2011 Kobalt Tools 400

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2011 Kobalt Tools 400
Race details[1][2][3][4]
Race 3 of 36 in the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season
Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas logo.jpg
Date March 6, 2011 (2011-03-06)
Location Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Clark County, Nevada
Course Permanent racing facility
1.5 mi (2.4 km)
Distance 267 laps, 400.5 mi (644.5 km)
Weather Sunny with a high around 71; wind out of the SW at 10 mph.
Average speed 135.508 miles per hour (218.079 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing
Time 28.589
Most laps led
Driver Tony Stewart Stewart Haas Racing
Laps 166
Winner
No. 99
Carl Edwards
Roush Fenway Racing
Television in the United States
Network Fox
Announcers Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds

The 2011 Kobalt Tools 400 was a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car race that was held on March 6, 2011 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Clark County, Nevada. Contested over 267 laps, it was the third race of the 2011 season. The race was won by Carl Edwards for the Roush Fenway Racing team. Tony Stewart finished second, and Juan Pablo Montoya clinched third.

Pole position driver Matt Kenseth maintained his lead on the first lap to begin the race, as Greg Biffle, who started in the fourth position on the grid, remained behind him. On the 8th lap, the first caution was given because Robby Gordon spun sideways. Following the second caution, Stewart became the leader, and increased his lead to 6.5 seconds by lap 95. Afterward, Stewart was given a penalty for speeding on pit road, giving the lead to Edwards. Edwards remained the leader to win for the second time at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

There were seven cautions and 22 lead changes among 15 different drivers throughout the course of the race. It was Edwards' first win in the 2011 season, and the 20th of his career. The result moved Edwards up to the third position in the Drivers' Championship, seven points behind Stewart while being tied with Montoya. Ford maintained its lead in the Manufacturers' Championship, three points ahead of Chevrolet and five ahead of Toyota, with 33 races remaining in the season. A total of 152,000 people attended the race, while 10.1 million watched it on television.

Report[edit]

Background[edit]

Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the race track where the race was held

The track, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, is one of ten intermediate tracks to hold NASCAR races.[5] The race is scheduled to be held on the standard track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway; a four-turn D-shaped oval track that is 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long.[6] The track's turns are banked at 20 degrees, while the front stretch, the location of the finish line, and the back stretch on the opposite side of the track are banked at nine degrees.[6] The racetrack has seats for 142,000 spectators.[6]

Before the race, Kyle Busch was leading the Drivers' Championship with 80 points, and Kurt Busch stood in second with 77 points. Tony Stewart and A. J. Allmendinger followed in third and fourth with 69 points, four ahead of Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin in fifth and sixth. Bobby Labonte with 64 had the same number of points as Ryan Newman and Juan Pablo Montoya. They were one point ahead of David Gilliland in tenth.[7] In the Manufacturers' Championship, Ford, Toyota and Chevrolet were leading with twelve points, four points ahead of Dodge.[8] Jimmie Johnson was the race's defending winner from 2010.[9]

Practice and qualifying[edit]

Two practice sessions were held in prepartation for the race; one on Friday and the other on Saturday. The first session lasted 90 minutes long, while the second was 75 minutes long.[10] Matt Kenseth was quickest with a time of 28.939 seconds in the first session, 0.047 seconds faster than David Ragan.[11] Montoya was just off Ragan's pace, followed by Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, and Marcos Ambrose. Stewart was seventh, still within a second of Kenseth's time.[11] Also in the first practice session, Jeff Gordon spun sideways after the fourth turn.[12]

Forty-four cars were entered for qualifying, but only forty-three could qualify for the race because of NASCAR's qualifying procedure.[13] Kenseth clinched the fifth pole position of his career, with a time of 28.589 seconds.[14] He was joined on the front row of the grid by Ambrose.[14] Edwards qualified third, Biffle took fourth, and Kyle Busch started fifth.[14] Joey Logano, Allmendinger, Newman, Martin Truex, Jr. and Martin rounded out the top ten.[14] The driver that failed to qualify for the race was Brian Keselowski.[14] Once the qualifying session completed, Kenseth commented, "Qualifying is not my strong suit, but I knew we had a really fast car today when we did our last qualifying run [in practice]. Honestly, this is the most nervous I've been before qualifying in probably five years at least, because I knew we had a shot at the pole, and I knew last week we really messed up. I didn't want to mess up a fast car today, so I was really happy with that."[15]

