Oh What A Feeling!
It's been almost a year since Kyle Busch made history by winning NASCAR's first race in the "Car of Tomorrow" at Bristol. On Sunday, another first from Kyle Busch. His win at the Kobalt Tools 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway was the first for Toyota (Denny Hamlin did win a Gatorade Duel, but since it's a non-points event, it does not count as an official victory). It was the first win in NASCAR's top series by a foreign car since Al Keller won in a Jaguar back in 1954.
Busch was the dominant car in the field on Sunday. He led 173 of the 325 laps. By far and away, the most of any driver. The race was slowed by eight cautions. Half of the cautions were for debris or fluid on the track. Elliott Sadler himself was responsible for three of the cautions, spinning on three different occasions. The third time, he finally hit the wall causing damage to his car. One of the cautions nearly involved race winner Kyle Busch. Kasey Kahne spun on lap 114, then nearly made contact with Busch.
Joe Gibbs Toyotas finished 1-2, with Tony Stewart finishing behind Busch. Dale Earnhardt Jr had another solid run with a third place finish. and Jeff Gordon rounded out the top five. Clint Bowyer led 52 laps on his way to a sixth place run with his teammate Kevin Harvick coming in seventh. Rounding out the top ten were Matt Kenseth, Brian Vickers, and Jeff Burton.
Carl Edwards spent his week under the microscope after he and his race team got a harsh punishment after Las Vegas when his oil tank lid was missing in post-race inspection. He was in contention for much of the race. But with 51 laps to go, his transmission broke. His three-peat bid ended with a 42nd place finish.
Besides Kyle Busch's win, the talk after the race were the tires made by Goodyear. And to say the least, the talk was not good. In the first four weeks of the season, there has been numerous problems with tires going flat or blowing. But it seemd to be the toughest this weekend at Atlanta. Some drivers voiced their displeasure. Jeff Gordon told the press that it was the hardest day he ever had at the track. The harshest words came from Tony Stewart. He did not hold back on criticism during his post-race interview with Fox Sports. Stewart in his interview called it "The most pathetic racing tire I've ever been on in my professional career". He didn't stop there. After making note of the racing series' that Goodyear has left, Stewart went on to say that "Goodyear can't build a tire that's worth a crap". For his part, Goodyear's marketing manager for racing Justin Fantozzi said that the company were happy with the tire. He went on to tell the media that tire development is a never ending process.
The sport now gets ready for what is a favorite track among many NASCAR fans. The sport will spend next weekend at the Bristol Motor Speedway in.