May 30, 2007
So Casey Mears finally gets his first win and he does it on fumes. And out come the naysayers whining and complaining about gas mileage races. Please. I loved the finish. It was incredibly exciting to see whether or not Mears would have the gas to make it, or if it might go to Kyle Petty--who's last win at Charlotte came some 20 years ago (it was still his best finish in 10 years). I've said it before, gas mileage finishes are great. It sure beats six cautions and a green-white-checkered in the last 20 laps.
First car to the finish is what wins races, and that doesn't mean the fastest car. Tortoise and the hare, my friend.
February 25, 2007
And the 'Sucks to Be You' award for today's California race goes to Kevin Harvick. With ten laps to go Harvick was sitting in second place reeling in first place driver Matt Kenseth, when a caution and subsequent red flag came out. When the race started up again Harvick's #29 had a flat left front and hit pit road as the rest of the field took the green flag.
Even if he couldn't get past Kenseth, a second place finish after winning Daytona would have been a nice start to the year. Instead he ended up 17th. Doh. Sucks to be you.
October 1, 2006
What a race today. Tony Stewart runs out of gas on the last lap coming out of turn 2--turn 2--and coasts his way to victory. Second place runs out of gas taking the white flag and manages to coast all the way. Gordon has a fuel pump problem and finishes 39th?! Kenseth has a crap car and finishes 23rd?! Jimmie Johnson flushes a come back day with a botched pit stop and penalty?!
What a race indeed. Jeff Burton's looking pretty good about now.
September 24, 2006
So Jeff Burton wins. Wow. It's been a while. As much as I like Matt Kenseth, I couldn't help but root for Burton.
And interesting shuffle in the championship standings. Not a good day for a lot of people. Except maybe the Jeffs. Jeff Burton is leading the championship standings for the first time since 1999 and Jeff Gordon is sitting in second.
September 17, 2006
Kevin Harvick wins the first of the 10-race Chase and takes the points lead for the first time in his Nextel Cup career. He dominated the race, too, leading almost two-thirds of the laps. Last week I said he was on fire, and he is.
Last week I also said you can never count out Jimmie Johnson, but with his 39th place finish maybe you can count him out. Kyle Busch also had a bad day and could be on the outs. Denny Hamlin and Jeff Gordon, however, had great days, finishing 4th and 3rd respectively, and moving up to 2nd and 4th in the standings. Jeff Burton came home with 7th, but more importantly managed to get a decent finish--not in the top five like he ran much of the day, but at least a top 10. Kenseth, Martin, Earnhardt and Kahne (10th, 11th, 13th and 16th), however, need to have stronger finishes.
11th is OK, but it may not be enough. But you have to give Mark Martin props for the move he made on Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ryan Newman towards the end of the race, going three wide to pass both of them. Stealing two positions like that in the closing laps of a race is what you have to do. 11th may not be enough, but it's certainly better than 13th.
September 10, 2006
It's been a while since I've done some NASCAR blogging. Having a kid can do that to you. But last night I taped the final race to the chase and watched it this afternoon (amazing how much faster a race can go when you fastforward the commercials).
Wow. With a scenario where one guys is out and eight guys are in I had no idea that of all the guys Tony Stewart would be out. I was thinking maybe Kasey Kahne, Mark Martin, Jeff Burton--but not Stewart. I have to say with a bit of biased glee that I'm pleased. I'm hardly a Tony Stewart fan. Stewart is amazing, but I'm fine with not having him in the mix for the championship.
The end of tonight's race was amazing with all of the guys who I thought might be in danger running well, and all the guys I thought would be safe were having problems. Stewart was back in the pack, Denny Hamlin had engine problems, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. had brake problems. Any one of them could have been out.
April 22, 2006
After a week off for Easter NASCAR comes to Phoenix and the drama continues, with Kevin Harvick finally putting Richard Childress and the Goodwrench Chevy in victory lane. Harvick has been on a roll lately and finally put it all together for the win. He came on strong late and passed Greg Biffle, who later ran out of gas, and nobody had anything for him.
As the final laps closed a number of cars ran out of gas, including Biffle and Mark Martin. Biffle ran strong and up front all night but his car faded near the end of a long run and running out of gas was a nail in his coffin, leaving him with an 16th place finish. Biffle just can't seem to close the deal this year. Martin had a let down of a night with an incredibly strong car. A bad pit stop put him back in the pack and then he ran into the back of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and managed to squeeze his car through a closing gap. He had battled back to the top 5 and was fighting Mat Kenseth and Tony Stewart for second when he ran out of gas and had to settle for 11th.
