Tony Stewart: A Good Guy Won The Race

Jim BobCorrespondent IMay 25, 2009

CONCORD, NC - MAY 25:  Tony Stewart sits in the #14 Office Depot Chevrolet on the grid prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 on May 25, 2009 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images for NASCAR)

No one likes to lose, but Tony Stewart said after the Coca-Cola 600 that a good guy won the race.

That good guy was David Reutimann.

Reutimann, who benefited from persistent rain during the Coca-Cola 600, won his first career race in his 75th start after a strategic call to stay out with rain fast approaching.

Reutimann led the final five laps of the event before NASCAR called the cars to pit road on lap 227, before calling the race just over two hours later.

Despite a small, verbal altercation on pit road during the second rain delay between Stewart and a pit crew member of Reutimann’s team, Stewart still remained positive after the race was called, calling Reutimann a good guy.

“A good guy [David Reutimann] won the race and they won it because they made the right call at the end,” said Stewart.  “They put themselves in that position and you can’t take anything away from that. It won’t win you races consistently, but you’re going to get something that way. It’s good for David to get his first win and congratulations to him and his guys.”

“He’s doing his job,” Reutimann said of the exchange between his pit crew member and Stewart. ”I don’t want anybody to fault him for that. I wish it hadn’t gone down like that. But in the end, you know, crew guys stick up for their drivers. At least when you got a good crew they do. Like I said, I’ve had guys stick up for me even when they knew a hundred percent I was wrong, they still stood right there with me and made sure I didn’t get beat up.”

Reutimann moved up to 13th in Sprint Cup Series driver points, trailing 12th place driver Mark Martin by only six points as the series heads into Dover this Sunday.