Fitting finish for Stewart at Sonoma

Sunday, June 26, 2016 – Three-time NASCAR premier series champion Tony Stewart won for the 39th and final time of his career, capturing the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway.

Stewart led the final 22 laps around the 1.99-mile, 11-turn course but briefly lost the top spot, and nearly the race, on the very last lap when Denny Hamlin shot past in Turn 7. Stewart regrouped and chased Hamlin down, then overtook the Joe Gibbs Racing driver in the final turn.

The victory was Stewart’s first since June 2, 2013 and ended a streak of 84 starts without a win.

It was his third career win at Sonoma and his eighth on a road course.

Joey Logano, Carl Edwards and Martin Truex Jr. completed the top five.

The win kept Stewart’s hopes of qualifying for NASCAR’s playoffs alive by meeting one of two qualifiers. The second, that he be in the top 30 in driver point standings by the cutoff, was eventually accomplished as well.

An injury suffered while driving a sand buggy in January of that year had resulted in Stewart missing the season’s first eight races.

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