NSCS: Tony Stewart Wins in Texas – Edwards Still Leads Points

Photo Credit: Chris Graythen / Getty Images


Tony Stewart won Sunday afternoon’s race from Texas Motor Speedway, but it wasn’t enough to gain control of the points battle, as Carl Edwards enters Phoenix International Raceway with a three-point lead over Stewart.

The Roush Fenway Racing group kicked things off with a bang, as Matt Kenseth led 87 total laps in the 500-mile race. Greg Biffle led his 23-laps early on, as he started on the pole for the seventh annual AAA Texas 500. Edwards on the other hand led only 14-laps, but was in position to win in Texas.

There were only five cautions for Sunday’s race, which is not completely ‘out of the ordinary’ at a 1.5-mile track, that makes up the majority of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

When Stewart was asked how much this win was ‘mind over matter’, he jokingly said, “I told you guys that last week. Nobody listens to me when I’m talking.”

Stewart, who has won four total races in this years Chase, could be the first driver in Chase history to go winless in the regular season and win the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

“We’re set on it. This is the way it’s going to be,” said Stewart.

If this doesn’t add to Stewart’s confidence I don’t know what does.

“Do not count us out of this thing, I can tell you that,” said an excited Stewart during an interview with ESPN.

Eddie Gossage, president of Texas Motor Speedway, promoted this event as if it were the “heavy-weight championship fight” between Edwards and Stewart, in some ways he was right.

I think it’s pretty much safe to say that the top two guys in the points battle are the best of the best in the 2011 version of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Edwards, who did everything he could to win Sunday, should be ‘relieved’ to have a three-point lead over Stewart. If Edwards can muster off a good finish in Phoenix, Homestead-Miami could be a very interesting season finale.

“He (Stewart) did a great job today. Those guys stepped it up,” said Edwards.

“At the end of the day we are going into the final two races. Although we would have like to win today, our Aflac Ford Fusion is three-points ahead and to have the third and fourth place (points) guys farther behind, it looks like it’s truly going to come down to Tony and I, and that’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Edwards.

One can justify that this Chase system has its flaws, but what other time have we had a two-man race (separated by only three points) battling for the most treasured trophy in all of motorsports? Never.

Needless to say, Phoenix next week will be very interesting. One might add, you can win or lose all the marbles at this ‘unpredictable’ track. Remember, this is a different Phoenix than what most drivers are used to (granted some participated in a practice session several weeks back). This race ‘could’ be the deciding factor.

Unofficial Results:

1. Tony Stewart
2. Carl Edwards
3. Kasey Kahne
4. Matt Kenseth
5. Greg Biffle
6. Jeff Gordon
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
8. Martin Truex Jr.
9. Clint Bowyer
10. AJ Allmendinger
11. Marcos Ambrose
12. David Ragan
13. Kevin Harvick
14. Jimmie Johnson
15. Paul Menard
16. Ryan Newman
17. Trevor Bayne
18. Juan Pablo Montoya
19. Mark Martin
20. Denny Hamlin
21. Brian Vickers
22. David Reutimann
23. Regan Smith
24. Brad Keselowski
25. Casey Mears
26. Landon Cassill
27. Jeff Burton
28. Bobby Labonte
29. Andy Lally
30. Kurt Busch
31. Travis Kvapil
32. David Gilliland
33. Michael McDowell*
34. Mike Bliss
35. Dave Blaney
36. Jamie McMurray
37. Joey Logano
38. Geoffrey Bodine
39. Scott Speed
40. Josh Wise
41. Mike Skinner
42. Joe Nemechek
43. J.J Yeley

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