I like what Hanny wrote! So,lets get this show on the road, and kick it off the right way.
Race fans at Gateway International Raceway Saturday night saw what the rest of NASCAR Nation has seen the past two years: a dominating win by Kyle Busch and his Joe Gibbs Racing team. Busch won his sixth NASCAR Nationwide Series race of 2009 when he took the checkered flag at the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 Presented by Ventrilo, finishing a full second ahead of runner-up Reed Sorenson.
Two-time race winner Carl Edwards finished third with Mike Bliss and Brad Coleman rounding out the top-five. With the victory, “Shrub” pads his lead in the Nationwide Series standings to 212 over second-place Edwards. “Things went really well for us tonight,” Busch said after the race. “The car drove really well. We didn’t qualify as well as we would have wanted to…but it right at the start at the green flag, it ran like a rocket ship.”
Kevin Harvick, making his first start here since 2006, led a race-high 105 laps, seemingly poised to become the first NASCAR driver to win three races at GIR. It wasn’t to be for “Happy,” however, as he ran out of fuel during a long green-flag stretch of racing in the closing laps. He would finish the night in 17th, two laps down.
“I feel for him,” Busch said. “I feel like if we could have pressured him, we had a little better car at that point in the race. But I had no point in going up there and racing him because we were racing our own race to make it until the end. If I would have went up there and passed him and wasted fuel, it would have been for no point.”
Edwards came into the night as the two-time and defending race winner and while he was disappointed that he didn’t take home a third race title, he made it clear that he would be back to try again.
“I wanted to win this thing so bad. These wins here are really special, but we put out our best effort and gave it 110 percent,” Edwards said on pit road following the event. “There at the end, if we would have had a caution, we would have had four fresh tires and (Busch) would have had two and we would have had something for him. Just not the way it went, but I’ll be back next year. I love racing here. We’ve won every other year, so maybe next year will be the one.”
The race saw several strong battles, including some back-and-forth between Scott Lagasse Jr. and Steve Wallace that ended when Lagasse got loose going into Turn 1 and moved up into Wallace’s US Fidelis machine, putting it into the wall. Wallace was able to re-fire his car and followed Lagasse around the track under caution, earning the ire of NASCAR. He was penalized two laps and ordered to the NASCAR hauler following the race. The event saw seven cautions for a total of 34 laps.
The day started with both Sorenson and Brad Keselowski breaking Scott Wimmer’s 2007 qualifying record with identical speeds (135.714), but Keselowski got the pole award and the record since he was higher in owner’s points. Keselowski led only the first lap before being passed by Harvick and never led again.
Justin Allgaier, driver of the #12 Penske Racing Dodge, had more than 1,000 fans in the stands Saturday night, many of whom traveled from his hometown of Riverton, Ill., via bus to see him make his NNS debut at Gateway. Although he ran in the top-ten for most of the night, the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series champ finished the race in 11th.
Now if only Kyle can take some this racing karma with him up to the Sprint cup series. Kyle just might be able to show the rest of the racing world, that he is a legitimate contender to bring home the championship at the end of the season. But with only two top 10 finishes in his last nine races, that is not how a driver sets himself up for the final 10 races that will be deciding factor. But right now as it stands, he needs to first stay within the top 12 to even have that chance. Im Out