Sunday, October 15, 2006
Kasey Kahne wins at Charlotte
The Chase For The Nextel Cup continued at Saturday's Bank Of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. Points leader Jeff Burton has a target on his back but he is a very smart guy and I would not be surprised if he won the Nextel Cup. NASCAR still has the cars using the smaller 14 gallon fuel cell so there would be plenty of pit stops. NASCAR announced after the race that they would return to using a 21 gallon fuel cell at Charlotte next year. Scott Riggs won the pole.
A big crash on lap 2 started when Todd Bodine-#4 Lucas Oil Chevy got loose and spun out Robby Gordon-#7 Menards Chevy. Denny Hamlin#11 FedEx Kinko's Chevy slowed down to avoid the crash but was rammed from behind by Mike Bliss-#49 What's Online.com Dodge and took out Mike Skinner-#72 Dutch Quality Stone Chevy. Hamlin's car was heavily damaged but his crew got him back on the track. He finished 28th and dropped to sixth in the points. Temmates Kasey Kahne-#9 MOPAR Dodge & Scott Riggs-#10 Stanley Tools Dodge lead early in the race. Dave Blaney-#22 Caterpillar Dodge spins on lap 16 to bring out a caution. Most guys pit but Tony Raines-#96 DPL Chevy stays out to lead. Riggs gets the lead back on lap 30.
Todd Kleuver-#06 3M Ford spins and takes out Ken Schrader-#21 Motorcraft Ford on lap 46 to bring out a caution. Most guys pit but Dale Earnhardt Jr-#8 Budweiser Chevy stays out to lead. After green flag pit stops, Kasey Kahne gets the lead back on lap 96. Reed Sorenson-#41 Target Dodge crashes on lap 115 to bring out a caution. Most guys pit for fuel but Elliott Sadler-#19 UAW-Dodge Dealers Dodge stays out to lead. He would have engine failure on lap 125 and Tony Raines led again. Kahne got the lead on lap 137.
After green flag pit stops, David Gilliland-#38 M&M's/Sam's Club Ford hits the inside wall on lap 163 to bring out a caution. Most guys pit but Sterling Marlin-#14 Ginn's Resorts Chevy stays out to lead. Jimmie Johnson-#48 Lowe's Chevy takes the lead on lap 168. After green flag pit stops, Kasey Kahne leads but is passed by Johnson on lap 210. More green flag stops and Kevin Harvick-#29 GM Goodwrench Chevy is penalized for speeding. His transmission isn't working properly. Jeff Burton-#31 Cingular Chevy stalls on pit road and goes down a lap. While J.J. Yeley-#18 Interstate Batteries Chevy is trying to get to pit road on lap 242, He tangles with Mark Martin-#6 AAA Ford and Martin's car is destroyed. Martin finishes 30th and drops to fourth in the points.
After pit stops, Carl Edwards-#99 Office Depot Ford has the lead but Kasey Kahne passes him on lap 256. A debris caution on lap 276 leaves 11 cars on the lead lap. Jeff Gordon-#24 Dupont Chevy blows an engine on lap 301. He finishes 24th and drops to tenth in the points. Jimmie Johnson takes fuel only to take the lead on lap 305 but Kasey Kahne takes the lead on lap 308 to win the race. Kahne moves up to eighth in the points.
Congratulations to Kasey Kahne, crew chief Kenny Francis and car owner Ray Evernham. Big top ten finishes for Bobby Labonte, Tony Raines & Joe Nemechek. Jeff Burton finished third and now leads Matt Kenseth by 45 points. It's looking good for Burton but next week's race at Martinsville should be interesting. Here's the top ten of the race.
1.9/Kasey Kahne/MOPAR/Dodge/Ray Evernham
2.48/Jimmie Johnson/Lowe's/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
3.31/Jeff Burton/Cingular/Chevy/Richard Childress
4.8/Dale Earnhardt Jr./Budweiser/Chevy/Dale Earnhardt Inc.
5.43/Bobby Labonte/Bugles/Dodge/Petty Enterprises
6.5/Kyle Busch/Delphi/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
7.96/Tony Raines/DLP/Chevy/Troy Aikman & Roger Staubach
8.99/Carl Edwards/Office Depot/Ford/Jack Roush
9.01/Joe Nemechek/Centrix Financial/Chevy/Bobby Ginn
10.25/Brian Vickers/GMAC/Chevy/Rick Hendrick