Tony Stewart Claims First Victory at Las Vegas
The on-track action at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday is what keeps auto racing enthusiasts coming back for more. Tony Stewart put on a superb demonstration of driving skill and determination, leading to his decisive victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Kobalt Tools 400. As his first win on this particular track and the first Chevrolet victory for 2012, the three-time defending champion Stewart also clocked up his 45th career win from his seventh position start. The victory, which was Stewart’s first with his new crew chief Steve Addington, puts him seventh in the standings.
Jimmie Johnson took second place, fighting his way to the front from the back of the field in a backup Chevrolet after a mishap with his car in practice the day before the race. Stewart kept his position at the head of the field for the last 30 laps of the race, while Johnson was hot on his heels for the last 17 of those laps, but just could not get past. Chevrolet was strongly represented at the event, with other top-ten finishes for the iconic manufacturer including Ryan Newman in fourth position, Paul Menard in seventh, and Jamie McMurray in eighth place, while Dale Earnhardt Jr.finished the race at number 10.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Kobalt Tools 400 victory will no doubt help to ease the pain of last week’s debacle at Phoenix where he turned his car off to save on fuel and failed to get it to re-fire, resulting in a longer pit stop and his finish in 22nd place. It is thought that the problem may be linked to the new electronic fuel injection system introduced by NASCAR. In a post-race interview, Stewart remarked that he was finally glad to win a race at Las Vegas. This may have been an especially sweet victory for Stewart in light of the fact that he missed a good shot at victory last year by incurring a penalty by leaving his pit stop with an air hose still attached to his car.
The current top ten NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings are: Greg Biffle (125 points); Kevin Harvick (115 points); Denny Hamlin (113 points); Dale Earnhardt Jr. (107 points); Matt Kenseth (102 points); Carl Edwards (102 points); Tony Stewart (100 points); Martin Truex Jr. (98 points; and Mark Martin (97 points).