Monday, June 3, 2013

Stewart Wins at Dover

 Originally written for CLNS Radio.
Tony Stewart won the FedEx 400 after a late-race pass to get around Juan Pablo Montoya allowed him to pick up his first win of 2013.

Courtesy Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Stewart passed Montoya with just three laps to go, and he was able to run away from Montoya over the last few laps.  Stewart had to work on Montoya over the last 10 laps, and he was able to get around Montoya for the lead going into Turn 3.

For Stewart, the victory was his first Top 5 of the season.  Stewart has had a terrible start to the season but he hopes he can start to turn things around with this victory, especially because he had to outrace Montoya to do so.

"It's been such a tough year," Stewart told FOX Sports.  "Hopefully we'll build that momentum back up.  It's not many times you get to outrace Juan Montoya."

For most of the race, it seemed as if Jimmie Johnson would pick up his eighth career victory at Dover.  Johnson led 143 laps, but a late-race penalty cost him a chance at the win.  Johnson jumped out to the lead on the final restart, beating leader Montoya to the line.  It is illegal to beat the leader to the line on a restart, so Johnson was issued a pass-through penalty.  Johnson told FOX Sports that there was nothing he could have done.

"I was half-throttle for the whole frontstretch and at some point you just gotta go," Johnson said.  "I'm running half-throttle down waiting for him, and he just never came."

The race was dominated early by Kyle Busch, who led 150 laps throughout the day, the most of any driver.  He took the lead from pole-sitter and teammate Denny Hamlin on lap 25, and he led until his other teammate Matt Kenseth beat him off pit road on lap 127.  Kenseth led until lap 160, when his engine blew up to bring out the third caution.

Kenseth's engine wasn't the only Toyota engine to blow up over the long 400 mile race.  On lap 279, Martin Truex Jr., who was also running up front at the beginning of the race, also had his engine blow up.  

Johnson took the lead after Kenseth's engine let go, and he led for most of the race until his penalty.  The penalty relegated Johnson to a 17th place finish, the first car one-lap down.

Here are the unofficial results:

1. Tony Stewart
2. Juan Pablo Montoya
3. Jeff Gordon
4. Kyle Busch
5. Brad Keselowski
6. Clint Bowyer
7. Joey Logano
8. Kevin Harvick
9. Mark Martin
10. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
11. Jeff Burton
12. Kurt Busch
13. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
14. Carl Edwards
15. Greg Biffle
16. Casey Mears
17. Jimmie Johnson
18. Aric Almirola
19. Marcos Ambrose
20. Paul Menard
21. Bobby Labonte
22. David Ragan
23. Kasey Kahne
24. Danica Patrick
25. Josh Wise
26. David Reutimann
27. Austin Dillon
28. David Stremme
29. Dave Blaney
30. J.J. Yeley
31. Joe Nemechek
32. Landon Cassill
33. Jamie McMurray
34. Denny Hamlin
35. Timmy Hill
36. Ryan Newman
37. David Gilliland
38. Martin Truex Jr.
39. Travis Kvapil
40. Matt Kenseth
41. Mike Bliss
42. Michael McDowell
43. Scott Riggs

Sunday was FOX's last Sprint Cup Series race of the season.  Next week the Cup Series will roll into Pocono Raceway, and TNT will take over TV duties.  The Party in the Poconos 400 can be seen next Sunday at 1:00 p.m.

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