Chasing Kahne: Kasey Kahne Wins Crazy Sonoma Event

Jen PrestonSenior Analyst IJune 21, 2009

SONOMA, CA - JUNE 21:  Kasey Kahne, driver of the #9 Budweiser Dodge, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at the Infineon Raceway on June 21, 2009 in Sonoma, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The King hasn't been to Victory Lane since Martinsville, when John Andretti went to victory lane. That was eleven years ago.

The No. 9 car has never won at Sonoma. Kasey Kahne has never had a top-10 at a road course; his best finish was a 14th, at Watkins Glen, and his last win was at Pocono...over a year ago.

But just before the race, Kahne told crew chief Kenny Francis that his car was the "best car ever at a road course."

On lap 81, after leader Scott Speed pulled onto pit road, Kahne took the lead. He would have to hold off the likes of Tony Stewart, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Marcos Ambrose to win the race.

In a crazy road race that saw seven cautions and even more spins, twenty, Kahne threw his arms into the air, grinning ear to ear.

"Feels great...I can't believe it to tell you the truth. I learned to drive on dirt, and to win on a road course takes the cake," Kahne said as he was hugged by Richard Petty.

"I feel just as good as he does. He's...he's great," The King said excitedly, patting his driver on the back.

"Happy father's day, Dad," Kahne added. "Have yourself a beer."

"Kasey never made a mistake," second place finisher Tony Stewart said. "The kid drove a great race." Stewart leads the points by 84 points.

It was an overall good day for Richard Petty Motorsports—but it didn't start out that way. A.J. Allmendinger fell off the lead lap on lap 29 and came back to finish seventh, and Reed Sorenson had a track bar fail on him on lap 33. Elliot Sadler, who ended up ninth, also lost a lap early.

"The nine team is the foundation of this team," Allmendinger said. "And Kasey is a foundation driver."

Clint Bowyer, part of the struggling Richard Childress Racing group, came home eighth in front of Jeff Gordon, who suffered a speeding penalty on lap

With his sixth place finish Juan Pablo Montoya is unofficially in the Chase.

Kurt Busch was punted by Jimmie Johnson on lap 89, but came back to finish a strong 15th.

"Two guys trying to go for the same spot on the track," Busch said. "I didn't expect that from Jimmie."

Busch went on to say his team was "poised for a top five spot" and thought Johnson should've been "a bit more patient." Johnson came up to the driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge and shook his hand.

Thirty six cars finished on the lead lap, a road course record.