Stewart hangs on

Posted: Monday, August 16, 2004

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. Tony Stewart knew he was in trouble shortly after the start of the race, but overcame an upset stomach to win Sunday at Watkins Glen International.

''It started about the 15th or 17th lap,'' he said. ''It got better toward the end but I still don't feel well.''

Stewart went back to his hauler as soon as he exited the car after winning the Sirius at the Glen. He was driven back to his motor coach in a golf cart to change his uniform and attempt to recover.

Stewart's team had road-course ace Boris Said standing by, but released him after the final pit stop. Stewart realized with about 12 laps to go that he was going to finish, although he said that distance seemed like an eternity.

It was the second win for Stewart in the race, one of two road-course events each year on the NASCAR Nextel Cup circuit. He has three victories in that discipline.

The 2002 series and Watkins Glen champion also got his second win of the season and the 19th of his career.

Polesitter Johnson blew an engine for the second week in a row but held the top spot by 40 points because teammate Gordon had a transmission problem late in the race.

Finishing third in the $4.6 million race was Mark Martin in a Ford, followed by Casey Mears in a Dodge, and the Chevy of Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The series standings will be reset after four more races to five-point intervals among the top-10 drivers. They alone will be eligible to run for the championship over the last 10 of 36 races.

Earnhardt remained third and Stewart fourth in the standings. They were followed by Kenseth, Elliott Sadler, Busch and Harvick. Bobby Lebonte is ninth, and Jeremy Mayfield the last of the top 10 in points.

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