NASCAR At Homestead: Tony Stewart's Chase Championship Celebration Begins

It's a surreal scene right now at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where Tony Stewart is celebrating his third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship on the track about 100 yards away from my perch in the press box.

Just moments after Stewart pulled into the makeshift Victory Lane – a giant stage assembled quickly on the frontstretch like the set of a Super Bowl halftime show – the skies opened up and completely drenched the entire track.

Some fans ran for cover, but others – particularly those wearing the red of Stewart's sponsor, Office Depot – stayed and pushed their way toward the front of the grandstand.

The storm quickly dissipated, but it had amazing timing. If it had come even a few minutes earlier, the race would have been delayed for at least two hours – or possibly been stopped early.

Several veteran reporters in the press box were as in as much disbelief over tonight's developments, muttering words like "Unbelievable!" and "Amazing!"

And why not? There haven't been too many races like this in NASCAR history – and certainly not in the Chase era.

Stewart appeared to simply will his way to the championship and won it out of sheer determination. We're often told drivers can only make the car go so fast, but this night debunked that myth.

The driver they call "Smoke" just wanted it more. He did whatever it took on the restarts, making aggressive four-wide passes and other jaw-dropping moves.

And after he had early trouble – a hole in the grille and contact with David Reutimann – Stewart's confidence never wavered. During a rain delay with Edwards in front of him, he still kept up his barrage of trash talk.

Stewart's swagger and the way he won this championship will seal it in the history books as one of NASCAR's all-time great Chases – and even races.

Five wins in 10 races after having no victories the entire regular season. Actually tying in the point standings and having the championship decided on a tiebreaker.

It's unreal, incredible, epic, classic.

And the accolades for Stewart, Edwards, NASCAR and this Chase are just beginning.

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