On this website; rates start at $30/month; reach thousands of brand-loyal customers.|
Call 902.444.0703 for info.
Establish your online identity; starting at $295.|
Call 902.444.0703 for info.
Kyle Busch Holds Off Mark Martin For Bristol Win
By Reid Spencer, Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
BRISTOL, Tenn. (August 22, 2009) — Kyle Busch made a statement Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.
So did polesitter Mark Martin, who pressured Busch to the finish line of the Sharpie 500 during a four-lap run to the checkered flag but couldn’t make the pass for the win.
Instead, Busch won for the fourth time this season and for the second time at Bristol in 2009.
|Kyle Busch celebrates after winning the Sharpie 500 (top picture), then surprises a fan by giving them his
Busch showed emphatically he is not out of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series picture, and Martin strengthened his hold of a spot in NASCAR’s postseason. Busch moved up two positions to 13th, 34 points behind 12th-place Matt Kenseth.
Martin likewise gained two spots to 10th in the standings. The top 12 drivers after the Sept. 12 race at Richmond qualify for the Chase.
“Mark Martin—what a class act,” said Busch, who won for the 16th time in the Cup series. “He deserved to win this race. I’m sorry he came home in second. I know how he feels. I drove as hard as I could.
“He had a chance. He could have done it (moved Busch out of the way). But he didn’t. He raced me clean.”
Marcos Ambrose ran third, followed by Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman. Kurt Busch came home seventh, followed by Jimmie Johnson, who recovered from trouble on pit road to salvage a top-10 finish. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished ninth, and Matt Kenseth was 10th.
Johnson took the lead from Martin in traffic on Lap 317, as Martin was struggling to put Kasey Kahne two laps down. Johnson passed to the outside and took control of the race—temporarily.
The No. 48 team got Johnson out first under caution for a restart on Lap 362, and Johnson stayed out front until the seventh caution of the race on Lap 421 after a light rain started falling.
A lengthy pit stop under caution on Lap 423 proved Johnson’s undoing, as his crew had extreme difficulty changing the right rear tire. Johnson left the pits with the tire loose and had to return to pit road. He fell to 22nd position for a restart on Lap 432.
Kyle Busch used the opportunity to take the lead, passing Michael Waltrip, who had remained on the track during the caution, on Lap 433. Busch stayed at the point through a multicar wreck on the frontstretch on Lap 438 and a caution for Sam Hornish Jr.’s scrape with the wall on Lap 457.
Subsequently, Busch led the field to a restart on Lap 487 after contact from Jamie McMurray’s Ford cut the left front tire on Martin Truex Jr.’s Chevrolet and sent Truex into the Turn 4 wall.
Busch held Martin at bay until a violent collision involving Waltrip and Clint Bowyer brought out the 11th yellow on Lap 491. With rain falling, NASCAR red-flagged the race for almost 11 minutes before the restart with four laps to go.
Unofficial Race Results click here
Unofficial Point Standings click here
Race Recap Video click here
Photo Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR
Fans hold up cards in Turns 1 and 2 to honor Mark Martin for his 1,000th career NASCAR national series start...
Photo Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images for NASCAR
Bristol Motor Speedway was sold out for the 55th consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race...
Green Flag Fast Facts
The Race: Sharpie 500
The Place: Bristol Motor Speedway (.533-mile concrete oval)
The Date: Saturday, Aug. 22
The Time: 8:30 p.m. AT
Race Distance: 500 laps/266.5 miles
TV: ESPN, 7:30 p.m. AT
Radio: PRN and Sirius Satellite
2008 Winner: Carl Edwards
2008 Polesitter: Carl Edwards
Schedule: (All times local ET) Friday—Practice, 12-1:30 p.m., 2-3:30 p.m. Qualifying, 5:40 p.m.
Year-To-Date Results & Point Standings click here
Practice, Qualifying, Starting Lineup & More...
