LOUDON, N.H. Tony Stewart isn't running many races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this series, so he's making the ones he does drive in count.
The two-time Sprint Cup champion, who hasn't been having much luck and has no wins in the top stock car series this season, drove away Saturday with his fifth victory in seven Nationwide starts in 2008.
Stewart got track position, restarting third after taking just two tires during his final pit stop on lap 129 of the 200-lap event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He took the lead on lap 136 from fellow Cup star Carl Edwards and led the rest of the way.
Teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch finished second and third.
The No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota that Stewart drove has won eight of 17 races this season, including all five by Stewart and one each by Hamlin, Busch and heralded rookie Joey Logano. Busch also has two wins in his No. 18 entry and another in the Braun Racing car already this season.
But this one was special for crew chief Dave Rogers, who grew up in Marshfield, Vt., about 125 miles from here.
It was Rogers who made the two-tire call that Stewart credited with putting him in position to win.
"I look up and they're all coming," Rogers said of the last pit stop for the leaders. "It was a parking lot and I knew if we got back in traffic, we would never make it to the front. This is a track position race."
Stewart gave most of the credit for the victory, his seventh in the series formerly known as Busch, to Rogers, who started with the Gibbs team as an engineer on Stewart's No. 20 Cup car.
"That last stop is what won the race for us," Stewart said. "To get track position and be able to stay up front and not have to overdrive the car or abuse the tires was the key to the win."
Stewart is the 22nd different winner in 22 Nationwide-Busch races on the 1.058-mile New Hampshire oval.
The race ended under caution after Greg Biffle, racing side-by-side with Brad Keselowski for 10th place, appeared to touch the track apron and lose control, sliding hard into the outside wall. Biffle wound up 19th.
POLE-SITTER KANAAN WINS AT RICHMOND: At Richmond, Va., pole-sitter Tony Kanaan took advantage of an out-of-sequence pit stop by front-running teammate Marco Andretti on Saturday night and ran away with the SunTrust Indy Challenge for his first victory of the season.
On a night when half of the 26 cars in the largest IndyCar Series field at Richmond International Raceway went home damaged, Kanaan got the good fortune he said he deserved, avoiding the near-constant mayhem caused by a record nine caution flags and coasting to his 13th career IndyCar victory.
Helio Castroneves, who started 18th, used a blistering early pit stop to get into contention and finished second, followed by Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon. Series rookie Oriol Servia was fifth, and Danica Patrick was sixth.
CREW CHIEFS ASKED TO HELP SET TESTING POLICY: John Darby, NASCAR's Sprint Cup director, had a nice surprise for the series crew chiefs Saturday, offering them the opportunity to guide the sanctioning organization in setting next year's testing policy.
"NASCAR's the policy-maker, but one thing that's really reliant on the teams' input is what we test, how many times we test and where we test," Darby said after a brief meeting with the crew chiefs in the garage area at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
"In the past, it's just been a matter of, 'Here, select your race tracks and let's go.' This year, I felt it was time that we just sat down with everybody and talked and said, 'Look, we're open to any suggestions you have,' from leaving our testing policy exactly like it was in '08, all the way to going to what I'm going to call wide-open testing, no limits any track, any week, any time, as many times as you want to go.
"We're prepared for either way, it doesn't matter to us. We'll listen to what all of the teams come back with for suggestions and formulate a test plan for 09 and go forward."
Darby said his offer was met with some disbelief from the assembled crew chiefs.
JOHNSON WINS K&N HORSEPOWER CHALLENGE: At Norwalk, Ohio, Allen Johnson won the $50,000 K&N Horsepower Challenge on Saturday at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, his first victory in the special bonus event for the eight quickest Pro Stock teams from the last year.
If Johnson can wins Sunday he could earn an additional $25,000 from NHRA for sweeping both races, bringing his potential weekend earnings to more than $100,000.