SONOMA, Calif. - Kasey Kahne gave struggling Richard Petty Motorsports a much-needed boost yesterday, holding off Tony Stewart at Infineon Raceway to snap a 37-race winless streak in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Kahne was met in Victory Lane by Petty, who made his first trip there as a car owner in more than a decade.
Petty's race team teetered on the verge of collapse at the end of last season and needed a January merger with Gillett-Evernham Motorsports to stay in business.
Team manufacturer Chrysler is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and funding to RPM has slowed to a crawl as Dodge restructures. The team laid off nine employees earlier this month.
But Kahne came through with his first victory on a road course.
"I learned how to drive on dirt," Kahne said. "So to come out and win on a road course . . . it feels great. I can't believe it."
The victory moved Kahne to 13th in the standings, one spot shy of qualifying for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
Kahne and Stewart were followed by Marcos Ambrose and Jimmie Johnson.
NEWTON, Iowa - Dario Franchitti beat Ryan Briscoe by just over five seconds in the Iowa Corn Indy 250 to grab his first victory since the Streets of Long Beach in April and move into second place in the IRL standings.