Kasey Kahne grabbed the lead for the final time with 30 laps to go on his way to his first career Coca-Cola 600 win at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Kahne led a total of 158 laps to earn his third win of the 2006 season and fourth of his career. "The...
Kasey Kahne grabbed the lead for the final time with 30 laps to go on his way to his first career Coca-Cola 600 win at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Kahne led a total of 158 laps to earn his third win of the 2006 season and fourth of his career.
"The car was great all night," said Kahne. "We just needed to get going there at the end. I knew we needed to be loosened up to do that, and these guys did an awesome job again.
"What an awesome win, to win the 600."
Jimmie Johnson, who was attempting to win his fourth straight 600, wound up second.
"We were close, we had a great car tonight," said Johnson. "We had the fastest car at times but just not in that last segment. On that last pit stop we put on four tires when a lot of those guys put on two. I thought that was going to be what we needed but we just didn't have enough speed at the end."
Carl Edwards was third, "We kept freeing it up and then we got a little too free in, but that is what it took.We were so bad and to come back and finish third, I am so proud of my team."
Mark Martin and Matt Kenseth complete the top five.
"I can't say enough about my team," said Martin who ran his last 600 Sunday night. "They give me such great race cars every week. I am so thankful."
Turn four once again proved to be treacherous on the newly resurfaced LMS. There were 15 cautions for 66 laps with many of those yellow flags involving NASCAR's biggest stars.
Tony Stewart was transported to a local hospital for the second night in a row. In Saturday's Busch race he took a hard hit into the wall injuring his shoulder. He was treated and cleared to race in the Cup event, but took another hard lick into the wall on lap 34.
He was treated and released after being diagnosed with a fractured lower shoulder blade.
It was a bad night for former NASCAR champions all the way around. Dale Jarrett, Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch were all involved in separate accidents. All-in-all, there was a lot or crushed sheet metal and hurt feelings by the end of NASCAR's longest race.
The new smaller fuel cell NASCAR implemented for this race made it a long night for the crews - gas was required roughly every 17 minutes, stacking up an average of 14 pit stops for most lead lap teams throughout the night. The variety of strategies that emerged because of the glut of service stops made for an ever-changing race, with 37 lead changes amongst 16 drivers.
Jimmie Johnson continues to light up the top of the Nextel point leader board. Matt Kenseth (-109), Mark Martin (-209), Tony Stewart (-231), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (-271), Kasey Kahne (-292), Jeff Gordon (-410), Jeff Burton (-411), Kyle Busch (-424) and Kevin Harvick (-435) complete the top ten.