Kobalt Tools 500 Race Recap: Racing, Retaliation, and Repeat Winner

2010 Atlanta1 NSCS Kurt Busch burnout victory lap

HAMPTON, Ga. (March 7, 2010) — Kurt Busch won two races Sunday: the Kobalt Tools 500 and the Carl Edwards 25.

In a race that went 16 laps—nearly 25 miles—past its scheduled distance, after Edwards retaliated against Brad Keselowski for an incident earlier in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Busch took advantage of a strong restart to grab the lead during the second attempt at a green-white-checkered-flag restart and crossed the finish line .482 seconds ahead of runner-up Matt Kenseth.

jr hendrick

Juan Pablo Montoya, who was closing in on Busch near the end of the regulation 325 laps, finished third but lost his chance to battle for the victory when Edwards hit Keselowski’s No. 12 Dodge on the frontstretch and sent it flying on Lap 323.

Keselowski’s car landed on its roof in the tri-oval, righted itself and slid into the Turn 1 wall. After extensive clean-up, NASCAR restarted the race on Lap 332—without Edwards, who was black-flagged on Lap 326—with Busch assuming the lead from Clint Bowyer, who had taken the point on a two-tire pit stop under caution on Lap 324.

2010 Atlanta1 NSCS Joey Logano accident

Before Busch could take the white flag, however, a seven-car pileup in Turn 3 caused the 11th caution of the race and set up the second try at the green-white-checkered.

Edwards’ aggression toward Keselowski was payback for a Lap 40 wreck in Turn 2, where Edwards felt Keselowski didn’t give him enough room.

“Brad knows the deal between him and I,” said Edwards, who returned to the track on Lap 191 after losing 150 laps in the garage. “The scary part was that his car went airborne, which was not at all what I expected.

2010 Atlanta1 NSCS green flag

“At the end of the day, we come out to race, and people got to have respect for one another. I have a lot of respect for people’s safety, and I wish that wouldn’t have gone like it did, but I’m glad he’s OK. We’ll just go on and race some more, and maybe him and I won’t have any more incidents together—that’d be the best thing.”

The wreck, with Keselowski running sixth at the time, was eerily similar to a collision involving the two drivers last April at Talladega, where Keselowski held his line at the bottom of the track and won the race after Edwards No. 99 Ford flew into the catch fence, injuring eight spectators.

2010 Atlanta1 NSCS pit stops

“He cut down on me on a restart, and I lifted (off the accelerator), and I couldn’t lift fast enough for him,” Keselowski said of the Lap 40 wreck. “I lifted for him to let him in, but I was there. I don’t know what more you could do.

“I apologized to him, but there’s nothing I could do in that situation, and to come back and just intentionally wreck someone—that’s not cool. It could have killed somebody in the grandstands. I know that it’s a little ironic that it’s got me saying that, but at least I didn’t do it intentionally when it happened.

kurt and kasey atlanta

“It’s going to be interesting to see how NASCAR reacts to it. They have the ball. If they’re going to allow people to intentionally wreck each other at tracks this fast, we will hurt someone, either in the cars or in the grandstand.”

Busch claimed the 21st victory of his career and his first with crew chief Steve Addington, who joined Penske Racing during the offseason after guiding Busch’s brother, Kyle, to 12 victories in 2008 and 2009 with Joe Gibbs Racing.

kurt leads field at atlanta

“With Steve Addington, all of his new ideas, I never knew how we could mesh them together and how soon we were able to do it,” Busch said. “Even on those restarts at the end, I just felt like we had the car to beat.”
Fourth-place finisher Kasey Kahne led the most laps (144), but his car tightened at the end of the race. Paul Menard ran fifth and AJ Allmendinger sixth, giving Richard Petty Motorsports a 4-5-6 finish, the organization’s best result since announcing a switch from Dodge to Ford late last year.

2010 Atlanta1 NSCS Kurt Busch Victory Lane

Brian Vickers, Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick and Scott Speed completed the top 10.

Notes: Dale Earnhardt Jr. regained two lost laps during the last two cautions and finished 15th. He’s 13th in the Cup standings, seven points out of 12th, the last Chase-eligible position. … Harvick retained the points lead by 26 over Kenseth and 59 over Biffle.

Final Results: Kobalt Tools 500
  1. Kurt  Busch
  2. Matt Kenseth
  3. Juan Pablo Montoya
  4. Kasey Kahne
  5. Paul Menard
  6. AJ Allmendinger
  7. Brian Vickers
  8. Greg Biffle
  9. Kevin Harvick
  10. Scott Speed
  11. Marcos Ambrose
  12. Jimmie Johnson
  13. Tony Stewart
  14. Regan Smith
  15. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  16. Bill Elliott
  17. Ryan Newman
  18. Jeff Gordon
  19. Elliott Sadler
  20. Jeff Burton
  21. Denny Hamlin
  22. Bobby Labonte
  23. Clint Bowyer
  24. Mike Bliss
  25. Kyle Busch
  26. David Gilliland
  27. Martin Truex Jr.
  28. Sam Hornish Jr.
  29. Jamie McMurray
  30. Travis Kvapil
  31. Kevin Conway
  32. Boris Said
  33. Mark Martin
  34. Max Papis
  35. Joey Logano
  36. Brad Keselowski
  37. David Ragan
  38. Joe Nemechek
  39. Carl Edwards
  40. David Reutimann
  41. Dave Blaney
  42. Michael McDowell
  43. Robby Gordon
Kobalt Tools 500 Race Recap: Racing, Retaliation, and Repeat Winner Kobalt Tools 500 Race Recap: Racing, Retaliation, and Repeat Winner Reviewed by Admin on Monday, March 08, 2010 Rating: 5