To The Point: Carl Edwards treated fans at California Speedway to his signature victory back flip after cruising to the victory last Saturday night in Fontana. Edwards lurked near the front all night, and his No. 60 Charter Communications team got the car right just when they needed it the most, the last segment. Greg Biffle came home second, followed by Clint Bowyer, Johnny Sauter, and Kasey Kahne.
Who Should Have Won: Greg Biffle. I know Edwards ran strong all night and had the best car at the end, but Biffle was the class of the field right up until his final pit stop. Perhaps his team didn’t keep up with needed adjustments as well as Edwards’ did because Biffle got passed by Edwards and backslid at the beginning of that final run. The car did eventually come around, and Biffle finished strong… but he could never quite catch Edwards again. Still, he still gets my nomination in this category because did anyone watching NOT think Biffle had that thing well in hand right up until the end?
Three Questions You Should Be Asking After the Race Weekend:
1) The Busch Series championship is down to a two-horse race most likely. Should the Busch Series use a chase format like Cup to spice things up?
2) The Busch Series hasn’t had an off weekend since May. This was the 15th race of a 16 consecutive week stretch of racing. Should the Busch Series schedule be revamped to break the season into more even portions, avoiding long stretches with no time off?
3) Does the fact that the Busch Series regulars have been racing since May without an off weekend put them at even more of a disadvantage to the Buschwhackers?
Worth Noting/Points Shuffle:
Winner Carl Edwards and his car owner Jack Roush have pledged to donate their winnings from the Ameriquest 300 to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
Greg Biffle is becoming familiar with the saying "Always a bridesmaid"¦" after finishing second for the third week in a row. It is Biffle’s fifth second place result overall for the season.
The Ameriquest 300 featured three Mexico City natives in Carlos Contreras, Michel Jourdain Jr., and Adrian Fernandez.
Clint Bowyer was finally able to capitalize on a bad night for points leader Martin Truex, Jr. Bowyer finished third while Truex, who was never a factor and ran into late engine troubles, came home 15th. Bowyer still trails Truex in the points standings, but has closed the gap a little which now stands at only 142 points.
Edwards’ win also pushed him past Reed Sorenson in season points to take over the third spot. Sorenson falls back to fourth.
It’s staring to look like musical chairs in the ever-popular seventh through ninth portion of the points standings. This week it’s David Green who slides back to spots to ninth, while David Stremme and Paul Menard each move up one spot to seventh and eighth respectively.
"I’m getting pretty tired of second place finishes. We definitely had the fastest car on long runs, but the race just didn’t play out the way we needed it to. It’s pretty hard to have a 20 second lead and finish second. These guys deserve to win so badly, and to have five second place finishes is pretty disheartening. We have a lot to be proud of"¦ believe me, our day will come." Greg Biffle
"I felt very much like a rookie out there. There is just so much to learn and I knew nothing. I was coming down the pit lane and I thought to myself "˜I have no idea what I am doing right now.’ But, I learned, and we got better and better. There at the end we got the car really good and I felt like Superman passing people. We could have kept going to the front, but I brushed the wall there in the final laps and it hurt our momentum." Open wheel veteran Adrian Fernandez after running his first NASCAR oval track race. Fernandez’s only prior NASCAR start was the Mexico City road race in March.
"It is a shame that we didn’t get a better finish. We raced tonight with all the Coast Guard personnel who have been involved in the hurricane relief on our minds and really wanted to perform well for them. I couldn’t be more proud to represent such a great Service. I know that many of the Coast Guardsmen performing those rescues had their own homes and possessions destroyed, but their first concern was saving others. The level of sacrifice they are showing is something that all of us are in awe of." Justin Labonte, finished 36th
Next Up: It’s back to the short tracks for the Busch Series with a trip to Richmond International Raceway. The Emerson Radio 250 will be a Friday night fight and will be shown on TNT beginning at 7:30 PM EST.
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