Tony Stewart may have attracted the most attention going into the Oral-B 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but it was Kasey Kahne who ended up brushing aside all competitiors to win after the race ended up going 10 laps beyond the scheduled 325. It was his first win of the season.
Kahne surged to the lead on a restart with 24 laps remaining, holding his position until a conflict between Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. forced a slowdown with only 2 laps to go. This was then followed by a muti-car crash that wiped out polesitter Kevin Harvick, on Turn 1, necessitating a second 2-lap shootout attempt, which saw Kahne overtake Matt Kenswth’s No. 20 Toyota, pullin away to beat him to the finish by .547 seconds. A result, both Kahne and Kenseth clinched their spots to compete in the Sprint Cup Chase, leaving just 2
leaving just two of 16 positions in NASCAR's 10-race playoff open for Saturday's regular-season finale at Richmond International Raceway.
Denny Hamlin came in 3rd, followed by Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards. It was also a good day for Danica Patrick who finished 6th, beating the best previous finish by a female driver, Janet Guthrie, who came in 10th at Atlanta in 1978.
Things, however, did not go well at all for Tony Stewart who hit the wall twice. The first accident occurred following a restart on Lap 123, when Kyle Busch's car “pinched” him into the outside wall off Turn 2. Both cars were significantly damaged, but kept racing until Stewart blew his right front tire in nearly the same spot 12 laps later, again sending him hard into the Turn 2 wall, wrecking his car beyond repair. As a result, Stewart ended up finishing 41st Credited with a 41st-place finish, out of a field of 43.He would now need to win at Richmond next Saturday to stay in contention for the Chase.