Double file restarts late in the race helped very little as the driver of the Budweiser Number 9 Dodge Charger driven by Kasey Kahne crossed the finish line. After a series of late race cautions, Kahne held off Tony Stewart to win his first race of the season, 10th of his career, and his first road race career win. Richard Petty Motorsports owner, Kyle Petty was just as thrilled with Kahne's performance as anyone else.
"I feel just as good as he does," said the King, clad in his trademark cowboy hat and sunglasses. "It's great, man! It's great!"For Kasey, a dirt track racer from Washington,it was unbelievable.
"Unreal! Gosh, we had to hold him [#14, Tony Stewart] off for a while. We won a road-course race! Oh, my God, I can't believe this...to come out and win on a road course ... it feels great. I can't believe it."Kahne didn't have to pass to win as a late caution pit stop and error free performance by the #9 pit crew enabled Kahne to exit pit row in front of Stewart. Flawless driving on the last run helped Kasey hold off Stewart until the checker flag waved.
Stewart said "When he came out in front of us after that last set of pit stops, I was like, 'Oh, we might be in trouble here. "We could run about the same pace. I just couldn't get [to him]. I was a little too loose in the right-handers. Kasey just never made a mistake at the end he did an awesome job those last 20 laps and just never slipped a wheel, never missed a corner and never made a mistake."Stewart would finish second, increasing his season point standings over Jeff Gordon by 84 points. Marcos Ambrose would finish third, a great accomplishment considering he blew an engine during practice on Saturday and started at the rear of the field on Sunday. The third place finish matched Marcos career-best finish at the other road course at Watkins Glen last year when he also started 43rd. Marcos is definitely a contender at both road courses in the Sprint Cup series.
"Maybe if I started 42nd, I might finish second; and if I started 41st, I might win. Who knows?" Ambrose reflected. "But when you're down in the dumps like that after the Saturday we had, to finish with a day like what we had, we've got to be proud of ourselves."
The rest of the top 10 included, Jimmie Johnson finishing in 4th after he spun Kurt Bush. The apologetic Johnson apologized to Bush over the radio and in person after the race. Denny Hamlin placed 5th, Juan Montoya came in 6th, A.J. Allmendinger arrived in the 7th position, Clint Bowyer,Jeff Gordon and Elliott Sadler rounded out the top 10.
The win ended a 37 race drought for Kahne and ensured Richard Petty Motorsports would be financially back in action next week for the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The trip to victory lane also propelled the #9 to the 13th spot in the season point standings, just one away from the coveted top 12 that will compete for the 2009 Sprint Cup Championship.