NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race: Tony Stewart The Owner Gets His First win
Posted By:Josh Morse - Kearney, NE Tags:
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NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race: Tony Stewart the owner gets his first win
Tony Stewart made a million-dollar pass on Matt Kenseth with two laps to go in a wild 10-lap shootout to win Saturday's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Stewart, who turns 38 years old on Wednesday, crossed the finish line one second ahead of Kenseth for his first victory as driver and owner in NASCAR's top-tier series.
On NASCAR's second attempt to start the race's final segment, a 10-lap shootout, Kyle Busch squeezed precariously between Jeff Gordon and Kenseth, and pushed himself from fourth to first on the restart.
But it didn't end there. Gordon wasn't about to give way to Kyle Busch. He stayed inside and challenged aggressively. Before Gordon knew what happened, he was three-wide with Busch next to him and Ryan Newman on the outside wall.
Gordon and Kyle Busch made contact, and the contact sent Gordon swerving across the track. His car caught fire and crashed into the wall, releasing fluid all over the track.
That caused a caution with eight laps to go, but it wasn't the race's last caution.
With five laps to go a debris caution bunched up the field and opened the door for Stewart to make his move. It might have been the most meaningful win of Stewart's career, given all he has put into this team's success.
Stewart left Joe Gibbs Racing at the end of last season after 10 years and two championships with the organization.
He became a part-owner of Haas/CNC, operated the team with Hendrick Engines, and took on the difficult task of turning a team that struggled to stay in the top 35 last year into a championship contender. That wasn't Stewart's stated goal, but the rest of his team knew that's what was expected of them.
Both Stewart-Haas Racing cars were so stout in the final segment that it could have been a showdown between teammates — a scenario that will definitely be repeated in the future. Currently, Stewart and Newman are second and eighth in points, respectively.
If there's one driver who embodies the term "All-Star," it would be Stewart. His two NASCAR Cup championships combined with a triple-crown achievement in USAC competition and his Indy Racing League records qualify him for that category. But it's becoming increasingly clear that teams with powerhouse alignments will lead the wave of success in NASCAR.
And although the No. 14 crew copied its driver's celebration by scurrying up the frontstretch fence for the first time on Saturday night, for Stewart-Haas Racing the climbing has just begun.
Maybe there will be a repeat performance as early as next Sunday.
Harvick at least won at something: #29 Reigns in NASCAR's All-Star Burnout Competition
A special event leading up to the NASCAR All-Star Race at Lowe's Motor Speedway is the Burnout Competition. The competition, pairing NASCAR greats with ride-along passengers, awards $10,000 to the top scorer, which is then donated to the driver's favorite charity.
First to go out on the track was four-time champion Jeff Gordon. Gordon's driving school cars are being used for the first time in the competition.
Gordon had a bit of a disadvantage going out first as the track was wet from the passing rain shower. But Gordon was still able to pull off two donuts and some great tire smoking in his freestyle competition.
Gordon's total point score was 50 for his attempt. One of Gordon's competitors, Greg Biffle, deemed Gordon's attempt "pathetic."
Darrell Waltrip was second on the track. He did a sliding spin but no smoke was emitted. Waltrip also got into the grass, which was supposed to be a disqualification. DW was scored a total 39 points and he did end up being disqualified for his pass in the grass.
Kevin Harvick went out next and slowly did a few donuts to warm up. Harvick then proceeded to absolutely smoke up his tires and the track, pumping his fist out the car window netting, with wife Delana videotaping it all. Harvick was scored at 58, the closest to a perfect score of 60. He also received a standing ovation from the crowd.
Having to follow Harvick's tough act, Kasey Kahne then took the track for his burnout attempt. Kahne did a great job and was awarded a total of 53 points.
Amidst a roar of boos, Kyle Busch then pulled out onto the track. Busch proceeded to first hit the wall and then knock down a pylon or two.
After showing the crowd all of the right side damage he had done to the car, Kyle hit a few more things on the track and headed off, most likely to the NASCAR hauler.
Busch was disqualified and will no doubt have to pay Jeff Gordon a pretty penny for tearing up his school's race car.
Greg Biffle then roared out onto the track. The Biff was all over the place and did not get much fan reaction. He scored all "8"s across the board for a total of 48 in points.
Clint Bowyer in the No. 33 car had some good smoke going off the tires but it was not good enough for first place. His total score was 51.
When all was said it done, it was Kevin Harvick who reigned supreme in the All-Star Burnout Competition. Harvick thanked his sponsor Pennzoil, as well as the fans for their support.
Harvick reported that his $10,000 winnings would go to the Victory Junction Camp. He said he was pleased to support Kyle and Patti Petty in their efforts to help sick children.
So, congratulations to Happy Harvick!!
Now lets go out there and win some races and get the points climb back in full force.
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