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Numbers Game: 2009 Crown Royal Presents The Russ Friedman 400 at Richmond

2 Drivers failed to qualify for the Crown Royal Presents The Russ Friedman 400. (No. 64 Todd Bodine, No. 06 Trevor Boys) 2.751 Kyle Busch‘s margin of victory over Tony Stewart in Saturday’s Crown Royal Presents The Russ Friedman 400. 3 Number of times winner Busch led the Crown Royal …

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Five Points to Ponder: 2009 Crown Royal 400 at Richmond Edition

*A Busch birthday* On a magical night for NASCAR’s brightest young star, Kyle Busch blew out 24 candles and picked up a Sprint Cup trophy in the same day, becoming only the second driver to accomplish such a feat. The birthday win puts him in a league with only Cale Yarborough, but its significance is even greater when you look at the numbers. At exactly 24 years of age, the flamboyant Vegas native is now the youngest driver ever to record 15 Sprint Cup wins, and is at a total of 50 victories across the sport’s top three series.

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Bubble Breakdown: Hornish’s Two Top 10s Make Qualifying On Speed A Distant Memory

What a strange weekend for our beloved bubble dwellers it was at Richmond. At Friday’s qualifying session, Mike Bliss put the No. 09 Dodge in the sixth starting position with what seemed to be a car running with the momentum from last week’s upset win at Talladega. Scott Speed also looked like his team was harnessing their momentum from the previous weekend with an eighth place qualifying run. In contrast, Robby Gordon, whose career starting average at Richmond is 30th, looked to be struggling with a 36th place qualifying effort, while Sam Hornish, Jr. looked to be back to normal with a lackluster 28th place starting spot. But as you know, strange things happen under the lights at Richmond... so to see if our bubble teams flipped their weekends around, read on in this week’s edition of the Bubble Breakdown.

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Carl Edwards Wasn’t Quite Right

Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby announced this week that there won’t be any changes in the plate racing, espousing the excitement of Daytona and Talladega just days after two drivers had near-death experiences. Too many writers agree. Quite a few have said that Talladega was a great race and NASCAR shouldn’t do a thing to change it. Some have said that all of the safety precautions worked. Not quite. Seven fans were injured. If that isn’t a wake up call, it damn well oughta be. If a car goes into the grandstand and kills 50 fans, NASCAR is over, my friends. There will not be another race. Believe it. Darby also said, presumably with a straight face, that people play up the danger of wrecks at plate tracks as opposed to wrecks at Atlanta or Charlotte. So Daytona and Talladega are two of the most exciting tracks on the circuit because of the danger, but they aren’t any more dangerous than Atlanta or Charlotte. I’ll figure that one out and get back to you.

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Driven To The Past: The Day I Lost It…

Somebody asked me last week if I ever “lost” a car while I was in the flagstand. Well, I have to admit I did. Twice in about 30 years. First time was in an ARCA race at Campbellsville, Ky., a dirt (red clay, actually) high-banked quarter-mile, in the late 1960s. They had a corrugated metal fence about 30 feet off the top rim of the banking in the first and second turns, and about halfway through the 100-lap race this huge hole appeared right in the middle of the turn--just about big enough for a stock car.

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Blue Smoke and Burnt Rubber: Chapter Six

Even in the dark it roared. Thrumming through his body—the very soles of his feet. Chris swallowed against the rush of adrenaline. Out there, in the fog, they were racing. He strained against the murk before his eyes, his ears telling him something wasn’t right. In the distance, he heard …

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Kurt Busch: Welcome Back

Largely lost in the hubbub surrounding Sunday’s action packed contest at Talladega Superspeedway that culminated with a spectacular crash, a win by a part-time Sprint Cup driver with only five starts under his belt and the surprising finishes by the likes of Scott Speed, Joey Logano and Marcos Ambrose was the fact that Kurt Busch is now leading the driver’s championship point standings. On the merits of a sixth place finish in the Aarons’s 499, Busch moved ahead of 4-time Cup Champion Jeff Gordon and left Alabama with a slim five-point lead heading into Saturday night's race from the Richmond International Raceway. On one hand, topping the standings after only nine of 36 events on the Cup schedule isn’t that big a deal, but on the other hand that Busch, who despite being a former champion has not lead in points in more than four years, finds himself on top is significant.

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Fanning the Flames: Making Sense Of The Talladega Mayhem

*Why is everyone complaining about the [Talladega] finish? The fence held! The drivers walked away! It worked like it was supposed to! Let them race and quit complaining!* _— Kevin Hart_ *A:* I’ll give you those points. Yes, the fence held and yes, everyone walked away, but we simply can’t have cars flying all over the place — especially into the catch fencing that separates the field of competition from thousands of spectators. It just can’t happen.

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A Yellow Line Rant Of A Different Color

What a difference a half a year makes! A little over six months ago, we had a lot to write about after the race at Talladega. Seems that a mostly unknown rookie almost won a Cup race at Talladega. That man was Regan Smith. Without rehashing the whole ordeal, in short, Reagan was forced below the (then single) yellow line by Tony Stewart, but yet still managed to pass him for the (supposed) win!

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Frontstretch Fantasy Insider: Beating and Banging in the Capital of the South

With Talladega in the rear-view mirror, the Sprint Cup Series turns to the cozier confines of Richmond International Raceway and good ol' fashioned short tracking this week. But while the Series’ last downforce race at Phoenix offered a glimpse of who you'd expect to contend in Virginia’s capital, don't discount what happened last Sunday. With more than half of the top 12 in the standings involved in wrecks, the wild-card race at Talladega certainly managed to throw a wrench into the momentum of some contenders. The "Big One" doesn't discriminate whenever it chooses its victims ... and the hangover from those nasty crashes can last a couple of weeks if teams aren't careful. With that in mind, who's ready to vault towards fantasy perfection at the track many call perfect for racing? Short-tracking on a Saturday night is always cause to put a smile on race fans' faces… and with the help of the Frontstretch Insiders, this weekend will be all the more enjoyable for you and your fantasy lineup.

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