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Sprint Cup - Stewart Kentucky Race Report

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Sparta, Jul. 4, 2012: Tony Stewart turned some fast laps during the Kentucky 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. Unfortunately, the majority of them came after a lengthy stay in the garage area.

Ignition problems just 25 laps into the 267-lap race kept Stewart idle for 36 laps as his team replaced the throttle body while his counterparts lapped the 1.5-mile oval at speed. Stewart avoided a dreaded DNF (Did Not Finish) by returning to the race and using it as a test session, but there was still a sting to his 32nd-place finish.

Stewart, the driver of No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), came into Kentucky riding a string of top-three finishes, the last two of which were second-place runs at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn and the road course in Sonoma, Calif. Another strong finish was expected at Kentucky, despite struggles in two practice sessions Friday. The car Stewart was driving at Kentucky was the same chassis that won at Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier this season and last fall at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.

The car showed excellent speed during the race at Kentucky once it returned to the track after repairs, turning laps as quickly as the leaders. But it went unnoticed since Stewart was too many laps down to make any headway