(WOMR file photo)
This weekend the spotlight was on the two car race for the 2011 Sprint Cup championship, as well as the newly reconfigured, and newly resurfaced racing facility.
I can tell you from my view in my seat in the Allison Tower, from walking through the pits, as well as strolling up and pit road, this new configuration is fantastic. Even though the racing groove started out very thin, with just one lane of racing through practice on Thursday and Friday, however, by the start of the Nationwide race on Saturday afternoon, the racing groove had widened out allowing some side-by-side racing in the Nationwide race.
By the end of the Nationwide race the groove widened just in time for the K&N West Series to take the track and widen out the groove even more! Both the Nationwide and the K&N races were action packed, and very exciting preliminary races that promised to lead up to a very good Sprint Cup race Sunday!
Early on in the race Tony Stewart took control. For the first half of the race it appeared that he was cruising to his 5th win in the first nine races of the Chase! But as the day proceeded on, Kasey Kahne stole the spotlight. Kahne may not be in the Chase, however, for one day at least, he was the talk of NASCAR when he won the Kobalt Tools 500 Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway.
This was Kahne’s first win for Red Bull Racing, his 11th career victory, and his first victory in 81 races.
“It feels so good,” Kahne said. “It’s been a long time coming. This whole Red Bull team has done an unbelievable job to keep working hard. Kenny Francis (crew chief) keeps on it – everybody at Red Bull, the car, the Toyota engine. It was a great run today. The guys did an awesome job. We fell back a little bit early and then came back and just kept getting it better. These guys haven’t given up in the last three months. It’s been really cool. It was really, really cool. It was slippery early, but as the tires built heat and got rubber on the track, the Goodyear tires came in pretty good. It ended up being a great race. I’m really excited.”
So the two-horse race for the championship leaves The Valley of The Sun heading for South Florida with exactly the same point spread that existed when they both drove through the tunnel Friday at Phoenix. Edwards leads Stewart by the slimmest of margins, just 3 points.
The drama is building for quite a spectacular championship weekend at Homestead! Stay tuned to see which one will unseat Mr. five Time, Jimmie Johnson!
Check out the unofficial results from the Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix.
With one race to go for the Sprint Cup championship here is the standings.
Twelve drivers, now one race, on championship, who will be the last man standing?
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!