Gordon spin leads to Stewart’s third win in four races

Published 8:17 pm Monday, August 13, 2007

By Staff
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Benefiting from Jeff Gordon's spin in Turn 1 on the next-to-last lap, Tony Stewart inherited the lead from the NASCAR Nextel Cup points leader and went on to win for the third time in four races when he took the checkered flag in Sunday's Centurion Boats at The Glen at Watkins Glen International.
Stewart crossed the finish line 2.460 seconds ahead of teammate Denny Hamlin, after Carl Edwards, who was running second on the final lap, slid off the course in Turn 10. The victory was Stewart's third of the year, his fourth at Watkins Glen – tying Gordon for the all-time lead – and the 32nd of his career.
Jimmie Johnson avoided the trouble and the road rage that plagued a host of other contenders and came home third. Ron Fellows, subbing for Tony Raines in the No. 96 Hall of Fame Racing Chevrolet, ran fourth, followed by Robby Gordon.
Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Edwards, Jeff Gordon and Greg Biffle completed the top 10.
Juan Pablo Montoya's bid to win a NASCAR race on three different road courses in a season came to an end at the same instant Kevin Harvick's chances to win three straight road races went up in smoke. Montoya went low in Turn 1 to block Truex on a restart on Lap 73. Truex tapped Montoya's No. 42 Dodge and sent it spinning into Harvick's No. 29 Chevrolet, crippling both cars.
Harvick's Richard Childress Racing teammate Jeff Burton didn't make it through the turn, either. His No. 31 Chevy slammed into Montoya's Dodge and was unable to continue. Montoya and Harvick climbed from their cars and proceeded to shove each other before NASCAR officials stepped between them and Burton arrived on the scene to restrain his teammate.
Harvick, Montoya and Burton weren't the only top drivers who suffered misfortune Sunday. Dale Earnhardt Jr., battling Kurt Busch for the 12th and final position in the Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup, was running third when his engine expired on Lap 64, in all likelihood a casualty of over-revving during Saturday's practice sessions.
The resulting 42nd-place finish dealt Earnhardt's Chase chances a serious blow, especially because Busch recovered from a pit road speeding penalty to finish 11th. Earnhardt dropped from 13th to the 14th in the points standings, swapping spots with Ryan Newman.