Clint Bowyer Fends Off Tony Stewart for Sonoma Victory
By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service
Clint Bowyer held off charging Tony Stewart to win Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in a green-white-checkered-flag finish that took the event two laps past its scheduled distance of 110 laps.
The victory was Bowyer's first of the year and the sixth of his career. Stewart passed Kurt Busch for the second position after the final restart and finished .829 seconds behind Bowyer's No. 15 Toyota. Busch held the third spot, followed by Brian Vickers and Jimmie Johnson.
Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle, pole-sitter Marcos Ambrose, AJ Allmendinger and Joey Logano completed the top 10 in a race that began with a record green-flag run of 82 laps and featured a record-low two cautions.
Bowyer did a majestic job of driving in the closing laps to hold off Busch, who harried him lap after lap until Busch's tires gave up with 10 laps left. Bowyer pulled away to a lead of more than one second before Kyle Busch and Paul Menard spun in Turn 7 to cause the second caution.
Bowyer and Kurt Busch restarted on old tires at Lap 111, with Stewart taking the green flag on fresher rubber, having pitted under the first caution of the race with 27 laps left. Stewart was able to overtake Kurt Busch but couldn't catch Bowyer over the final two green-flag laps.