The Pit Stop

July 15, 2007 6:43 PM

Tony Stewart takes his first win of the season

Casey Mears had the poll for USG Sheetrock 400 in Chicagoland on Sunday.

“It’s certainly been an exciting week for me,” said Jamie McMurray on the win last week.  Casey Mears said the car was “very good in practice.”  It just races really good,” said Martin Truex Jr.

On the Saturday meeting with Denny Hamlin on the wreck last week Tony stated “It was a fun meeting,”. He also stated that he is having more fun with it now than he did after the race last week. Denny Hamlin on the other hand said “we definitely got it all behind us.”

Long green flag runs were the norm for most of this race.  A 59-lapper to start the race where cars made green flag stops starting around lap 48.  Leaders in this time Casey Mears, Martin Truex Jr., and Jimmy Johnson.  One driver missing pits entrance was Dale Jr.  The caution came out for a Jeff Green spin.

Leaders pitted, but Kevin Harvick and Reed Sorenson stayed out.  The second long green flag run lasted to almost two more green flag pit stops.  Leading until he pitted on lap 110 was Kevin Harvick.  At lat 113 a mess load of cars was on pit road for tires and fuel.  Harvick lost the lead on lap 121 to Jimmy Johnson.  He led the race until a caution came out on lap 154 for Jamie McMurray who blew a tire.

Tony Stewart led cars off of pit road.  The green flag dropped and the shortest amount of green flag racing occurred today.  A couple of laps go by and Robby Gordon Crashes out.

The green flag drops and a long green flag run occurs until lap 202 when the cars of Ward Burton and Dave Blaney crash together.  Leaders pit and Tony Stewart leads cars off pit road.  Jimmy Johnson came out second.

The green flag drops and with 58 laps to go the power steering on Dale Jr.’s car goes out and starts to drop back.  With 44 laps to go Jimmy Johnson blows a tire and hits the wall hard.  When the pits open this time around most of the cars take just fuel only.

“No indication,” said Jimmy Johnson on the tire blowing up.  He also stated that he popped his elbow on the seat.

The green flag drops and a good battle for the lead occurs with Tony and Matt Kenseth. It lasted only a couple laps and Tony won the battle.   Tony keeps the lead of the race until the next caution with 22 laps to go for J.J. Yeley hitting the wall.  The green flag drops and it was not long before the caution came out again as Joe Nemechek spins out.

With twelve laps to go the green flag drops again.  Tony got a great restart and cruised to a 1.5 second plus win. This win marks the 30th win of his career and it has been 20 races since his last win.

Tony Stewart stated that it was the pit crew that gave him the position at the end of the race that5 got him the win of the race.

“Pretty good on restarts,” said Kenseth who finished in second.

“Just awesome,” said Carl Edwards who finished in third.  He also stated that his team just keeps having that bad pit stop and that Tony Stewart scares him when he climbs up the fence to get the flag.

Kevin Harvick who finished in fourth stated that his car was too loose at the start and too tight at the end of the race.

Dale Jr. who finished in 19th place stated that he never lost his power steering before. “Now I know what it feels like.”

In points Jeff Gordon is still in the lead with Denny Hamlin still second place.  Denny is 303 points back of Jeff for the lead in points.  Still in 12th place is Dale Jr.  Ryan Newman is 13th only 30 back of Dale.

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