It’s a 1-2 Texas finish for Stewart, Edwards
FORT WORTH - Tony Stewart figures he has no need to issue any more verbal jabs in what has become quite a fight for the Cup title.
Stewart raced to his second consecutive victory, and won for the fourth time in eight NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup races, finishing just ahead of points leader Carl Edwards in the so-called “Texas Title Fight’’ that fully lived up to its billing yesterday.
“I’m pretty sure what we did on the race track said everything we needed to tell him today,’’ Stewart said. “I don’t know how you top that. The funny thing, I don’t feel like I have to say anything. I feel like I’ve already got it done.’’
After winning last week at Martinsville, Stewart got out of his car in Victory Lane and said Edwards “better be worried. That’s all I’m saying.’’
Now it appears to be a two-driver fight for the championship with two races left after they finished 1-2 at the 1 1/2-mile, high-banked Texas track.
Stewart is focused on winning a third Cup championship, and becoming the first person not named Jimmie Johnson to win the title since 2005 - when Stewart won while driving for Joe Gibbs Racing before becoming a driver-owner.
Stewart cut his points deficit from 8 to 3 with an average speed of 152.705 miles per hour, the fastest Cup race at Texas, and a 1.092-second margin over Edwards, the Roush Fenway driver going for his first championship.
The series returns next weekend to Phoenix, where the track has been reconfigured and resurfaced since Stewart was seventh and Edwards 28th there in February, and then to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the finale. Edwards won both races at the end of last season.
Stewart led seven times for a race-high 173 of 334 laps, and more importantly stayed ahead of Edwards down the stretch.
On a restart with 60 laps to go after the second caution in a matter of laps, Edwards was the leader and on the inside of Stewart.
Coming out of Turn 2, Stewart shot by onto the backstretch and charged back to the lead.
“He timed it just right,’’ said Edwards, who led three times for 14 laps.
Five-time champion Johnson moved closer to the end of his unprecedented championship run when he finished 14th. He remained sixth in points, 55 back.
Kasey Kahne finished third, followed by Matt Kenseth and polesitter Greg Biffle.