Oakley's Tony Stewart Wins the NASCAR Price Chopper 400 on Sunday at Kansas Speedway
It was a picture-perfect day Sunday for auto racing – or about anything outdoors you might want to do – and two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Oakley’sTony Stewart took full advantage of the conditions to create his own personal Kodak moment.
Before a cheering, capacity crowd estimated at around 100,000 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., Stewart withstood a late charge by runner-up Jeff Gordon to take the checkered flag and the win in the Price Chopper 400, the third event in the 10-race NASCAR Chase for the Cup.
Stewart, who drove the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet for years with Joe Gibbs Racing, is in his first year in the dual role of team owner and lead driver for the newly formed Stewart-Haas Racing team. The win at this year’s Sprint Cup event at Kansas Speedway is Stewart’s second at Kansas in the nine years the track has been opened, tying him with Gordon, who won the first two Cup events there in his No, 24 DuPont car in 2001 and 2002. Stewart won in 2006 while driving for Gibbs.Stewart and Gordon also hold the NASCAR Sprint Cup record for the most top 10 finishes at Kansas Speedway, with six each. Gordon leads in top five finishes at Kansas with five. The Kansas victory, Stewart’s fourth win of the 2009 NASCAR season, also enabled Stewart to move from fifth into fourth place in the Chase standings. He trails the leader, Mark Martin who along with Gordon drives for Hendrick Motorsports, by 67 points.
Stewart held off Gordon for the final 13 laps of the race. “We just kind of ran our pace,” Stewart told Randy Covitz of The Kansas City Star after the race. “When somebody starts running you down, it’s easy to overdrive your car trying to maintain gap, and you end up making it worse on yourself.”
The Chase for the Cup now moves to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.Calif., for race No. 4 in the Chase series.