NASCAR Sprint Cup Action in Las Vegas


Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer stayed out on the track during the caution and led the field to green on Lap 234. On the first lap of the restart, Stewart regained the top spot with a courageous three-wide dive to the inside. Stewart pulled out to a one-second lead over Keselowski right before Landon Cassill’s #83 Toyota blew an engine, causing the sixth caution. As Stewart sped away after the restart on Lap 250, Keselowski's fuel pickup failed, and the driver of the No. 2 Dodge took his car to the garage.

Hendrick Motorsports teammates
 Hendrick's Motor Sports teammates racing side-by-side.

In the final laps of the race is was a showdown between five time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson and defending Champ Tony Stewart. Both Chevrolet cars looked fast, but with a yellow flag that came with less than ten laps to go, it was all about who could drive away when they went back to green. Johnson just didn’t have a car to contest with Stewart and the #14 Mobil 1/Office Depot machine went to victory lane for the first time this year.

LVMS 400

“Every time the caution came out, I'm like 'Not again', says Tony Stewart. “You wonder how many times you are going to give them a chance at it on a restart there, and when are they going to be able to capitalize on us. But, that was our strong suit today. We were really strong on the restarts. Just proud of the Hendrick engine department; making great steam with it. That was the key to our restarts was the power that we had. We could go without spinning the tires and we could get a really good lead into turn one, and just haul butt down the backstretch with this Hendrick horsepower.”

 #14 Chevrolet Pit Stop
Pit stop for the #14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet.

“We had a great race car all day long. I wish we could have had this KOBALT Tools Chevrolet over in Victory Lane for the KOBALT race, stated Jimmie Johnson. “But, we'll just have to try it again next time. The race car was GREAT. To be out here in a back-up (car) and to drive from dead-last to the lead, and then finish second is pretty awesome. Hate coming up short. Glad to be on the West Coast and see all my fans. Look forward to doing it again soon.”

Tony Stewart keeps the lead from Jimmie Johnson.

“Well, we didn't keep up with the race track, says Dale Earnhardt Jr.“The car was really fast at the start of the race. I didn't give that information to Steve (Letarte, crew chief). I don't think I gave him a good enough understanding of where our race car was, even though it was really fast. The track got really tight on us at the end of the race. Something that I should have had a handle on, and should have known better, and should have not let happen. We just didn't have our adjustments going throughout the day to keep up with the track as it tightened up on us.” The National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet was really good all weekend. We had good speed. Hopefully we can keep bringing cars like that to the race track and we will get some opportunities to win. We had good speed, led some laps. This is a tough series. When you get back in traffic, it gets very competitive. Congratulations to Tony (Stewart race winner) and his team. We'll be at it in Bristol, trying to get another one.”

 Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart takes the bow tie to victory lane!

It was a very exciting celebration for the Stewart Haas team. They lead an amazing 127 laps during the race. Showing so much strength this early in the season isn’t common for Stewart, based on recent years, and sets a new pace for him. It will be interesting to see what else unfolds in the first part of the year. For now, these boys and girls are off to Bristol this upcoming weekend for the Food City 500.

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