Dale Earnhardt Jr. picked up his first poll of the 2010 Sprint Cup season for the Kobalt Tools 500. The weather was great for some hot action on the track that waited until the end, but tire issues became the big story for most of the race.
The first tire issue of the day came out on lap 4 as Robby Gordon blows his tire and then smacks into the wall. Only a few cars came down pit road for service. The next tire problem occurred on lap 18 as Clint Boyer and his car came down pit road to fix a flat.
David Ragan at lap 32 hits the wall, but continues on without brining out the caution. A couple more laps go by and his right front blows to bring out the caution. Kasey Kahne was able to lead all the cars off pit road.
After the green flag dropped it was not long before the caution came out again. Brad Keselowski barely touches Carl Edwards and then Carl goes high and smacks into Joey Logano. Carl wound up going behind the wall for repairs. "Guess he(Brad) was racing hard," said Carl.
This led to the first long green flag run that lasted until lap 78 for debris. Kasey Kahne wound up leading many more laps during this time. After the leaders pitted it was Kurt Busch able to get the lead of the race off pit road this time.
Kurt was able to break out a big lead in a hurry. Juan Pablo Montoya was able to reel him in, but it did not work. At lap 112 it was Dale Earnhardt Jr. with tire problems as he hits pit road. A couple laps go by and at the start finish line Mark Martin has a rear tire go down and bring out the caution.
Kurt Busch led more laps until Denny Hamlin was finally able to chase him down and take over the lead on lap 148. Green flag pit stops finally started around lap 154 and getting a speeding penalty was Jeff Gordon. The caution finally came out on lap 158 for Joey Logano and a tire that blew on his car.
During the next long green flag run saw Kasey Kahne move his way back into the lead of the whole while at lap 201 it was Jimmie Johnson having to come down pit road to replace tires early.
With 116 laps to go the second round of green flag pit stops finally occurred. With around 100 laps left the debris caution finally came out. Leaders pitted and Kasey Kahne led the cars off pit road again.
After the green flag dropped again it was Kasey Kahne leading some laps until Kurt Busch around 86 to go was fighting with Kahne for the lead of the race. After a bunch of laps Kahne was able to retake the lead of the race again.
59 laps left and Denny Hamlin came down pit road for tire problems. Around 8 laps left it was another round of green flag pit stops. Denny Hamlin though who pitted earlier wound up leading the race while Kurt Busch was chasing him down. Kasey Kahne though was so fast he took over the lead of the race with 42 laps left.
The next caution finally comes out with 37 laps left as Denny Hamlin blows a tire. The leaders pitted and Kurt Busch was able to beat Kasey off pit road for the lead of the race. The green flag drops and in the back Elliott Sadler and Max Papis get together. They start slowing up big time. Then it took around a lap before the caution finally came out. This caution though did bring in Jimmie Johnson down pit road for some repairs.
After the green flag dropped with fewer than 30 laps left Kurt Busch quickly took the lead of the race. With 17 laps left it was Juan Pablo Montoya moving into second place over Matt Kenseth and started to chase down Kurt.
With three laps left Kurt only had a half second lead over Juan, but the caution comes out as Carl Edwards, who was well over 100 laps down, hits Brad Keselowski . Brad winds up going airborne and takes a hard hit into the wall. This wound up causing Carl to get parked for the rest of the race and sent to the NASCAR hauler for an after race meeting.
"Wild ride that was uncalled for," said Brad. Carl though stated that he(Brad) knows the deal between us and that he was not expecting to see Brad do what he did.
The caution though brought in all the cars up front. Clint Boyer taking two tires wound up leading the race off pit road with Paul Menard in second. The green flag dropped and Kurt Busch with his four fresh tires was able to quickly get the lead of the race. At the tail end of the lap a mega wreck occurs involving Mark Martin, Jamie McMurray, Martin Truex Jr., Clint Boyer, and more cars.
At the time of the caution Kurt was leading while Juan Pablo Montoya was in second. Juan got a bad restart this time which help put Matt Kesneth in second as Kurt Busch wins the race.
Kurt Busch stated that he so happy to bring this car home to victory lane. "Even with all the restarts, I thought we had the strongest car."