Stewart Takes First Chase Race, Hamlin Struggles - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Stewart Takes First Chase Race, Hamlin Struggles

Joliet, IL (WWBT)- The windy city became the rainy city on Sunday, forcing the postponement of the schedule Geico 400 until Monday afternoon.  When all was said and done, a chase contender captured his first checkered flag of the season.

Tony Stewart led most of the late stages of the race and had enough fuel on the last lap to take the win at Chicagoland Speedway on Monday.  It snaps Stewart's 32 race winless streak and moves him up to second in the standings behind Kevin Harvick, who finished runner-up on Monday and took sole possession of the chase lead, seven points ahead of Smoke.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. put together a solid day and finished third.

Several chase contenders ran out of fuel on the final lap, including five time defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon.  Busch fell from the top spot in the standings to ninth.

Chesterfield native Denny Hamlin had the worst day of the 12 chasers.  Hamlin took an unplanned early pit stop and staggered his way to a 32nd place finish.  He falls 41 points behind the leader, and many feel he may have raced himself out of contention for the Sprint Cup.

The Chase for the Sprint Cup resumes next weekend with the Sylvania 300 on Sunday at New Hampshire.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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