Mark Martin won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Sharpie 500 with a lap of 15.414 seconds,
Complete Starting Lineup click here
- This is his 46th pole in 746 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. Martin moves into a tie with Junior
Johnson for ninth on the all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup pole winners list.
- This is his fifth pole and 12th top-10 start in 2009.
- The last time Martin had five poles in a season was
- This is his ninth pole in 42 races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
- Greg Biffle (second) posted his 10th top-10 start of 2009 and his seventh in 14 races at Bristol Motor
- Scott Speed (third) posted his first top-10 start at Bristol Motor Speedway. It is his fifth in 23 races
this season. Speed was the fastest qualifying rookie.
- Drivers that faield to qualify include: Mike Skinner, Max Papis, Mike Wallace and Aric Almirola.
*Does not reflect adjustments that may be made prior to the race start because of the cars that need to go
to the rear of the field due to engine and/or transmission changes or practice wrecks...
- Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson Primed To Clinch...Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet) and Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet) are the only two drivers who can clinch a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup after the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Any driver with a 391-point lead over 13th place after the race clinches a spot in the 10-race championship battle. Second-place Gordon currently leads 13th by 437 points, Johnson leads by 418. In other words, Gordon can lose 46 points and Johnson can lose 27 points to 13th place and still clinch.
If the Hendrick Motorsports teammates do clinch Chase berths this weekend, they would join standings leader Tony Stewart (No. 14 Office Depot Chevrolet), whose 17th-place finish at Michigan made him the first driver to clinch a spot in the 2009 Chase. The three are the only active drivers with multiple championships, boasting nine NASCAR Sprint Cup championships, total.
While Gordon and Johnson would certainly enjoy clinching their Chase berths, you can bet that both teams will be focused on their own results, not on where they compare to 13th place.
Using those guidelines, Gordon can clinch his spot by finishing sixth or better without leading a lap, seventh leading at least one lap or eighth leading the most laps, regardless of what any other driver does.
Johnson needs to finish second or better, third leading a lap or fourth leading the most laps, to clinch.
- Bristol Three-Peat Would Boost Morale, Shore Up Chase Position For Edwards...Weathering a long winless streak is nothing new to Carl Edwards (No. 99 AFLAC Ford). After all, the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series runner-up had to endure a 52-race stretch without a victory from Nov. 2005–June 2007 after bursting onto the scene with four wins in his first full season (2005).
His latest streak isn’t quite as long, but is just as puzzling.
Edwards last won at Homestead-Miami Speedway to close out the 2008 season. Despite falling short in the championship battle, Edwards won three of the final four races and finished with a series-high nine victories.
He was supposed to continue on the same path in 2009 and contend for the championship. While Edwards has kept himself in Chase contention the entire season, he has yet to find Victory Lane.
“From where I sit, I think I’ve done as good or better job this season than I had last season,” Edwards said. “We don’t have the results to show for it, but I feel I’ve done a really good job.”
Edwards pointed out three races that he felt he could have won if circumstances fell another way – Texas, where he had trouble on pit road, Talladega, which ended with a last-lap accident and Pocono, when his fuel strategy forced him to conserve fuel at the end of the race.
“It’s funny,” Edwards said. “As a driver, I go out and do the very best I can in every race. I mean I drive as hard as I can, I try to get everything I can. And at the end of the race, you get your result. If it’s a win, then that’s great. If it’s 20th and you did your job right, that’s all a person can do.”
This weekend is as good as any for Edwards to return to his back-flipping ways. He is the two-time defending race winner and is in the top 10 in several loop data categories at Bristol, including Average Running Position, Driver Rating and Fastest Laps Run. A win would give his team an extra confidence boost headed to the Chase, not to mention 10 bonus points.
“Trust me,” Edwards said. “If I win the Cup race, it’ll be no problem doing a backflip. I’ll have lots of energy.”
