The final chapter of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season has been written. It didnt end the way Dodge drivers Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch had hoped, but the accomplishments of the two during the 36-race season will highlight many pages that will chronicle the historic year.
Both Dodge drivers from Penske Racing made the 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup. Keselowski, in only his second season in the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, finishes fifth in the final standings, ahead of three former Sprint Cup champions included in the elite group. Teammate Kurt Busch ends up 11th in the standings after a mechanical problem in the opening laps of Sundays race at Homestead-Miami Speedway resulted in a disappointing finish in the finale.
To call the season historic would be an understatement. For the first time in NASCAR history, two drivers ended up tied for the season title. A tiebreaker was needed to determine the champion. Tony Stewart won the race with Carl Edwards finishing second, leaving the two deadlocked with 2, 403 points each. NASCARs tiebreaker is most wins during the season. Stewart held the advantage, 5-1. All five wins came in the 10-race Chase.
Keselowski ran in the top 10 through most of the 267-lap event. He led twice for 11 laps. He was running third with 12 laps remaining, but needed a trip to pit road for a splash of fuel to make it to the checkered flag. Keselowski finished 20th.
In the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Dodge earned its sixth NASCAR Nationwide Series win of the season as Brad Keselowski powered his No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger past Carl Edwards on a late-race restart with six laps remaining to secure the win. It was the reigning champions fifth victory of the season and second consecutive for Dodge and Penske Racing. Sam Hornish Jr. won at Phoenix last week, the first of his career in the Nationwide ranks.