Joliet, Ill. – September 19, 2011 – Tony Stewart, driver of the number 14 Office Depot Mobile One Chevrolet, grabbed his first victory of the 2011 season in the GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on Monday, after heavy rain forced NASCAR to postpone the race a day. 

This is Stewart’s 40th career NASCAR Sprint Cup series win and marks 13 consecutive seasons with at least one win. Kevin Harvick finished second with Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounding out the top three in third.

“I couldn’t pick a better weekend to get the first win of the year than here in Chicago,” said Stewart.  “We’ve had a miserable year but the last three weeks we really started to improve. Neither Darian or I even once thought that we had as good as car as we needed to win but we ran pretty solid.”

Earnhardt Jr. who just posted his fourth top-10 finish in the past 11 races said proudly after this third place finish, “The hardest we can work is the best we can work.”

Stewart led 35 Laps in Monday’s race.  Kurt Busch lead 64 laps for the race high and finished sixth, right behind Penske teammate, Brad Keselowski who finished in fifth.  Carl Edwards took the number four spot. 

Second-place finisher, Harvick, now sits at the top of the points standings with Stewart just seven points behind in second place.  Edwards is in third, followed by Ku.Busch and Earnhardt Jr. in fourth and fifth restively.

“The inaugural Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend at Chicagoland Speedway concluded on a terrific note,” said track president, Scott Paddock.  “The incredible turnout we had at today’s race reinforces the message of how dedicated and passionate the Chicago market is about NASCAR racing.  We are honored to have the privilege of hosting the kickoff event for one of the most watched and followed sports in America, and we look forward to building on the success of this year’s event for our fans enjoyment in 2012.”

The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will kick off again at Chicagoland Speedway with the GEICO 400 on September 16, 2012. The two-day weekend will be kicked off by the NASCAR Nationwide Series on the September 15. The July 21 and 22 NASCAR weekend will feature a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and NASCAR Nationwide Series race. This weekend also coincides with a rare off week for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

The complete 2012 NASCAR schedule of events at Chicagoland Speedway is as follows:


Date                                          Event

Saturday, July 21                      NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Sunday, July 22                        STP 300 (NASCAR Nationwide Series)


Saturday, Sept. 15                    NASCAR Nationwide Series

Sunday, Sept. 16                      GEICO 400 (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series)


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