Tony Stewart Edges Clint Bowyer for One, Two KHI Nationwide Punch at Daytona

[media-credit id=22 align=”alignright” width=”246″][/media-credit]In the third closest finish in Nationwide racing history at Daytona, Tony Stewart edged out Kevin Harvick Inc. teammate Clint Bowyer by .007 seconds to win the DRIVE4COPD 300.

This is Stewart’s 10th NASCAR Nationwide victory in 91 races and his sixth victory at Daytona International Speedway.

“Wow is the first thing,” Stewart said simply when asked about his win. “We got to the front pretty early and once we got to Clint (Bowyer), we knew we would be a pretty potent combination.”

“We knew it was going to be between the KHI cars and the Gibbs cars,” Stewart continued. “We were sacrificing the speed to get air in the grille. You didn’t really know which strategy was best”

“We had the caution and the flat tire,” Stewart said. “I didn’t realize we had as many cars a lap down, but that is what saved us.”

Clint Bowyer, behind the wheel of the No. 33 Rheem Heating Cooling Chevrolet, came up just short of accomplishing the victory. Bowyer, who posted his 10th top-10 finish at Daytona, started the race from the pole.

“A lot of work goes into these race cars for this place,” Bowyer said. “Hats off to these guys for sitting on the pole and I had a car capable of being up front and winning the race.”

“The race was a little bit slow,” Bowyer said. “But then I found my dancing partner and we were able to make some ground and have some fun with the No. 18 and the No. 20.”

Bowyer said that he was glad to see Dale Earnhardt, Jr. at the front in his Chevrolet and the two were able to work their way toward the front. Earnhardt, Jr. finished in the fourth position.

“What do you do?” Bowyer said, reliving the end of the race. “I tried to block and then all hell broke loose. Awesome ending and that’s the thing that’s so much fun about this place. No matter what the race is, the ending is always great.”

Bowyer also worked with JR Motorsports driver Danica Patrick during the race, at one point pushing her to the front. Patrick finished the race in her No. 7 Chevrolet in the 14th position.

“Why not put her in the show?” Bowyer said of his push. “She did a good job today.”

One of the best finishes was for young driver Landon Cassill, piloting the No. 1 Phoenix Construction Chevy. Cassill managed to finish in the third position right behind both of the KHI teammates.

“It was just a crazy day,” Cassill said. “We didn’t draft at all in practice today, so it was a learn on the fly deal.”

“Towards the end there Tony got lined up behind me on the restart and pushed me through,” Cassill continued. “I just followed directions and when we had to swap with two to go, I was just glad to push him.”

“James Finch gave me this race as a gift pretty much for running his Cup car last year,” Cassill said.  “I wouldn’t be here without James Finch. He got me back in the sport.”

NASCAR confirmed that Cassill is now the official points leader, by just two points over Reed Sorenson,in the Nationwide Series. Ironically, the driver shared that he does not even have a ride lined up for the next race of the season.

“I don’t have a ride next week, so I’m just going to bask in this for the next seven days,” Cassill said of his points lead. “But if I don’t get a ride, Reed (Sorenson) will be back in the lead.”

The potential points leader, Reed Sorenson, driver of the No. 32 Dollar General Chevy, scored a top five finish. Sorenson thought this was “pretty good”, especially since he was racing against so many Cup drivers.

“The 4 and the 1 came down and we had to check up,” Sorenson said of the last lap of his race. “That pretty much ended our run. We were coming and we were going to have a shot to at least finish second or third or fourth there.”

“This is my first time racing and it’s pretty much what I expected,” Sorenson said of the new racing style. “I guess we’re going to have to get used to it.”

Jason Leffler, Kyle Busch, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Michael Waltrip, and Trevor Bayne rounded out the top ten for the DRIVE4COPD 300.

Unofficial Race Results

DRIVE4COPD 300, Daytona Int’l Speedway

February 19, 2011 – Race 1 of 34

Pos. St. No. Driver Make Pts. Bon. Laps Status
1 4 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 0 0 120 Running
2 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 0 0 120 Running
3 1 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 41 0 120 Running
4 5 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 0 0 120 Running
5 32 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 39 0 120 Running
6 30 Jason Leffler Chevrolet 38 0 120 Running
7 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 0 0 120 Running
8 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 36 0 120 Running
9 99 Michael Waltrip Toyota 0 0 120 Running
10 16 Trevor Bayne Ford 35 1 120 Running
11 38 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 0 0 120 Running
12 20 Joey Logano Toyota 0 0 120 Running
13 19 Mike Bliss Chevrolet 31 0 120 Running
14 7 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 31 1 120 Running
15 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 29 0 120 Running
16 51 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet 28 0 120 Running
17 52 Bobby Santos Chevrolet 27 0 120 Running
18 15 Todd Bodine Toyota 0 0 120 Running
19 88 Aric Almirola Chevrolet 25 0 120 Running
20 66 Steve Wallace Toyota 24 0 118 Running
21 5 David Starr Chevrolet 0 0 118 Running
22 70 Shelby Howard Chevrolet 22 0 118 Running
23 81 Donnie Neuenberger Dodge 21 0 118 Running
24 141 Patrick Sheltra Ford 20 0 118 Running
25 28 Derrike Cope Chevrolet 19 0 118 Running
26 89 Morgan Shepherd Chevrolet 18 0 117 Running
27 31 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 17 0 116 Running
28 9 Kenny Wallace Toyota 16 0 115 Running
29 60 Carl Edwards Ford 0 0 107 Running
30 22 Brad Keselowski Dodge 0 0 105 Running
31 39 Josh Wise Ford 13 0 103 Running
32 23 Robert Richardson Jr. Dodge 12 0 103 In Pit
33 14 Eric McClure Chevrolet 11 0 95 Running
34 11 Brian Scott Toyota 10 0 70 In Pit
35 40 Scott Wimmer Chevrolet 9 0 57 Out
36 12 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge 8 0 53 In Pit
37 1 Mike Wallace Chevrolet 8 1 51 Running
38 2 Elliott Sadler Chevrolet 6 0 45 Running
39 62 Michael Annett Toyota 5 0 26 In Pit
40 44 Jeff Green Chevrolet 4 0 18 In Pit
41 24 Kevin Lepage Ford 3 0 12 In Pit
42 27 J.R. Fitzpatrick Ford 2 0 10 In Pit
43 25 Kelly Bires Ford 1 0 5 In Pit

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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