Charlotte: Stewart beats Newman

Tony Stewart chased down Ryan Newman with eight laps to go and won Saturday night's UAW/GM 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. Outgoing NASCAR Winston Cup champion Stewart won for the second time this season and denied Newman his ninth victory

Charlotte: Stewart beats Newman

Newman, in what appeared to be a daring bit of strategy, pitted for the last time at the limit of his fuel window, on Lap 269 (of 334). Newman had been running third at the time.

As it turned out, Newman was forced to pit at the time because of a vibration. NASCAR officials said the car was missing a lug nut at the time of the pit stop. "It wasn't strategy," crew chief Matt Borland said ruefully.

The rest of the leaders, including Stewart, pitted at the normal window, around Lap 295. That moved Newman to the lead with 36 laps to go, but Stewart's tyres were 25 laps fresher, and he chopped Newman's 7.6sec lead down to 0.4sec in about 15 laps.

Stewart closed on Newman with 10 laps to go, then began looking for a way past. Newman was unable to hold his car on the line, and Stewart finally got a clean run with nine to go. The two went side-by-side down the front side before Stewart got ahead off Turn 2.

Newman finished second, Jimmie Johnson third, Bill Elliott fourth and Jeff Gordon fifth. Matt Kenseth, set back by a power steering problem around halfway, recovered to finish eighth, two spots ahead of top challenger Kevin Harvick. Kenseth now leads by 267 with five races to go.

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