Tony Stewart: 7 Things He Needs to Win Sprint Cup Title

Melissa Bauer-Herzog@mbauerherzogCorrespondent INovember 17, 2011

Tony Stewart: 7 Things He Needs to Win Sprint Cup Title

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    As we enter the last weekend of the NASCAR season at Homestead, the end of an era is upon us.

    This year, we won't see Jimmie Johnson lifting his sixth trophy over his head for the first time in five years.

    However, with Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards within three points of each other going into this last race, it definitely won't be boring.

    But what are seven things that have to happen for Tony Stewart to overcome Carl Edwards?

    Let's take a look.

Lead the Most Laps

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    While it doesn't guarantee him the championship, getting the point for leading the most laps will really help close the three-point gap for Tony Stewart.

Stay out of Trouble

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    Stewart needs to stay out of trouble.

    A wreck will almost certainly knock him out of any hope for the Chase, unless Edwards gets taken out and placed more than three places behind him.

    However, if this were to occur, it will probably be de ja vu of Jimmie Johnson's crew working on his car at Texas in 2009.

Stay Ahead of Carl Edwards

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    Smoke needs to stay ahead of Carl Edwards.

    While only the final positions count, the longer he stays in front of him, the better his chances are.

    Still, he needs to stay more than three spots ahead if he plans on getting the points lead the hard way.

Make Sure to Tie Up the Points

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    If Stewart can't grab the points lead, he needs to tie it.

    The tie-breaker is who has the most wins and with four wins to Edward's one, Stewart would win.

Edwards Needs to Have a Bad Day

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    Tony Stewart can only control his fate so much, but Carl Edwards can certainly help.

    Edwards is running strong now, but if anything happens to him in the beginning of the race, it could definitely give Stewart a huge advantage that he can't get on his own.

Non Chaser Issues

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    This Chase has been full of the added drama of non-Chase drivers affecting the Chase either intentionally or not.

    They have been warned by NASCAR to cut it out but if someone decides to get some revenge and cause problems for Edwards, Stewart could have smooth sailing.

Pit Problems

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    The racing on the track is extremely important, but pit stops are just as important. A bobble on pit road for the No. 99 crew could cost Edwards the Championship.

    At the same time, if Stewart's crew just outperforms Edwards', that could have the same effect.

    This Championship doesn't just come down to the drivers, it comes down to their teams and what they can get done.

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