February 20, 2011 by staff
Trevor Bayne, In 0.007 seconds – about the width of one of his godfather Oreo – Tony Stewart won Saturday afternoon Drive4COPD Nationwide Series 300 at Daytona International Speedway. It was the second photo-finish with a margin of victory in the thousands of a second this week, coming two days after Jeff Burton won a race of 150-mile qualifying by 0.005 seconds.
Stewart finished 11th in the 120-lap race Nationwide restarted after a major accident and frontstretch brief red flag. But he and Landon Cassill quickly found each other and connected in a tight project. Cassill first shot then pushed forward Stewart when Stewart beat pole winner Clint Bowyer with a final time outside your password. Cassill finished third and Dale Earnhardt Jr., Reed Sorenson, Jason Leffler, Kyle Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Michael Waltrip and Trevor Bayne.
Only eight drivers led, but they swapped the lead 35 will equal the record time. Bowyer led eight times for 40 laps, Joey Logano 10 times for 22 laps, Brad Keselowski three for 17 laps, Busch six 17 laps, Stewart 13 laps five, two for nine laps Bayne, Mike Wallace and Danica Patrick a ride a turn. Twenty-eight of the 35 lead changes involving drivers leading to no more than five rounds, and half of that 28 were for drivers operating a single round. Bower and Keselowski each led once for 12 laps, the longest race in advance for anyone.
“All I can say about this race is that it’s weird and different,” said Stewart, who has now won 10 races in Nationwide, including six at Daytona. “Landon pushed and pushed and pushed, and did a really good job (in the closing laps). We have got momentum and never verified. We have never been in a scenario where we had the momentum. We had the benefit of having an air pocket to get momentum we just ran ‘em down; we got just enough time. ”
Trevor Bayne is yet another case where there is a push most valuable item in the Daytona 500 today, as he powered a number of drivers from different teams head to Saturday NASCAR Nationwide Series season opener.
This has been very well the position in his second career race Sprint Cup, but it was not a great consolation over 20 years the native of Knoxville.
“We had the car to win,” said Bayne. “We really did.”
With six laps to go following a warning, Bayne started fourth, but fell back on the squad while his clutch unknowingly stuck in third gear. He eventually hooked up with Ricky Stenhouse Jr., his teammate for a tandem helped draft final assault, but it was too late, that Bayne has completed more than seven seconds behind race winner Tony Stewart in 10th place.
Tony Stewart scored his fourth straight victory in the season opening NASCAR Nationwide race at Daytona Speedway (Florida) International with its No. 4 nose Oreo / Ritz Chevrolet Impala in front of his Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) teammate Clint Bowyer within 300 DRIVE4COPD.
The 0007 of a second margin of victory were the closest finish third in Nationwide Series history and the closest in series history at Daytona since the introduction of electronic scoring in 1993. He was also sixth winning from Stewart in the Nationwide Series race at Daytona in February over the last seven years.
“Wow is the first thing,” said Stewart, who now has 16 total wins at Daytona, which binds the second on the entire track time win list with Bobby Allison, 18 wins behind the legendary Dale Earnhardt (34). “It will take some time to reach 34. It’s a pretty cool feeling to know that we closed on something he has done here. This was his playground. You just watched play with guys here. It was the best there. To be even remotely close to him in the record books in anything here, is very humiliating. ”
Beyond the statistics, Stewart win was equally impressive with the way it was done. The driver of the No. 4 Oreo / Ritz Chevy overcame a right rear puncture at the end of the race, and he resumed on lap 11 114 120-lap contest.
“I knew we had a good car in practice,” said Stewart. “We have no right as well as we hoped (14e), but we were pretty sure we knew we were going to race a lot better than we practiced. ”
Stewart and Bowyer spent most of the race as drafting partners. With new asphalt at Daytona for the first time since 1979, the fastest way around the 2.5-mile oval meant to be a part of a tandem of two cars.
The duo wrote together for most of the race, each driver redemption from time to time so that neither their car engines would overheat. Stewart wound leading five times for 13 laps; Bowyer and eight times for 40 laps high.
Their plan was to stay together and fight to the end – what they did, but not without a hiccup.
With the race under a yellow flag at lap 106, Stewart’s spotter, Bob Jeffrey, noticed the top of the forum frontstretch that the right rear tire on Stewart Oreo / Ritz machine was flat. But with the release of caution, Stewart was able to cure his way back to pit road without a flat tire coming off and damaging the tunnel carved wings of his Chevy Impala.
With four fresh Goodyears, Stewart returned to action in 11th place with just six laps remaining. He was not worried, because just before the green flag dropped for the final sprint to the finish, Stewart told his team as he was using a “pusher good,” he had “plenty of time to do what I need to be done. ”
[Source: image via WWW.RACINTODAY.COM]
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