Tony Stewart continues to show his dominance as he went from deadlast to first. He didn't hold the lead for long, but he had the patience and the muscle to do it and finished strong in second. Matt Kenseth was quiet all day and managed a third place finish, enough to push him past points leader and 7th place finisher Jimmie Johnson and into the points lead.
April 9, 2006
So Greg Biffle dominates early and laps almost half the field today at Texas. After pitting under caution Biffle finds himself back in the pack and pulls ahead of his former teammate and lap down car, Kurt Busch. Bad idea. Busch doesn't give him room and taps Biffle's rear end, starting him wiggling, scrapping the wall and then hits him again and sends Biffle around. For the umpteenth time this year Biffle has bad luck with a great car.
Biffle says Busch wasn't observing proper race etiquette and giving him room. Busch says he doesn't know what happened and thinks Biffle dropped a cylinder. Dropped a cylinder?!
The incident also prompted Greg Biffle's girlfriend Nicole to visit Busch's pit and have a heated exchange with Busch's fiance Eva. Cat fight!
So what's with Kurt Busch? He's not exactly making friends this year, especially with former teammates (He pulled the bump and run on Matt Kenseth at Bristol and bumped Jeff Burton at Martinsville). He wasn't exactly winning fans with his behavior at the end of last year either. Then again, controversy is nothing new for Busch.
Update: Biffle's girlfriend reprimanded by NASCAR. I haven't seen such a ludicrous headline in a while.
March 26, 2006
It was a typical day at Bristol with sheet metal bending all the way to the end when Kurt Busch tapped former teammate Matt Kenseth for the win. Kenseth was slowed up by Dale Jarrett who was fighting to stay on the lead lap. Kenseth couldn't get around him and Busch lost patience. Kenseth lost two more positions, but ended up finishing third after putting the same bump on Jeff Gordon, who ended up 21st. Of course Gordon also but the bump on somebody, sending the lap down car of Martin Truex, Jr., around. Truex, Jr., came back at Gordon a few laps later, roughing him up until Tony Stewart tapped him and Truex, Jr. careened off the wall on his way to a 38th place finish.
And those were just the highlights in a typical day at Bristol. You gotta love this place.
March 20, 2006
Kasey Kahne continued his strong start to the 2006 season with a win today in Atlanta. Other drivers continued strong early season showings, including Mark Martin (second) and Jimmie Johnson (sixth). The trifecta of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart all ran well, placing third, fourth and fifth respecitvely, something Chevy fans haven't seen in a while. Paul Menard and Kyle Petty had strong showings with seventh and eighth place finishes--it sure is good to see Petty in the top 10.
But it wasn't such a good day for a few others, including Bobby Labonte (led early but his engine gave out), Carl Edwards (fastest car until he ran into Dave Blaney on pit road and then blew a tire), Greg Biffle (led a race-high 128 laps but then ran out of gas and finished 16th) and, of course, Kurt Busch, who was run into the wall by Kevin Harvick and the two exchanged some choice expletives (what, Busch has a temper?).
Of course the biggest headlines of the day went to Bill Lester who became the first black driver to race in a Cup series event since 1986. He finished six laps down in 38th place, but it was still a historic run. It's good to see more--OK, any--diversity in NASCAR, but it's kind of pathetic that something like this is getting so much attention.
March 12, 2006
Jimmie Johnson continues his streak, scoring his second win in three races, and another example of pulling a strong finish from a car that wasn't entirely dominant. He was certainly up front all day, but the only lap he lead all day was the one that counted.
Matt Kenseth stole most of the show but couldn't hold off Johnson on the last corner of the last lap. Shucks. But the second place finish will certainly help in the points.
February 26, 2006
So sorry Greg Biffle. Today was Kenseth's day. I can't help but wonder if it was a nice little extra that Tony Stewart blew up and finished dead last. A little irony for aggressive Tony.
Another strong Roush day, and though Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and Jeff Gordon finished decently, they weren't up front at all. More of their 2005 woes, which means fresh faces up front including Kasey Kahne and Casey Mears.
February 24, 2006
Maybe Mark Martin should have retired from Nextel Cup last year. Tonight he won his second straight Truck series race, making his career total 3 for 5. If it wasn't for my lousy less-than-basic cable package I could actually watch these Martin-dominated truck races. Doh.
