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Chase History Leaving Texas Favors Edwards, But Stewart Owns Momentum With Two To Go

by TMS Media Relations | Nov 07, 2011

FORT WORTH, Texas (Nov. 7, 2011) - Tony Stewart won Round 8 over Carl Edwards with his victory in Sunday's AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, but Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup history may give an edge to Edwards with two rounds remaining in this heavyweight title bout.


Despite the victory by Stewart, Edwards departed Texas with a three-point advantage over Stewart by virtue of his runner-up finish. The three points may loom larger when looking at history since the driver that left Texas with the championship lead went on to capture the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crown five out of the last six years. 

Ironically, the trend started in 2005 when Stewart earned his second series championship and then the next four years with Jimmie Johnson. Stewart, however, can take solace in the fact that the five-year streak was interrupted last year when Johnson overcame Denny Hamlin and a 33-point deficit to secure his fifth consecutive championship.


Stewart heads to the final two races of the season - Phoenix and Homestead - with momentum as he has won four Chase races, including the last two, while Edwards is seeking his first win since Las Vegas in March.


"I don't think we have to say anything; I think our performance today (Sunday) spoke for itself," said Stewart, who came into the AAA Texas 500 trailing Edwards by eight. "He (Edwards) knows already, trust me. Carl kept us honest today, but we did everything we could do. We got all the bonus points we could get and got the win. We gained more than we needed to gain on the average for the week, so we're doing good.


"I still stand firm that we're not counting on them to make mistakes. We're controlling our destiny. Today is a perfect example of that. We're worried about what we're doing. We're not worried about what they're doing. We just ran our race. That's what we intend to do the next two weeks. It's theirs to lose now."


Despite being winless in the Chase, Edwards' consistent runs through the first eight Chase races has led to the top spot. The runner-up effort in the AAA Texas 500 was his best Chase finish to date, but he has finished among the top nine in seven of the eight races. His other finish was 11th at Talladega.


"He (Stewart) did a great job today," Edwards said "Those guys stepped it up and I'm proud of my guys for hanging on and for still having the points lead.  At the end of the day, we're going to the final two races. Although we would have loved to have won today in our Aflac Fusion, to be three points ahead and then to have the third and fourth-place guys farther behind, it looks like it's truly gonna come down to Tony and I and that's gonna be a lot of fun. We're leading these points. We get to pull out all the stops for these last two races and there couldn't be a better place to finish it than Homestead. I think folks ought to stay tuned. It's gonna get pretty exciting and I'm just glad Tony and I are out there and we can race for this thing."

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