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Milford Beacon
  • FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks: Stewart notches first win of 2013 with late rally at the Monster Mile

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  • Tony Stewart notched his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win of 2013 in Sunday's FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at the Monster Mile at Dover International Speedway.
    Stewart has struggled this season but capitalized on a break and perhaps a little luck to tally his third career victory at the Monster Mile.
    Nearly halfway through Sunday's race Jimmie Johnson, driving the no. 48 car, had taken command of the race. As the race winded down to a close it looked as if it was Johnson's race to lose.
    However, with just laps to go Denny Hamlin blew a tire bringing about the seventh caution flag of Sunday's race. During that time, Juan Pablo Montoya would take the lead into pit row.
    During the restart, NASCAR officials black-flagged Johnson for passing Montoya causing Johnson to fall to a 17th overall finish.
    With less than 20 laps to go, Montoya took the lead followed closely by Stewart. With just a handful of laps to go Montoya was unable to hold off Stewart who took the lead with just 2 laps to go to secure the victory.
    For Stewart is was a much needed victory regardless of the circumstances.
    "I was preparing for a very long day today; I wasn't prepared to be sitting here," said Stewart. "I honestly didn't think we could get here from where we were yesterday. Proud to be sitting here very wrong, and happy to be wrong. This means more to me than having a weekend where we show up and everything goes right."
    After the race Stewart praised his entire team for not only the work they've done but for fighting through the adversity the team has seen all year.
    "Our guys have never given up; there's been a lot of dejected guys all year and disappointed guys all year," said Stewart. "But the way we've been running we want them to be dejected but nobody has been walking around with their heads down."
    Notes:
    - Jimmie Johnson placed 17th in Sunday's FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speak, however, Johnson still holds a 30-point lead over Carl Edward in the NASCAR Series Standings.
    - Brad Keselowski finished 5th on Sunday but his no. 2 Ford measured too low in post-race inspection; a 6-point deduction in points is expected which would move Keselowski out of the top 10 in the Series Standings.
    - Jeff Gordon finished 3rd, followed by Kyle Busch and Keselowski to round out the top 5.
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