For the second straight circuit, Stewart wheel-hopped the No.
"I made mistakes the last two laps," acknowledged Stewart, who missed the first eight races of the season after injuring his back in an ATV accident during the offseason.
I got the rears hot, wheel-hopped it a little bit again, got out of line, and obviously gave him the inside line." Third-place finisher Joey Logano was trailing the action into the final corner, hoping Hamlin and Stewart would take each other out.
NASCAR called the caution a lap later, and when all the rest of the contending cars pitted under yellow on Lap 88, Stewart inherited a lead he would hold -- with the exception of Hamlin's brief interlude from Turns 7 to 11 -- for the rest of the race.
Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch completed the top 10.