Stewart prevails in Chase opener

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 4:17 PM ET

JOLIET, Ill -- Tony Stewart picked the right time to capture his first win in the Sprint Cup Series this season.

Stewart, one of the 12-drivers in the championship Chase, conserved enough fuel and held off Kevin Harvick, another title contender, to win Monday's rain-delayed GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

With the win, Stewart moved from ninth to second in the point standings, as he trails new leader Harvick by just seven points. Stewart has now won at this 1.5-mile track a record three times.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. began his quest for the championship on the right note by charging in the closing laps to finish third. Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-five.

Several drivers, including Chase contenders Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth, ran out of fuel during the final two laps, which cost each one of them a shot at finishing in the top-10.


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