RealClearSports
Advertisement

The Pit Stop


February 8, 2009 3:32 AM

The season starts in wild fashion.

At the start of the 2009 season it is a new look Budweiser Shootout as a record 28 cars have been entered into the event.

Winning the poll this time came from a draw of Budweiser bottles where Paul Menard was the lucky winner.  To get into the race this year the top six cars for each manufacture based on owners points got in the race.  Also each manufacture got to pick one extra driver as a wildcard pick for the race.

The race is now longer then before.  The first segment of race goes for 25 laps and then we have a 10 minute pit stop.  The second and final segment goes for fifty laps.

Two cautions came out in the first 25 laps.  The first one came out on lap four as David Ragan who gets sideways helps take out Robby Gordon, Joey Logano, Scott Speed, and Greg Biffle.  Also getting damage was Casey Mears.  Weaving his way in and out of the wreck was Jeff Gordon.

Scott Speed said that he was all right.

The second wreck came out on lap 23 as Denny Hamlin helps take our David Stremme and David Reutimann.  That caution took us to the end of the first segment.

Cars getting to lead some laps in the first segment included Paul Menard, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

At the start of the second segment it was Carl Edwards leading the race, but it did not last long and he got stuck in the middle, which put Kasey Kahne in the lead.  At lap 32 In turn one Jeff Gordon got four wide.  With no room left he gets into Greg Biffle and spins him out.  Getting the worst of it was Jeff Burton.  Also getting damage was Casey Mears, A.J. Allmendinger, and Jimmie Johnson.

"Not the way we wanted to start our association with Caterpillar," said Jeff Burton.

This brought every car down pit for at least fuel.  Getting the lead of the race off pit road was Denny Hamlin who only took fuel.  At the drop of the green flag it was Reed Sorenson in the back of the field blowing an engine bringing out at lap 39.

The green flag drops and Dale Earnhardt Jr. was able to get the lead of race.  A couple laps later and Michael Waltrip hits the wall hard sending him to the pits.  With 26 laps left Carl Edwards pushed Matt Kenseth into the lead of the race, but it did not last long and Dale was back in the lead of the race.

With 21 laps to go the next caution came out as David Stremme takes out Elliott Sadler.  Also getting some damage was David Reutimann.  This caution also brought in all the cars on the lead lap.  Carl Edwards was able win the race off pit road to lead the race.

The green flag drops and Kyle Busch quickly took the lead of the race.  Then it was Jimmie Johnson pushing Dale Jr. into the lead of the race. With 14 laps left Dale Jr. got stuck in the middle giving Jimmie Johnson the lead of the race.  With 12 laps left Brian Vickers took the lead of the race.

On the next lap the caution comes out as Paul Menard spins out taking out Bobby Labonte and Dale Jr.  "Real good on new tires," said Dale Jr.  He also stated that he was trying to regroup while at the back of the field. This caution period brought in Brian Vickers as few other cars.

With seven laps left the green flag drops with Jamie McMurray as the leader.  With three laps left Jeff Gordon tried to get the lead of the race, but it did not work.  On the next lap Greg Biffle and David Stremme get together.  This caution brought out the green white/checkers.  

Jamie got a not so great restart, but in the back it got really wild with some three and four wide racing.  This gave Jamie a small lead on the final lap.  The Kevin Harvick was able to sling shot past Jamie for the lead of the race.  Then the caution comes out as Casey Mears, Jimmie Johnson, and other wreck.

That gave Kevin the win of the race and a check for 200 grand.

"That was some wild racing," said Kevin Harvick.  

Jamie McMurray said that he was trying to make his car as wide as possible.

"Nice to be back in the cars," said Jimmie Johnson.

Tony Stewart said that it was not the prettiest third place finish.

The race had 15 leaders and 23 lead changes which are brand new records for this race.

A Member Of