Red Bull Rundown: No. 4 Red Bull Finally Gets His Wings

Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
Kasey Kahne finally broke his winless streak taking home his first victory of the season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday.

The victory in Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500 was Kahne's 12th career win and his first since Atlanta in 2009. Prior to Sunday, Kahne had gone 81 races without a win.

Kahne, driver of the No. 4 Red Bull Toyota seemed to find his groove with the team late in the season earning four top-fives in the past six races, not to mention his first victory with Red Bull Racing. In the 2011 season Kahne has had eight top-fives and 14 top-10s.

The victory comes as Kahne is about to head to Hendrick Motorsports next season, while it is still unclear whether Red Bull Racing will return to the Cup series in 2012. The win is is just the second in the Cup series for the organization.

After starting the race in 10th, Kahne fell back to 19th around Lap 73 and on Lap 93 Kahne made contact with Geoff Bodine, causing Bodine to spin. Kahne made a quick recovery and by Lap 175 was all the way up in fifth and continued to climb.

Kahne took the lead on Lap 299 of 312 after a late cycle of green-flag pit stops and was able to hold off Carl Edwards for the final 14 laps finishing .802 seconds ahead of Edwards.

"It’s been a long time coming," said Kahne in victory lane, dedicating the race to his grandmother and mother following the loss of his great grandfather last week. "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."

"It’s been a long season. The guys haven’t given up. We keep getting better as the season goes and it takes time to finish things up and get better when you come to something new. These guys have done an unbelievable job. It feels really good to get Red Bull in victory lane – I just wanted to win for them really bad before the switch. Man, they’ve been a big part of NASCAR. I hope in some way they are still a big part of NASCAR because I know everyone really enjoys them being here.”

Edwards and Tony Stewart finished second and third, respectively, after battling for the lead for much of the race.

The Sprint Cup Series heads to Homestead-Miami Speedway next Sunday for the finale in which Edwards and Stewart will compete for the championship.
Red Bull Rundown: No. 4 Red Bull Finally Gets His Wings Red Bull Rundown: No. 4 Red Bull Finally Gets His Wings Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, November 14, 2011 Rating: 5