The Frontstretch: Five Points to Ponder: Food City 500 Edition by Mike Lovecchio -- Monday March 23, 2009

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Five Points to Ponder: Food City 500 Edition

Mike Lovecchio · Monday March 23, 2009


The Busch Series

If you’re not a Busch, you haven’t been in a Sprint Cup Victory Lane in over a month. Kyle Busch made it three wins in a row for the Vegas brothers, leading 378 of 503 laps at Bristol this weekend en route to his second win of the season. The last three Sprint Cup races have been won by either Kyle Busch or his older brother Kurt, whose win two weeks ago in Atlanta followed Kyle’s at Las Vegas. Lil’ Busch is having a similar season to that of his 2008 campaign, but it’s been Kurt Busch who’s been the surprise, finishing 11th this weekend despite starting 32nd and suffering an early run-in with Kevin Harvick.

With his win at Bristol, his first repeat victory at a track, Kyle kept the Busch victory streak going with win three for the brothers from Vegas.

Speaking of…

…Kyle Busch, this weekend’s victory marked the first time he has won two races at the same track in his Sprint Cup career. Surprised? Well, it’s easy to forget after his impressive season one year ago that this kid is just 23 years old and has had only one extraordinary season to his young career. Will he start duplicating wins soon? Certainly. But this stunning statistic is a reminder of how young Busch is and a testament to how successful he’s been in such a short period of time.

On the outside looking in

For all the talk of Joey Logano flirting with falling out of the top 35 in owner points, it is fellow rookie Scott Speed who is on the outside looking in heading to Martinsville. Speed will now have to qualify his way in next week and in future races until he can manage to race his way back into the top 35. Suddenly, this year’s supposedly strong rookie duo isn’t just racing each other, but the top 35 cutoff as well.

On the inside looking out… and smiling

While the No. 82 is 36th in owner points, it’s former driver A.J. Allmendinger who’s 16th in points despite no full-time sponsor and uncertainty over whether or not he will even run the full season. What Allmendinger is doing with the equipment he’s in is further proof of his driving talent.

18 and out

Travis Kvapil matched his season best finish this weekend, coming home 18th, but the former Truck Series champion will not be at Martinsville. The No. 28 team announced on Sunday that sponsorship issues will force the team to close its doors for the foreseeable future. The decision is certainly a product of the economy, but further proves how important it is to be in the top 35 in owner points. After failing to make the field at Las Vegas and then losing an engine one week later at Atlanta, the No. 28 team was in too deep of a hole to climb out of.

Notes to Ponder:

Martin turns it around: Finally, after solid runs but poor finishes in the first four races, Mark Martin recorded his first top 10, finishing 6th.

Shout outs… to Marcos Ambrose and Juan Pablo Montoya for their first top 10s of the season.

Reutimann on a roll: Steadily in the top 10 for much of the day, Reutimann finished 12th, his fourth top 15 in five races this year.

Contact Mike Lovecchio

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03/24/2009 03:58 PM


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