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After the new rule double-file restart hoopla, Sunday's Pocono 500 comes down to fuel mileage, and Tony Stewart wins

Tony Stewart! (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


   By Mike Mulhern

   POCONO, Pa.
   Tony Stewart made it home on fumes in a gas-mileage race to the finish to win Sunday's Pocono 500, over Carl Edwards, David Reutimann and Jeff Gordon, becoming the first NASCAR Cup owner-driver to win a tour event since Ricky Rudd in 1998.
   Half a dozen drivers ran out of gas in the final two miles. But Stewart managed to nurse his car the final 41 laps – 102 miles – for his first victory since Talladega last fall.
    Carl Edwards dominated much of the race, but he lost the lead to Stewart on the last round of pit stops. Edwards too slowed down the final laps to make it home.
   "I hate racing like this," Stewart said of the slow-down-to-win strategy he needed to make it the distance.
    "We've had a bunch of weather issues this season, so it was a little nerve-wracking that caution late for rain."
   Jimmie Johnson was one of the guys who ran out of gas. But that wasn't the only issue he had. He got penalized once for pitting just as the caution came out to close pit road. Johnson said it was difficult to see the red-green pit road traffic lights.
   "I think they need to look at the lighting system at some of these tracks," Johnson said.
    Johnson ran out on the backstretch of the last lap.
    "I ddn't think Tony was going to be a factor," Edwards said. "We had to make a decision – are we going to race him or try to save fuel. And we decided to save fuel. I thought Tony would run out like Jimmie did."

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