There had never been a tie for the NASCAR Cup Series championship … that was until the 2011 title came down to the wire between Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards.
Both known for their quick wit, Stewart and Edwards spent Media Day in Miami exchanging light-hearted jabs in an effort to trip up each other’s psyche going into the championship finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. But once the helmets were strapped on the afternoon of Nov. 20, 2011, the head games were officially over.
Along with early cautions and a red flag for rain interrupting action, Stewart had to overcome pit-road issues and damage to the grille of the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet. Meanwhile, it was Edwards who appeared to be running away with the trophy, leading a total of 119 of 267 laps.
But Edwards didn’t lead the one that mattered the most — the last one. Stewart took the No. 1 spot from Brad Keselowski with 36 laps to go and later held off Edwards, who made a run for it at the end but finished second. Stewart took the checkered flag with a 1.306-second margin of victory.
What made it even more heartbreaking for Edwards: A tiebreaker was ultimately needed to settle the score, which Stewart won by earning more victories than Edwards during the 2011 season.
Check out the 2011 season championship finale and watch Tony Stewart win his third title with this Classic Race Replay of the 2011 Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.