drivers starting with the pole sitter Denny Hamlin, then Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch. Together they led 220 laps, most of the first half of the race.
Tony’s crew was able to make his car better at every pit stop but was not able to break into the top ten.
Jimmie Johnson took over domination of the race after and proceeded to lead 143 laps. He looked like he was going to win the race as he did the year before. On the last pit stop Juan Pablo Montoya was able to get out in front of Jimmie.
Steve Addington, Tony’s crew chief used pit strategy on the last caution putting Tony in the top ten enabling him to race for the win.
“Steve Addington made a great call there that last caution and gave us the opportunity to race for it up there.” Stewart Said “It didn’t seem like the guys that took four tires had a huge advantage taking off there.”
On the restart Jimmie jumped the start passing Montoya before the start finish line and was black flagged by NASCAR. He went a lap down serving his pass through penalty down pit road. He finished the race 17th giving back three points to runner up in the standings Carl Edwards.
The race remained green with Montoya leading and Tony was able to run him down and pass. Tony led only the last three laps.
Stewart said, “When we noticed we were catching him we kind of got going on the bottom there and realizing we were making up even more time when we could stay right on the bottom. He was smart he was watching and he picked up on that and moved down. I couldn’t really make any ground there any more so I had to try something. Jeff (Gordon) was coming behind us there. I was willing to risk running third to battle for the win instead. If it didn’t work out and I dropped back a spot it was worth it. It’s fun. It’s fun when you can battle guys like Juan Montoya and Jeff Gordon like that. That is two pretty cool names to be racing for the win with.”
This is Tony Stewart’s 48th win tying him with Herb Thomas for 11th in Sprint Cup wins.
Juan Pablo Montoya was second, Jeff Gordon was third followed by Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (13th) was the highest finishing rookie.
The No. 2 car driven by Brad Keselowski was found to be too low in the front in post-race inspection. NASCAR typically issues penalties if there are any on Tuesday following the race.