August 12, 2007
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (cbssportsline.com/AP) -- Tony Stewart took advantage of a stunning mistake by Jeff Gordon with two laps to go Sunday and won the Centurion Boats at The Glen at Watkins Glen Internantional.
Gordon, who led a race-high 51 laps, seemed to have his 10th road course victory in hand, but he spun out on his own heading into the first turn with Stewart a couple of car-lengths behind and finished ninth.
"I was driving hard," a dejected Gordon said after climbing from his No. 24 Chevrolet. "I just overdrove going into one. It was just stupid. I knew I had to push because Tony was really good."
For Stewart, who spun out in the same place while leading earlier in the race and dropped to 19th, it was his third victory in four races and sixth on a road course, tying him for second behind Gordon. Stewart has now won four of the last five races at Watkins Glen and finished second to Kevin Harvick a year ago.
"I saw Jeff lose it just like I lost it," Stewart said. "I had to keep fighting back."
Denny Hamlin finished second, Jimmie Johnson was third, Canadian road race ace Ron Fellows fourth and Robby Gordon fifth.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. suffered a big blow to his chances of making the Chase for the Nextel Cup championship with just four races remaining before the cutoff.
After complaining in practice about how bad his car was handling, Earnhardt turned things around in the race and was running up front much of the day. But while running third behind Gordon and Kurt Busch, the engine in the red No. 8 Chevrolet blew, ending his day on lap 63. He finished 42nd.
Busch, who led Earnhardt by just seven points for the 12th and final spot in the Chase, was caught speeding on pit road on his final pit stop but rallied to finish 11th.
Rookie Juan Pablo Montoya, who won a Busch Series race in Mexico and the Cup race at Sonoma in June, was bidding to become the first driver in NASCAR history to win three road races in a season. He failed in Saturday's Busch race, finishing 33rd after being involved in an accident, and on Sunday he had another altercation.
Montoya and Harvick got together with less than 20 laps remaining in the 90-lap event while both were running in the top 10. Harvick finished 29th and Montoya was 39th.
It was the second road race for the boxier Car of Tomorrow, and there was plenty of action with eight cautions and even a red flag flying.
The Associated Press News Service