February 19, 2006
Ah, NASCAR is back. At least the commercials are mostly NASCAR-themed so even though they take more than enough commercials, we still get to see NASCAR.
Early action included Martin Truex, Jr., tagging the wall and bringing out the caution and then Mike Wallace, Jeremy Mayfield and Greg Biffle got together and didn't bring out the caution. Not sure how that works.
And then the big news: Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart both tagged the wall. Two of the top guys got each other into the wall and now have a lot of ground to make up. Being a Roush-man and an anti-Chevy man (let's just wear the bias on our sleeve, shall we?), I can't help but be happy about that.
February 18, 2006
Mark Martin won yesterday's Craftsman truck series race, only his fourth victory at Daytona International Speedway in 111 races. His other Daytona wins come in two IROC races (2003 and 2005) and a Shootout race (1999). That also makes Martin two for four in truck series starts. Nice.
February 13, 2006
Ah, it's good to be back.
Yesterday rookie Denny Hamlin won the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. The shootout is one of those non-points races that's just plain fun. I wish we had more of those. It's also a precursor to the new season, which means it all gets going next week. Woo!
As a side note, thank goodness NBC is covering the Daytona 500. No boogety, boogety, boogety. I guess after Daytona we'll have to endure Darrell Waltrip's local color until July, but at least we get a reprieve.
Back to yesterday's action: wow. I'm not sure I should be so excited about the craziness of restrictor plate racing, but wow. My favorite moment of the day was Mark Martin's save when Kyle Bush got into him and Martin skated up the track and almost took out Jamie McMurray. What a save. You can almost hear Martin in the driver's seat cursing under his breath about restrictor plate racing as he does some amazing driving. I just hope Martin can have better luck with restrcitor plate tracks this year.
And what was up with Carl Edwards' penalties? Not sure I understood that one. His odd dive to the inside to get around the cars pitting was certainly unorthadox, but it looked like he just got pinched and did what he could to avoid a wreck. Which he did. He certainly wasn't trying to gain positions. I guess not everything goes Carl's way. Let's just hope he can learn to be as happy-go-lucky about defeats as well as victories.
Oh, and the winner, Denny Hamlin. What is there to say? That kid did quite a job staying in front of some legends. And it looks like Gibbs might finally have a team to rival Hendrick and Roush when it comes to working together.
November 21, 2005
It's all over. Tony Stewart managed to avoid trouble in the final race of the season and claim his second NASCAR Nextel Cup Championship. That's all he really managed to do with a so-so 15th place finish and spending much of his day hovering just outside the top 10. But since Jimmie Johnson had a worse day, cutting a tire and backing it into the wall, that's all Stewart needed to do.
Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle did everything they could do, but Stewart just wasn't that bad. Edwards led the most laps and finished fourth, and probably could have won if the race lasted 10 more laps. Biffle won the race and managed to tie for second place in the championship run with Edwards, both 35 points behind Stewart. Second place goes to Biffle who has more wins this season.
The race itself was great, with plenty of side by side racing, even to the checkered flag. The last two laps Mark Martin kept trying to mount a charge to get by Biffle. On the last lap they were side by side and it looked like Martin might be able to pull it off. But at the line his bumper was even with Biffle's left front tire, and it just wasn't enough.
The 2005 season is now on the books, and it's time to look forward to next year.
November 13, 2005
Rookie Kyle Bush won at Phoenix today in the second to last race of the season. Meanwhile his brother didn't even race, suspended after an off-track incident that may (according to law enforcement, Roush, and Crown Royal) or may not (according to Kurt Busch) have involved alcohol.
The championship picture just keeps looking better for Tony Stewart. He's 52 points ahead of Jimmie Johnson, 87 points ahead of Carl Edwards and 102 points ahead of Greg Biffle, the only guys who have a shot at the title. But it's the same old story, Stewart has to screw up pretty big next week in order for someone to come in and take the title. It's still his to lose.
November 6, 2005
Back-flip boy does it again. Almost-rookie Carl Edwards scores his fourth win of the year at Texas, coming from sixth after a late caution and pitstop to take the win. He passed Mark Martin for the win, giving Roush a one, two, three finish with Matt Kenseth third.
But the championship is another story. Tony Stewart finished sixth, behind chasers Edwards, Martin, Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson. Such good finishes for Stewart mean it's still his championship. Johnson gained a bit and is 38 points behind, and Edwards gained a lot and is 77 points behind, but with two races to go and Stewart consistently finishing in the top 10, it's going to take a miracle.
