Stewart charges past Newman for Charlotte win

Stewart charges past Newman for Charlotte win

After a heated side-by-side battle for the lead, Tony Stewart denied Ryan Newman his ninth season victory With ten laps to go, Newman led the UAW-GM 500 at Lowe's Speedway, but the fast approaching car of Stewart was making ground. Tony...

After a heated side-by-side battle for the lead, Tony Stewart denied Ryan Newman his ninth season victory With ten laps to go, Newman led the UAW-GM 500 at Lowe's Speedway, but the fast approaching car of Stewart was making ground.

Tony Stewart.
Photo by Thomas Chemris.
Within two laps, Stewart was on Newman's bumper. They raced him for lead, but in the end Stewart got the top spot at lap 328 of 334. Newman made a valiant attempt to catch the hard-charging Chevy of Stewart, but tonight Gibbs horsepower won the race at Charlotte.

"It was a blast," said Stewart. "It's about damn time in Winston Cup racing that the fastest car wins the race. Enough of this tire crap and fuel mileage shit."

It is Stewart's second win of the year, and 17th of his Winston Cup career.

Stewart was clearly the class of the field, leading six times for a race-high 149 laps. He was leading when Newman pitted early due to a vibration on lap 267. Due to the 12 team pitting out of sequence they eventually inherited the number one position as the leaders cycled through final pit stops.

It looked like another win for Newman, as Stewart sat some eight seconds back with less than 25 laps left to be completed. Stewart chopped away at Newman's lead, though, making up four seconds in less than ten laps.

Stewart, who had not won a race since Pocono in June, appeared hungrier than the Cup wins leader Newman, and stalked the 12 car until the Dodge Intrepid bobbled, giving Stewart the opening he needed to say 'see ya' to Newman.

"We had to run to get to him," said Stewart. "But he (Newman) raced us clean and we didn't have any problems."

Ryan Newman easily maintained second place, earning a series-high 13th top five.

"To have a car that was that good on the long run, I wish we could have held him off," said Newman. "And that's all we could do, was hold him off.

Ryan Newman under the lights.
Photo by Greg Gage.
"I'm just disappointed. I'm not disappointed with the finish itself. I'm disappointed in having a shot to win the race and not being able to follow through. It was a great weekend, to come here and sit on the pole and finish second. We had a great car at the end, I can't complain about that. When you're close to the number 1 spot, you tend to think about it for 15 minutes after the race."

Jimmie Johnson was third, after leading 104 of the 334 event laps. Johnson passed pole-sitter Newman on lap 18 and looked like a contender for the win. He was running in second place mid-race when he missed his pit stall coming down pit lane during a round of green flag stops.

"We were very competitive," said Johnson. "But I got behind at the beginning. The 20 car got to us and I let him go. I think we all pitted. We went 10 or 15 laps and the caution came out again. We pitted, thinking a lot of other people were going to it, but nobody else did. We lost a lot of track position in the process, coming back out in 17th.

"We had about 130 laps to go, and we were able to work out way back to third. We really thought there were going to be a lot more guys pitting and we would have been a little farther up and out strategy really would have worked out. But it didn't work out that way."

Johnson had to cycle around and re-pit, sending him from 2nd to 17th position. He steadily worked his way back to the front to land his 14th top ten.

Bill Elliott and Jeff Gordon round out the top five.

Matt Kenseth made up some championship points this weekend with an eighth place result. He now sits 267 points ahead of Kevin Harvick. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. remains third, followed by Ryan Newman and Jimmie Johnson.

Notably, with Stewart's victory, Chevrolet clinched their 27th manufacturers' title, and 23rd of the modern-era NASCAR.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson