Tony Stewart proved to be the master of the Daytona International Speedway's 3.56-mile road course on Thursday night in Round 3 of the Crown Royal IROC Series.
Stewart dominated the 20-lap, 71-mile sprint race to collect his seventh career victory at "The World Center of Racing."
The two-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion took the lead on Lap 4 and then held off road racing ace Max Papis in the final 10-lap restart, which was slowed by a couple of cautions.
Rounding out the top five were Papis, Ryan Newman, Scott Sharp and Scott Hornish.
"It's awesome," Stewart said in Gatorade Victory Lane. "You have guys like Max Angelleli and Max Papis and those guys. When we got past Max Papis early (in the race), I couldn't believe it. At the end there he found some speed and we just had to work hard to break the draft to where he couldn't keep up."
"I guess I should be pretty happy to finish second to a two-time NEXTEL Cup champion," Papis said. "I improved my personal best (in IROC), but second is the first of the losers."
Stewart, who led 17 of the 20 laps, takes the championship lead in the Crown Royal IROC standings. The Indiana native leads fellow NEXTEL Cup driver Matt Kenseth by 15 points entering the fourth and final race of the series.
Thursday night's race, part of a doubleheader with the Brumos Porsche 250, was the first road course race for the Crown Royal IROC Series in 14 years.
Stewart will be behind the wheel of his No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet on Saturday night as he shoots for back-to-back Pepsi 400 victories.
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