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Tony Stewart Wins Camping World 300 for Toyota

NASCAR
Saturday, February 16, 2008

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Stewart leads the field to green and the win.

Rusty Jarrett /Getty Images for NASCAR

Tony Stewart started from the pole and won the Nationwide Series Camping World 300 for Toyota.  Kyle Busch led the most laps but finished second in a Toyota while Dale Earnhardt Jr finished in third.  Toyota flexed its muscle and claimed three of the top four spots as Brian Vickers finished fourth and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top 5 in a Ford. 

Polesitter Tony Stewart repelled a strong challenge from teammate Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win the Camping World 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.

Stewart surged to the lead on Lap 117 of 120 and stayed there as the rest of the field diced for position behind him. On the final lap, Busch blocked Earnhardt's last-ditch attempt to improve his position and all but assured the victory for Stewart, who crossed the finish line .259 seconds ahead of Busch, with Earnhardt .412 seconds back.

Brian Vickers ran fourth, followed by Matt Kenseth, rookie Bryan Clauson, Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, David Ragan and defending series champion Carl Edwards.

The Joe Gibbs Racing teammates dominated the action, with Busch leading 47 laps at the 2.5-mile superspeedway, and Stewart 46.

Will Stewart and Toyota return to Victory Lane in the 500?

Photo / Toyota

"We were battling the balance of the car, but this thing was so fast down the straightaway," Stewart said of his No. 20 Toyota. "Once we got up front, it actually helped my car turn."

Busch had the lead on Lap 111 when a multicar crash in Turn 4 behind the lead pack brought out the fourth caution of the race. Steve Wallace spun after contact with the No. 88 Chevy of Brad Keselowski triggered a wreck that damaged seven cars. The race restarted with six laps remaining with Busch in the lead.

Vickers, Martin Truex Jr. and Busch battled for the top spot until Stewart went to the point.

"It's a shame that we came in second with such a great racecar," said Busch, who also came in second in Friday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. "But the 20 was fast, too, and Tony Stewart's the man."

Earnhardt agreed.

Toyota is perfect  in poles and wins for 2008.

Padraic Major / NASCAR

"The situation was that you've got two great racecars with two great drivers in front of me," said Earnhardt, whose crew had to replace the rear decklid and spoiler after the No. 5 Chevy failed pre-qualifying inspection. "Tony says I'm one of the best restrictor-plate drivers, but he's right there with me."   

The race was caution-free until Lap 55, when David Gilliland's Ford broke loose in Turn 2 after contact from Greg Biffle, slammed the wall, slid down the track and collected the Chevrolet of Mark Green. Biffle's No. 16 Ford also sustained minor front-end damage during the accident.

The caution bunched the field, depriving the trio of Truex, Vickers and Busch of a lead of more than eight seconds they had opened over Clint Bowyer and Stewart. It also trapped the Chevrolet of Kevin Harvick one lap down, as Harvick had made an unscheduled pit stop after his crew failed to fill his fuel cell fully on an earlier green-flag stop.

After a restart on Lap 59, Busch and Truex battled for the lead until Busch took control seven laps into the run. Busch stayed out front, with Stewart locked to his rear bumper, until Marcos Ambrose shredded his right rear tire on the backstretch, bringing out the second caution of the race on Lap 78.

Stewart won the race off pit road for a restart on Lap 82 and kept his car out front until sheet metal falling from Ambrose's car in Turn 2 caused the third caution on Lap 97. With quick work on pit road, Busch led the field to a restart on Lap 101, followed by Earnhardt, Stewart, Vickers and David Reutimann.

Results

FIN

ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 1 20 Tony Stewart Toyota Armor All 190/5 120 Running
2 5 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Interstate Batteries 180/10 120 Running
3 19 5 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet National Guard 165/0 120 Running
4 11 10 Brian Vickers Toyota ABF U-Pack Moving 165/5 120 Running
5 14 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Kraft / Ritz 155/0 120 Running
6 6 41 Bryan Clauson * Dodge Texaco / Havoline 150/0 120 Running
7 25 16 Greg Biffle Ford CitiFinancial 146/0 120 Running
8 8 32 Denny Hamlin Toyota Hass Avocados from Mexico 147/5 120 Running
9 28 6 David Ragan Ford Discount Tire 143/5 120 Running
10 26 60 Carl Edwards Ford Scotts Miracle-Gro 134/0 120 Running
11 10 8 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Freightliner Trucks 135/5 120 Running
12 31 47 Kelly Bires Ford Clorox 127/0 120 Running
13 40 1 Johnny Sauter Chevrolet Miccosukee Resort & Gaming 124/0 120 Running
14 18 99 David Reutimann Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 121/0 120 Running
15 7 21 Bobby Labonte Chevrolet Realtree 118/0 120 Running
16 13 88 Brad Keselowski Chevrolet U.S. Navy 115/0 120 Running
17 34 22 Mike Bliss Dodge Supercuts 112/0 120 Running
18 29 29 Scott Wimmer Chevrolet Holiday Inn 109/0 120 Running
19 3 38 Jason Leffler Toyota Great Clips 106/0 120 Running
20 4 40 Dario Franchitti * Dodge Fastenal 103/0 120 Running
21 9 33 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Camping World 100/0 120 Running
22 38 25 Bobby Hamilton Jr. Ford Smithfield 97/0 120 Running
23 39 77 Cale Gale * Chevrolet Rheem 94/0 120 Running
24 22 7 Mike Wallace Toyota GEICO 91/0 120 Running
25 2 2 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet BB&T 88/0 119 Running
26 27 27 Brad Coleman Ford Cottonelle / Kroger 85/0 119 Running
27 21 00 Michael McDowell Toyota Rimco Custom Wheels & Tires 82/0 119 Running
28 35 37 Brad Baker Ford Envirox 79/0 119 Running
29 23 195 Willie Allen Dodge USALABS.com 76/0 119 Running
30 32 28 Kirk Shelmerdine Chevrolet Lilly Trucking of Virginia 78/5 119 Running
31 37 4 Robert Richardson, II Chevrolet JVC Everio 70/0 118 Running
32 24 01 Dwayne Leik Chevrolet Lake County CrimeStoppers 67/0 118 Running
33 16 81 D.J. Kennington Dodge STP Tools 64/0 117 Running
34 36 24 Eric McClure Chevrolet Hefty 61/0 116 Running
35 15 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Ragu 63/5 111 Off Track
36 20 111 Jason Keller Chevrolet Conrad Yelvington Dist. 55/0 110 Off Track
37 30 66 Steve Wallace Chevrolet Atreus Homes & Communities 52/0 110 Off Track
38 17 30 Stanton Barrett Chevrolet NOS Energy Drink / INTERUSH 49/0 108 Off Track
39 33 59 Marcos Ambrose Ford Kingsford Hickory Charcoal 46/0 103 Off Track
40 42 14 David Gilliland Ford Music City Illinois 43/0 53 Out of Race
41 12 170 Mark Green Chevrolet Foretravel Motorcoach 40/0 53 Out of Race
42 41 64 David Stremme Chevrolet Atreus Homes & Communities 37/0 17 Out of Race
43 43 90 Steve Grissom Chevrolet MSRP Motorsports 34/0 3 Out of Race

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