“Man it has been such a tough year,” said Stewart, who only led the final three laps of the race. “I’m so proud of Steve Addington (crew chief), Greg Zipadelli, Matt Borland, Tony Gibson, all of our guys and all of our engineers. They worked hard late into the night last night. They never gave up and they kept working today.
“Addington’s pit strategy gave us the opportunity there at the end. It is pretty cool because how many times do you get to outrace Juan Montoya? He figured out where I was gaining ground and made the adjustment and got going, so we had to move around again,” Stewart said.
Montoya, despite falling short of his third career Sprint Cup victory, was happy with how strong his Earnhardt Ganassi Racing team was on Sunday.
“He (Stewart) was way quicker. I don’t understand where he came from. He wasn’t very good all day, but he was good when it mattered,” Montoya said. “Man, everybody on this Energizer car this week did a really good job. It is good to be running this good every week.”
Jeff Gordon finished third at the one-mile concrete oval, followed by Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski.
Johnson ended up 17th after serving his drive-thru penalty. He said that Montoya simply didn’t go during the final restart with 19 laps left, which is why he got such a big jump on him.
“I was half throttle for the whole front stretch and at some point I’ve gotta go,” Johnson said, recalling the final restart. “Bummer way to lose the race. We certainly had the winning car.”