Atlanta II: Series contigency awards

Stewart Collects Six Contingency Awards In Atlanta, After First Victory Of Season September 9, 2010 CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Sept. 7, 2010) -- With lightning-fast pit stops, strong horsepower and a couple of clutch restarts, Tony Stewart and the No.

Stewart Collects Six Contingency Awards In Atlanta, After First Victory Of Season
September 9, 2010

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Sept. 7, 2010) -- With lightning-fast pit stops, strong horsepower and a couple of clutch restarts, Tony Stewart and the No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Stewart-Haas Racing team turned in a convincing performance in Sunday night's Emory Healthcare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway to take home their first win of 2010 and six post-race contingency awards.

Adding to the victory, Stewart, crew chief Darian Grubb, the No. 14 pit crew, and Hendrick Motorsports engine builders racked up the DirecTV Crew Chief of the Race, MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Race, Moog Chassis Parts Problem Solver of the Race, Tissot Pit Road Precision, Sunoco Diamond Performance and WIX Filters Lap Leader of the Race awards.

The awards are part of the NASCAR Prize Money and Decal Program, also referred to as the contingency program, which provide teams prize money and weekly awards based on performance in several categories.

Stewart, who led the most laps -- eight times for 176 laps including the final 25 -- captured his third WIX Filters Lap Leader of the Race Award of the season. As the race winner, Stewart also racked up the Sunoco Diamond Performance Award as the highest finishing eligible driver.

Reliable horsepower earned Hendrick Motorsports engine builders the MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Race Award, which is given weekly based on qualifying and finishing position, while the No. 14 over-the-wall crew busted off fast, late-race pit stops to clinch their second Tissot Pit Road Precision Award of the season for spending the least amount of time on pit road (310.802 secs) while finishing the race on the lead lap.

"The pit crew is who we have got to give all the credit to tonight," Stewart said. "They had an awesome pit stop the last time we came in that got us that track position that I lost on the previous restart. Without that, I don't think we would have a shot to be here tonight."

Smart calls gave Darian Grubb his second DirecTV Crew Chief of the Race Award of 2010 for the best qualifying and race effort based on the average of starting and finishing positions, as well as the Moog Problem Solver of the Race Award, also his second of the season, for improving the most from the first half to the second half of the race utilizing the 40 best lap times.

Stewart, who broke a winless streak of 31 races when he beat Carl Edwards to the finish line by 1.316 seconds, scored his third victory at the 1.54-mile track and the 38th of his career in 417 starts. Stewart is the first owner/driver since Richard Petty in 1977 to win at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

"This is, by far, the best car that I've ever had here at Atlanta," said two-time champion Stewart. "It's a track that's so momentum-driven. Tonight is probably the only time that I can ever remember being at Atlanta and being able to take off and have the beginning of the run speed that we had. It was so much fun in the race car, because we could run the bottom and the top."

"It was just a really good night overall for the entire Stewart-Haas organization and it's definitely huge for us to be able to get the win right before we go into the Chase," said Grubb. "We learned a lot of things in the last few months that have given Tony a lot more comfort on the race track and keep speed in it as well. The more we keep doing that, the more lessons we can learn, the more we can apply it and going into the Chase it makes us feel that much better."

Stewart, who has now won a race in all 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup seasons that he has competed in, ranks 18th on the all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win list. Stewart, along with Carl Edwards, Jeff Burton, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin and the Busch brothers, clinched a spot in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup which begins after Saturday night's 300-mile Air Guard 400 at Richmond International Raceway.

Official winners of this week's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Prize Money & Decal Program special awards include:

* COORS LIGHT POLE AWARD: Denny Hamlin (187.38 mph. 29.587 secs.)

* DIRECTV CREW CHIEF OF THE RACE AWARD:Darian Grubb (crew chief for Tony Stewart)

* GOODYEAR GATORBACK BELTS FASTEST LAP AWARD:Denny Hamlin (185.891 mph, Lap 2)

* MAHLE CLEVITE ENGINE BUILDER OF THE RACE AWARD: Hendrick Motorsports (engine builder for Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing )

* MOBIL 1 "COMMAND PERFORMANCE DRIVER OF THE RACE" AWARD:Kurt Busch

* MOOG CHASSIS PARTS PROBLEM SOLVER OF THE RACE AWARD: Darian Grubb (crew chief for Tony Stewart)

* O'REILLY AUTO PARTS POSITION IMPROVEMENT AWARD: Jeff Burton (22 places)

* RAYBESTOS ROOKIE OF THE RACE AWARD: Kevin Conway

* SUNOCO DIAMOND PERFORMANCE AWARD:Tony Stewart

* TISSOT "PIT ROAD PRECISION" AWARD: Tony Stewart (310.802 seconds)

* WIX FILTERS LAP LEADER AWARD:Tony Stewart (176 laps)

-source: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Kurt Busch , Richard Petty , Carl Edwards , Kevin Conway , Denny Hamlin
Teams Stewart-Haas Racing , Hendrick Motorsports