Stewart Windy City Winner

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JOLIET, Ill. - Better late than never.

Tony Stewart picked up his first win of the 2007 season scoring his second victory at Chicagoland Speedway in Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400.

Stewart broke a 20 race winless drought dating back to his victory at Texas Motor Speedway last November in his 303rd career NEXTEL Cup Series start.

"All these Home Depot guys won us this race," Stewart said. "They got us the track position we needed. Especially with late cautions like that. Being out in front, bein in clean air was everything so everyone of these guys with the Monte Carlo SS were the ones who got us in victory lane today, for sure."

Last week, Stewart and Joe Gibbs racing teammate Denny Hamlin tangled in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona on lap 14, knocking both from contention.

Stewart had angry words for Hamlin and the incident brought team owner Joe Gibbs to meet with the duo for nearly a half hour before Saturday's final practice session.

"It's good, I mean you know it was a bigger drama with the media than it was with th eteams in reality," Stewart said. "Good thing about Joe is Joe knows how to organize people and keep people motivated and keep them working together. I think Denny and I worked better today than we worked, even giving each other signals on where we thought we needed to be on the race track. Stuff like that will just make the team stronger every week."

Matt Kenseth finished second with Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Casey Mears rounding out the top five.

It was another frustrating Chicagoland finish for Kenseth, who has come up short of victory lane three years in a row.

"I'm not satisfield with second," Kenseth said. I don't think anybody's ever satisfied with second, but we didn't quite have the car."

Kurt Busch, Jeff Burton, Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer completed the first ten finishers.

Jimmie Johnson was battling Stewart for the lead until a cut tire with 45 laps remaining ended his day in the wall.

"That certainly knocked the win out of me and I hit my elbow on the seat," said Johnson who finished 37th. "But I'm just disappointed. We had such a great racecar and I was trying to have something there for the No. 20. It's amazing how when the tire blew how violent it was."

The NEXTEL Cup Series now heads to Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 29th for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.

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