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Tony Stewart Finds His Way Back To Victory Lane

| , RacinToday.com Monday, September 6 2010

Tony Stewart leads the pack late in Sunday night's Cup race in Atlanta. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

Tony Stewart took the lead just after a restart with 24 laps to go, held the lead on another restart with 18 laps to go and went on to win the Emory Healthcare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway Sunday night.

The victory was the first of the season for the two-time Sprint Cup champion and his first since the race at Kansas Speedway last fall.

“God, never been this  happy to win in my life,” Stewart said in Victory Lane.

Carl Edwards, who had not won a race since the Homestead-Miami race in 2008, finished second.

Defending champion Jimmie Johnson was third.

Clint B0wyer strengthened his hold on the 12th and final berth in the Chase – which begins in two weeks – by finishing 6th.

Ryan Newman, who engaged in fender and bumper rubbing on track and then a verbal battle with Kasey Kahne on pit road after the race, moved to 13th in points but trails Boywer by 117 with just the race at Richmond Saturday to go before the Chase begins in New Hampshire.

Mark Martin, who started the race in 14th place in points and 101 behind Bowyer, probably dropped out of Chase contention by finishing 21st.

Jamie McMurray started the race 13th in points and 100 behind Bowyer, finished 15th.

Points leader Kevin Harvick, who secured a Chase berth weeks ago, had a tough night as he blew a tire and fell to a 33rd-place finish.

Denny Hamlin appeared to be in contention for his sixth victory of the year but blew an engine and finished last.

| , RacinToday.com Monday, September 6 2010
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