Tony Stewart Storms in Sprint Cup title with a victory in the final

Tony Stewart Storms in Sprint Cup title with a victory in the final
Tony Stewart was a mile from the checkered flag on Sunday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where he was key to the microphone last time Ford 400.

"I got it," he said.

He was right - just as he had predicted all week.

Stewart is certified month of arrogance, outdueling Carl Edwards to win, to win the next championship race in the history of NASCAR.

Win - the fifth Stewart in the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup - left him tied with Edwards, who finished second Sunday, at the top of the standings with 2403 points.

Stewart, 40, won his third NASCAR championship by virtue of the majority wins.

"We talked all week, if we just go out and win the race, we would not have to worry about what he did," Columbus, Ind., native said. "If this is not one of the greatest battles in the history of the championship, I do not know what is."

In addition to providing an exciting NASCAR, the game 7-style finale that CEO Brian France envisioned when he created the Chase to the 2004 season, the name was significant for several reasons for Stewart, who was:

• The first champion to win the season finale in 13 years (and seventh ever.)

• The first driver-owner to win the title in the premier series of NASCAR Alan Kulwicki since 1992.

• endpaper with Jimmy Johnson's unprecedented five consecutive championships (Stewart was the last one before Johnson to win the title in 2005).

• The first champion in the era of Chase, to win five races in the title run.

Stuart (whose first title in 2002) also joins Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Lee Petty and David Pearson, a three-time champion. All are in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

He did it, perhaps with a clutch performance rarely seen in the 63-year history of NASCAR. Stewart roared back twice (transfer of 118 vehicles over 400 miles) after falling outside the top 30 twice in the first 40 laps.

"I feel that I have passed half of the state of Florida," says Stewart. "I would definitely say that this is one of the biggest races of my life.

"I would have lost every bet in the world that we're going to win the race or win five races."

A.J. Foyt, who called Stewart one of his heroes, named it after the race, and said in a statement, "Tony drove the best race of his life."

Stewart replied, "To hear him say that it brings tears to my eyes."

His crew chief, Darian Grubb, made a daring challenge to the pit, which extended into the fuel tank number 14 Stewart Chevrolet to the limit, but left him in a favorable position for the final race sequence.

"Darian Grubb you ... people," Stewart radioed his crew. "You did it, bud."

Said Grubb, who discovered after the race, that he told Stewart-Haas Racing last month that he would not return as crew chief Stewart next season. "We just did not give up We kept fighting, and showed that we were the real champions."

When asked in a conference-postrace news on the status of a Grubb, Stewart said: "I know that his status for the whole night, and I'm going to make him drunk."

Edwards, who led a race high 119 laps after starting from pole, had no answer for the fact that Stewart did on the track.

"Last night about Tony Stewart," said Edwards, who record the average Chase finish 4.9. "These guys rose to the occasion and beat us fair and square. Tony and Darian managed to do a good job with their strategy. That was all I had. "

Overcoming adversity

The key point race came when Stewart took the lead during green-flag lap loop 201. His Impala was out of gas, how he came to pit road on lap 212, but this strategy means that he was able to finish the race without stopping again.

When rain fell caution three laps later, Edwards was forced to pit again. On the final restart with 37 laps remaining, Stewart was the third and fifth Edwards. Brad Keselowski passed Stewart lap later, and not disputed, as finished the race under green.

He still has to overcome many adversities, starting immediately after the green flag. When the caution flag flew for the first time on lap 14 because of rain, the team Stewart found a large hole in the left front grille of his car.

"They're going to want to (crap) after hitting their (butt), then," he radioed his crew.

After two stops to repair damage, Stewart resumed in the 40th and 17th place went up for 14 laps, when another long pit stop to fix dropped him to 32nd. "Well, they're really going to feel worse after we went back twice and kicked their (butt)," he said.

These were the last shots was made by Stewart in a week filled with trash talk. The title contenders a news conference Thursday in Miami Beach, Edwards seemed slightly unnerved bluster Stewart, who confidently predicted he would win the title ("This is not cocky if you back it up").

Edwards largely engaged in Stuart, the election to his performances speak for themselves. It seemed to work on Saturday when he won the pole position and paced the final practice session.

It still did not stop sniping from Stewart, who defiantly insisted that the media does not begin to name etched on the trophy yet Edwards after Stewart qualified 15th.

"It's like, what knife to a shootout," said Stewart of mind games he played with his rival. "He's fun guy to choose. He makes himself an easy target."

In the end, Stewart backed up his talk.

"I am absolutely mentally tried to beat the baby this week, I felt that to give up everything in my arsenal to get this opportunity, he's too good to resist It was like picking up a child ... you kind of felt bad. .. . He will win the championship and be in our position. I appreciate the battle we had. "

During rain delays, red flags race in 1 hour, 14 minutes on lap 109 of 267, audacity is not gone, as he told a reporter: "We commit to keep delivering this whooping cough, we got more in mind for (Edwards), the remainder part of the day. "

Despite all the sparring, there were no hard feelings when the battle was over. Among the first to congratulate Stuart Edwards, who offered hearty handshake.

"He's a great guy, and we gave him a rough time this week. ... It shows how a great guy he is," Stewart said.

Said Edwards, who finished second in the points for the second time in his career: ". If I can not win this thing, I told my wife that I was going to be the best loser NASCAR ever we were just as hard to beat in the next year and the year after that. If we are in this position again, these guys better watch. "

Battling back

At various times throughout the season, it would seem unlikely either Edwards or Stewart, who won the championship.

Edwards led the standings after 21 of the first 35 races, but he spent the first six months of the season pondering his future with Roush Fenway Racing, and his uncertain status has become a distraction (Jeff Gordon said Edwards, who is currently looked after Joe Gibbs Racing, would not be chance to win a championship as a lame duck driver). Edwards was elected to re-sign with the team in August, long-term deal.

Although he had only one win (at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March), Edwards led scheme in the top 10 (26). It really surpassed Stewart (6.3 average finish) for the majority of Chase with nine top-10 and 11.

"We raised the level of performance and rose to the occasion," says Edwards. "I do not think we could do much better in the Chase."

It seemed not much solace to his crew chief, Bob Osborne, who radioed to his driver: "I am very, very, very sorry" for cooling your lap.

Edwards said: "Bob, you're the best crew chief here. I'm proud of you guys. Keep your heads up."

He and Osborne, could find solace in turnover this season, the team that beat them for the title.

After finishing ninth at Michigan International Speedway on August 21, Stewart said his team did not deserve to stand in the league and will be spending the place, making the Chase. When asked about his prior Favourites Chase at a news conference in Chicago, he listed seven names, but does not include himself.

But he opened the 10-race title run with a victory at Chicago Speedway four days, and then listed the victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway (where he stole the victory from Johnson, passing him at the end to restart from the outside lane), and Texas Motor Speedway . "To leave (Martinsville) to do something great," Stewart said, "I feel that was a turning point in pursuit of us."

Nevertheless, he still trailed by three points entering Edwards Homestead, where he became the first driver to come back and win the championship with a win in the modern era NASCAR (which dates from 1975).

"It was a tough summer and fall hard," Stewart said. "You have to believe in something."

As rain begain soon after the championship celebration began on Sunday evening, he said his faith in "the man upstairs (for holding) of the rain long enough for us to get the job done."

"I do not care how long the rain," says Stewart. "I'll sleep all night."

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