|Race 35 of 36 in the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series|
|Date||November 13, 2011|
|Location||Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona|
Permanent racing facility|
1 mi (1.6 km)
|Distance||312 laps, 312 mi (502.115 km)|
|Weather||Rain showers with a high temperature around 62.|
|Average speed||112.909 miles per hour (181.709 km/h)|
|Driver||Roush Fenway Racing|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Tony Stewart||Stewart Haas Racing|
|No. 4||Kasey Kahne||Red Bull Racing Team|
|Television in the United States|
|Announcers||Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, and Andy Petree|
The 2011 Kobalt Tools 500 was a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car race held on November 13, 2011 at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Contested over 312 laps, it was the thirty-fifth as well as the ninth race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup during the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The race was won by Kasey Kahne for the Red Bull Racing Team. Carl Edwards finished second, and Tony Stewart clinched third.
Phoenix International Raceway is one of five short tracks to hold NASCAR races; the others are Richmond International Raceway, Dover International Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, and Martinsville Speedway. The standard track at Phoenix International Raceway is a four-turn short track oval that is 1 mile (1.6 km) long. After the February race, PIR was significantly reconfigured. The first two turns are now banked from 10 to 11 degrees, while the final two turns are banked from 8 to 9 degrees. The front stretch, the location of the finish line, is banked at three degrees. The back stretch, nicknamed the 'dogleg', varies from 10 to 11 degree banking. The racetrack has seats for 76,800 spectators.
Before the race, Carl Edwards led the Drivers' Championship with 2,316 points, and Tony Stewart stood in second with 2,313 points. Kevin Harvick followed in third with 2,283 points, five ahead of Matt Kenseth and 16 ahead of Brad Keselowski in fourth and fifth. Jimmie Johnson, with 2,261 was 24 points ahead of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., as Jeff Gordon with 2,235 points, was six ahead of Kurt Busch, and 18 in front of Denny Hamlin. Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman was eleventh and twelfth with 2,216 and 2,213 points. In the Manufacturers' Championship, Chevrolet was leading with 235 points, 52 ahead of Ford. Toyota, with 174 points, was 18 points ahead of Dodge in the battle for third. Edwards is the race's defending champion, after winning the race in 2010.
Practice and qualifying
Two 120 minute practice sessions were held before the race on Friday. Jeff Burton was quickest with a time of 25.702 seconds in the first session, more than two-hundredths of a second faster than Kenseth. David Ragan was just off Kenseth's pace, followed by Paul Menard, Newman, and David Reutimann. A. J. Allmendinger was seventh, still within a second of Burton's time. Also in the session, Kyle Busch's team changed his car's engine after engine problems. In the second practice session, Menard was fastest with a time of 25.510 seconds, seven-hundredths of a second quicker than second-placed Edwards. Regan Smith took third place, ahead of Brian Vickers, Kyle Busch and Jamie McMurray. Stewart could only manage 36th place.
Afterward, during qualifying, forty-six cars were entered, but only forty-three were able to race because of NASCAR's qualifying procedure. Kenseth clinched his third pole position during the season, with a time of 26.258 seconds. He was joined on the front row of the grid by Allmendinger. Marcos Ambrose qualified third, Mark Martin took fourth, and Martin Truex, Jr. started fifth. Stewart, one of the drivers in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, qualified eighth, while Edwards was scored ninth. The three drivers that failed to qualify for the race were Scott Riggs, David Stremme, and Andy Lally. Once the qualifying session completed, Kenseth commented, "Jimmy Fennig, had a strategy to go fast in the first practice to go out late. Even though we knew the temperature would be hotter he thought the track could be faster with more cars having run on it. A lot of people chose the opposite strategy and worked on race set-up in the first practice and did their qualifying stuff in the second practice to go out early."
