NASCAR »

Stewart wins Nationwide opener

Tony Stewart finally caught a break - because his #80 Chevrolet didn't break loose on the last lap of Saturday's season-opening Camping World 300 Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway.

Kyle Busch pushed Stewart's hendrickcars.com Chevy down the backstretch and up the banking in turn three of the final circuit, but Stewart fought back to the outside and crossed the finish line first. Clint Bowyer pushed Carl Edwards into second place off the final corner, with Bowyer coming home third.

Busch fell to fourth at the finish. Greg Biffle ran fifth, followed by Brian Vickers, Dale Earnhardt Jr., David Ragan, Jason Keller and Matt Kenseth.

The win, Stewart's second straight in the season opener at Daytona, was at least some consolation for the calamity that devoured two of Stewart's cars in Saturday morning's Sprint Cup practice for Sunday's Daytona 500.

Ryan Newman, Stewart's teammate at Stewart-Haas Racing, blew a right rear tyre and spun midway through the session, collecting Stewart's own #14 Chevy in the process. Both Cup cars were damaged seriously enough to force the two drivers to backup cars for the 500, where they'll start from the rear of the field.

"After this morning, it's great," Stewart said of his eighth victory in 87 Nationwide starts. "We lost both of our cars for the Daytona 500 this morning with Ryan and I, and it's a good way to rebound from it - come out here and win a race."

It took all of Stewart's consummate skill to keep from losing control of his car as Busch pushed him through turn three.

"It got really, really loose," Stewart said. "Kyle pushed me all the way through the corner. If I'd have spun or crashed, I was going to have to have it out with him on that one.

"I don't know how I held on to it, but I think he kind of cut us a break off of (turn four) and kind of let us back in."

Edwards, seeking to add another Nationwide title to his 2007 championship, had a front-row seat for all the last-lap action.

"The #18 (Busch) pushed the #80 down the back straightaway," Edwards said. "They got in the corner. He pushed him all the way up. I thought, 'Man, this is it; we're going to have a run.'

"Coming off (turn) 4, I was a little too close. Clint was right on my bumper, pushed me right by Kyle. He gave me like the half-inch I needed there…

"Then we got all straightened out, coming to the line. Same deal. Clint was still pushing me. I had a little run on Tony. He came up. I thought, 'Man, we're going to - this is going to be smoke and walls and all that.' But it ended up he gave me enough room, and I still ended up second."

The #80 on Stewart's car represented the number of Rick Hendrick's automobile franchises. Michael McDowell in 14th was the highest finishing rookie, edging Brendan Gaughan by one position.

by Reid Spencer/Sporting News


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Tony Stewart wins the Nationwide Series race at Daytona [Pic credit: Getty for NASCAR]
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet SS qualified for 33rd position after hitting the wall Friday, October 24, 2014 for Sunday`s  Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Harvick, who is in the Chase, is 2nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.  (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS qualified for 9th position Friday, October 24, 2014 for Sunday`s  Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Newman, who is in the Chase, is 3rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS qualified for 13th position Friday, October 24, 2014 for Sunday`s  Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Gordon, who is in the Chase, is 7th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.  (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet SS won the pole position and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS qualified for 16th position Friday, October 24, 2014 for Sunday`s  Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. McMurray, who is not in the Chase, is 19th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. This was McMurray`s 2nd Pole win this season. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Mcdonald’s Chevrolet SS won the pole position Friday, October 24, 2014 for Sunday`s Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. McMurray, who is not in the Chase, is 19th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. This was McMurray`s 2nd Pole win this season. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald`s Chevrolet, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, climbs into his car prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace, Jr., driver of the #34 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott Toyota, laughs before practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace, Jr., driver of the #34 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott Toyota, leads Ben Kennedy, driver of the #31 Heater.com Chevrolet, during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota, looks on in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, looks on during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, sits in his car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, left, talks with crew chief Alan Gustafson in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
A view of the #34 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott Toyota, driven by Darrell Wallace, Jr., in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney and Matt Crafton confer. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney at Kansas. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Danica Patrick alongside the #10 GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing on pit road at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.