Monday, June 22, 2009

Kahne wins at Sonoma; Petty first win since 1999

by M Roberts

It had been 37 races since Kasey Kahne had won a race, and of all his nine career wins, none had been more diverse than his winning the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway on Sunday.

Kahne not only gave Richard Petty his first win as an owner since John Andretti won at Martinsville in 1999, but it gave gave Kahne some validation as a true driver of stock cars. There have only been seven active drivers to win on road courses between the combination of Sonoma and Watkins Glen and Kahne has joined that fraternity of drivers with an excellent performance in holding off one of the best road course drivers, Tony Stewart.

Kahne managed to hold off a succession of restarts in the last 20 laps, including and green, white, checkered finish, to win his first road course event. In the process, Kahne was able to grab his first win since over a year ago at Pocono.

Kahne held off not only Stewart, but Marcos Ambrose and Juan Pablo Montoya down the stretch to get the victory where double file restarts had no bearing at all at the end of the race. On three separate occasions, Kahne held onto his top spot despite the best of the best hunting him down.

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