With a victory in the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Stewart became the seventh champion to win the season finale in his championship season. He out-dueled runner-up Carl Edwards in a finale befitting a championship showdown, tying Edwards in points but winning the championship on a tiebreaker. Stewart’s five wins bested Edwards’ one, clinching the title for Stewart.
Stewart won his first championship in 2002 and second in 2005. The Indiana native now joins David Pearson, Lee Petty, Darrell Waltrip and Cale Yarborough all NASCAR Hall of Fame members or inductees as three-time champions.
Stewart entered the season-ending race trailing Edwards by three points. It marked the second consecutive season and fourth time since the inception of the position-based points system in 1975 the champion has overcome a points deficit entering the final race.
Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing with Gene Haas, is the first driver-owner to claim the championship since Alan Kulwicki in 1992. The 2011 season is the organization’s third under its current ownership.
“It’s an awesome day,” said Haas. “It’s really hard to get to this point and kind of leaves you speechless.”
Stewart failed to win a race during the 26-race regular season. But he quickly caught fire, winning the first two races of the Chase, at Chicagoland Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He ultimately won five times twice on consecutive weekends to break the record for most Chase wins in a single season.
As the manufacturer of Clevite engine bearings used on every NASCAR
Champion’s engine since the inaugural season in 1948, MAHLE Clevite Inc.
has extended its congratulations to Tony Stewart, the 2011 NASCAR
Sprint Cup Series Champion.
Both Stewart’s (Hendrick Engines) and Edwards’ (Roush Yates Engines) motors were built with Clevite engine bearings.
“These two incredibly competitive race cars made Sunday’s race at
Homestead-Miami Speedway a race to remember,” said Ted Hughes, Manager –
Marketing, MAHLE Clevite. “We are proud that our Clevite engine
bearings, the choice of NASCAR engine builders, have been in the engine
of every single NASCAR Champion since the beginning.”
Clevite engine bearings have a long-standing reputation with racing applications that has continued to build over the past decade. In addition to engine bearings, NASCAR teams also turn to MAHLE Clevite for MAHLE Original pistons, piston rings, and Victor Reinz gaskets.
For more information about MAHLE Clevite and its products, visit www.mahleclevite.com.