To the Point: The Truex Express is back on track. After a poor finish last week at Gateway, Martin Truex Jr. rebounded to score his sixth victory of the season at Indianapolis Raceway Park. He was followed to the stripe by his closest competitors for the Busch Series championship. Clint Bowyer came home second, followed by Reed Sorenson in third, the exact order the three drivers hold in the season point standings. Jason Keller finished fourth, with David Stremme rounding out the top five.
Who Should Have Won: Depends. This was the tale of two races, when a brief shower brought out a red flag sixty laps in. Pre-rain shower, pole-sitter Reed Sorenson dominated in the early going until Clint Bowyer completed an authoritative march to the front, taking the lead just before the red flag put a halt to the action. While all of this was going on, eventual winner Truex didn’t appear to have a car that could compete with either of them, and was mired in the back half of the top ten.
Post-rain shower, Bowyer restarted in front, but the newly clean track didn’t seem to suit his car. It did suit Truex, however, who came alive and marched to the front to lead a race-high 94 laps. Conclusion? Pre-rain shower, it was all Bowyer. Post-rain shower, Truex was the man.
Three Questions You Should Be Asking After the Race Weekend:
1) Another race with almost no Buschwhacker presence, and yet we see the same cast of young guns in the front. Why do the rest of the Busch regulars still seem to be invisible?
2) Should the Busch Series stay at IRP and continue to put on a great short track show for a sellout crowd, or should they move to the prestigious big track across the way?
3) Night racing is great, but in cases like this where weather interferes, it keeps some part of the audience up mighty late. Is there any way around this, and should NASCAR consider dusk to night races, with earlier start times targeted to end in prime time, instead of full-out night races?
Worth Noting/Points Shuffle:
Jason Keller posted his first top five finish of the season with his fourth place result.
Martin Truex Jr.’s sixth victory of 2005 is also the 100th win for the DEI organization.
David Green continues his surge with another strong run. An eighth place result is the third consecutive top ten finish for Green.
Mike Wallace scored consecutive top ten finishes driving for different teams. Wallace, competing only part-time in the Busch Series this year, finished second at Gateway driving the No. 6 of Ray Evernham, and then finished tenth Saturday driving the No. 64 for older brother Rusty Wallace at IRP.
Truex maintains his points lead, and expanding the gap from 70 to 85 points over second place Clint Bowyer. Truex also gained 20 points on third place Sorenson, who now trails him by 104 points.
The only change in the top ten in points is a swap between David Stremme, who moved up to eighth on the strength of his fifth place result, and Ashton Lewis Jr., who dropped to ninth.
“It’s really raining hard out here. There’s water running in the car.” David Stremme, No. 14 Navy Dodge.
“The two guys in front of me in points finished right there in front of me. If you’re going to lose to them you might as well be right behind them.” Reed Sorenson
“It was pretty crazy out there tonight, but it’s all good. This is a great racetrack because you can actually race on it. It was a lot of hard work, but it was some of the best fun I’ve had.” Paul Menard, No. 11 DEI Monte Carlo.
“Hornaday did a great job to battle for that fourteenth place finish. We definitely had more driver than car tonight.” Todd Lohse, crew chief, No. 32 WinFuel Chevrolet.
Next Up: The Busch boys and girls will turn left AND right for the second time this season as the series makes a return to Watkins Glen, after dropping the road course a few seasons ago. It was returned to the schedule this year as a complement to the Mexico City road course race. The Zippo 200 starts at 2:00 PM EST on Saturday, and can be seen live on NBC.
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