Chevy Driver Tony Stewart Wins at Sonoma Raceway in Final NASCAR Season
It’s been a roller coaster ride for NASCAR driver Tony Stewart in 2016 to say the least.
After announcing last September that 2016 would be his final NASCAR season as a full-time driver, Stewart was hurt in an ATV accident this past offseason and missed eight races due to injuries that he sustained from the incident.
However, thanks to creative pit-road strategy during this past Sunday’s event at Sonoma Raceway, Stewart found himself leading the race with only 21 laps remaining. Stewart held the lead until the final lap when he was passed by Daytona 500 champion Denny Hamlin, but when Hamlin made a mistake in the final turn, Stewart drove his No. 14 Chevrolet around Hamlin’s Toyota in order to pick up his first win of the year and 49th of his career.
“As good as he (Hamlin) was braking into (turn) 11 all day, I couldn’t believe he missed the corner,” Stewart told Fox Sports. “They said he wheel hopped it, but I was shocked that the door was open like that. You can’t crack the door open with me on the last corner of the last lap and expect me to not take it.”
The victory puts Stewart in position to earn a spot in the NASCAR playoffs and compete for his fourth championship later this season.
Despite losing the race, Hamlin—who finished second—congratulated Stewart following the race. Team Penske driver Joey Logano finished behind Hamlin in third, while Carl Edwards and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top five. Popular Team Chevy drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick finished in 11th and 19th, respectively.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be in action next at Daytona International Speedway on July 2nd. The event is scheduled to begin at 7:45pm and will be broadcast by NBC.
Like To Drive Fast? Check out the specs and standard features of the new Dodge Challenger
Video: Watch Stewart Pass Hamlin for the Win
News Source: Fox Sports