Stewart Smokes Field

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There's a new "King of the Road" in NASCAR and his name is Tony Stewart.

Stewart scored his second straight NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series road course victory on Sunday afternoon as he drove his Home Depot Chevrolet to the win in the Dodge SaveMart 350 at Infineon Raceway.

The win was Stewart's fourth in the last nine road course events and followed up his win last August at Watkins Glen International Raceway.

Stewart took the lead from Ricky Rudd with ten laps to go and drove on to his 20th career NEXTEL Cup Series win.

"I was just holding the gearshift with one hand in the end stages," Stewart said. "That was getting tough, especially when you're trying to pass Ricky Rudd."

Stewart, who led 27 laps after taking the lead from pole-sitter Jeff Gordon on lap 33, reclaimed the lead from Rudd on lap 100 on the final corner of the 12 turn circuit. He pulled a crossover move on Rudd to make the winning pass for the lead, going high before ducking low to drive around to the top spot.

"I knew Tony was fast," Rudd said. "I was just trying to hold him off the best I could and, obviously, we weren't able to do it. He kept coming and coming, inching up and inching up. It was just a matter of time. Then I started to make mistakes. We had nothing for Tony there at the end."

Kurt Busch finished third followed by Rusty Wallace and Dale Jarrett.

Elliott Sadler, Jeremy Mayfield, Ron Fellows, Ryan Newman and Brian Simo rounded out the Top 10.

The day didn't turn out well for some pre-race favorites including polesitter Jeff Gordon, who was shooting for his second straight win at Infineon Raceway. Transmission problems hindered Gordon in the early stages of the 110 lap race and he finished 33rd.

Jimmie Johnson, who led the series point standings entering Sunday's race, also suffered through a long day. Johnson finished 36th, one lap behind the leader.

Johnson's troubles allowed Greg Biffle to take over the NEXTEL Cup point lead. Despite only finishing 14th, Biffle is now on top of the standings by 22 points.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr,'s day also ended early when he had a transmission break and collected Mike Bliss before spinning and hitting the wall on the frontstretch.

"I didn't have first or second gear from the first lap," said Earnhardt Jr. "We tried a new transmission here and it hadn't given me trouble all weekend. Then, it just tore out. That thing must have been made out of aluminum. It tore all to heck. It's really disappointing."

The NEXTEL Cup Series now heads to Daytona International Speedway for next Saturday night's Pepsi 400.

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