Tony Stewart believes his battle for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup with Carl Edwards was one of the best in the history of the sport.
The top two in the title race finished the year equal on points, after a head-to-head fight for race victory in the season finale at Homestead.
Stewart came out on top because he won more races during the season, but he has paid tribute to the part played by Edwards in making their fight so special.
"What I'll remember most about this season is just those last three weeks and that battle between Carl and I," Stewart said. "That's what people will remember.
"Something that I'm pretty proud of – and I know Carl is too – is that 10 years down the road when they talk about this championship, it's not going to be about Tony Stewart winning it. It's going to be about the battle that Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards had. I'm just blown away by that, really. I truly feel it was one of the best battles in the history of the sport because of that."
Stewart also played down any comparisons between his title win as a co-owner of his own team, and Alan Kulwicki's triumph as an owner/driver with a much smaller squad in 1992.
"It's great to be a partner with Gene Haas and win a championship as an owner driver," he said. "But I want to make sure that people understand that what Alan Kulwicki did was truly remarkable, and what we did doesn't even compare.
"Alan did something that most likely will never be done again, so it's not fair to compare the two. He definitely did it the hard way."