Stewart scores four post-race awards at Las Vegas
By Official Release
March 08, 2011 3:18 PM, EST
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Despite a runner-up finish, Tony Stewart's No. 14 Chevrolet was arguably the strongest car in the field during Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. His run propelled the two-time Cup Series champion to score his first top-five finish of 2011, and four post-race contingency awards.
"This Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevy was the baddest thing on the West Coast [Sunday]," Stewart said.
Kobalt Tools 400
Pos. Driver Make
1. Carl Edwards Ford
2. Tony Stewart Chevrolet
3. Juan Montoya Chevrolet
4. Marcos Ambrose Ford
5. Ryan Newman Chevrolet
For his efforts, Stewart picked up a jackpot of contingency awards, including the American Ethanol Green Flag Restart award, a new award for 2011 that goes to the eligible driver that records the fastest average speed on restarts and finishes the race on the lead lap.
Stewart also captured the Mobil 1 Oil Driver of the Race award, given to the winner of each race or the next highest-finishing eligible competitor (contingent on decal display), as well as the Goodyear Gatorback Belts Fastest Lap of the Race award, for turning the fastest lap of the race (182.408 mph, Lap 20) while leading the event.
Credit goes to the engine builders at Hendrick Motorsports for the power under the hood of the No. 14. Wrench-turners at Hendrick Motorsports picked up their second MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Race award of the season based on points awarded for qualifying, laps led and finishing position.
All awards are part of the NASCAR Prize Money and Decal Program, also referred to as the contingency program, which provides teams prize money and weekly awards based on performance in several categories.
"We had a really, really balanced car," Stewart said. "It didn't seem like it mattered what we did. We were fast on the front, but the last half of the run we could just march away from everybody and leave them."
Three races into the 2011 Sprint Cup Series season, Stewart owns the points lead heading to Bristol Motor Speedway's Jeff Byrd 500 on March 20 (1 p.m. ET, FOX).