By Brian Willwerth
There is just one race left – one race to determine the 2011 NASCAR champion. And if you’re looking for drama, boy do we have it. A mere three-points heading into next weekend’s finale at Homestead separates Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart, which again should make for an exciting finish, right?
More on the championship battle in a moment, but first – a look back at Sunday’s race at Phoenix International Raceway.
Kasey Kahne – the favorite driver of yours truly – finally took the checkered flag in the #4 car. It was his first win in his last 81 races. You have to go all the way back to ‘09 at Atlanta to find the last time Kahne celebrated in Victory Lane. He is not in the Chase for the Championship, yet only Stewart and Edwards have been better than Kahne over the past nine races. Kahne will be joining Hendrick Motorsports next season.
Edwards and Stewart finished second and third at Phoenix, which sets up a tremendous finale. This is the closest any two drivers have been heading into the final race, since the Chase format began in ‘04. Even if neither driver is contention for the win at Homestead, expect ESPN’s cameras to be focused on these two guys the entire way. Every car passed means a critical point earned in the standings.
It’s going to be fun.