Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Roush Fenway Racing driver Carl Edwards, who qualified on the pole position, won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2010 Kobalt Tools 500 held on Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona, United States. This became his first Sprint Cup win of the season. Throughout the course of the race there were five cautions and fourteen lead changes among five different drivers.
With 47 laps remaining in the 312 lap race, Denny Hamlin was first, but Edwards passed him one lap later. Edwards maintained the lead to win the race, while Hamlin made a pit stop because of a possible shortage of fuel. Ryan Newman took second, ahead of Logano in third. Greg Biffle managed the fourth position, after starting fourth on the grid. Jimmie Johnson, from the Hendrick Motorsports team, clinched the fifth position, after leading none of the laps during the race. Kevin Harvick followed Johnson in sixth, while Matt Kenseth could only manage seventh.
Mark Martin, Kurt Busch, and Jamie McMurray rounded out the top ten finishers in the race. Hamlin, the current Drivers’ championship leader, led 190 laps and finished twelfth. Following the race, Hamlin commented, “It’s pretty disappointing. We were in a good position there heading into next week. We just have to outrace them next week. We had a good car today and it didn’t work out strategy wise. We did what we had to do today we just didn’t have it at the end. It’s frustrating. We had a car that could win and that is something we’ve never had here. We’ll just go there next week and try to win the race. I don’t know if we were trying to be smart or conservative there are really short.” “I was sitting pretty,” Hamlin continued. “I have to leave Phoenix in Phoenix. I can’t control it. I did everything I could do today and it didn’t work out. It could have been a lot worse. We could have lost the points lead and we didn’t. We’ve had the best car in this Chase and might not win it. The full-court press will be on next week.”
Going into the final race of the season, Hamlin remained the Drivers’ championship leader with 6462 points, fifteen points ahead of Johnson in second, and 46 ahead of Harvick in third. This is the closest that the championship has been since the Chase format was introduced. The Manufacturers’ ?hampionship standings are led by Chevrolet with 255, 42 points ahead of Toyota and 88 ahead of Ford. Johnson commented, “We had to work whatever magic we could at the end and now we have a points race heading to Miami. I know what my mindset is. I hope the pressure of being on Denny’s heels wears on him this week. One race winner take all, it’s going to be a hell of a show.”