DOVER, Del. — Tony Stewart made a late outside pass on Juan Pablo Montoya and held on Sunday at Dover International Speedway to snap a 30-race winless streak.
Stewart hadn’t even had a top-five finish this season and was stuck in 20th in the points standings. He took the lead with the pass with three laps left in the 400-mile race.
Stewart hadn’t won on the concrete mile track since he swept both Cup races in 2000.
Seven-time Dover winner Jimmie Johnson appeared to have the car to beat, but jumped a restart and had to serve a pass-through penalty. Johnson argued over the radio and stayed on the track before he finally hit pit road.
Jeff Gordon was third, followed by Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski.
Stewart’s team erupted in celebration in the pits after winning for the first time since last July in Daytona. It was his 48th career win. He hadn’t finished better than 20th in his last four races at Dover.
“We certainly had the winning car,” Johnson said. “We’ll have to come back and do it in the fall.”
Johnson, who kept the points lead, finished 17th.
“He just wanted to get the jump on me,” Montoya said. “He just jumped it too much. I would have tried to do the same.”
Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr., both in the top 10 in points entering the race, made early exits because of engine issues.
Pole sitter Denny Hamlin finished 34th after he hit the wall late in the race. Hamlin needed a big points day to try and crack the top 20 if he has any hope at a Chase for the Sprint Cup championship wild-card berth.
Stewart aided his cause in a wild-card spot with the win. The two drivers in the 11th to 20th spot in the points standings with the most wins earn a spot in the Chase.