The Frontstretch: The Top Spot : Thunder Valley by Brandon Daun -- Monday April 4, 2005

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The Top Spot : Thunder Valley

Brandon Daun · Monday April 4, 2005


As fans have come to expect, this weekend’s Food City 500 seemed more of a demolition derby than a NASCAR race. Cars were smashed, crashed, and lapped so much that the race set a new record in caution laps run. In the end, Kevin Harvick took the victory, without the assistance of regular crew chief Todd Berrier. As drivers are now looking to Martinsville, I am taking a look back at the Food City 500, highlighting the high, the low, and the simply spectacular events that occured on the concrete this past Sunday.

He may have not won the race, nor even posted top 10 finish, but Rusty Wallace was the top driver in the Food City 500. Wallace took the lead early on, and never seemed to look back. he and his Miller Lite team virtually dominated the race, out front often enough so that they could lead the most laps. However, victory in his final spring Bristol race was not to be, and after being involved in some difficult times, relegated a 13th place finish.

Greg Biffle and his team made the top mistake of the day, missing out on a pit stop that could have been the winning factor. When a yellow flag flew in the final 100 laps, Biffle choose not to pit and rather would maintain the lead. The other drivers inside the top 10 opted to pit, and on the restart just flew by Biffle. Greg managed to finish ninth on Sunday, however was left wondering what could have been.

Kurt Busch took the top hit of the day during the Food City 500. After all, being in a head on collision that ruins your run for a win and your string of success is pretty hard to top. Busch will recover and return to Bristol, but his spring running proved to be more of a wash out than the Busch series race.

Dale Earnhardt, Junior made the biggest surprise of the weekend with his strong run. For the first time since Daytona, Jr. finally finihsed a race inside the top 5. However, only time will tell if Jr. can continue this success and begin the true rally to make the chase.

This week, I have to award the “attaboy” to Bobby Hamilton, Junior. I’m not awarding him for an excellent on track move or a wonderful run, but rather complimenting his ability to accept responsibility. After causing a massive wreck in the Food City 500 that took out several contenders, Hamilton, Junior was able to accept responsibility for his mistake, a move that showed alot of respect and maturity on the part of Hamilton, Junior.

In closing, it’s time to make the Martinsville predictions. I believe that Jeff Gordon will be looking to rebound from his poor run at Bristol, and the only way for Gordon to get back on track is with a win at the paperclip shaped short track. Also, I’m looking at either Greg Biffle or Ryan Newman to return to victory lane this weekend.

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