Tony Stewart entered Sunday’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway three points behind cup leader Carl Edwards and he emerged as the Sprint Cup champion for the third time in his career.
Vowing to drive like he had nothing to lose Stewart damaged the front of his Chevrolet which dropped him into 40th position before using an aggressive three and four-wide passing strategy to bring him back into contention.
Following the guidance of his crew chief Darian Grubb and a rain shower that allowed Stewart to save gas under a yellow flag he was able to pass three cars at restart and then surged ahead of Edwards with 37 laps to go.
When asked about his opponents come from behind victory Edwards responded:
“This night is about Tony Stewart,” and “Those guys rose to the occasion.”
“That’s all I got,” Edwards said. “That’s as hard as I can drive. … I wish so bad we had that trophy, but it just wasn’t meant to be tonight.”
Both men actually finished in a tie based on overall series points however Stewart won five Chase wins this season to Edwards’ one Chase victory which allowed him to claim the tie-breaker.
Adding to his accomplishment Stewart became the first owner/drive to win the Sprint Cup Championship since Alan Kulwicki. The Stewart victory also marks the end of five straight years in row in which Jimmie Johnson won the coveted title.
Were you happy to see Tony Stewart surge ahead for his third championship title or should Carl Edwards have claimed NASCAR’s top prize?