Rain Shortened Win to Stewart

Tony Stewart

Stewart celebrates his 46th career win. (Photo: Getty Images)

Complete Results

Tony Stewart scored his second win of the year in Sunday's rain shortened Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway.

Stewart was in front when NASCAR officially called the race after 129 lap were complete when heavy rains hit the track.

It was Stewart’s second win of the season after his Las Vegas victory earlier this month. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver’s 46th career Sprint Cup triumph ties him with Buck Baker for 14th on the all-time win list.

Rain had threatened the race all day and when it finally moved into Fontana it brought out the caution flag on lap 124. Stewart was in the lead and faked a move down pit road but stayed out to keep the top spot.

However second place running Denny Hamlin came in as did Jimmie Johnson while the remainder of the Top 10 remained out. Only laps later NASCAR called the field to pit road and red flagged the race. Minutes later heavier rains engulfed the speedway and the race was called.

"I don't think that I faked him out," Stewart said of Hamlin’s decision to pit. "I'm sure he had made his decision already -- looked good, though."

The victory was the second for new crew chief Steve Addington who came to call the shots for Stewart after leaving the Penske Racing team. The veteran crew chief enjoys the working relationship he has with his new boss.

“Tony is just awesome with feedback,” Addington said. “It’s none of this, ‘You didn’t do anything’. You make a change; he tells you whether it was good, bad, or whatever. He’ll say you didn’t fix what he was looking for, but he tells you what it did somewhere else on the racetrack. So, that makes life a lot easier to go back and sit and look at your notes and come in on Sunday morning with a game plan.”

Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards rounded out the first five finishers.

“Another close day today,” said Busch. “Again, I just thought our car was really good at the onset of the race. Once the track really rubbered in, every lane was black, our speed fell off a titch, where Stewart kept digging and was still mowing them down.”

Earnhardt moved to third in the point standings with the finish.

“We drove the car up to fifth before the weather came,” he said. “We had been watching the weather all day. We felt certain if it started to rain it wasn't going to stop. We made the right choice by staying out and building ourselves into the top three.”

Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch and Johnson completed the top 10.

Hamlin ultimately finished 11th.

"We were planning on the race going back to green, and if it doesn't, we'll lose some spots, but if we chose to stay out there, we would have to be behind all the cars that pitted," Hamlin said. "….your chance of winning decreases greatly.

"So you could give up a few spots if it finishes up here and lose a chance to win in the grand scheme of things . . . We had finally gotten to (Stewart's) bumper when the rain came."

The rain turned out to be a huge break for Johnson who had smoke pouring from his car when he returned to the track after his last pit stop.

A puddle of oil formed under the No. 48 Chevy as it sat on pit road but because the race never resumed, Johnson was still credited with the 10th-place finish.

Biffle maintained his Sprint Cup Series point lead by seven over Harvick with Earnhardt Jr. 17 behind and Stewart and Truex Jr. rounded out the top five.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now heads to Martinsville Speedway for next Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500.

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, Tony Stewart

Photos

  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years
  • Jeff Gordon Through the Years

Advertisement

  • © 2015 MRN. All Rights Reserved

    FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

    ISC Track Sites