Brickyard Stewarts Backyard

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INDIANAPOLIS - The Indianapolis Motor Speedway means a lot to Tony Stewart.

After Sunday it means even more.

Stewart beat Kevin Harvick in a late race battle for the lead and went on to score his second Allstate 400 at The Brickyard victory.

The Indiana native who grew up in the shadow of the famed track notched his 31st career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win and second straight, coming on the heels of his USG Sheetrock 400 win at Chicagoland Speedway.

"This one is for everyone of those fans in the stands who pull for me and take the bull---- for it every week," Stewart said in his post-race comments on national television that will surely draw a fine and penalty from NASCAR later this week.

Stewart passed Harvick on lap 151 after the duo put on a torrid duel for the lead and eventually then win.

"We were about the only car that could stay with anybody who was leading," Stewart said. "I knew after about 15 laps on him I could get a run at him. Kevin is one of my best friends. He’s a good guy."

Juan Pablo Montoya, who won the 2000 Indianapolis 500, made an impressive stock car debut at Indianapolis coming home second behind Stewart.

"It was a lot of fun," said Montoya who started out side the front row. "I don't think I had anything for Tony. His car was way too fast. Second here at the Brickyard, it was awesome. "We're getting closer. We're there already. "We just need to be the fastest car like Tony.

Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and polesitter Reed Sorenson rounded out the top five.

Mark Martin, Harvick, Jeff Burton, Dave Blaney and Matt Kenseth completed the first 10 finishers.

"We had probably a 25th-place car and finished 10th with it, so, somehow, we were able to steal some spots and finish it but we ran just terrible," said Kenseth. "We’ve got to get our car a lot better.”

It wasn't a good day for several contenders as many were caught up in some of the numerous crashes that marred the race.

Defending race winner Jimmie Johnson was involved in a pair of accidents, the second one sending him hard into the wall in a fiery crash after his damaged car cut a tire.

"The flames had me nervous there inside the car and I lost some eyelashes and the side of my face got pretty hot," said Johnson, who was credited with a 39th place finish. "Unfortunately I had a situation early in the race when Hamlin slide inside and got into Kenseth and we all got caught up in a wreck and damaged the car.

"It’s feast or famine here for us," said Johnson, who has finished 36h, 28th and 39th in three of his six career Indianapolis starts.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was running in the top five late in the race but suffered a blown engine that dropped him to 34th in the final rundown.

Earnhardt Jr. was able to maintain the 12th and final spot in the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup standings, but has only a 13 point edge over Kurt Busch.

The NEXTEL Cup Series now heads to Pocono Raceway next Sunday for the Pennsylvania 500.

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