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Opportunistic Tony Stewart captures FedEx 400
After Johnson was assessed a drive-through penalty for jumping the final restart — a sanction Johnson protested vehemently — Stewart passed Juan Pablo Montoya on Lap 398 of 400 to win Sunday’s FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway.
But Keselowski’s Ford failed the height-stick test in post-race inspection (too low in the front), with penalties expected after NASCAR’s completion meeting during the coming week.
“I totally disagree with the call, but it is what it is, and we’ll just come back and try to win in the fall,” he said.
Johnson knew he had beaten Montoya to the start/finish line, not knowing whether something was wrong with Montoya’s car, and said he tried to give the position back to the Colombian driver.
Johnson started 24th and, in the early stages of the race, had difficulty moving forward through traffic. In fact, the No. 48 Chevrolet SS went a lap down when Kyle Busch passed him on Lap 70.
Just as a Johnson victory was looking academic, however, Denny Hamlin’s right front tire blew in Turn 1 and sent his No. 11 Toyota hard into the outside wall, bringing out the seventh caution of the race. Montoya took two tires when the lead-lap cars came to pit road and narrowly beat Johnson to the exit That turned the race inside-out, as NASCAR black-flagged Johnson for beating Montoya to the start/finish line on the restart on Lap 382. Montoya held off Stewart for 16 laps but wore out his tires in the process and had to surrender the top spot.
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