|1||17||Matt Kenseth||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||26.258||137.101|
|2||43||A. J. Allmendinger||Richard Petty Motorsports||Ford||26.384||136.446|
|3||9||Marcos Ambrose||Richard Petty Motorsports||Ford||26.411||136.307|
|4||5||Mark Martin||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||26.455||136.080|
|5||56||Martin Truex Jr.||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||26.455||136.080|
|6||1||Jamie McMurray||Earnhardt Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||26.469||136.008|
|7||00||David Reutimann||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||26.473||135.988|
|8||14||Tony Stewart||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||26.488||135.911|
|9||99||Carl Edwards||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||26.529||135.701|
|10||4||Kasey Kahne||Red Bull Racing Team||Toyota||26.534||135.675|
|11||27||Paul Menard||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||26.547||135.609|
|12||2||Brad Keselowski||Penske Racing||Dodge||26.585||135.415|
|13||6||David Ragan||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||26.588||135.399|
|14||31||Jeff Burton||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||26.608||135.298|
|15||78||Regan Smith||Furniture Row Racing||Chevrolet||26.613||135.272|
|16||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||26.618||135.247|
|17||22||Kurt Busch||Penske Racing||Dodge||26.622||135.227|
|18||83||Brian Vickers||Red Bull Racing Team||Toyota||26.624||135.216|
|19||84||Cole Whitt||Red Bull Racing Team||Toyota||26.625||135.211|
|20||7||Robby Gordon||Robby Gordon Motorsports||Dodge||26.630||135.186|
|21||51||Landon Cassill||Phoenix Racing||Chevrolet||26.631||135.181|
|22||88||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||26.634||135.166|
|23||24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||26.689||134.887|
|24||46||Scott Speed||Whitney Motorsports||Ford||26.694||134.862|
|25||20||Joey Logano||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||26.696||134.852|
|26||42||Juan Pablo Montoya||Earnhardt Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||26.704||134.811|
|27||29||Kevin Harvick||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||26.715||134.756|
|28||33||Clint Bowyer||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||26.751||134.574|
|29||16||Greg Biffle||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||26.756||134.549|
|30||39||Ryan Newman||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||26.764||134.509|
|31||47||Bobby Labonte||JTG Daugherty Racing||Toyota||26.793||134.363|
|32||87||Joe Nemechek||NEMCO Motorsports||Toyota||26.837||134.143|
|33||11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||26.850||134.078|
|34||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||26.936||133.650|
|35||66||Michael McDowell||HP Racing||Toyota||26.979||133.437|
|36||37||Mike Skinner||Max Q Motorsports||Ford||27.023||133.220|
|37||55||Travis Kvapil||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||27.040||133.136|
|38||13||Casey Mears||Germain Racing||Toyota||27.062||133.028|
|39||32||Mike Bliss||FAS Lane Racing||Ford||27.184||132.431|
|40||36||Geoffrey Bodine||Tommy Baldwin Racing||Chevrolet||27.417||131.305|
|41||38||J. J. Yeley||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||27.911||128.981|
|42||34||David Gilliland||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||29.252||123.068|
|43||35||Dave Blaney||Tommy Baldwin Racing||Chevrolet||27.157||132.562|
|44||23||Scott Riggs||R3 Motorsports||Toyota||27.336||131.695|
|45||30||David Stremme||Inception Motorsports||Chevrolet||27.355||131.603|
|46||71||Andy Lally||TRG Motorsports||Ford||28.215||127.592|
|1||10||4||Kasey Kahne||Red Bull Racing Team||Toyota||312||47|
|2||9||99||Carl Edwards||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||312||43|
|3||8||14||Tony Stewart||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||312||43|
|4||14||31||Jeff Burton||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||312||40|
|5||30||39||Ryan Newman||Stewart-Haas Racing||Chevrolet||312||39|
|6||2||43||A. J. Allmendinger||Richard Petty Motorsports||Ford||312||38|
|7||7||00||David Reutimann||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||312||37|
|8||3||9||Marcos Ambrose||Richard Petty Motorsports||Ford||312||36|
|9||11||27||Paul Menard||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||312||35|
|10||28||33||Clint Bowyer||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||312||34|
|11||25||20||Joey Logano||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||312||33|
|12||33||11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||312||32|
|13||29||16||Greg Biffle||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||311||31|
