The NASCAR series was at Dover this past weekend taking on the Monster Mile. The Sprint Cup FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks was the feature race of the weekend. The winner was Tony Stewart who earlier in the week was quoted as saying:
“Dover might be the worst track we race on in the entire NASCAR series.”
To say the least it was a surprising win for the man who fans and fellow drivers call “Smoke.”
Stewart didn’t lead the most laps. Kyle Busch did that. Stewart wasn’t about to put his name in the history books at Dover International Speedway. That was Jimmie Johnson.
In fact, Stewart was pretty much an afterthought until a bizarre finish put the three-time Sprint Cup Series champion in Victory Lane at Dover when the checkered flag was waved on Sunday afternoon.
To be honest even Stewart himself was stunned after the confetti had rained down on him and his No. 14 Chevrolet as he celebrated his third victory at Dover. After all, he hadn’t won a race since Daytona last July, a span of 30 races.
“As much as I hate to say it, it’s good to be back in the Media Center,” Stewart said with a laugh. “I was preparing for a very long day. I wasn’t prepared to be sitting here. But I’m proud to be sitting here saying that I was very wrong and happy that I was wrong. If somebody would have told me it was going to be that way (Saturday) I would have told them they were crazy because my car could not win the race.”
The reason that Stewart and the fans were surprised that he won was simple.
With 19 laps to go, Jimmie Johnson was restarting in second place after a caution; race leader Juan Pablo Montoya was on the outside.
But when Johnson zoomed off to the lead, NASCAR officials threw a black flag and called Johnson to pit road. The second-place driver is not allowed to beat the leader to the starting line.
That left the door open for Stewart to took the lead with an outside pass on Juan Pablo Montoya with three laps left in the 400-mile race. It was Stewarts first face win in 30 Sprint Cup starts and it quite possibly saved his season. All on a track that he called the worst on the NASCAR schedule.
Other winners this weekend were, Kyle Busch who took the checkered flag at the ‘Lucas Oil 200’ NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday. Saturdays 5-hour ENERGY 200 Nationwide race belonged to Regan Smith.
This week NASCAR heads to to Pocono and the coverage of the Sprint Cup Series moves from Fox over to TNT.