The NASCAR Sprint Cup series rolled into Atlanta this week at a track where Kyle Busch had struggled throughout his entire career.
On Sunday, at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Busch won his first Cup race at the track and the first ever Cup win for Toyota.
The Kobalt Tools 500 began with Jeff Gordon starting on the pole with Dale Earnhardt Jr. along side. Earnhardt ended up led the first lap and drove away from the rest of the field. He began putting many drivers a lap down with just 20 laps run in the race. The driver of the No. 88 car had put about half of the field a lap down before a caution flag waved over the field for debris on lap 39.
Due to the caution waving everyone took advantage by making their first pit stops of the day, but Kasey Kahne, who was sitting in eighth place missed pit road and was forced to restart at the tail end of the lead lap cars. Pit stops would be key in today's race due to the lack of grip in the tires and the track, causing the speeds to remain relatively low.
Five different phases that took place in the race Sunday. The first phase was when Earnhardt Jr. led at the beginning of the race. The second took place when Kyle Busch took the lead away from Earnhardt. The third was when Clint Bowyer took the lead from Busch later in the race during another set of green flag pit stops. The fourth occurred when Carl Edwards took comand of the field by passing Kyle Busch which seemed to be the turning point in the race because Edwards drove away from Busch. It looked as if Edwards had the race won, but with about seventy laps to go his transmission broke on the car, ending his day. Edwards would end up finishing in 42nd position. The last and final phase was when Edwards dropped out of the race allowing Kyle Busch to take the lead and never look back from there.
Kyle Busch finally got his first win of 2008, the first time that a foreign name plate has won in the cup series since 1954 when a Jaguar won.
Not everyone from the Toyota camp was happy at the end of the, though. Tony Stewart finished second, but was very upset with Goodyear in his post race interview. Stewart said that these were the worst tires Goodyear has ever brought to the track and that they should leave NASCAR if they are going to continue making drivers race on these terrible tires.
The driver of the No. 20 Home Depot car also said that any other tire company could do a better job supplying NASCAR with its tires. I think that Stewart is going a little overboard with this tire situation because there were no cut tires today which is a good thing. The tires may have made the cars harder to handle but it was the same for all 43 drivers. Goodyear fixed the tire problem that they had last week in Las Vegas where we had a number of flat tires and hard hits because of the tires. Goodyear did a better job this week and I think Stewart was a little harsh on them.
The top ten finishers in the race were Kyle Busch, Stewart, Earnhardt Jr., Biffle, Jeff Gordon, Bowyer, Harvick, Kenseth, Vickers, and Jeff Burton rounded out the top ten. Kyle Busch also stayed at the top of the point standings with Biffle, Harvick, Newman and Burton. This week at Atlanta is now in the history books and we can all look forward to next weeks racing action in Bristol, Tenn.