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Stewart Uses Late Pass To Win Martinsville

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, October 30 2011

Tony Stewart rolled to his third Chase victory Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Harold Hinson)


Tony Stewart passed Jimmie Johnson for the lead with three laps to go and hung on to get the victory Sunday in the Tums Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway.

The victory was the third for Stewart in the 10-race Chase. It moved him from fourth to second in the point standings.

Johnson finished second and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon was third.

Kevin Harvick was fourth and Denny Hamlin fifth.

Harvick moved up two spots in the standings to third – 21 behind Edwards.

Brad Keselowski, who was spun late in the race, fell from third to fourth in the standings and is now 27 points down to the leader.

Carl Edwards, who finished ninth, kept his points lead. He will head to Texas Motor Speedway next weekend for the eighth Chase race eight points ahead of Stewart.

The Roush Fenway Racing Ford driver sounded extremely pleased with a top-10 finish on a day his car looked liked anything but championship caliber.

“We were so bad,” Edwards said. “With about 200 laps to go I was thinking, ‘Okay. The Cardinals didn’t give up the other night.’ That was a little motivation. ‘The Missouri Tigers didn’t give up the other night.’ That was more motivation. I had become okay with the fact that we were probably going to finish 20th or 25th. I was thinking already about Texas and how we were going to have to go there and everything we were gonna do, but my guys stuck with it and we got very, very fortunate. I’m just glad we can move on.”

A wreck with 38 laps to go took a big bite out of the title hopes of Matt Kenseth, who started the day second in points, and Kyle Busch, who started sixth in points. Both would loose multiple laps because of the wreck.

Busch finished 27th and Kenseth 31st and will head to Texas 36 points out of the lead.

“I don’t know what happened with the 18 (Busch),” Kenseth said. “I’d honestly have to see it on TV. I felt like I left him some room on the outside, but everybody was kind of slow and checked up. I had a run under him and I was almost to his door and all of a sudden we just got together. I honestly don’t know if it was my fault, if I squeezed him or if he came down because there were some slow cars on the straightaway, but I almost think he must have came down because we hit really hard and then I must have had a flat tire and didn’t know it. I went into three and couldn’t steer or couldn’t stop it and wrecked all those guys. I feel bad about that.”

(This story will be updated shortly)

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, October 30 2011
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