Iracingone Rewind:/I Watkins Glen

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Inside Line
Before an estimated crowd of 85,000, Tony Stewart followed up his emotional win at Indianapolis last week with a victory in the SIRIUS at The Glen, posting his 24th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series victory and fifth in the last seven events. Complete Results | Lap Summary | Photos

Keys to Victory Lane
Stewart dominated all day especially in two late race restarts after caution, when he powered away from Boris Said on the first and Robby Gordon on the second to seal the deal for his fifth win of the year.

Highway to Hell
Jeff Burton suffered heavy damage crashing in turn two on lap 31 in the most severe-looking accident of the day. Burton's Cingular Wireless Chevy was virtually destroyed in the scary-looking incident but he was not injured.

Zero to Hero
The three road racing warriors who started at the back of the field earned this award - Robby Gordon, Boris Said and Scott Pruett. Gordon began the race in the 39th position, passed 10 cars on the first lap and was in the front of the field by lap 10. Said was a bit more deliberate, but pit windows helped move him up in the field and he again was a road-circuit factor at the end. And Pruett, who filled in for Sterling Marlin after he left to be with his family, did a magnificent job in a car that he had zero practice time in.

Hero to Zero
Greg Biffle started third based on the point standings, but a late race mechanical malfunction dropped him to 38th in the final rundown - and 252 points behind Stewart in the standings.

Rookie of the Race
Although he's officially not a rookie, Paul Menard finished 27th in his first Cup start. Not stellar but the best of the rookie crop at The Glen that was led by Kyle Busch in 33rd.

Race to the Chase
Jamie McMurray slid up the standings and took over the ninth spot with Carl Edwards in the tenth, and final, transfer position. Elliott Sadler trails Edwards by 23 points with Dale Jarrett, who slipped out of the top 10, 26 from the bubble. Jeff Gordon moved up to 13th and is 67 behind Edwards after recovering from a flat tire Sunday to finish 14th.

Pit Stops
  • Tony Stewart's victory was his fifth in the last seven series events and his fifth career road course victory.
  • The victory was the 24th of Stewart's career. He is now tied with Greg Biffle in season wins. Detailed Active Driver Wins
  • The win also put Stewart in sole posession of 24th on the all-time NEXTEL Cup win list.
  • Joe Gibbs now has 47 NEXTEL Cup wins, with the last seven coming with Stewart. Detailed Active Car Owner Wins
  • Stewart became the 206th driver to win from the pole. Starting Position Facts
  • Stewart led the most laps for the eighth time this season.
  • Chevrolet has now won 12 races this season, which is three more than second place Ford. Dodge has one victory (Kasey Kahne - Richmond)
  • Robby Gordon's second-place finish was his best finish of the season with his new team. His previous best was a 16th at Infineon.
  • Boris Said notched his career-best NEXTEL Cup finish in 19 starts after finishing third.
  • Scott Pruett (fourth) scored his fifth top-10 finish in 37 NEXTEL Cup starts.
  • Jimmie Johnson finished fifth, which is one position better than his career best at Watkins Glen in four starts.
  • Rusty Wallace celebrated his 49th birthday with a sixth-place finish in his final start at Watkins Glen.

    Lug Nuts
  • Rusty Wallace was presented with a birtday cake this morning that said, "Looking Fine at 49. On Pace to Make the Chase."
  • Dale Earnhardt, Jr. rose from the ashes with a 10th-place finish, still too little, too late for any title hopes.
  • Jeff Gordon on the other hand looks like this year's Jeremy Mayfield, making a late rush to get into the "Chase."
  • How could Wally Dallenbach tell if Stewart was brake-checking Gordon and Said on the restarts? From the angle they showed it was impossible to tell, unless the Cup cars had brake lights.
  • Kudos to Scott Pruett for doing a remarkable job in a foreign car.
  • Shannon Sharpe's command to start engines makes this year's top three.
  • At least we spent one day this week watching and talking racing instead of off-track moves and the business side of the sport. We're sure that'll start up again by Monday.

    Garage Talk
    "It doesn't feel any different to be 49. We'll have some birthday cake and wash it down with a cold Miller Lite."
    -Rusty Wallace

    "I saw a lot of Sterling in Coo Coo. He was certainly a vanishing breed, but certainly not a breed you'll ever forget about."
    Chip Ganassi on the passing of Coo Coo Marlin.

    "Stupid driver mistake. That's pretty much all I can tell you."
    -Jeff Burton after crashing on lap 33.

    "Finally got the monkey off my back."
    -Boris Said

    "Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon have all the little girls, but I have the 'Said Heads', they are tougher."
    -Boris Said

    "We probably would have had a real good shot at him (Stewart) if it kept going green."
    -Robby Gordon

    Fan Forum (What they are saying on the Message Boards)
    "I am so sick of Robby Gordon complaining about everything. First he complains about Danica Patrick having an advantage, which is BS otherwise she'd be winning every race. Now he goes oh Tony just stabbed the brakes and took off. PLEASE!!"
    -Bri

    "Way to go Smoke! Hope you save some for the chase."
    -NoRide

    "I love all the excitment over a top 10 (Junior)...Must be a dismal season if a top 10 gets you that excited...Good thing he was spotted those 20 spots on the starting grid...oh to be a fan of the impersonator."
    -karmis

    RacingOne Rating
    On a scale of one to ten fingers (Watkins Glen, as we were told on the race broadcast 100 times, is located in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York), we'll give Sunday's SIRIUS at The Glen a six. Not much drama, very little passing (none at the front of the field for sure) and a blow-out by Stewart. The left and right turns for the season are over and the next four races leading up to the "Chase" should up the excitement level some. Next up, a return visit to the Irish Hills of Michigan and next Sunday's GFS Marketplace 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
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