In the second and final practice, Kenseth remained quickest with a time of 29.330 seconds. Kyle Busch followed in second, ahead of Newman and Edwards. Biffle was fifth quickest, with a time of 29.393 seconds. David Reutimann, Truex, Stewart, Logano, and Denny Hamlin rounded out the first ten positions. Ragan, who was second in the first session, could only manage 12th.[16]

Race[edit]

The race, the third in the season, began a 3:00 p.m. EST and was televised live in the United States on Fox.[1] The conditions on the grid were dry before the race with the air temperature at 60 °F (16 °C).[17] Las Vegas Motor Speedway Chaplain Joe Freiburger began pre-race ceremonies, by giving the invocation. Next, Kristen Hertzenberg, from Phantom-Las Vegas Spectacular, performed the national anthem, and Gray Abercrombie, Lowe's sports marketing manager, gave the command for drivers to start their engines. During the pace laps, Hamlin had to move to the rear of the grid because of changing his engine.[17]

Kenseth retained his pole position lead into the first corner, followed by Biffle, who started fourth. Over the following two laps, Edwards fell to the fourth position, while Biffle passed Kenseth for the lead. After starting 16th on the grid, Trevor Bayne moved up to 11th by the fifth lap. On the following lap, Truex fell three positions to ninth. At lap eight, the first caution was given after Robby Gordon spun sideways. Most of the front runners pitted during the caution, while Jeff Gordon stayed out to become the leader. During the lap 12 restart, Jeff Gordon was the leader ahead of Stewart and Montoya. However, Stewart passed Gordon to become the leader on the next lap. Also on the same lap, Kenseth drove to pit road after having a flat tire. On the 14th lap, Stewart remained the leader, while Kurt Busch moved to the second position ahead of Jeff Gordon. Afterward, Andy Lally spun sideways, prompting the second caution. Few drivers pitted during the caution. At the lap 18 restart, Stewart was first, followed by Busch, Gordon, and Montoya. By the 20th lap, Reutimann, who started 25th on the grid, had moved up 18 positions.[17]

By lap 24, Stewart maintained a 1.7 second lead over the second position, as Gordon fell to sixth. Stewart continued to increase his lead over the next ten laps, while Busch remained in the second position. On the 35th lap, Reutimann moved up to the sixth position. Seven laps later, Jamie McMurray and Brad Keselowski made contact with each other. On the following lap, Paul Menard moved up to 12th. At the 45th lap, Stewart had a 3.6 second lead over Busch, as Johnson fell to 23rd. On the next lap, Biffle claimed second away from Busch. During lap 49, green flag pit stops began with Kurt Busch and Reutimann. On lap 51, Gordon, Montoya, pitted, as Biffle became the leader. Once green flag pit stops concluded on lap 62, Stewart reclaimed the first position ahead of Kyle Busch. Two laps later, Biffle claimed moved up to the fourth position. On the next lap, Bill Elliott claimed the fifth position. Stewart increased his lead to 1.6 second ahead of second by the 67th lap. At lap 74, Gordon moved up into the tenth position after passing Logano. Four laps later, Kevin Harvick moved up to the 14th position. On lap 81, Harvick claimed the 13th position.[17]

Carl Edwards won the race.

During lap 87, Gordon moved up to the tenth position. By the 95th lap, Stewart had increased his lead to 6.5 seconds over second place. On the next lap, the third caution was given after Kyle Busch collided into the wall because of a flat tire. Most of the frontrunners pitted during the caution. At the 101 restart, Stewart was the leader. On the following lap, Kurt Busch and Kahne spun sideways, prompting the fourth caution to be given. On the lap 106 restart, Stewart remained the leader ahead of Edwards and Biffle in second and third. On the 107th lap, Biffle passed Edwards for the second position. Afterward, Kyle Busch's engine failed, causing the fifth caution to come out. At lap 115, Stewart led Biffle on the restart. During lap 121, Edwards passed Biffle to claim second, as Stewart increased his lead. Ten laps later, Harvick moved up to the sixth position. On lap 138, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. claimed the seventh position, while Truex fell to sixth. Eleven laps later, the sixth caution was given because Gilliland collided into the wall after having a flat tire. During the caution, most of the teams pitted. Also on the same lap, Stewart and Harvick received a penalty after having speeding on pit road.[17]

