News & Multimedia

Race Recap: Kahne Wins At Phoenix; Edwards, Stewart Race To Dead Heat
AVONDALE, Ariz.—It was Ali-Frazier in the Garden. It was Celtics-Lakers with Bird and Magic.
 
It was NASCAR’s dream. Punch and counterpunch—the top two drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup trading shots in Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.
 
Yes, Kasey Kahne won the race—his first victory of the season and the 12th of his career—but Edwards and Stewart dominated the action as their battle for the 2011 championship remained as close as it was at the start of the day.
 
In a race between the only two drivers mathematically alive for the Cup championship, Edwards finished second and Stewart third, but Stewart led the most laps for the second straight week and leaves Phoenix three points behind Edwards as the drivers prepare to settle the issue in the season finale next Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
 
Jeff Burton ran fourth at Phoenix with Ryan Newman in fifth. AJ Allmendinger, David Reutimann, Marcos Ambrose, Paul Menard and Clint Bowyer completed the top 10.
 
“We couldn’t ask for anything more,” Edwards said. “It’s going to be fun. It’s neat to be able to go to Homestead and race it out. I’m sure these guys (Stewart’s team) are going to be good down there—they’re fast on the mile-and-a-halfs.
 
“I’m just proud of my guys today. They did a great job on pit road. Tony was really fast, and we got our car tuned in, and we were able to go up there and race with them and compete. It was just a good hard-fought day, and I’m really pumped about Homestead.”
 
Stewart appeared poised to win his fifth race in the Chase before the handling on his No. 14 Chevrolet deteriorated slightly in the final 100 laps.
 
“We just came up two spots shy,” Stewart said. “It was just a little too loose on entry those last two runs there. I thought that Darian (crew chief Darian Grubb) made a really good call there with just gas only at the end (on Stewart’s final pit stop on Lap 294), and we were able to run Jeff (Burton) down there and get back to third.
 
“Every point counts right now, and that’s why we raced Carl so hard and Kasey so hard to make sure we led enough laps to lead the most laps today (160). We are going for every single point we can get.”
 
Stewart said the formula for winning the title is simple.
 
“Just keep doing what we’re doing,” Stewart said. “We’re going to keep the pressure on him, and we’re going to make him sweat it out.”
 
Seven more drivers, all of whom started the Chase nine weeks ago with hopes of hoisting the Sprint Cup, were eliminated from championship contention. Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch joined Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Newman in a group that will be fighting for positions in the standings but not for a title.
 
In Johnson’s case, the run of consecutive championships ends at five.
 
Kahne, who will be Johnson’s teammate next year, chalked up a win for Red Bull Racing, whose owner/sponsor is withdrawing from that role at the end of the season, leaving the future of the organization in doubt.
 
Kahne pitted early during a late cycle of green-flag stops and took the lead on Lap 299 of 312 when Keselowski came to pit road. Edwards chased him for the final 14 circuits but finished .802 seconds behind.
 
“We have great cars,” said Kahne, who will leave Red Bull and its uncertain future for a stable seat at Hendrick Motorsports next season. “I feel like each week I’m going to the racetrack with as good a car as anybody out there, which has been really nice this season.
 
“We haven’t won in a while (since September 2009 at Atlanta). We put the whole race together today and then had a little luck. Everything that falls into winning a race, we had it today.”
 
Leading only those final 14 laps, Kahne stole the spotlight from the slugfest between Edwards and Stewart, but the action between the contenders overshadowed even Kahne’s win.
 
After a bold pass to the outside gave Stewart the lead over Kenseth, the polesitter, on Lap 36, Stewart began to rack up laps led, like so many sharp body blows to Edwards’ title hopes. But Edwards refused to fall.
 
Stewart dominated the first half of the race, but on Lap 167, Edwards passed Kenseth to lead for the first time. On that same Lap Stewart surged past Kenseth into second.
 
Edwards held Stewart at bay after a restart on Lap 173, but Stewart returned the favor after Brian Vickers wrecked Kenseth—belated revenge for an altercation at Martinsville—in Turn 3 on Lap 177. Stewart powered around Edwards on Lap 182, clearing him off Turn 4 with a make-yourself-stay-in-the-gas-and-hold-your-breath determination that brought fans in the grandstands to their feet.
 
Edwards chased Stewart for 39 laps thereafter, getting an eyeful of the TV panel on Stewart’s No. 14 as he tried everything in his repertoire to make a pass. Robby Gordon’s crash in Turn 3 on Lap 220, however, changed the game in Edwards’ favor.
 
On Lap 225, Stewart and Edwards restarted third and fourth, respectively behind Kurt Busch and Paul Menard, both of whom had used two-tire stops to get to the front of the field. Edwards moved forward, but Stewart fell back, as his handling started to suffer.
 
With an aggressive pass of Burton with nine laps left, however, Stewart made sure that Edwards wouldn’t leave Phoenix with a net gain in points—not even one.
 
“It may come to that,” Stewart said after the race.
Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Race Recap: Kahne Wins At Phoenix; Edwards, Stewart Race To Dead Heat
 
Race Recap: Kahne Wins At Phoenix; Edwards, Stewart Race To Dead Heat
It was NASCAR's dream. Punch and counterpunch—the top two drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup trading shots in Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.
Read More
Related Media
Jimmie Johnson
 
Johnson Clinches Seventh NASCAR Championship at Homestead
Jimmie Johnson earned the new nickname "Seven-Time" after winning the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which also earned him the 2016 Sprint Cup Series championship -- the seventh of his career. This came after a rough start to the day when Johnson was forced to start from the rear after unapproved adjustments to his car before the race.
Read More
Tony Stewart
 
Relive Tony Stewart's Victories at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Going into his final race this weekend at Homestead, Tony Stewart owns 49 NASCAR Sprint Cup wins. Among the most cherished to the Columbus, Indiana, native are – of course -- his two Brickyard 400 wins, in 2005 and 2007.
Read More
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
 
IMS End-of-Season Sale Set for Nov. 19
Fans can take advantage of the lowest prices of the season on their favorite Race Day apparel, souvenirs, diecasts and more on from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Media Center inside the famed oval. Discounted merchandise from the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, 100th Running of the Indy 500, Brickyard 400, Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational and the Red Bull Air Race will be included, with much more.
Read More
Veterans Day
 
Special Veterans Day Note from IMS President Doug Boles
Happy Veterans Day to all Veterans. On behalf of IMS fans everywhere, thank you for your service.
Read More
Jimmie Johnson
 
Johnson Scores Ninth Martinsville Win, Advances to Championship 4
Winless at the .526-mile short track since the spring race of 2013, Jimmie Johnson ended his “drought” on Sunday with a victory in the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 and earned a berth in the Championship 4 race, set for Nov. 20 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 711
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
RT @GrahamRahal: Even @Starbucks gets what #Indianapolis is all about! @indycar @ims #Indy500 #YepIBoughtThem https://t.co/UXKEZb1zi3
about 10 hours ago