- Martin Stands To Gain The Most By Earning Chase Berth...Mark Martin’s performance at Michigan this past Sunday epitomized what the No. 5 team has faced all season. When the team is on, they are one of the most unbeatable teams on the track. Martin’s series-high four victories easily confirms that premonition.
But when things don’t quite line up as planned, Martin’s performance plummets. He has finished 30th or worse seven times, including Sunday’s 31st-place finish, and worse than 40th three times.
The price of the fuel mileage gamble was approximately 80 points, as Martin was in line for a possible top-five finish. That difference would have given Martin breathing room in his quest to make his fourth Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Instead, he’s teetering on the Chase bubble, only 12 points ahead of 13th place.
Martin has three races left to step up his game and lock in a Chase berth. If he were to hold on, Martin’s four wins would make him the top seed entering the Chase and give him 40 bonus points.
The first remaining test is Saturday at Bristol, where Martin will hit a significant milestone, regardless of the outcome. Martin will be making his 1,000th start in NASCAR national series competition. He’s had 745 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, 231 NASCAR Nationwide Series and 23 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts in his illustrious 27-year career.
“That’s a lot of races,” Martin said. “I didn’t realize that I was even close to that many. To me, personally, 1,000 starts is not that big of a deal. How many wins I have in those 1,000 starts would be a stat I would be more interested in. Don’t get me wrong, I think this is great, but I don’t view starting races as a huge accomplishment. I would say, the wins, poles, top-five and top-10 finishes in those 1,000 starts is a bigger deal.”
Those numbers are just as impressive.
In his first 999 starts, Martin has 94 wins, 375 top fives and 574 top 10s, not to mention 78 poles.
Despite recent struggles at Bristol, Martin has two wins, 15 top fives and 22 top 10s in 41 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts. It is also one of four tracks at which Martin has at least one win in all three national series (Dover, Auto Club, Talladega).
- Bowyer Inching Closer To Chase Goal...Clint Bowyer’s Chase hopes looked bleak leaving Indianapolis Motor Speedway three weeks ago. He was mired in 16th place, 151 points behind the important 12th-place Chase cutoff.
Worse yet, Bowyer had to tackle three difficult tracks – Pocono, Watkins Glen and Michigan – at which he had traditionally struggled.
Bowyer stepped up his game, finishing third at Pocono, ninth at Watkins Glen and eighth at Michigan. All three finishes were career highs for Bowyer at each track. In that three week span, Bowyer nipped 93 points off his Chase deficit. He has moved up to 14th place and is only 58 points back.
“We did exactly what we needed to do,” Bowyer said after Sunday’s race. “We needed a top-10 finish and that’s what we got. It was a good finish for us, point-wise. We’re still very much alive in the chase to get into the Chase. If we can keep picking up finishes like this and capitalizing on some of the misfortunes of some of the others, we’ll find ourselves in this thing come New Hampshire.”
Look for Bowyer’s streak to continue – he has top-10 finishes in 11 of the 21 races he’s run at Bristol, Atlanta and Richmond, the final three races until the Chase begins.
- Loyal Fans Extend Sellout Streak To 55...While the race is always unpredictable, one thing you can always count on at Bristol Motor Speedway is a full house.
Track President and General Manager Jeff Byrd announced the track’s 55th consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series sellout on Aug. 11.
The streak began Aug. 28, 1982 when Darrell Waltrip edged Bobby Allison by less than a second before an estimated crowd of 30,000. The track now holds 160,000 fans.
The crowd will try to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for the “World’s Largest Group Karoake” attempt. The track, which has pulled off similar stunts in the past, will ask fans to sing Garth Brooks’ 1990 hit “Friends In Low Places” before the race.
IMPORTANT: All information, schedules and/or scheduled events is/are subject to change without notice. Please
check local listings or host before making plans.
© Copyright - CheckersToWreckers.com - All Rights Reserved.
Best viewed with Internet Explorer - 800x600 resolution.