In a Nutshell: Carl Edwards was marching away to another Busch victory when he was taken out on a restart. The door swung wide open for the Busch series regulars and Stephen Leicht took all of the knowledge he garnered at the defensive driving classes and took the checkered flag to be the first non-Cup winner this year. Leicht made good on an effort that started with disappointment last weekend when his engine blew while he was leading convincingly at Nashville. Brad Coleman, Scott Wimmer, David Stremme and Shane Huffman rounded out the Top 5.
Who Should Have Won: Carl Edwards was the car to beat before he was taken out on a restart on lap 155 by Steven Wallace. Edwards had a ten second lead when the caution flew for debris before the restart. Regan Smith is the only driver, other than Edwards, who has any claim to possibly having had a chance to win this race. Smith, who was on the pole for the first time in his career, was leading when he ran his car out of gas before his first pit stop on lap 64. By the time the team was able to get the car refired and back into contention, they were two laps down. If that miscue hadn't happened, Smith might have actually been able to win.
Three questions you should be asking after the race this weekend.
1) Did the folks at Meijer get a deal on white towels?
The 70,000 fans at Kentucky were waving white towels on every restart throughout the night and made the place look like a UK basketball game more than a Busch race. It may not help Kentucky Speedway land a Cup date, but it was definitely something that isn't seen at a NASCAR race on a regular basis.
2) Does Kentucky deserve a Cup date?
70,000 people at a stand alone Busch series race, with only seven Cup regulars in the field is a pretty impressive achievement. The facility has plans to add another 35,000 seats and 50 luxury boxes if they are ever able to land the elusive Cup date. Having that kind of attendance at a stand alone event speaks volumes for the kind of support that the area has for racing and definitely sends a strong message to the folks in Daytona that the Bluegrass state is ready to host a Cup race.
3) Does Carl Edwards really need to come back out in a damaged racecar to salvage points?
After being wrecked out of the event, Carl Edwards came back onto the track some 20 laps down to try and log more miles and possibly pick up more points in a damaged racecar. With a points lead that was assured of being more than 700 points by the end of the night, it really isn't necessary for Edwards to come out and limp around the track to try and gain a spot or two. It seems like a bit of an unnecessary exercise.
Worth noting/points shuffle:
Danny O'Quinn actually was given a chance to drive in a Busch race again when he was given the keys to the No. 17 car this week. Unfortunately for O'Quinn, the night ended early when he lost it and hit the wall on lap 92.
Carl Edwards was taken out of the race on lap 155 and saw his point lead ONLY expand from 662 to 701. Edwards was well on his way to another dominant victory when Stephen Wallace got into his left rear quarter panel on a restart and ended his night prematurely. Dave Blaney’s 15th place finish was good enough to leapfrog Kevin Harvick, who was not running in the race, for second in the points standings.
Buschwhackers in the race: 7
Starting spots taken by Buschwhackers YTD: 307 of 641
Buschwhackers finishing in the Top 10: 4
Buschwhackers finishing in the Top 10 YTD: 121 of 160
Races won by Buschwhackers YTD: 15 of 16
Buschwhackers ranked in the Top 10 in Busch Series points standings: 6
"I told my spotter to tell him to take it easy on the restart. We were both going for the win, we both really wanted to win this race. He got a run on me, I tried to ease down and block him. If I hadn't tried to block him, or if he'd been more patient, we wouldn't have wrecked." Carl Edwards
"I have mixed emotions. My best friend just one his first race, and he beat me to do it. We ran a great race, and I had him on every restart but that last one. He did and awesome job and I am glad for him." Brad Coleman
"That was totally uncalled for." Morgan Shepherd
For the third week in a row, the Busch series will be running an event separate from a Cup race when they head to Milwaukee to run on the flat one mile oval at the fair grounds on Saturday. The AT&T 250 will be covered by ESPN2 and MRN starting at 8:00 PM.
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