STEWART SNAGS ANOTHER TOP-FIVE AT CHICAGOLAND Home Depot Driver Rises to 10th in Points Tony Stewart came into Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., with only two finishes outside the top-five in seven career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at...
STEWART SNAGS ANOTHER TOP-FIVE AT CHICAGOLAND
Home Depot Driver Rises to 10th in Points
Tony Stewart came into Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., with only two finishes outside the top-five in seven career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at the 1.5-mile oval. The driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) continued that trend in his eighth career race at Chicagoland by finishing fifth in Saturday night's LifeLock.com 400.
"We weren't bad, we just got in a situation where we got free the last couple runs and that's when we needed to be really good, and we just fought loose for some reason," said Stewart, whose finish advanced him two spots to 10th in points. "So, we never did get the car tight enough on entry and exit. We got it too tight in the center at the end. We were just a little bit off. We were close though."
"Close" allowed Stewart to lead laps 93-103, and while he held steady in second-place to his JGR teammate and race leader Kyle Busch from lap 121 to lap 190, Stewart slowly began sliding back as his car became loose the more the race wore on, dropping to as low as seventh.
But during a restart with two laps to go, Stewart got a great run and passed Matt Kenseth and Brian Vickers to vault his way into the top-five when the checkered flag dropped.
"We made up some ground at the end, but we shouldn't have given it up in the first place," Stewart said. "We were just too loose --couldn't get tight enough in and off (the corners) to be were we needed to be."
Stewart's JGR teammates -- Busch and Denny Hamlin -- finished first and 40th, respectively.
Busch's win in the LifeLock.com 400 was his second straight Sprint Cup victory, his third in the last four races, his seventh this season and his 11th in 133 career Sprint Cup races.
Busch remains the lead JGR driver in the championship point race and he continues to be the series' point leader, extending his advantage to an impressive 262 markers over second-place Dale Earnhardt Jr. Stewart and Hamlin occupy the 10th and 12th slots, respectively, as Hamlin dropped five spots. Stewart is 576 points behind Busch, while Hamlin sits 598 points arrears Busch.
Finishing second to Busch by .159 of a second was Jimmie Johnson. Kevin Harvick finished third, while Greg Biffle and Stewart rounded out the top-five. Vickers, Kenseth, David Ragan, Martin Truex Jr., and Ryan Newman comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were nine caution periods for 33 laps, with two drivers failing to finish the 267-lap race.