Karting Classic has familiar ending for Stewart

With a razor blade, a devoted crew chief, and a knack for passing cars, "Smoke" managed to end his 2011 in fitting fashion.

Despite talking all week about his recent lack of work in a kart, Tony Stewart still managed to steal the show at an event he was intregal in creating.

"This stuff is a good time," said Stewart of the first Indy Carting Classic on the floor of Conseco Fieldhouse on Sunday afternoon.

Of course, winning makes it all the better.

Like he has during most of the last four months, Stewart managed to find his way around half the field in pro series race and come home with the victory, the last one of a momentous 2011 season for the Columbus native.

"I think I took about three years off the crew chief's life today," said Stewart following the win. "I said 'I don't know what you do to these things because I haven't work with a go cart in so long and the technology's changed in them."

"I said I just need more forward bite and more side bite and he got it for us."

Stewart said a lot of the work was on the tires to get them to work on the slick surfaces, making it as if they were racing on the dirt track. The strategy paid off in a field that was filled with a number of Izod IndyCar Series drivers including Alex Tagliani, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Ed Carpenter, Tomas Scheckter, and John Andretti.

Starting sixth for the event, the changes paid off immediately for Stewart who shot quickly towards the front of the field and eventually passed pole sitter Austin Dillon for the lead. From there on out, the battle for the top spot was between Stewart and Andretti which went down to the final lap.

In the final turn the Number 43 cart made a move to the inside but the Number 14 was able to hold onto the lead across the line for the win.

"We've some how had to figure out a way to come from behind all this year," said Stewart of the win, again praising his crew for helping him to pull out the win.

As for the runner up Andretti, there were no hard feelings.

"I went up and told him he was greedy," said Andretti of the racing during the event. "He said 'We'll I'm giving you a ride home' so I guess he's pretty generous too."

Don't forget victorious as well in a year not soon to be forgotten for the driver of the number 14.