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Stewart wins Nationwide opener at Daytona

The Nationwide season opens this afternoon with the Camping World 300 at Daytona International Speedway.

Check out a blog I've done throughout the day from Daytona.

2 p.m. Pole-sitter Kevin Harvick leads Stewart, Kyle Busch and
Michael Waltrip after 31 laps and the first caution and pit stops. Dale
Earnhardt and Matt Kenseth -- who started second and was running up
front -- both moved to the back after a minor collision caused by Brad
Keselowski (whose owner is Earnhardt) exiting pit road.

2:13 p.m. A front pack of Stewart (don't drive angry!), Kyle Busch, Bowyer and Logano has broken away after 40 of 120 laps.

2:27 p.m. The second yellow is out for a spin by Brian
Keselowski, Brad's brother, after he appeared to get touched from
behind. The pits will be busy. Harvick leads Kyle Busch, Harvick, Brad
Keselowski, Brian Vickers, Logano and Stewart.

2:46 p.m. We have our first smash-up of the day.
Jason Leffler got into the left rear of Steven Wallace between Turns
Three and Four, sending Wallace careening low and then back up the
track, where he collected two nowhere-to-go cars of rookies Scott
Lagasse Jr. and Justin Allgaier. Pit stops followed.

2:51 p.m. Kenny Wallace, who did not pit, is shown as the leader with brother Mike Wallace in second. No sign of Loren Wallace.Third and on is Jason Keller, Kyle Busch, David Ragan, Brad Keselowski, Bowyer.

2:54 p.m. Leffler has been penalized by NASCAR,
and it's not a small one -- he's being held five laps for aggressive
driving. Mike Wallace came into pit. Seventy-seven laps down, 43 to go.

2:59 p.m. Another caution after another incident. Kenny Hendrick in the No. 42 spins out in Turn One.

3:12 p.m. Caution again for a spinout right below me.
Mike Bliss wasn't clear of David Ragan when he drifted down and brought
his left rear against Ragan's front right and off went Bliss on a spin
in the infield. With 30 laps to go, Bowyer leads Earnhardt Jr. -- Tony
Stewart came into the pits to take tires and he'll be one to watch the
rest of the way. Carl Edwards, who hasn't been much of a factor today,
also came in.

3:16 p.m. After 92 laps (28 to go), with the green flag coming the next time around, we have this top 10:
Bowyer, Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, Vickers, Greg Biffle, Kenseth,
Ragan, Logano, Harvick, Kyle Busch. Stewart is shown 22nd.

3:24 p.m. Some fun stuff as
two lines of cars, sometimes going three-wide, have been racing in a
tight bunch and we've got 20 laps to go. Vickers is in front. Stewart
is 15th.

3:28 p.m. Stewart is flying, going from 15th to ninth to fifth and Vickers still in front of a feisty pack.

3:30 p.m. Carl Edwards now has the lead with 13 to go. Stewart was very close to the front but couldn't finish it off and is now fallen around the top five.

3:33 p.m. The caution is
out for Brad Keselowski after a tire goes down with 11 to go. Stewart
got to the front with new tires -- now most of the field is getting
theirs. Nine laps to go right now with Edwards and Stewart up front and
a bunch of cars with fresh tires behind them. Vickers is shown in 12th,
Kyle Busch 13th.

3:39 p.m. Green flag and there are seven laps to go. Stewart gets a mean push from Bowyer (third) and both blow by Edwards.

3:42 p.m. Vickers and Kyle Busch have quickly surged up front behind Stewart with four to go.

3:43 p.m. Stewart leads Vickers, Busch and Edwards.

Three to go:
Vickers goes outside Stewart into Turn One but Kyle Busch stays low and
noone goes with Vickers, who falls back. Stewart leads Kyle Busch and
Edwards through the superstretch and back to start/finish behind.

Two to go: Stewart
is strong in the backstretch, but Kyle on his bumper out of Turn Four.
Edwards and Busch do a little jockeying behind Stewart as they take the
white flag.

One to go: Stewart leads with Busch, Edwards and Bowyer following.

Busch,
right on Tony's bumper out of the superstretch, looks like he is
attached to Stewart's car through Turn Three and then loosens him up.
Stewart drifts up and it looks like Busch will be able to go low and
take the lead, but somehow Stewart stays in control comes back down as
they enter Turn Four edge down and shut the door on Busch. Stewart
sustains a little wiggle and stayed in front. Edwards now takes a shot
at Stewart out of Turn Four but he'll cross the finish line with his
front bumper stuck to Stewart's back bumper.

3:46 p.m. Stewart wins the Camping World 300
with Carl Edwards right on his bumper. Wow. Great stuff. Stewart passed
23 cars in the last 11 laps. He's got to be a little happier. 

"After this morning, this is great," Stewart said. "This is a great way to rebound."

---Keith McShea

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