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The Pit Stop


May 11, 2009 10:41 PM

Jeremy Mayfield, Darlington, and ratings news....

USA Today reports that the drug tester for NASCAR disputes the claim made by Jeremy Mayfield that is was some allergy medicine

The overnight rating for the Darlington race is in and it is down 16% from last year and came in at a 3.6.

Got in the post race interviews from the Dalington Nationwide Series race.

NATIONWIDE ON-HOLD - POST DARLINGTON.mp3

Victory Interview with Matt Kenseth from NASCAR Nationwide Series at Darlington

How's this for a strange twist? Matt Kenseth won the Nationwide Series race at Darlington without ever leaving a green flag left. When bad luck at the very last minute bit the man who had dominated the Diamond Hill Plywood 200. Kyle Busch looked like he was on his way to his fourth Nationwide Series win of the year, when the yellow came out on the same lap that the checkered flag was supposed to. Before they could get to overtime and the green white checkered flag finish as NASCAR cleaned up the track Busch's right rear tire began to go flat, forcing him to pit. That turned the top spot over to Kenseth and almost as soon as the race was re-started, another wreck occurred giving the Citi Financial Ford driver the victory. After Joe Nemechek had bounced off the inside and outside walls  to bring out the next to the last caution, it didn't take Kenseth long to realize Busch had tire trouble. 

Matt Kenseth:
You could see it was flat we slowed down and ran one lap under caution. I looked and his right rear was flat. There was a lot of debris in the backstretch; we got a lot closer to the wreck than what it looked like. I actually hit something with my left front, a piece of a corner panel or something and obviously he ran something over too and he caught the bad breaking out of the flat and weaved in so that was obviously a big turning point. I think we could have raced on a green white checkered but that guy in the front has a pretty good advantage. Racing him in the past might have been two different things. We did have a good car and we had to be there all night, just got a good break for us there at the end.

Kenseth also thought Busch might stay out, hoping the flat tire might get him as far as turn one.

Kenseth:
That thought did cross my mind that he would try to start and get to turn one and hope that somebody did run somebody over and the race was over but it was so flat I'm not sure he could have got through the gears before I passed him to be honest with you. I don't even think, I think I would have passed him before he got to turn one because it was just flat on inner liner so it would have been pretty tough to try that.

After leading 143 laps, Busch gave up first place to Kenseth on lap 149 on what was supposed to be a 147 lap race which eventually ended after 153 circuits and again Kenseth leading the last four laps under yellow, Kenseth's car owner Jack Roush.

Jack Roush:
I've got two radios that I listen to and of course my heart was in my stomach and I thought that Matt might have had a flat tire. I missed the fact that 18 I guess was going to have to stop for a tire so I heard that Matt say he had a flat row tire and was going to have to pit and I thought it was all over and I said here we go again.

Finishing second was Jason Leffler who didn't feel short changed that the final yellow took away any chance, to make one last bid to take the win.

Jason Leffler:
would like to tell you that we had something for him but we were running for second. I mean you never know on the re-start. Everybody's car runs good for one or two laps but our car was style but I was running my own race and concentrating on the 16. I mean right now that is the only way we are going to beat him is if he has issues like that. If we keep running these top fives you can take advantage of that.

Finishing third was Carl Edwards with rookie Eric Darnell and Justin Allgaier rounding out the top five, six to 10 it was Ryan Newman, Mike Bliss, Jeff Burton, Scott Wimmer and Bryan Vickers. As for the Nationwide Series championship battle Kyle Busch's 16th place finish allowed Edwards to close within 37 points. Jason Leffler also made up some ground, he sits third minus 153.

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