Event: NASCAR Nextel Cup Series USG Sheetrock 400 (Race No. 19 of 36) Weather: Sunny and warm Winner: Tony Stewart, driver of the ...
Event: NASCAR Nextel Cup Series USG Sheetrock 400 (Race No. 19 of 36)
Weather: Sunny and warm
Winner: Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet from Joe Gibbs Racing
Top-five finishers: Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Casey Mears
Race recap: Tony Stewart led more laps than any driver (108 of 267), including the final 36, to win the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday.
It was Stewart's 30th career Nextel Cup victory, but his first since last November at Texas Motor Speedway, a span of 20 races.
After Matt Kenseth led for one lap, Stewart re-took the top spot for the final time on lap 232 of 267 and used the clean air out front to cruise to a 1.727-second victory over Kenseth. There were seven cautions for 28 laps and 20 lead changes among nine drivers. Stewart, who started in 19th, averaged 134.258 mph in the race.
Perhaps the only driver who had a chance to challenge Stewart was Jimmie Johnson, who led the second-most laps on the day with 82. Johnson cut a tire, crashed and ended his afternoon just 45 laps from the end while running in second place behind Stewart.
Championship leader Jeff Gordon extended his lead to 303 points over Denny Hamlin. Rounding out the top 12 in points, in order, are Kenseth, Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards, Stewart, Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Goodyear quote -- Phil Holmer, marketing manager, stock car racing: "This is the second time these teams ran this specific combination of tires this season, and once again they proved worthy. The fact that the track surface at Chicagoland has started to 'weather in,' along with the performance of our tires, enabled teams to race three wide around this relatively new track. Overall, we were very pleased with how the weekend went."
The Nextel Cup Series is off next weekend and resumes at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in two weeks.
Companion event: Kevin Harvick chose to stay out on the track when many of the leaders pitted late in the NASCAR Busch Series race at Chicagoland on Saturday, eventually taking the lead on the track to win the event. Harvick led Sunday's runner-up, Matt Kenseth, by 1.244 seconds at the checkered flag. Carl Edwards still holds a comfortable lead in the championship standings.
-credit: goodyear racing