Racingone Rewind: Chicago

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    JOLIET, Ill. - A look back at Tony Stewart's 30th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series victory in Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway including news, notes and observations by the RacingOne staff.

    RacingOneCast
    Click Here to watch RacingOne's video recap of Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400. itunes Podcast

    Inside Line
    Tony Stewart scored his first victory of the season and ended a 20-race winless drought with a victory in Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

    Key to Victory Lane
    With help from his crew on pit road, Stewart was able to pull away from contender Matt Kenseth in the final green flag run to score his 30th career series win.

    Zero to Hero
    Kurt Busch was forced to start from the rear of the field after changing engines before Friday's qualifying session and came back to finish sixth.

    Hero to Zero
    Jimmie Johnson was contending for the lead before a cut tire sent the Lowe's Chevrolet into the wall and ended his day on lap 222 for a 37th-place finish.

    Rookie of the Race
    One year ago, Juan Pablo Montoya announced at Chicagoland his intentions to run as a full-time NEXTEL Cup Series driver. Sunday the rookie finished 15th to take the top rookie honors for the seventh time in 2007.

    Notables
    Greg Biffle began the day 33rd and finished 11th. David Gilliland started 38th and notched a 16th-place finish.





    USG Sheetrock 400 Loop Data Leaders
  • Average Running Position: Tony Stewart - 3.9
  • Fastest Early In a Run: Tony Stewart - 170.112
  • Fastest Late In a Run: Tony Stewart - 165.274
  • Fastest in Turn 1: Matt Kenseth - 169.811 mph
  • Fastest in Turn 2: Tony Stewart - 153.866 mph
  • Fastest in Turn 3: Tony Stewart - 149.040 mph
  • Fastest in Turn 4: Tony Stewart - 160.025 mph
  • Fastest Laps Run: Tony Stewart - 67
  • Fastest on Restarts: Tony Stewart - 170.348 mph
  • Most Passes During Green Flag Conditions: Carl Edwards - 96

    Pit Stops
  • Tony Stewart captured his 30th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win in his 303rd start. Detailed Active Driver Wins
  • Stewart won the 56th race for car owner Joe Gibbs. Detailed Active Car Owner Wins
  • Stewart became the first driver to win at Chicagoland from the 19th position. He also became the 21st driver overall to win a race from that position. Starting Position Facts
  • Stewart won the 15th race of the season for Chevrolet. It was also the 611th overall win for the manufacturer. All-Time Manufacturer Wins
  • With his second-place finish, Matt Kenseth posted his 13th top-10 finish in 2007 and third top 10 in seven starts at Chicago.
  • Carl Edwards (third) posted his first top-10 finish in three starts at Chicagoland Speedway.
  • Kevin Harvick's fourth-place finish is his fourth top-five finish at Chicagoland.
  • Casey Mears led for the first time at Chicagoland Speedway for a total of five laps.
  • Kurt Busch has now finished in the top 10 five times at Chicagoland Speedway in seven starts.
  • With his third top-10 finish at Chicagoland Speedway, Jeff Burton posted his 10th top 10 in the 2007 season.
  • Ryan Newman (eighth) posted his first finish within the top 25 since his 2003 win at Chicagoland.
  • Jeff Gordon continues to lead the point standings after finishing ninth at Chicagoland. He has led the point standings since Bristol and is now 303 points ahead of Denny Hamlin.
  • Clint Bowyer has finished in the top 10 in both his starts at Chicagoland Speedway.
  • The 267-lap race saw 20 lead changes among 9 drivers and an average speed of 134.258 mph.
  • Seven caution flags were thrown for 32 laps.
  • The USG Sheetrock 400 lasted 2 hours, 58 minutes, 59 seconds.

    Lug Nuts
  • Well hopefully next year's race will see better racing at Chicago, because this year sure didn't.
  • Looks like the talk between Joe Gibbs, Stewart and Denny Hamlin worked.
  • Chicago Bears' head coach Lovie Smith was the Grand Marshal. Quite frankly he sounded like he was counting the days down to the start of training camp.
  • The Coach gave a pretty good command to start engines, but last week's effort by Kevin James is a pretty tough act to follow.
  • Matt Kenseth's legion of fans must once again drive back to Wisconsin through the "Cheddar Curtain" from Illinois disappointed.

    Garage Talk
  • "I'm taking this momentum on vacation. I've got a case of Schlitz that I fully intend on getting to the bottom of the cardboard box tonight, even if have to do it by myself." - Tony Stewart
  • "I’m going to go home and chill out and live a little, get pumped up and charge my batteries a little bit, come back and go after it." - Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  • "We're going camping. We're going to get some fresh air and get away from things and relax." - Ryan Newman
  • "I thought the drive shaft exploded. It was really a violent hit." - Jimmie Johnson

    RacingOne Rating
    On a scale of 1 to 10 Portillo's hot dogs (it's a Chicago thing folks), we'll give Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400 a six. It was a disappointing first half of the race that turned out to be pretty boring quite frankly, odd because so many drivers talked about how the track was going to promote side-by-side racing. It didn't. Down the stretch there was a little drama with the cautions bunching up the field, but overall, not one of the better races of the season and certainly not at Chicagoland. Now we take our last breather of the year with next week's off weekend before heading to Indianapolis for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on July 29.

Photos

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