Dramatic Turn: Tony Stewart’s Triumph at Dover Surprises NASCAR Fans, Juan Pablo Montoya Claims Second
“Smoke” hasn’t exactly had a magical start to the season. The three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion – and his team – sputtered out of the gates this year with a mere two top ten finishes, a season-best seventh place result and no win since Daytona last July. This past weekend, however, Dover shattered that storyline. Powering past fellow Oakley driver Juan Pablo Montoya with three laps to go, Tony Stewart blazed his way to a glorious victory and effectively snapped his 30-race winless streak.
“Smoke” may be known for his bold attitude and swagger. But there’s much, much more to Oakley’s NASCAR speed demon, Tony Stewart, than his edgy public persona. The three-time NASCAR Champion, a couple days after grabbing an emotional Nationwide victory over the weekend at Daytona over Sam Hornish Jr., ducked the cameras and the watchful eye of the industry to visit a handful of fans injured at the race after a horrific crash that penetrated the track’s safety barriers. O’s long-time driver/owner spent a few hours with the victims – some of who were listed as critical upon their arrival at the hospital – to provide comfort and some signed gear.
Maybe it wasn’t the elusive Daytona 500 victory that Tony Stewart has been longing for. But it was brilliant, nonetheless. Executing a dramatic last-lap move to pass Matt Kenseth after starting way back in the 42nd position, Oakley’s NASCAR star powered his way to his 18th overall triumph at the Mecca of stock-car racing. “I’ll trade all of them for a win at the Daytona 500,” Tony said, rocking his Oakley eyewear, base layer, racing boots and racing gloves. “We just haven’t got the right one yet.” Nevertheless, he shined in the Coke Zero 400, securing his fourth Sprint Cup victory in Daytona and his 47th overall Sprint Cup win. He also moves up to 14th in all-time NASCAR triumphs, passing Buck Baker.