Stewart Takes Sonoma On Final Turn
Tony Stewart took home the win yesterday in Sonoma, California in an amazing finish.
Leading entering the last lap on the twisting road course, Stewart was being hounded by Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin. Hamlin led the most laps of any driver on the day, but Stewart was holding his own down the stretch. Entering turn seven, Stewart wheel-hopped and missed his entrance into the turn. Hamlin took advantage and gave Stewart a little bump to get past 'Smoke' and take the lead.
Hamlin put a little distance between him and Stewart as they approached the final turn, but it wasn't enough. Hamlin wheel-hopped on his entrance into turn eleven and forced his car a bit higher than he had planned, opening the door for Stewart. Stewart dive-bombed Hamlin and sent him into the wall and drove on to take the checkered flag.
"I felt a nudge when I got down there [in Turn 7], and he knew where it was, and he did the right thing doing it there," Stewart said. "But if I could get to him, he knew what was coming. He told me he was proud of me. He knows what it means. We were teammates for a long time, and we respect each other a lot."
Here is the final lap:
With the win, Stewart breaks an 84-race win less streak. He also gets the much needed win that could eventually carry him into the chase for the Sprint Cup. He is currently 9 points out of 35th place. Stewart missed a good portion of the season after he was involved in an off-road accident in the off-season and needed surgery. In order to be eligible for the chase, Stewart needed a win and to be inside the top 35 in points.