At the lap 156 restart, Edwards became the leader ahead of Truex. Edwards maintained the lead on the next lap, as Montoya moved up into third. By lap 159, Edwards had a 1.25 lead over Truex. Five laps later, Johnson passed Gordon for the ninth position. Edwards continued to increase his lead to 2.6 seconds by lap 171. After having a speed penalty, Stewart had moved up to 18th by the 178th lap. On lap 185, Clint Bowyer moved up to 16th, while Edwards increased his lead to 2.9 seconds. Nine laps later, the seventh was given after Gordon collided into the wall after having a flat tire. Most of the drivers pitted during the caution, as Stewart reclaimed the first position at the lap 202 restart. By the 214th lap, Stewart had a lead of 2.45 seconds. Four laps later, Menard moved up to the tenth position after passing Brian Vickers. On lap 220, Edwards passed Truex to claim third, as Stewart increased his lead to 3 seconds. Five laps later, Hamlin moved up to the seventh position. On lap 234, green flag pit stops began with Stewart and Montoya. Two laps later, Harvick and Johnson pitted, five laps before Edwards and Truex.[17]

Once the green flag pit stops concluded, Edwards was the leader, 1.1 seconds ahead of Montoya. By the 250th lap, Edwards increased his lead to 1.6 seconds. On the following lap, Kurt Busch moved into the tenth position, as Newman moved up to fifth. With four laps remaining, Stewart passed Montoya for the second position. Edwards maintained the lead to win his first race of the 2011 season. Stewart finished second, ahead of Montoya in third and Ambrose in fourth. Newman clinched the fifth position, after starting eighth.[17]

Post-race[edit]

"It kills me to throw a race away like that, especially at a place we haven't won at yet. This was a big deal [Sunday], and when you lead that many laps and have a car that's that fast and you lose it ... I'm sure [Monday] when the emotion dies down we'll look back and say it was a great weekend. But, man, it does not sit good right now."

Tony Stewart, speaking after the race.[18]
Carl Edwards celebrating his first win of the season

Edwards appeared in victory lane after his victory lap to start celebrating his first win of the season,[19] in front of a crowd of 152,000 people.[20] "These guys are unbelievable. It means a lot coming off Phoenix. I went home last week and didn’t know how things were going to go. You don’t get a good race car like that often. We had another one today," said Edwards of his triumph.[19]

Although Stewart was leading the race near the end, Edwards passed him after the final pit stops.[17] Stewart, who finished second, said, "I don't know what happened on the pit stop there, but we had a miscue and had a penalty and had to go to the back, and unfortunately it kind of dealt our cards for us. [Crew chief] Darian Grubb made a good call getting us the track position back, but it also showed everybody else that they could do it, too, and we couldn't run two-and-a-half runs on a set of left-side tires."[18] In the subsequent press conference, Kyle Busch stated his frustration from his accident, "On the restart there [on Lap 107], I was going to bide my time and try to get back through traffic with plenty of time to go, and 'kablooey' – it just broke."[18] Doug Yates, the engine builder for Roush Fenway Racing, expressed his enjoyment of winning the race:

"This is an exciting win for Roush Yates Engines. We ran great all week long. I think this says a lot about our program and how we plan to run at 1.5 mile tracks throughout the 2011 season. I want to thank Ford again for their support as we continue to excel with the FR9 engine."[19]

