DARLINGTON, S.C. - Welcome to the NASCAR Nationwide Series brought to you by Joe Gibbs Racing.
Tony Stewart held off Clint Bowyer to win Friday night's Diamond Hill Plywood 200 at Darlington Raceway, Stewart's fourth win in six starts this season and the sixth consecutive victory by JGR drivers.
Stewart, Kyle Busch and teammate Denny Hamlin have now won eight of the season's first 12 races. All three drivers have won at least one race with the same JGR No. 20 Toyota team. Busch has also won twice with JGR's No. 18.
"Man, what an honor. It's not the drivers, I'm telling you that, because it's been with three different drivers. It's this team," said Stewart.
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"I can’t believe it. We finally won a race at Darlington."
The win did not come without drama.
Mark Martin was running second with three of the scheduled 147 laps remaining when his car developed a fuel-pickup problem. His slowing car ignited a multicar accident that forced the race to a two-lap overtime.
This time it was Bowyer on Stewart's rear bumper, but it made little difference as Stewart cruised to his first victory at the historic speedway.
The race was the first at Darlington since the track was repaved. The new surface and harder tire provided by Goodyear meant that the frequent trips to pit road for fresh rubber - once a given at Darlington - weren't needed Friday night.
"It used to be with even with two laps to go, you came down for tires," said Stewart. "We just needed to keep good track position. That was going to be most important."
David Reutimann finished third, Todd Bodine was fourth and Steven Wallace fifth for the second consecutive week. Bowyer holds a 112-point leads in the series standings over second-place Busch.
Carl Edwards won the pole earlier in the day, but didn't have long to utilize the good starting position. He slapped the wall on the first lap. Three laps later he slammed into the wall after his right-front tire went flat.
"They dropped the green and I was ready to race," he said. "I got loose and hit the wall. That was a bad mistake and I learned by lesson there."