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Tony Stewart Wins NASCAR Ford 400

11/21/2011 12:23 PM ET

NASCAR Ford 400 - NASCAR driver Tony Stewart simply wouldn’t be denied Sunday at the Ford 400 in Homestead Florida. Rain delays, damage to the grill of his car, pit problems, all of that was no problem for the sports newest three-time points king.

Stewart ran past all those challenges, then tracked down and ran past Carl Edwards to capture both the Ford 400 and NASCAR’s Sprint Cup championship with a thrilling performance at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Tony and Carl finished tied in the Nascar points standings with 2,403 points but Stewart owned the tiebreaker thanks to his five victories this season to Edwards’ one.

It came down to a final lap, with Edwards needing to pass Stewart to claim the title despite leading 119 of 267 laps Sunday and entering the race with a three-point lead. Stewart never let him get close to cap a victory for the ages and become the first driver/owner to win a NASCAR series championship since 1992.

“I don’t care how long it rains, I’m going to be up all night,” a jubilant Stewart said in Victory Lane. “We said all week we’d just go out and win the race and not worry about what he did.”

The two traded barbs during the week, but Edwards was diplomatic in defeat.

“That’s as hard as I can drive, that was everything I’ve got,” Edwards said. “This night’s about Tony Stewart.” 

NASCAR couldn’t have scripted it better. On a day in which a record 15 different drivers led, in a race in which there were a record 26 lead changes, it was the first time since the point system was implemented in 1975 that a driver came from behind to win the title by winning the final race.

“If this doesn’t go down as one of the greatest championship battles in history,” Tony said, “I don’t know what will.”

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