Stewart and teammate Kyle Busch finished 1-2 Saturday, combining to hold off Dale Earnhardt Jr., who finished third.
The Joe Gibbs Racing teammates showed they have learned some important lessons about cooperation from the drivers at Hendrick, the team that fired Busch to make room for Earnhardt Jr.
"We worked with each other the whole race. That's something that, you know, we've learned that from [those] guys," Stewart said. "And it just shows if you get two of these guys to work with each other, Kyle and I can. I think Kyle and I could have stayed up front all day no matter how many guys challenged."
That will be tested in the 500 and the expected showdown between Hendrick and Gibbs.
It will be Stewart, Busch and Denny Hamlin, who won his Daytona qualifying race Thursday, against Hendrick's all-star cast of Earnhardt, two-time defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon and Casey Mears.
Earnhardt, Daytona pole-winner Johnson and Gordon are all former 500 winners. Gibbs' drivers still are looking for that first win in NASCAR's biggest event.
But Earnhardt Jr.'s convinced Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing are for real.
"The Toyota has been fast," said Junior, who had his string of Speedweeks victories ended at two. "Those guys, you know, got knowledge to get cars around the track, know how to get to Victory Lane. They're going to be tough, I think, all year."
Joe Gibbs Racing switched from Chevrolets to Toyotas over the winter, giving the Japanese automaker a marquee team for its second season on the Sprint Cup and Nationwide circuits.
Stewart and Busch put on a good show Saturday, leading 93 of the 120 laps.
"This car was just fast," said Stewart, who finished second in both the Budweiser Shootout and his 150-mile qualifying race earlier in Daytona's Speedweeks. "It just had so much speed."