Tony Stewart won the Kobalt Tools 400 today in Las Vegas.
One of only three tracks that Tony previously did not have a win at, Vegas is where the discontent with former crew chief Darien Grubb began last season.
After dominating the entire race in 2011, Stewart lost on a late race pit bungle and complained openly after the race saying, "Someone needs to explain to me how we lost this race!"
This year, Tony took no chances. Showing the same fierce determination that welled up during the championship run last season, Tony simply refused to lose today's race. Though Jimmie Johnson may have had a better car, Stewart repeated blew the other racers away on restarts and once again, out-gutted Johnson in the final 4 lap finale.
It's a nice bit of redemption for Tony as he's taken some heat from casual race fans for dumping the affable Grubb after last year's championship winning season. This was magnified by Grubb's win last week with Denny Hamlin at Phoenix.
This is the earliest in a season that Tony's won a race and perhaps a harbinger of the season to come. At least at this point, there is no obvious let down or hangover from the 2011 Championship, and Tony looks hungry to win another won right away.
Also kudos to Ryan Newman for his fourth place finish. That gives Stewart-Haas racing two cars in the top five today.