Winner: Tony Stewart, driver of the ...
Winner: Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet from Joe Gibbs Racing
Top-five finishers: Stewart, Casey Mears, Mark Martin, Dale Jarrett and Jeff Burton
Race recap: The gas gremlins smiled on Tony Stewart Sunday after he inherited the lead when Jimmie Johnson decided to pit for fuel with five laps to go. Stewart's fuel also ran out, but he was close enough on the last lap to coast across the finish line and claim the victory.
Many of the top finishers gambled on fuel mileage. Johnson, in contention for his first Nextel Cup championship, could not. Johnson ducked onto pit road on lap 262, only to pass through without stopping when he thought the caution flag might come out and trap him a lap down. When the yellow flag did not fly, he re-pitted on the next lap and got caught for speeding. In all, the day's dominant driver -- leading the most laps with 105 of 267 -- finished 14th.
Despite finishing while not under power, Stewart's margin of victory was 12.422 seconds over second-place Casey Mears, who also ran out of fuel at the end. Championship contenders Mark Martin and Jeff Burton finished third and fifth, respectively, with Dale Jarrett squeezing in between for fourth. Stewart averaged 121.753 mph through 11 cautions for 45 laps and 20 lead changes among 13 drivers.
With his finish in the hotly contended Chase playoffs, Burton extended his championship lead to 69 points over Denny Hamlin and 70 over Martin. The series continues with its fourth of 10 championship races at Talladega Superspeedway next Sunday.
Goodyear quote -- Rick Heinrich, sales and marketing manager for stock cars: "We're very happy with the way our tires looked this weekend at Kansas. This is a track where cars carry a lot of speed into wide, flat corners. Handling is very important and there was a significant temperature increase on raceday, compared to how the cars practiced. That presented the teams with a big challenge on how to adjust their handling."
Companion event: Kevin Harvick overtook Kyle Busch with 15 laps to go and held off second-place finisher Matt Kenseth by 0.423 seconds to win the NASCAR Busch Series Yellow Transportation 300 race at Kansas on Saturday. Rounding out the top five behind Busch were Tony Stewart and Clint Bowyer. There were 10 cautions for 44 laps and 10 lead changes among eight drivers.
Harvick leads the championship standings by a whopping 729 points over Carl Edwards, with five races to go on the schedule.
-credit: goodyear racing