And Edwards seems like he could be that miracle. I'd be shocked if he could do it. Stewart is that good and Edwards isn't that consistent. But with the tear Edwards is on, it'll be fun to watch him give it a try. He made the comment today that if he won the championship they'd be backing into it, which really sums it up. He can't win without bad luck for Stewart and Johnson. But anything can happen.
Greg Biffle and Ryan Newman both had that kind of bad luck, Newman starting in the back and never really coming up front. Biffle with a loose tire and a couple of spins, when he made some amazing saves, but a 20th place finish won't get him any closer to Stewart.
Casey Mears would have had a chance for the win if the caution didn't come out late, and finished a career-best fourth. Nice to see him finish strong, especially when so often he's had trouble.
October 30, 2005
Back to Atlanta and the Roush cars are back with Carl Edwards scoring the win. Except for Kurt Busch, who had a tire go down and went into the wall. Mark Martin finished third, Matt Kenseth fifth and Greg Biffle seventh. With his backflip and win Edwards finally looks like a Chase-worthy driver again.
Rusty Wallace, the aforementioned Busch and Jeremy Mayfield all had trouble today, and championship hopes don't look good for any of them (did it ever look good for Mayfield?). Ryan Newman started on the poll but wasn't much of a threat today, especially after tagging the wall late in the race. Jimmie Johnson slipped back late in the race, nearly going a lap down until he was saved by a debris caution--lucky dog.
All of which means Tony Stewart's ninth place finish keeps him gaining ground toward claiming his second NASCAR Nextel Cup Championship. With three races to go the top 5 are within 107 points, but it's Stewart's championship to lose. Newman, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards can only hope both Stewart and Johnson have some serious trouble.
As much as I dislike Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon, it's nice to both of them running up front, if only to silence all the whiners who only seem to care about these two. But after such bad seasons for both of them (and how sick is it that a "bad" season for Gordon includes four wins?) it must be reassuring to be doing something right again.
October 24, 2005
Though Tony Stewart dominated all day long, it was Jeff Gordon with the win at Martinsville yesterday. It's been 23 races since Gordon's last win, making this number 4 for the year. That sounds pretty good for most drivers, but it's been a pretty abysmal year for Gordon since he didn't make it into the chase.
All I can say is at least it wasn't Tony Stewart. That guy seems unstoppable every race. If he doesn't win, he's at least up there with a shot at it. This year's championship is Tony's to lose.
And the Roush cars certainly helped him with that today. Kurt Busch finished sixth and Matt Kenseth 12th for the best Roush finishes, though every team had problems. Kenseth and Carl Edwards spun around a few times. Busch spun Michael Waltrip and was penalized a lap for it. Greg Biffle went down a lap. Mark Martin struggled all day after starting at the back of the pack and it finally came to an end when his brakes caught on fire.
It looks like Jimmie Johnson is the only one who has anything for Stewart.
October 16, 2005
So Jimmie Johnson wins a caution-heavy race at Charlotte. Tires were blowing left and right putting cars into the wall and taking out more than a dozen drivers. NASCAR threw two competition cautions to check the tires and at one point mandated that crews use the recommended air pressures from Goodyear. Bah.
On top of the frustration of a lame race I taped the race last night and sat down to watch it today. With five laps to go my screen went blue. Apparently setting the VCR for five hours wasn't enough. Bah.
And today comes the revelation that NASCAR considered cancelling the race. Instead they opted to mandate air pressures. How lame is this? When conditions get to the point that NASCAR has to change rules in the middle of race and even consider calling off the race, something needs to be done. And honestly, something should have been done long before the green flag dropped.
With only five races remaining in the Chase to the Championship, the numbers get especially interesting. Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson are tied for first with Greg Biffle 11 points back, Ryan Newman 17 points back and 51 points back to Mark Martin. It was Tony's championship to lose, and he lost a lot of ground last night. It's also amazing to see Mark Martin come back from his DNF at Talladega, though I'm afraid he may be shaping up for another heart-breaking runner-up position.
October 3, 2005
What can you say about NASCAR racing at Talladega? It's just wild. Wild enough for Dale Jarrett to win for the first time in 98 races. Wild enough for four Chase racers to get swept up in accidents (or blamed for them, in the case of Jimmie Johnson) and finish in 25th or worse, more than a few laps down. Wild enough for one Chase racer to have a tire go down, brush the wall, and come back to finish 8th (Kurt Busch).
