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Stewart racks up another


Reigning NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart isn’t a contender for this year’s title, but he’s still hungry for race wins.

And he picked up another at Memphis last Sunday, taking the checquer in his Home Depot Chevrolet Monte Carlo and doing his trademark victory fence climb, he got out of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet, scaled the fence, and grabbed the chequered flag.

“Our Home Depot Chevrolet was a good car all day,” Stewart said. “The #24 (Jeff Gordon’s Chevrolet) was really good early in the race but we didn’t have the car as good as I thought we could get it. We were just about even with Jeff. I hated to see that happen to him. I would
have liked to race with him there at the end. Jimmie (Johnson) came on later in the race when the sun went down and so did Matt Kenseth. We did what we wanted to do. We got up front early and stayed up front all day.”

Stewart took the lead for the final time on lap 315 after taking on four new tyres.
The best Stewart can finish in this year’s series is 11th after he narrowly missed the Chase for the Nextel Cup field of 10.

“When we didn’t get in (the Chase) it wasn’t the end of the world to us,” he said. “We just changed our focus and did what we did tonight, win races. We’re happy because the plan we set out for the remaining 10 races is on schedule. We’ve won two races in the last 10 and last year we didn’t win any in the final 10.”

Johnson drove his Chevy to second place. “We’re on a great roll right now,” he said. “I’m so proud of this team. They never gave up. We had some lows. No one has been down and out. We weren’t where we wanted to be when the Chase started off. Now, we are getting the results.”

Dale Earnhardt Junior (Chev) had to battle Matt Kenseth (Ford Fusion) door-to-door on the final lap to finish third – “Just like old times. Matt’s a good friend and I don’t get to battle him like we did for wins in the Busch series. Good times,” Junior said.

Kenseth and Greg Biffle (Ford) completed the top five.

“It was pretty close,” said Kenseth. “Dale Junior was driving on those old tyres and I was just too tight to get by him. I could get a run in (Turns 3 and 4) and I kind of messed it up at the end, but he was good through one and two. It was a fun race.”

Kenseth continues to lead the Chase standings, by 26 points from Johnson. Then came Denny Hamlin, Earnhardt, Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick Gordon, Mark Martin, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch. 

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