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Tony Stewart rallies for third-best finish of season at Martinsville

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 - Qualifying

MARTINSVILLE, VA - OCTOBER 30: Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 30, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)

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Jeff Gordon wasn’t the only oldie-but-goodie who had a good day at Martinsville Speedway.

So did Tony Stewart. The three-time Sprint Cup champ finished 10th in Sunday’s race, his third-best finish of the season.

It wasn’t an easy finish for Stewart, though. He had to start from the back of the field in a back-up car.

He also had to elude a number of wrecks in a race that featured 18 cautions for 109 laps under yellow.

And Stewart also watched as teammates Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch were both involved in wrecks.

Still, Stewart, who will retire after the 2016 season, was happy to add to the other two top-10 finishes he’s had this season (sixth in the spring race at Bristol and ninth in the summer race at Pocono).

“Kasey (Kahne) and I both (came from the back),” Stewart said of finishing behind the ninth-place car of Kahne, who also started in a backup car. “That was what was really cool; seeing two Team Chevy drivers come from the back like that.

“He and I both worked pretty good going through the pack there. I’m happy with it.”

A three-time Martinsville winner , Stewart was happy to bounce back the way he did, particularly since he finished 20th in the spring race.

“We have struggled here the last three races that we have run here,” Stewart said. “We did something in happy hour with this second car that, to be honest, it was actually something I had a little input on.

“I’m not very smart and it wasn’t because of me for sure, but it was Chad (Johnston, crew chief) and I and everybody working together and trying to find a solution that might fix our problem.

“We kind of made the change and stuck with it and knew that we weren’t exactly where we wanted to be in happy hour, but felt like in the race it was going to be better and it was.”

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