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Oct 26, 2012 - 09:28 AM
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Stewart Used Tums Fast Relief 500 Win As Springboard To Title
Posted by: newsla on Oct 26, 2012 - 09:25 AM
Stewart Used Tums Fast Relief 500 Win As Springboard To Title

The date was Oct. 30, 2011.
Tony Stewart drove past Jimmie Johnson on a restart with three laps remaining in the TUMS Fast Relief 500 for his third victory in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.


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NOTE: TUMS is the sponsor of the TUMS Fast Relief 500, the seventh race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, at Martinsville Speedway on October 28.

The victory was Stewart's third in the Chase and moved him from fourth to second in the standings, eight points behind leader Carl Edwards with three races remaining.

Edwards was lapped twice in the 500-lap event on the .526-mile Martinsville track but salvaged a ninth-place finish to retain his lead in the Chase standings. Jeff Gordon finished third followed by Kevin Harvick in fourth. The finish moved Harvick up two spots to third in the standings, 21 points behind Edwards.

Johnson was the leader for the restart on Lap 498 following the 18th caution of the afternoon. Stewart got a good restart, drove his Chevrolet deep into Turn One from the outside lane to take the lead.

Stewart was clearly thinking championship from victory lane. His late-season charge to capture the championship was nothing short of miraculous.

“I don't know anybody that doesn't enjoy being in the middle of it with three weeks to go,” said Stewart. “It’s a great feeling. You work hard all year to try to be in this position. When you start the Chase off with 10 races to go, a lot can happen.

“To be in a position that we're in right now, sitting here knowing that we're right in the middle of this thing with three weeks to go, it is obviously a great feeling and great position to be in. We just got to go out and keep doing what we're doing here.”

Stewart did just that in the final three races, winning twice (Texas and Homestead-Miami) along with a third-place effort at Phoenix. He finished with five wins and needed every point to pull even with Edwards in the final standings. Both finished the 36-race schedule with 2,403 points. The tie-breaker – most wins – gave Stewart his third Sprint Cup championship.

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