Mar 25, 2012
FONTANA, Calif. -- Tony Stewart made all the right moves Sunday at Auto Club Speedway, and the last one proved decisive in taking the three-time champion to Victory Lane in the rain-shortened Auto Club 400.
After raindrops slowed the race on Lap 124, Stewart, the race leader, faked a move toward pit road but stayed on the track.
But that move -- staying out and running slow caution laps before NASCAR stopped the race on Lap 129 -- proved decisive for the defending Sprint Cup champion, who claimed his second victory of the season, his second at Fontana and the 46th of his career, tying him with Buck Baker for 14th on the career victory list.
The event ran caution-free for 124 laps, until rain in Turns 3 and 4 brought out the first yellow flag of the afternoon. Stewart had retained the lead through a third cycle of green-flag pit stops, with Denny Hamlin chasing him.