WATCH: When Tony Stewart Barged his Way to Victory at Sonoma Back in 2016

Published 06/04/2021, 8:48 AM EDT
HAMPTON, GA – AUGUST 29: Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, speaks to the media prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 29, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. Stewart hit and killed sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. during a dirt track race August 9, after Ward Jr. had exited his car. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)


2016 proved to be the final year for Tony Stewart and a few other drivers. Needless to say, the 3-time Cup Series champion wanted to go out with a bang. During the 2016 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at the Sonoma Raceway in California, he did just that. However, Denny Hamlin was not particularly impressed with his stunts in the latter stages of the race.

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In the final lap of the race, Stewart was forced to defend. Denny Hamlin managed to squeeze past the #14 car to take the lead, but Stewart was not finished yet. At the final corner, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver dived down the inside of the Joe Gibbs Racing driver.

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As they exited the corner, the two of them bumped into each other, and Hamlin got sent sliding into the wall. In the end, Stewart reached the chequered flag unchallenged while Hamlin recovered to finish 2nd. Meanwhile, Joey Logano completed the Top 3 for Team Penske.

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How did Tony Stewart perform in the race?

Admittedly, Stewart did not perform particularly well in practice and he qualified on the tail end of the Top 10. In other words, even though he had a chance to win, that chance looked slim. Meanwhile, Carl Edwards and AJ Allmendinger shared the front row ahead of Martin Truex Jr, and Stewart found himself sharing the fifth row with Paul Menard.

PHOENIX – NOVEMBER 5: Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Home Depot Chevrolet, looks on before his qualifying run for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Checker Auto Parts 500 on November 5, 2004 at the Phoenix International Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

Nevertheless, Stewart rallied forth and fought his way up the order to take the win. Hamlin definitely tried his hardest, but he came up short. He clearly could not hold his own against the brute force attack from Tony Stewart. Regardless, it would be Stewart’s last ever win in NASCAR Cup Series before he retired. Now, he is focusing on his new racing series, the Superstar Racing Experience.

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Dhruv George

12143 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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