Tony Stewart returns to the Victory Lane three years after his last win
Tony Stewart is back in the Victory Lane! After 84 races without victories, since June 2013, Stewart beats Denny Hamlin in a exciting finish at Sonoma Raceway‘s Toyota-Save Mart 350 to take his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win this season and 49th Cup victory in a career. For Stewart, it was his third victory at 1.99 road course, one of the two road courses in the Sprint Cup calendar.
After losing the leading position in Turn 7 of the last lap, the #14 Chevrolet jumped into the definitive lead in Turn 11, bumping and passing Hamlin’s #11 Toyota. Of 110 laps, Hamlin was in the lead 33 laps while Stewart was in front during 22 laps. The poleman Carl Edwards, who led for 24 laps, finished fourth, behind Joey Logano.
Video: Last lap at Sonoma Raceway
Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch completed the top 10. Harvick retained the series lead by 35 points over second-place Kurt Busch. After Sonoma’s victory, Stewart is a step closer to qualify for the Chase for the Cup, but he still need few good results to enter. The Smoke is now 32nd in the standings, nine points away from the 30th position which guarantee a Chase entry.
The Cup series’ next race is scheduled for Saturday July 2, at Daytona International Speedway, which will host the Coke Zero 400.