Every Wednesday, SB Nation Atlanta takes a look at the racing fortunes of everybody's favorite Atlanta-based NASCAR sponsor: Coca-Cola! This week, we look back at the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas, where two Coca-Cola Racing Family drivers climbed atop the Sprint Cup Point Standings!
Four Coca-Cola Racing Family Members scored top-10 finishes Sunday at Las Vegas, led for the second week in a row by Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman. Denny Hamlin and Kurt Busch also had top-10 results.
At the opposite end of the spectrum was Greg Biffle, who's great day came unraveled by issues with NASCAR's new self-venting fueling system.
Continue reading for a driver-by-driver recap of Sunday's race and a points update, where some drivers are in contention and some are way out in left field.
Tony Stewart, 2nd Place: Stewart had what he termed "the baddest thing on the West Coast." Leading a race-high 163 laps, Tony and his No. 14 team were felled by an airhose that hooked itself around the left rear quarter panel on the team's second to last pit stop. Penalized to the rear of the field, they recovered to finish 2nd and took a share of the points lead for the first time this season.
Ryan Newman, 5th Place: Newman recorded his second-straight fifth-place finish Sunday after running in the top-10 for most of the race. Ryan has run well in all three races this year and his No. 39 team could be well atop the point standings if not for two late-race accidents in the Daytona 500.
Denny Hamlin, 7th Place: After being forced to start at the rear of the field following an engine change, Hamlin and his No. 11 team spent the day fighting their way through the field. The reward was Denny's first top-10 finish of the 2011 season.
Kurt Busch, 9th Place: Busch overcame a spin at lap 103 the post his third top-10 finish in as many races this season. The Las Vegas native and his No. 22 team couldn't quite contend for the victory, but the performance earned them a share of the Sprint Cup point lead, the first time Kurt has held it since 2005.
Clint Bowyer, 15th Place: Bowyer and his No. 33 team fought an ill-handling car all race long, but managed to hold on for 15th at the end of the race. It was Clint's first top-15 of the season after crashes in the first two races of the season ruined potentially strong runs.
Jeff Burton, 21st Place: The struggle continued for Burton, who spent the entire race dealing with handling issues that plagued the No. 31 team. Jeff's third-straight disappointing result, coming on the heels of a 26th at Phoenix and a DNF in the Daytona 500 have him sitting far outside the Chase for the Cup after just three races.
Joey Logano, 23rd Place: Logano and his No. 20 team left Las Vegas bitterly disappointed. After running in the top-10 for the duration of the race and contending for a top-five finish, Joey was assessed a tire penalty on his final pit stop. The result was a 23rd-place finish, one lap down.
Bobby Labonte, 24th Place: Labonte and the No. 47 team were a victim of Tony Stewart's early pace, falling a lap down and never recovering despite having a car capable of finishing in the top-15. Bobby fell out of the top-10 in points for the first time this season with his 24th-place result.
Jamie McMurray, 27th Place: An early bump with the wall after contact from Trevor Bayne ruined the hopes of a rebound weekend for McMurray and the No. 1 team. Jamie could but limp to the finish with a damanged race car, his third-consecutive disappointing finish, after late mechanical woes dropped him to 19th in the Daytona 500 and he was caught in a 13-car accident last week at Phoenix.
Greg Biffle, 28th Place: With the possible exception of Tony Stewart, nobody left Las Vegas more frustrated than Biffle and his No. 16 team. Running in the top-five, Greg ran out of gas - despite having held longer than most teams on his previous stop as his team struggled with the new self-venting fueling system - and was forced to pit road. He lost four laps in the exchange and only able to recover one of them before the race's conclusion.
Coca-Cola Racing Family Point Standings Update: The fortunes are widely mixed among the Coca-Cola Racing Family after three races this season. Two, Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch, share the point lead, while four of them languish in positions 29-32.
Point Leaders: Tony Stewart (No. 14 Chevrolet, was third) and Kurt Busch (No. 22 Dodge, was second) 113 Points
5. Ryan Newman (No. 39 Chevrolet, was eighth) -10 to leader
8. Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Toyota, was 14th) -18
Currently outside the Chase:
15. Bobby Labonte (No. 47 Toyota, was 7th) -29, -7 to 10th (Dale Earnhardt Jr./Mark Martin)
18 Clint Bowyer (No. 33 Chevrolet, was 21st) -38, -16
29. Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Chevrolet, was 26th) -60, -38
30. Joey Logano (No. 20 Toyota, was 29th) -60, -38
31. Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ford, was 28th) -63, -41
32. Jeff Burton (No. 31 Chevrolet, was 32nd) -63, -41
Fast Food For Thought: McMurray, Logano, Biffle, and Burton have combined for a grand total of zero top-10s in three races. McMurray's 19th-place finish is the best for the quartet.
This weekend: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is off this weekend before heading to Bristol, Tennessee for the Jeff Byrd 500.