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Stewart takes his 1st Cup win of the year

Photo by Daniel Kay

Photo by Daniel Kay

HAMPTON -- Tony Stewart raced to his first victory of the year, pulling away from Carl Edwards off the final restart Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Stewart beat Edwards by 1.316 seconds for his first victory since Oct. 4, 2009, at Kansas, leaving Edwards winless since the 2008 season finale.

Jimmie Johnson was third, followed by Jeff Burton and Kyle Busch.

Ten drivers have now clinched spots in the 12-man Chase for the Sprint Cup championship going into the final race before the playoff begins, led by points leader Kevin Harvick.

The final caution of the night came out after Ryan Newman made contact with Kasey Kahne, nearly causing a crash on the backstretch.

Stewart was out front when the green came back out with 19 laps to go, and he zoomed off the line to beat Edwards into the first corner. From there, the No. 14 car steadily pulled away.

"I didn't hit a restart all night until right there at the end," Stewart said. "I've never been so happy with a win in my life."