Stewart also commented, "It kills me to throw a race away like that, especially at a place we haven't won at yet. This was a big deal [Sunday], and when you lead that many laps and have a car that's that fast and you lose it ... I'm sure [Monday] when the emotion dies down we'll look back and say it was a great weekend. But, man, it does not sit good right now."[18] The race result moved Stewart into the first position in the Driver's Championship with 113 points, tied with Kurt Busch in second.[21] Edwards, the winner of the race, and Montoya followed in third and fourth on 106, three points ahead of Newman in fifth.[21] Ford maintained their lead in the Manufacturers' Championship with 21 points.[8] Chevrolet and Toyota placed second and third with 18 and 16 points, while Dodge was fourth with 11.[8] 10.1 million people watched the race on television.[22]

Results[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

No. Driver Team Manufacturer Time Speed Grid
17 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Ford 28.589 188.884 1
9 Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 28.698 188.166 2
99 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford 28.704 188.127 3
16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 28.728 187.970 4
18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 28.790 187.565 5
20 Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 28.828 187.318 6
43 A. J. Allmendinger Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 28.838 187.253 7
39 Ryan Newman Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet 28.843 187.221 8
56 Martin Truex, Jr. Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 28.846 187.201 9
5 Mark Martin Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 28.847 187.195 10
1 Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 28.864 187.084 11
78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 28.864 187.084 12
24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 28.892 186.903 13
48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 28.919 186.728 14
14 Tony Stewart Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet 28.950 186.529 15
21 Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Racing Ford 28.950 186.529 16
11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 28.960 186.464 17
27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 28.963 186.445 18
83 Brian Vickers Red Bull Racing Team Toyota 28.980 186.335 19
2 Brad Keselowski Penske Racing Dodge 29.020 186.079 20
31 Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 29.024 186.053 21
22 Kurt Busch Penske Racing Dodge 29.032 186.002 22
42 Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 29.037 185.970 23
47 Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota 29.081 185.688 24
00 David Reutimann Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 29.100 185.567 25
29 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 29.114 185.478 26
13 Casey Mears Germain Racing Toyota 29.155 185.217 27
33 Clint Bowyer Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 29.173 185.103 28
32 Mike Skinner FAS Lane Racing Ford 29.230 184.742 29
4 Kasey Kahne Red Bull Racing Team Toyota 29.273 184.470 30
87 Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 29.274 184.464 31
46 J. J. Yeley Whitney Motorsports Chevrolet 29.316 184.200 32
88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 29.356 183.949 33
36 Dave Blaney Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 29.506 183.014 34
34 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 29.507 183.007 35
60 Landon Cassill Germain Racing Toyota 29.659 182.070 36
09 Bill Elliott Phoenix Racing Chevrolet 29.674 181.977 37
7 Robby Gordon Robby Gordon Motorsports Dodge 29.768 181.403 38
38 Travis Kvapil Front Row Motorsports Ford 29.790 181.269 39
71 Andy Lally TRG Motorsports Chevrolet 30.098 179.414 40
37 Tony Raines Front Row Motorsports Ford 30.457 177.299 41
6 David Ragan Roush Fenway Racing Ford
-
-
42
66 Michael McDowell HP Racing Toyota 29.708 181.769 43
Failed to Qualify
92 Brian Keselowski K-Automotive Motorsports Dodge 30.050 179.701

Race results[edit]

Pos Grid Car Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Run Points
1 3 99 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford 267 47
2 15 14 Tony Stewart Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet 267 44
3 23 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 267 42
4 2 9 Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 267 41
5 8 39 Ryan Newman Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet 267 39
6 9 56 Martin Truex, Jr. Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 267 39
7 17 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 267 37
8 33 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 267 36
9 22 22 Kurt Busch Penske Racing Dodge 267 36
10 19 83 Brian Vickers Red Bull Racing Team Toyota 267 34
11 1 17 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Ford 267 34
12 18 27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 267 33
13 25 00 David Reutimann Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 267 32
14 30 4 Kasey Kahne Red Bull Racing Team Toyota 267 30
15 28 33 Clint Bowyer Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 267 30
16 14 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 267 28
17 26 29 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 267 27
18 10 5 Mark Martin Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 267 26
19 7 43 A. J. Allmendinger Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 267 25
20 16 21 Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Racing Ford 267 0
21 21 31 Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 267 23
22 42 6 David Ragan Roush Fenway Racing Ford 267 22
23 6 20 Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 267 21
24 24 47 Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota 267 20
25 27 13 Casey Mears Germain Racing Toyota 267 19
26 20 2 Brad Keselowski Penske Racing Dodge 265 18
27 11 1 Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 264 17
28 4 16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 264 17
29 29 32 Mike Skinner FAS Lane Racing Ford 262 0
30 37 09 Bill Elliott Phoenix Racing Chevrolet 262 14
31 38 7 Robby Gordon Robby Gordon Motorsports Dodge 261 13
32 40 71 Andy Lally TRG Motorsports Chevrolet 261 12
33 39 38 Travis Kvapil Front Row Motorsports Ford 261 0
34 34 36 Dave Blaney Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 260 11
35 41 37 Tony Raines Front Row Motorsports Ford 258 9
36 13 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 193 9
37 35 34 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 147 7
38 5 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 107 6
39 12 78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 77 5
40 32 46 J. J. Yeley Whitney Motorsports Chevrolet 45 4
41 43 66 Michael McDowell HP Racing Toyota 41 3
42 31 87 Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 34 0
43 36 60 Landon Cassill Germain Racing Toyota 32 0
Source:[25][26]

