Dover NASCAR: Tony Stewart denies Juan Pablo Montoya victory
|By Connell Sanders Jr||Sunday, June 2nd 2013, 20:45 GMT|
Tony Stewart denied Juan Pablo Montoya Dover NASCAR Sprint Cup victory with a passing move just two laps from the finish.
Montoya had moved into contention for his first oval win in NASCAR when he beat Jimmie Johnson out of the pits during the final yellow.
Both had been among a group of drivers to only take two new tyres and jump to the front.
Johnson had already completed an incredible drive through the field, having started 24th following a qualifying error and been lapped in the early stages.
Once up front, the five-time champion led 143 laps and seemed to have an answer for every challenge.
Ultimately a controversial penalty call spoilt his day. Johnson surged ahead of Montoya at the final restart but was adjudged to have jumped it.
Johnson argued that Montoya's restart had just been comparatively terrible, and that he had done his utmost to relinquish the lead only for Montoya to hang back.
It was to no avail and the Hendrick Chevrolet had to take a drive-through penalty, ending up only 17th.
That put Montoya's Earnhardt Ganassi Chevy into the lead, but with Stewart looming in his mirrors.
Although Montoya tried his hardest, Stewart's Stewart-Haas car squeezed around the outside and took a victory that he hopes will turn a so far frustrating season around.
Jeff Gordon emerged as Hendrick's top finisher in third. Team-mate Kasey Kahne had been a frontrunner prior to spinning into the wall and prompting the last yellow.
Kyle Busch had a long dominant spell before his Joe Gibbs Toyota's handling wilted for a stint. He finished fourth, ahead of Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer.
Busch's team-mates Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin also led before problems struck. Kenseth's engine failed, while polesitter Hamlin crashed when a tyre below late on.
Another Toyota in trouble while in the lead pack was Martin Truex Jr, whose engine failed as he was battling Busch for second behind Johnson.
Results - 400 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 3h14m51.000s 2. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet + 0.788s 3. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet + 0.966s 4. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota + 1.151s 5. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford + 1.937s 6. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota + 3.036s 7. Joey Logano Penske Ford + 3.369s 8. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet + 4.379s 9. Mark Martin Waltrip Toyota + 4.545s 10. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet + 5.083s 11. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet + 5.225s 12. Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet + 5.356s 13. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford + 5.966s 14. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford + 7.646s 15. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford + 11.564s 16. Casey Mears Germain Ford + 15.285s 17. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet + 1 lap 18. Aric Almirola Petty Ford + 1 lap 19. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford + 1 lap 20. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet + 1 lap 21. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota + 1 lap 22. David Ragan Front Row Ford + 3 laps 23. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet + 4 laps 24. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet + 4 laps 25. Josh Wise Front Row Ford + 5 laps 26. David Reutimann BK Toyota + 6 laps 27. Austin Dillon Phoenix Chevrolet + 6 laps 28. David Stremme Swan Toyota + 6 laps 29. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet + 7 laps 30. JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet + 10 laps 31. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota + 12 laps 32. Landon Cassill Circle Sport Chevrolet + 12 laps Retirements: Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 381 laps Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Toyota 380 laps Timmy Hill FAS Lane Ford 378 laps Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 298 laps David Gilliland Front Row Ford 296 laps Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 279 laps Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 161 laps Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota 159 laps Mike Bliss Humphrey Smith Toyota 59 laps Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 54 laps Scott Riggs Xxxtreme Ford 16 laps