|14||16||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||311||30|
|15||26||42||Juan Pablo Montoya||Earnhardt Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||311||29|
|16||4||5||Mark Martin||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||311||28|
|17||6||1||Jamie McMurray||Earnhardt Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||311||27|
|18||12||2||Brad Keselowski||Penske Racing||Dodge||311||27|
|19||27||29||Kevin Harvick||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||311||25|
|20||5||56||Martin Truex Jr.||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota||311||24|
|21||31||47||Bobby Labonte||JTG Daugherty Racing||Toyota||311||23|
|22||17||22||Kurt Busch||Penske Racing||Dodge||311||23|
|23||18||83||Brian Vickers||Red Bull Racing Team||Toyota||311||21|
|24||22||88||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||310||20|
|25||19||84||Cole Whitt||Red Bull Racing Team||Toyota||310||0|
|26||38||13||Casey Mears||Germain Racing||Toyota||309||18|
|27||43||35||Dave Blaney||Tommy Baldwin Racing||Chevrolet||309||17|
|28||41||38||J. J. Yeley||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||309||17|
|29||21||51||Landon Cassill||Phoenix Racing||Chevrolet||309||0|
|30||39||32||Mike Bliss||FAS Lane Racing||Ford||308||0|
|31||42||34||David Gilliland||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||307||13|
|32||23||24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||306||12|
|33||13||6||David Ragan||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||298||11|
|34||1||17||Matt Kenseth||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||238||11|
|35||20||7||Robby Gordon||Robby Gordon Motorsports||Dodge||218||9|
|36||34||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||188||8|
|37||40||36||Geoffrey Bodine||Tommy Baldwin Racing||Chevrolet||153||7|
|38||15||78||Regan Smith||Furniture Row Racing||Chevrolet||62||6|
|39||24||46||Scott Speed||Whitney Motorsports||Ford||60||0|
|40||35||66||Michael McDowell||HP Racing||Toyota||46||4|
|41||32||87||Joe Nemechek||NEMCO Motorsports||Toyota||30||0|
|42||36||37||Mike Skinner||Max Q Motorsports||Ford||25||0|
|43||37||55||Travis Kvapil||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||20||0|
Standings after the race
- "Sprint Cup Series Schedule". ESPN. Archived from the original on January 20, 2012. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- Brown, Brian (November 9, 2011). "The Kobalt Tools 500 (k)". RotoWorld.com. Retrieved November 12, 2011.
- "Kenseth takes pole at Phoenix". inRacingNews.com. November 12, 2011. Archived from the original on December 22, 2011. Retrieved November 12, 2011.
- "Tracks". NASCAR. Archived from the original on February 7, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- "Phoenix International Raceway". NASCAR. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- "PIR To Be Repaved after February Race". Phoenix International Raceway. February 9, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- "Pre-race Drivers' Championship Standings". NASCAR. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- "Jayski's® NASCAR Silly Season Site – 2011 Manufacturers Championship Standings". Jayski.com. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- "2009 Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500". Racing-Reference.info. November 14, 2010. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- "Jayski'sŽ NASCAR Silly Season Site – Sprint Cup Race Info / Rundown Page". Jayski.com. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- "Practice One Timing and Scoring". NASCAR. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- "NASCAR — CUP: Burton Tops First Practice At Phoenix". Speedtv.com. November 11, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- "Practice Two Timing and Scoring". NASCAR. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- "Qualifying Entry List". NASCAR. Retrieved November 12, 2011.
- "Race Official Lineup". NASCAR. November 12, 2011. Retrieved November 12, 2011.
- "Lineup Statistics". MotorRacingNetwork.com. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
- "Jayski's® NASCAR Silly Season Site — Phoenix Sprint Cup Qualifying Order/Results, Lineup". Jayski.com. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
- "2011 Official Race Results : Kobalt Tools 500". NASCAR.com. Turner Sports and Entertainment Digital Network. Archived from the original on December 16, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
- "2011 Official Driver Standings: Kobalt Tools 500". NASCAR.com. Turner Sports and Entertainment Digital Network. Archived from the original on December 17, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
2011 AAA Texas 500
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