I'm not sure how often I can begin these reports with "the car that led the most laps did not win the race" but that was the case again this weekend. Denny Hamlin led a race high 150 laps but it was Kasey Kahne, who led the LAST 66 laps to take the checkered flag at the Lenox Industrial Tools 301.
With the victory, Kahne moves into the No. 1 Wild Card position.
He now has more victories than any other driver outside the top 10. He feels this win will fire up his team. Kahne said, "Charlotte to me was a big turning point for us. I got our team really excited and going. Today is just another bonus. This should give the team some more confidence, myself some more confidence, and carry some momentum into these final how many are left. Seven"
Hamlin dropped to 13th after some miscommunication on pit road, but managed to race back up to second at the checkered flag. It is his 10th top-10 finish in 2012.
"You're going to have days like this. It's part of racing. That's why it's such a team sport. It's the pit crew, the driver, the car, the crew chief, all those things put together. We just had a slight miscommunication, that one little mistake will magnify and take a win away from you," Hamlin added.
Michael Waltrip Racing's Clint Bowyer posted his fifth top-10 finish in 13 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Bowyer said, "Good teamwork all around. Feels good to have a solid weekend after a couple bad weekends. Humbling sport. You go from a win, crashed out, back to the podium. Good timing."
With the victory, Kahne tightened an already tight wild card, effectively making only one playoff spot now available for 9 other drivers. Busch, Ryan Newman and Joey Logano, all have one win, with six other drivers all inside the top twenty.