The final laps were pretty intense as it was anybody's race. The announcers kept talking about Jarrett's car, though he opted not to run with the front runners most of the race. His car came charging back out of nowhere and passed Tony Stewart on the last lap. Kyle Petty's spin brought out the caution and the field was frozen with the win going to Jarrett.
One of the best sights of the race was seeing Petty's bent and mangled race car squealing towards the finish line as Petty forced it across the stripe so he could actually finish all 190 laps (though NASCAR scored Petty in 24th position, one lap down).
September 25, 2005
Jimmie Johnson wins his third race of the season and takes over the NASCAR Nextel Cup standings. His teammate, Kyle Busch, finished second and was right on his bumper as they came to the line. Rusty Wallace finished third, Mark Martin fourth and Ryan Newman fifth.
The Chase standings were shaken up with poor runs from Tony Stewart (finished 18th), Kurt Busch (23rd) and Matt Kenseth (35th). The top 6 positions in the standings are seperated by 23 points:
- Jimmie Johnson
- Rusty Wallace (-7)
- Ryan Newman (-12)
- Mark Martin (-21)
- Tony Stewart (-23)
- Greg Biffle (-23)
After that it's 81 points back to Jeremy Mayfield and it starts to be a large gap to overcome. Of course there are eight races to go.
I've got the laptop while I'm watching today, so let's do a little NASCAR blogging. The race starts and Robby Gordon's helmet says "Do Not Throw." Let's hope he keeps that in mind. Early in the race it's been the Roush show. For a while it was Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle, Mark Martin and Matt Kenseth in the top 5.
Like last week one of the big stories is Chase guys having trouble. Tony Stewart has been running towards the back of the field most of the day, but he has been moving up. Matt Kenseth had been running well but then ran over debris and had to pit during green flag racing. Now he's a lap down and trying to get it back. Kurt Busch had a close call when Kevin Lepage spun out and hit the wall. Lepage's car came down and narrowly missed Busch.
Of course that shuffles up the points pretty good. It's not over yet, but at one point the title standings showed Greg Biffle leading, with Jimmy Johnson 43 points back, and then Mark Martin, Rusty Wallace and Tony Stewart all 44 points back.
September 18, 2005
It's been nothing but dramatic at New Hampshire in the first of the final ten races of the NASCAR season. While Tony Stewart dominated the race, the last 50 laps looked like pit strategy would determine the race. But a late caution left Ryan Newman first and Tony Stewart second. With nine laps to go Stewart passed for the lead but Newman passed him back with two laps to go and held on for the win.
The chase contenders battled for position with Matt Kenseth holding off Greg Biffle and Rusty Wallace passing Mark Martin. Kurt Busch was taken out early by Scott Riggs but battled back for a 35th place finish.
Plenty of drama happened in the back of the field as well. Kyle Busch got into Kasey Kahne and Kahne retaliated by running his ruined car into Busch. A few laps later Robby Gordon got into Michael Waltrip under caution, and it appeared Waltrip held his ground and both cars spun out, putting Gordon into the wall. Gordon then tried to back his demolished racecar into Waltrip, and when that failed went with chucking his helmet. Then NASCAR red flagged the race to clean up the track. Kahne had some choice words to defend his payback and Gordon called Waltrip a "piece of sh-t" on TNT which will certainly cost him.
September 10, 2005
Richmond was the last race of the regular season in the NASCAR season and tonight the top 10 in the Championship points was set and those teams will race for the Championship in the next 10 weeks. Kurt Busch took the opportunity to build momentum for the Chase by winning at Richmond. Though Kevin Harvick led early, it was a Rousch race at the end with Busch, Kenseth and Biffle finishing one, two, three.
Most of the focus of the race was on those in the Chase bubble. Kenseth continued his amazing comeback landing himself in ninth place for the Championship, secure in the Chase. Carl Edwards stayed safe all night, though he didn't make it easy on the nerves. A wreck happened right in front of him and he was bumped from behind and tagged someone in the front, but managed to keep it under control and finish in 21st, enough for eighth in the Chase. Ryan Newman became the bubble man, finishing in 12th place tonight and securing the last spot in the chase.
A few other drivers weren't so lucky.
