Wild Watkins Glen To Stewart
August 12, 2007 | 4:44 P.M. EST
After spinning out while leading earlier in the race, Stewart took advantage of Jeff's Gordon's same misfortune to win Sunday's Centurion Boats at The Glen at Watkins Glen International.
Gordon spun out of the lead with two laps to go and opened the door for Stewart to win his third NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race of the year.
"I saw Jeff lose it the same way I lost it," said Stewart, who did the same exact thing on lap 44. "It was both of ours to lose today. Jeff and I by far had the best two cars."
Gordon was trying for his fifth victory of the season and fifth of his career at the twisting, 11-turn road course.
"I was just driving hard," Gordon said. "I just overdrove it into Turn 1, pretty much the same thing that happened to Tony earlier.
"It was just stupid. I knew I had to push; Tony was really good. I wanted that win really bad and I know points don't mean anything, so I pushed, and I pushed too far."
Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin finished second with Jimmie Johnson, Ron Fellows and Robby Gordon rounding out the first five.
Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon and Greg Biffle completed the first 10 finishers.
In a day punctuated by several incidents and emotional displays between drivers, the biggest of the day came between Kevin Harvick and Juan Pablo Montoya.
Montoya was trying to block Martin Truex Jr. entering Turn 1 and the two touched, sending Montoya into Harvick. Jeff Burton then came by and was swept up in the incident.
Harvick and Montoya then began an angry exchange with both drivers grabbing the other until they were separated by officials.
"We got tapped from behind, and we got run over by the 42," Harvick said. "But it seems the 42 runs over someone every week. I'm frustrated with that particular car. We thought we had a chance to win there."
That commented didn't sit well with Montoya.
"I don't appreciate that," Montoya said. "I have no respect for the guy. I used to have respect for the guy."
The accident caused nearly a 30-minute red flag before the race was restarted on Lap 78.
With only four races remaining to make the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup, Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s chances are dwindling.
The Budweiser No. 8 was handling much better in race trim than it had in practice and Earnhardt Jr. was as high as third.
But for the second time in the last three races, Earnhardt Jr. blew an engine, ending his day on lap 63 and handing him a 42nd place finish.
"We had an issue with the motor," Earnhardt said. "I think it was due to some of the downshifting I was making during practice. We had been having trouble with the car all week. We were doing well in the race, but I was downshifting to try and get some more power out of the car."
"I was hoping for a good showing and have something to be proud of. I'm kind of disappointed. We have a couple of races left and there's no telling what will happen in those."
The NEXTEL Cup Series now heads to Michigan International Speedway next Sunday afternoon for the 3M Performance 400.