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Tony Stewart smokes 'em at Watkins Glen

   Tony Stewart was a slow starter, but at the finish no one could touch him (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern

   If you ever wondered why he's nicknamed 'Smoke,' Tony Stewart showed why here Monday.
   Stewart added not only to his road course racing record, with his fifth victory in eight races at Watkins Glen International, this time by 10 lengths of Marcos Ambrose, and added to his NASCAR tour points lead, but Stewart also added luster to his amazing rookie season performance as a owner-driver.
   Carl Edwards, who started 33rd, pulled off a surprising third, beating Kyle Busch for that spot in the rain-postponed 220-miler.
   This is only Ambrose' first full season on the Cup tour, and he's been impressive at many tracks, beginning with a third place run right here a year ago, and in Saturday's Nationwide win.
   "I had to work pretty hard to keep up with Smoke there. I'm just so privileged to be racing against him," Ambrose said.
   "I think we had enough to hold him off if he got any closer,' Stewart said. "This is my house right here. We've run really well here the last seven years or so."
    Stewart stretched his Sprint Cup points lead over Jimmie Johnson and the rest of the men trying to make the 12-team championship playoffs, with four races till the Richmond cut.
   "I threw everything I could at him," Ambrose said. "We had some strange strategy one time and got caught back in the pack.
   "I started closing in on Tony near the end, and I could see him starting to make mistakes. But I couldn't close the gap."
   "I'm tired. That wore me out," Busch said. "I could barely hold on to fourth. This is three times harder than I had to drive here last year (when he won). The car just wouldn't do anything."
   "I'm really proud of my guys for strategy," Edwards said. "The car was out of gas the last lap, sputtering.
   "We finished ahead of Kyle, which is good for us in points. I really wanted to win this thing; that was one of my goals this year."
   NASCAR announced the crowd as 85,000.


  Kyle Busch needed a lot from his crew during Monday's race at the Glen, but he didn't have as strong a car as last season here (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

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