Standings after the race[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Sprint Cup Series Schedule". ESPN. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  2. ^ "The Kolbalt Tools 400". Rotoworld.com. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  3. ^ "Kenseth secures Las Vegas pole | inRacingNews.com". Iracing.com. Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  4. ^ "NASCAR Race Trax – Sprint Cup Race Day – Kobalt Tools 400 | FOX Sports on MSN". Msn.foxsports.com. 2009-10-22. Archived from the original on 7 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  5. ^ "Tracks". Nascar.Com. Archived from the original on 7 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  6. ^ a b c "Las Vegas". Nascar.Com. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  7. ^ "Pre-race Drivers' Championship Standings". Nascar.Com. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Jayski's® NASCAR Silly Season Site – 2011 Manufacturers Championship Standings". Jayski.com. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  9. ^ "2010 Shelby American". Racing-Reference.info. 2010-02-28. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  10. ^ "Jayski'sŽ NASCAR Silly Season Site – Sprint Cup Race Info / Rundown Page". Jayski.com. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  11. ^ a b "Practice One Timing and Scoring". Nascar.Com. Retrieved 2011-03-04. 
  12. ^ "Gordon spins, saves it during practice – March 04, 2011 – NASCAR.COM Video". Nascar.com. 2011-03-04. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  13. ^ "Qualifying Entry List". Nascar.Com. Retrieved 2011-03-04. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f "Race Official Lineup: Kobalt Tools 400". Nascar.Com. 2011-03-04. Retrieved 2011-03-04. 
  15. ^ Sporting News Wire Service (2009-02-22). "Kenseth sets Vegas mark in claiming pole – Mar 04, 2011". Nascar.Com. Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  16. ^ "Practice Three Timing and Scoring". Nascar.Com. Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h "Race Summary". Nascar.Com. Retrieved 2010-03-06. 
  18. ^ a b c d Sporting News Wire Service (2011-03-07). "Edwards finally gets his 2011 victory at Las Vegas – Mar 07, 2011". Nascar.Com. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  19. ^ a b c March 9, 2011 (2011-03-09). "Edwards Wins Kobalt Tools 400 – AutoRacing.com: NASCAR, F1, News, Reviews, Blogs, Events, Photos and Videos". AutoRacing.com. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  20. ^ "2011 Kobalt Tools 400". racing-reference.com. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  21. ^ a b c "Post-race Point Standings". NASCAR. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  22. ^ "2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup TV Ratings". Jayski.com. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  23. ^ "Lineup Statistics". MotorRacingNetwork.com. Retrieved 2011-03-04. 
  24. ^ "Jayski's® NASCAR Silly Season Site — Phoenix Sprint Cup Qualifying Order/Results, Lineup". Jayski.com. Retrieved 2011-03-04. 
  25. ^ "2011 Official Race Results : Kobalt Tools 400". Nascar.Com. 2011-03-07. Retrieved 2011-03-08. 
  26. ^ "Kobalt Tools 400 Race Results". Motor Racing Network. International Speedway Corporation. 2011-03-07. Retrieved 2011-03-08. 


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