Recently repaved and reconfigured, Phoenix International Raceway was supposed to be a wild card in this year's Chase. Hosting the next to last race on an unknown entity was bound to create some havoc. While it was not the wreckfest that many predicted, there was plenty of drama in the desert.
Kasey Kahne scored his first victory in more than two years on Sunday. He has consistently been running in the top five for the last couple of months, and his perseverance paid off with the win just one race before he leaves Red Bull Racing for Hendrick.
Points leader Carl Edwards was second, and Tony Stewart, just three points back, led the most laps and came home in third place. Joining Kahne, other lame ducks with top runs included David Reutiman in 7th and Clint Bowyer in 10th.
Geoffrey Bodine caused at least three cautions, and didn't even complete half the scheduled laps. Some things never change.
A sixth title for Jimmie Johnson. It is weird not having JJ already coasting to another Cup by this point in the season. The Carl vs Smoke show is damn good, as both guys are trying to win every week.
Brian Vickers! While his teammate, Kahne, is collecting wins, top-5's, and top of the line job offers, Vickers is carrying out petty vendettas on championship contenders. After deliberately wrecking three drivers at Martinsville, he came to Phoenix gunning for mild mannered Matt Kenseth. Vickers did take Kenseth out, and it was intentional. That is, it was intentional to everyone except for the hack nascar officials.
*** Due to their handling of Kyle Busch's situation, and, now, Vickers' no-calls, I will refer to nascar in lower case form until they earn back the all caps.