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Gordon chokes, Stewart wins at Watkins Glen

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NASCAR
August 12, 2007

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Tony Stewart
CIA Stock Photo

Jeff Gordon was well on his way to winning today's Nextel Cup race at Watkins Glen but with two laps to go he locked the right front wheel in Turn 1 and spun handing the lead and the win to Tony Stewart. Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin was second after Carl Edwards went off on the last lap. Jimmie Johnson was third.

Benefiting from Jeff Gordon’s spin in Turn 1 on the next-to-last lap, Tony Stewart inherited the lead from the NASCAR Nextel Cup points leader and went on to win for the third time in four races when he took the checkered flag in Sunday’s Centurion Boats at The Glen at Watkins Glen International.

Stewart crossed the finish line 2.460 seconds ahead of teammate Denny Hamlin, after Carl Edwards, who was running second on the final lap, slid off the course in Turn 10. The victory was Stewart’s third of the year, his fourth at Watkins Glen — tying Gordon for the all-time lead — and the 32nd of his career.

Jimmie Johnson avoided the trouble and the road rage that plagued a host of other contenders and came home third. Ron Fellows, subbing for Tony Raines in the No. 96 Hall of Fame Racing Chevrolet, ran fourth, followed by Robby Gordon.

Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Edwards, Jeff Gordon and Greg Biffle completed the top 10.

Juan Pablo Montoya’s bid to win a NASCAR race on three different road courses in a season came to an end at the same instant Kevin Harvick’s chances to win three straight road races went up in smoke. Montoya went low in Turn 1 to block Truex on a restart on Lap 73. Truex tapped Montoya’s No. 42 Dodge and sent it spinning into Harvick’s No. 29 Chevrolet, crippling both cars.

Harvick’s Richard Childress Racing teammate Jeff Burton didn’t make it through the turn, either. His No. 31 Chevy slammed into Montoya’s Dodge and was unable to continue. Montoya and Harvick climbed from their cars and proceeded to shove each other before NASCAR officials stepped between them and Burton arrived on the scene to restrain his teammate.

Harvick, Montoya and Burton weren’t the only top drivers who suffered misfortune Sunday. Dale Earnhardt Jr., battling Kurt Busch for the 12th and final position in the Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup, was running third when his engine expired on Lap 64, in all likelihood a casualty of over-revving during Saturday’s practice sessions.

The resulting 42nd-place finish dealt Earnhardt’s Chase chances a serious blow, especially because Busch recovered from a pit road speeding penalty to finish 11th. Earnhardt dropped from 13th to the 14th in the points standings, swapping spots with Ryan Newman.

Results

Pos St No Driver Make Points Bonus Laps/Status
1. 5 20 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 190 5 90/Running
2. 2 11 Denny Hamlin Chevrolet 170 90 Running
3. 7 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 165 90 Running
4. 26 96 Ron Fellows Chevrolet 160 90 Running
5. 29 7 Robby Gordon Ford 155 90 Running
6. 12 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet 150 90 Running
7. 8 5 Kyle Busch Chevrolet 146 90 Running
8. 6 99 Carl Edwards Ford 142 90 Running
9. 1 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 148 10 Running
10. 16 16 Greg Biffle Ford 134 90 Running
11. 13 2 Kurt Busch Dodge 130 90 Running
12. 3 17 Matt Kenseth Ford 127 90 Running
13. 15 12 Ryan Newman Dodge 124 90 Running
14. 39 21 Boris Said Ford 121 90 Running
15. 19 25 Casey Mears Chevrolet 118 90 Running
16. 11 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 115 90 Running
17. 23 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge 112 90 Running
18. 21 18 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet 109 90 Running
19. 31 15 Paul Menard * Chevrolet 106 90 Running
20. 32 66 Jeff Green Chevrolet 103 90 Running
21. 25 40 David Stremme Dodge 100 90 Running
22. 40 10 Patrick Carpentier Dodge 102 5 Running
23. 34 70 Johnny Sauter Chevrolet 94 90 Running
24. 20 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge 96 5 Running
25. 41 00 P.J. Jones Toyota 88 90 Running
26. 28 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge 85 90 Running
27. 42 36 Jeremy Mayfield Toyota 87 5 Running
28. 24 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge 79 90 Running
29. 37 44 Dale Jarrett Toyota 76 90 Running
30. 38 55 Terry Labonte Toyota 73 90 Running
31. 43 78 Kenny Wallace Chevrolet 70 90 Running
32. 22 6 David Ragan * Ford 67 90 Running
33. 30 38 David Gilliland Ford 64 90 Running
34. 17 26 Jamie McMurray Ford 66 5 89/Running
35. 35 22 Dave Blaney Toyota 58 88 Running
36. 9 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 55 84 Off Track
37. 10 01 Regan Smith Chevrolet 52 82 Running
38. 27 88 Ricky Rudd Ford 49 77 Running
39. 18 42 Juan Montoya * Dodge 46 73 Running
40. 4 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 43 72 Out of Race
41. 36 83 Brian Vickers Toyota 40 69 Running
42. 14 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 37 63 Running
43. 33 45 Kyle Petty Dodge 34 56 Running

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