In a dramatic reversal of fortune, Tony Stewart won the second Chase for the Sprint Cup race, the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, when Clint Bowyer ran out of fuel with fewer than three laps to go. With his second straight victory, his second of the season and the 41st of his career, Stewart took the lead in the series standings heading to next Sunday’s race at Dover. Stewart leads Kevin Harvick by seven points. Harvick finished 12th.
Brad Keselowski parlayed pit strategy into a second-place run, and Greg Biffle came home third, followed by Jeff Gordon and Brian Vickers. Matt Kenseth, David Ragan, Carl Edwards, Juan Pablo Montoya and Regan Smith completed the top 10.
A caution for Landon Cassill’s spin on Lap 156 played right into Gordon’s hands just past the halfway point in the 300-lap race. By putting off their pit stops as long as possible, Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Mark Martin and Ragan were the only drivers on the lead lap when the yellow flag flew.
Gordon, Martin and Ragan came to pit road on Lap 158, giving them the latitude to finish the race on one more stop. The caution also benefited Keselowski, who had pitted before the caution on Lap 154 but within a one-stop window.
A long cycle of green-flag stops that began with Kahne’s visit to pit road on Lap 217 shuffled the running order. Kahne was the leader on Lap 247 but soon surrendered the top spot to Bowyer, who had stopped on Lap 226.
With 40 laps left, Bowyer—in fuel conservation mode—led Stewart, Gordon, Kahne and Biffle, with Martin, Keselowski, Ragan, Denny Hamlin and Juan Pablo Montoya chasing. Hamlin ran out of fuel and finished 29th.