September 6, 2005
20-year-old rookie Kyle Busch dominated at California, leading the most laps on the way to his first ever Nextel Cup victory, making him the youngest winner in history. If only by four days; Donald Thomas was the previous youngest winner with his win at Atlanta in November 1951. He was four days older than Busch.
Most of the real excitement happened behind Busch as drivers jostled to score the most points and make it into the Chase. Matt Kenseth finished 7th, and is in 9th place for the Championship, 10 points ahead of Jamie McMurray in 10th place, who finished in 8th place. Ryan Newman finished 18th and Jeff Gordon 21st, finishes that lost both of them two places in the Championship run. Newman is in 11th, one point behind 10th, and Gordon is in 12th, 30 points behind 10th. Next week at Richmond is the final race before the Chase, the last chance teams have to get into the top 10 to vie for the championship.
August 27, 2005
Don't count Matt Kenseth out of the Chase yet. He dominates at Bristol, winning the pole, leading the most laps, and coming home with the win--his first since March 2004.
The Chase got interesting with strong runs in weak cars from Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart, who all ended up in the top 10. Earnhardt even had the help of three lucky dogs. Three.
Now Jeff Gordon is in 10th place for the Chase, suddenly back in the game. Kenseth is in 11th, up four spots in one race, only 11 points behind Gordon. Dale Jarrett dropped three spots back to 14th with a bit of a temper. I'm not sure there's anything brown can do for him.
Drivers are getting a little testy at Bristol. 100 laps after being spun out by Ryan Newman, Dale Jarrett wanted some payback and blatantly took out Newman going into the corner. NASCAR penalized Jarrett two laps after his team finished repairs (ooh, two more laps when you're already a dozen or so down).
TNT didn't get a chance to interview Newman or Jarrett, though they did talk with Kevin Harvick who got collected in the wreck. As usual, Harvick wasn't exactly a happy camper. During the interview he seemed to be more upset with his spotter for not telling him the track wasn't clear (and during the replay you can hear the spotter say it's clear as Newman's car sits directly in front of Harvick. Then again, if Harvick just followed Brian Vickers he would have been OK.)
To further complicate Harvick's story, when his team finished repairs on his car Harvick was no where to be found. He'd returned to his trailer, changed into street clothes, and when told his car was ready, he said he didn't think he'd be going back out. Scott Riggs was going to take the car back out. Though now they're showing Harvick climbing back in. Looks like he cooled down a bit.
Elsewhere on the track teammates Jeff Gordon and Brian Vickers were trading bumper taps, though so far neither one has ended up in the wall.
Towards the front it's mostly been Matt Kenseth.
Update: TNT gets a chance to talk with Newman when his car retires, and he says when he took out Jarrett it wasn't intentional, but Jarrett's move obviously was. After the race Jarrett declined to talk to TNT. It'll be interesting to see what's said this week.
In the closing laps of the race Carl Edwards tapped and turned both Jeff Green and Kyle Petty, prompting a little post-race chat between Petty and Edwards. But surprisingly, there were lots of smiles and handshakes, the veteran teaching the rookie a thing or two. It's nice to see some on-track disputes solved without red faces, screaming or throwing things.
August 26, 2005
Tonight's NASCAR Busch Series race at Bristol was pretty exciting once the rain finally stopped. Ryan Newman finally won it, holding off hard charges from Kasey Kahne (who spun out trying to get under Newman), Greg Biffle and Kevin Harvick. A number of cautions slowed the end and both Biffle and Harvick complained about each other and Newman's restarts (not sure what the problem was, he started within his rights and varied his starts enough to throw the guys behind him off--he did his job).
That's three Busch Series wins in a row for Newman.
August 22, 2005
While some folks don't like gas mileage races, I love seeing things mixed up for a change. It all came down to gas mileage on Sunday at Michigan, which seems appropriate when gas prices rose to record $2.55 nationwide. Jeremy Mayfield stretched his mileage and stole a victory with an otherwise so-so car.
With no cautions in the last 51 laps most of the field had to make late pit stops for gas, leaving Mayfield and second-place Scott Riggs out there stretching their mileage. Matt Kenseth finished third and had stopped with 19 laps to go, but didn't have enough time to catch Mayfield. After the victory Mayfield had enough gas left for a victory lap and burnout, where he blew both rear tires and had to walk to victory lane.
While Michigan is usually ruled by Roush Racing, and though a Roush car didn't win, they were in contention all day, with four cars finishing in the top 10 and all in the top 20. Series leader Tony Stewart finished fifth and locked himself into the Chase for the Championship.