Chicagoland: Tony Stewart race report

Stewart Gets Gas Gouged at Chicagoland Home Depot Driver Falls from Third to 32nd when Fuel Runs Out Four Laps from Finish Tony Stewart joined the list of Americans feeling pain at the pump when a probable third-place finish in Sunday's USG ...

Stewart Gets Gas Gouged at Chicagoland
Home Depot Driver Falls from Third to 32nd when Fuel Runs Out Four Laps from Finish

Tony Stewart joined the list of Americans feeling pain at the pump when a probable third-place finish in Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., turned into a 32nd place result when he ran out of fuel four laps short of the race's 270-lap distance.

Originally scheduled for 267 laps, the race went into overtime when contact between the cars of Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon - who were running 1-2 - sent Kenseth spinning off turn two on lap 264 to bring out the caution. A green-white-checkered finish was the result, extending the race by three laps.

Even with the increased mileage, the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Team was confident their Home Depot Chevrolet could go the added distance. And in third-place with a car that seemed to be a touch faster than second-place Jeff Burton, spirits were high.

But after coming off turn two on the final caution lap before the race was to resume, Stewart radioed that he was running out of gas. The crew was stunned.

As Stewart coasted down pit lane, the rest of his competitors took off from the start/finish line. After topping off with enough fuel to make it to the finish, Stewart re-fired the engine and left his pit stall, mindful of the 45 mph pit road speed limit. He re-joined the race, but with the rest of the field at full steam, Stewart lost a lap as he brought his Home Depot machine up to speed. Third had quickly become 32nd.

"A tough way to end a race," said Stewart. "We worked all the way from 34th, and then to have it end like that.. it's pretty hard to take."

Despite the disappointing result, Stewart dropped only two spots in the championship point standings. He now stands seventh, 377 markers arrears series leader Jimmie Johnson.

Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing teammates - Denny Hamlin and J.J. Yeley - sit 12th and 27th, respectively, in points. Hamlin dropped two spots with his 14th place finish while Yeley picked up two positions after a 10th place result.

Jeff Gordon scored his 75th career Nextel Cup victory and his second of the season by winning the USG Sheetrock 400. Burton finished second, while Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr., secured the rest of the top-five. Johnson, Reed Sorenson, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer and Yeley comprised the rest of the top-10.

The next event on the Nextel Cup schedule is the July 16 Lenox Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon. The race begins at 2:10 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by TNT.

-jgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Kurt Busch , Jimmie Johnson , J.J. Yeley , Clint Bowyer , Denny Hamlin , Reed Sorenson , Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing