Daytona: NASCAR Star Tony Stewart Snatches Brilliant Victory at Sprint Cup’s Coke Zero 400
Maybe it wasn’t the elusive Daytona 500 victory that Tony Stewart has been longing for. But it was brilliant, nonetheless.
Executing a dramatic last-lap move to pass Matt Kenseth after starting way back in the 42nd position, Oakley’s NASCAR star powered his way to his 18th overall triumph at the Mecca of stock-car racing.
“I’ll trade all of them for a win at the Daytona 500,” Tony said, rocking his Oakley eyewear, base layer, racing boots and racing gloves. “We just haven’t got the right one yet.”
Nevertheless, he shined in the Coke Zero 400, securing his fourth Sprint Cup victory in Daytona and his 47th overall Sprint Cup win. He also moves up to 14th in all-time NASCAR triumphs, passing Buck Baker.
Finally cracking the Top 10 with 50 laps remaining in the contest, he took his first lead on Lap 131 (of 160) – holding the front spot for 21 laps before Kenseth overtook him after a nudge from Greg Biffle.
The final restart is when things really heated up – with a mere two laps to go.
With some drafting assistance from Kasey Kahne, Tony separated the Fords of Kenseth and Greg Biggle with some side-drafting action through Turn 2 in the Final Lap. It was Kahne’s shove that would shoot the Oakley driver to the checkered out in front in a blaze of glory.
“I knew I had a good car behind me,” Tony continued. “Kasey did a good job of getting on the bumper right away. That was the key, was being able to keep hooked up.”
With that, he also became just the third driver in series history to win after starting 40th or worse.
Congratulations to Tony for the impressive outing and for moving up even more in the record books!