Tony Stewart grabs first win of the season at Atlanta

Nick Bromberg
September 6, 2010

Is Tony Stewart now the man to beat for the Sprint Cup championship?

It's not an absurd question, as Stewart has scored the most points over the last 12 races of the season and won Sunday's race at Atlanta, pulling away from Carl Edwards after a restart with 18 laps to go.

Stewart had the dominant car of the night but struggled on restarts, at one point telling his team that he had tried everything, yet (and don't ask me to explain this) had one more trick in the bag.

"Are you kidding me? I didn't hit a restart all night 'til right there at the end," Stewart told ESPN in victory lane.

After two quick cautions -- and bad restarts -- shuffled Stewart back to fifth, Stewart's pit crew got him out after the final pit stop in second, allowing Stewart to start on the front row.

"It was that last pit stop that got us the track position to give me the opportunity," Stewart said. "When I got back in traffic I was in really bad shape."