Race Weekend Central

5 Points to Ponder: 2009 Milwaukee/Infineon Edition

Edwards getting hot

A lot has already been said of Carl Edwards’s winless start to the season in both the Cup and Nationwide series after dominating both one year ago. Less and less ink has been wasted in the past month though as Edwards has slowly turned the corner. On the Cup side, the Missouri native parlayed four consecutive top 10s prior to a near-top 10 at the topsy-turvy road course in Sonoma, Calif. this weekend. But the proverbial monkey that’s been on Edwards’s back all season finally leapt off Saturday night (June 20) when he powered from the back of the pack to the front and by Kyle Busch for the win at Milwaukee.

See also
Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2009 NorthernTool.com 250 at Milwaukee

Edwards must find a way now to keep the momentum going in both series as he chases down Busch in Nationwide and needs wins for crucial bonus points when it comes time for the Chase on the Cup side.

Long day for ‘Dinger

AJ Allmendinger, in need of a good run after a hot start to the season had gone sour, had high expectations coming into Sunday’s race (June 21) after posting the fastest speed in Happy Hour. It wasn’t exactly the day Allmendinger expected, but in the end the former CART driver posted a solid seventh-place finish.

Fighting back from a flat tire that sent him a lap down and a spin after contact with race leader Denny Hamlin, the ‘Dinger got back on the lead lap and raced his way to the front. He picked his moments to attack and showed patience at a time cars were spinning off track routinely. While the solid finish may have been a result of his road-course racing abilities, he can only hope the top-10 finish is the shot in the arm the No. 44 team needs to recapture its early season success.

Class Act

When Kurt Busch got dumped by Jimmie Johnson in the second half of Sunday’s race everybody in the Frontstretch live blog assumed Busch would have a few choice words for the three-time defending champion. That wasn’t the case as Busch offered up a classy post-race interview and even shook hands with the driver who turned him. Hopefully baby brother can take a few pointers from Kurt. He fought back for a top 15 at a time when Kyle may have thrown in the towel. That’s the difference between a champion and a driver with loads of talent, but little respect.

The King returns to Victory Lane

Sure it was cool to see Kasey Kahne in victory lane after a year-long drought, but for me it was even greater to see Richard Petty get his first win as owner since April 18, 1999.

See also
Kasey Kahne Wins a Wild 2009 Toyota Save Mart 350 at Sonoma

It was a day Richard Petty Motorsports got its first win, but it was also a day where three RPM cars recorded top-10 finishes (Elliott Sadler – 10th; Allmendinger – seventh). RPM has cooled down since its impressive season debut at Daytona, but days like this are big for a team without a driver in the Chase, and a manufacturer – Dodge – that has struggled all season.

Frontstretch LIVE BLOG comment of the race

Each week, I will further expand on some of the more interesting fan comments from our weekly Frontstretch LIVE Cup race blog. Here’s one of the more interesting comments from this week’s blog:

I wonder what he will say after the race. – speeddemon787 on contact between Kyle Busch and Sam Hornish Jr.

Kyle Busch has reason to be upset this season as he is now just 43 points from falling out of the Chase despite three wins. It’s not the type of success he expected after a dominant season across the board in 2008. But the problem I have had with Busch lately is his comments the past few weeks in the Truck and Nationwide series where he says his team, “Shows up to finish second.”

Now, Busch wants wins, I understand that. But these Nationwide and Truck crew members want a win much more than a guy coming down from Cup to race against drivers and teams with less money. Just because you finish second (a good position when you are racing for a CHAMPIONSHIP) don’t make it seem like your team isn’t trying its hardest when its obviously the best team in the business.

P.S.: Our live blog pops up again next Sunday as we break down the racing action from New Hampshire! Come join the fun!

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About the author

The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.

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