Event: Sylvania 300 (Round 28 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Location: New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (1.058-mile oval)
Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
SHR Finish: Tony Stewart (Started 3rd, Finished 7th / Running, completed 300 of 300 laps)
Ryan Newman (Started 8th, Finished 10th / Running, completed 300 of 300 laps)
SHR Points: Tony Stewart (4th with 2,086 points, 10 out of first)
Ryan Newman (14th with 807 points)
Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet, led the two-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon by finishing seventh in the Sylvania 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday. It was Stewart’s 14th top-10 result of 2012 and his 17th top-10 in 28 career Sprint Cup starts at the 1.058-mile oval.
Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Aspen Dental Chevrolet for SHR, finished 10th. It was his 11th top-10 finish of 2012 and his 15th top-10 in 22 career Sprint Cup starts at New Hampshire.
The Sylvania 300 marked the third straight race and the ninth time this season that Stewart and Newman have finished in the top-10 together.
Denny Hamlin won the Sylvania 300 to score his 22nd career Sprint Cup victory, his series-high fifth of the season and his second at New Hampshire. It also marked the 100th point-paying Sprint Cup victory for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR). Stewart is responsible for 33 of those wins, as he competed in Sprint Cup for JGR from 1999 through 2008 before becoming a driver/owner with SHR.
Jimmie Johnson finished 2.675 seconds behind Hamlin in the runner-up spot, while Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer and Kasey Kahne rounded out the top-five. Brad Keselowski, Stewart, Joey Logano, Brian Vickers and Newmancomprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were four caution periods for 17 laps, with 10 drivers failing to finish the 300-lap race.
Stewart is representing SHR in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and entered the second race of the 10-race Chase in third place among the 12 Chase drivers, eight points behind Chase leader Keselowski. Stewart leaves New Hampshire fourth in the standings, 10 points behind new Chase leader Johnson.
Newman remained 14th in the standings with 807 points, 24 back of 13th-place Kyle Busch.
With eight races remaining before a champion is crowned following the season finale Nov. 18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the top-12 drivers competing for the title rank as follows:
1. Jimmie Johnson (2,096 points) +1 positions
2. Brad Keselowski (2,095 points, -1) -1
3. Denny Hamlin (2,089 points, -7) +1
4. Tony Stewart (2,086 points -10) -1
5. Kasey Kahne (2,081 points, -15) +/-0
6. Clint Bowyer (2,081 points, -15) +/-0
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2,070 points, -26) +/-0
8. Kevin Harvick (2,065 points, -31) +2
9. Greg Biffle (2,063 points, -33) -1
10. Martin Truex Jr. (2,062 points, -34) -1
11. Matt Kenseth (2,061 points, -35) +/-0
12. Jeff Gordon (2,051 points, -45) +/-0
The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the third race of the 10-race Chase – is the AAA 400 on Sept. 30 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The race begins at 2 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a pre-race show at 1 p.m.