It was an emotional night for Tony Stewart at Homestead Miami-Speedway in the 2008 Sprint Cup season finale.

Stewart raced for the last time for owner Joe Gibbs and crew chief Greg Zipadelli in Sunday's Ford 400.

"It's hard," said Stewart, who finished ninth after pitting from the lead for fuel with 11 laps left while others, including race winner Carl Edwards, stretched their gas mileage to the finish. "These guys are my family. When you've been with a group of guys for ten years and a sponsor (The Home Depot) for ten years like this - that's a long time. I know people who haven't been married that long."

It was gratifying to Stewart to have a competitive car in his last run for Gibbs.

"It was awesome to be leading there with 20 laps to go and driving away from the field -- you can't ask for more than that. I just appreciate everything that Zippy and these guys have done, and it's hard. We all wanted to win this last race, but so did 42 other guys who wanted to win this last one of the year.

"I'm really proud of these guys. The biggest thing to me is that we went out and were competitive. Everybody knew we were here, and they knew we were one of the fastest cars all day. We did what we needed to do."
by Reid Spencer/Sporting News



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