Stewart Coasts to Victory in Kansas
Tony Stewart coasted to victory Sunday, literally. Stewart ran out of fuel on the final lap of the Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway after gambling to not pit and try to win the race on fuel mileage. The gamble paid off for Stewart as he wins his third race of the season.
Stewart had a 17 second lead over second place Casey Mears when he ran out of fuel. Mears looked poised to potentially win his first Nextel Cup Series race when he began to run out of fuel as well when he took the white flag. Mears’ misfortune allowed Stewart to limp into Victory Lane for the first time at Kansas.
The Chase for the Nextel Cup has been shaken up once again after Kansas. The big winners are Jeff Burton who came home fifth Sunday and leaves Kansas holding on to the points lead, Mark Martin whose second place finish vaults him from sixth to third in Nextel Cup Points and Denny Hamlin, the rookie sensation finds himself second in the Chase after Kansas.
The big losers are certainly Jeff Gordon who came into this race second in the point standings only 6 points out of the lead and who will leave Kansas 120 points back in sixth place. Gordon had a strong car all day until he had an engine let go late in the race, he wound up finishing thirty-ninth. Jimmie Johnson also has to be disappointed after he also had a strong car all day but lost crucial time in an incident involving Kasey Kahne late in the race. Kahne spun his car in front of Johnson while both were trying to enter pit road for gas and go stops. Johnson incorrectly assumed the spin would bring out the caution, when it did not Johnson has to pull back on the track and make an additional lap before pitting. Johnson remains eighth in points after a fourteenth place finish on a day which he certainly could of gained a lot of points.
The feel good story of the week has to be Dale Jarrett. Jarrett came home fourth on Siunday. This was Jarrett’s first top 5 finish in 364 days since he won at Talledega last October 2nd.
Next week the Nextel Cup Series heads into Talladega Alabama for the UAW Ford 500. This is the only restrictor plate track in the Chase for the Nextel Cup. Last year’s winner was Dale Jarrett.
by Michael Cash – thespread.com – Email Us
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