Tony Stewart won the Ford 400 today/tonight at Homestead Speedway in Miami to become the 2011 Sprint Cup Champion.
Despite my fears, the race was exactly what it should have been -- a winner-take-all match between Stewart and points leader Carl Edwards. The two drivers were the class of the field all race long, with Edwards leading the most laps.
But as has been the case throughout the Cup Chase, Stewart simply willed himself to victory, this for the fifth time in the Championship series. A late race gamble by his crew chief Darien Grubb, put Stewart on fresher tires and with a fuller gas tank than Edwards, and Tony simply jammed the pedal through the floor and on to victory.
Fighting adversity all day long, from an opening lap hole in the grill, to several botched pit stops, Stewart repeatedly had to fight his way back from the rear of the field. I think they said at one point, Tony had passed over 70 cars getting back to the front time and again.
I cannot express how happy I am that Stewart won this title. He's a racer's racer, and now also a team owner. The first to win a championship in NASCAR since Alan Kulwicki over 20 years ago.
I loved how he threw a shout to A.J. Foyt for Foyt giving his blessing to Tony for bringing back Foyt's old number 14 to NASCAR. Stewart is a throwback to Foyt's no-holds-barred style of racing, and simply a guy who loves to be behind the wheel whenever possible.
I think the better racer won the race and the title tonight. And that's how it should be.