WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. - The worst part for Tony Stewart was the wait.
With three laps remaining in the 90-lap Sirius Satellite at The Glen, NASCAR officials red-flagged the event for 12 minutes and 45 seconds.
"I thought we were sitting ducks," said Stewart, after his third win of the season and his first on the 2.45-mile road course.
"We knew we had a problem with the fuel system. I'd lose fuel pressure going down the front straightaway and I'd lose it going down the long back straightaway for the first lap."
Unsure if his Pontiac would come up to speed fast enough just one lap from the checkered flag, Stewart did what he had to do to put some distance between himself and second place finisher Ryan Newman.
"I did what I was suppose to do to take away their advantage," said Stewart of the final restart. "We were sitting ducks if we didn't do something."
So as Stewart sailed to victory, Newman held off Robbie Gordon for second while P.J. Jones finished fourth, the first top-five finish for A.J. Foyt racing since the team's inception three years ago.
Pole sitter Ricky Rudd finished fifth as Scott Pruett, Jeff Burton, Todd Bodine, Michael Waltrip and Mark Martin rounded out the top 10.
To finish second Newman had to fight off more than veteran road racer Gordon's advances. Newman had his hands full just holding onto the steering wheel.
"We lost the power steering with about 50 laps to go so I had my hands full," said Newman, admitting that in a bump and run with Jones the steering wheel had been knocked completely out of his hands.
"It was a total handful from there. It took five times the effort to turn the car."
Newman led for 10 laps before Stewart slipped by on the inside as the two entered turn 10. Once both cars exited turn 11 Stewart was in the lead and pulling away.
By the time, Newman hit the exit of turn 11 Stewart was already powering past the start finish line nearly a half second ahead.
Gordon also got caught snoozing on the final restart and ended up spending the last lap defending his third place position instead of fighting for second.
"I got caught sleeping big time," said Gordon, adding he knew what Stewart was going to do and he still got caught.
"He (Stewart) hits the brakes first, then he takes off. He did that to us all day long."
In a rare show of disgruntlement, Rudd blamed tensions within the team for an otherwise sharp fifth place finish.
"We just couldn't seem to get it going," said Rudd, pointing to the communication between him and the team. "We fought brake fade all day long. That was the difference between running fifth and challenging for the win.
For the third consecutive week point leader Sterling Marlin struggled with engine problems. Marlin radioed into his team on lap 38 that he was running on seven cylinders. The crew looked under the hood during caution, telling Marlin to just nurse the car around to get the best possible finish.
Marlin crossed the line 30th, but maintained his position in the standings now just 53 points ahead of second place Mark Martin. Jimmy Johnson, second last week, slipped to third, 56 point back.
Every driver now in the top ten gained on Marlin with the exception of Matt Kenseth. Kenseth lost a lap early in the event finishing 33rd, three spots behind Marlin.
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