Tony Stewart Tames the Monster Mile
Jimmie Johnson absolutely dominated the Monster Mile again on Sunday afternoon leading 143 laps, but it was Tony Stewart who rolled into victory lane for the first time in 2013. Stewart only led three laps all day long but they were the last three laps.
Stewart took the lead with three laps remaining when he passed Juan Pablo Montoya on the high-side in turn four. He was closing in on Montoya for about 10 laps and kept trying to get a run on the inside of Montoya but couldn't. He moved to the high-side exiting turn two, got a great run down the backstretch and drove right by Montoya in turn four and didn't look back. Montoya held off Jeff Gordon for second place.
Johnson started the race in 22nd due to a bad qualifying lap on Friday afternoon and almost went a lap down before lap 100. Johnson's team made changes to the car that completely changed the car and he rocketed to the front. He took the lead on lap 206 from Kyle Busch.
Johnson was leading when the caution came out late when Denny Hamlin blew a right-front tire down while running in the fifth. Montoya beat Johnson out of the pits and was the leader on the ensuing restart. Montoya brought the field down slow and Johnson just took off. He beat Montoya to the start/finish line by almost five car lengths. NASCAR black-flagged Johnson and that handed the lead back to Montoya. Johnson finished 17th one lap down.
The Toyotas dominated the early portions of the race. Hamlin, Busch, and Matt Kenseth all led laps with Martin Truex Jr. running close behind. Hamlin had a tire go down with 25 laps remaining and finished 34th. Kenseth and Truex both blew motors and finished 40th and 38th respectively. Busch was the only one who remained up front out of that group and finished fourth.
Juan Pablo Montoya
Dale Earnhardt Jr.