NASCAR's Kasey Kahne wins in Phoenix; Carl Edwards leads Chase
Kasey Kahne won the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, while Carl Edwards kept a three-point lead over Tony Stewart in the Chase for the Cup championship battle -- the same gap they had when the race started.
With only one race left on the Cup schedule, all of the other 10 drivers in the Chase for the Sprint Cup title playoff have been officially eliminated, including reigning champion Jimmie Johnson.
Edwards and Stewart will now decide the championship next Sunday at the finale at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway.
Edwards and Stewart finished second and third, respectively, behind Kahne after swapping the lead between themselves for much of the 312-lap race.
Jeff Burton finished fourth and Stewart teammate Ryan Newman was fifth.
Kahne had gone 81 races without a win, and the victory cameas he is about to leave the Red Bull Racing team for Hendrick Motorsports next season. "It's been a long time coming," Kahne said. "It was a great run today."
In addition, Red Bull has said it's looking to sell all or part of its NASCAR team after this season, so it's unclear whether the team will be back on the Cup circuit in 2012.
Kyle Busch, who started in the rear of the 43-car field, charged as high as third but the engine let go on his No. 18 Toyota shortly after the halfway mark.
-- Jim Peltz in Avondale, Ariz.
Photo: NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne celebrates his victory in the Kobalt Tools 500 on Sunday with a burnout at Phoenix International Raceway. Credit: Christian Petersen / Getty Images