2008 Samgung 500 Review – Carl Edwards Wins the Race

2008 Samsung 500 Review
by Virginia Vroom of Predictem.com

It was a bad weekend to be a Jeff Gordon fan. If you watched the race, you saw a little bit of history go into the books, although it is not the kind of history that Gordon wants next to his name. It was only the second time in Gordon’s NASCAR career that he received a 43rd place finish. Come to think of it, that is a pretty incredible figure when you realize that Gordon has been racing for more than 15 years in the NASCAR series. Two 43rd place finishes really aren’t all that bad, but they are certainly not something that you hope for.

As far as the other guys this weekend, Roush made a great showing as predicted here at Texas Motor Speedway, with Carl Edwards taking his third win of the season. This guy seems to be on a roll. Jimmie Johnson showed some momentum as well, carrying it on from the race at Martinsville a couple of weeks ago. This could be a great turning point for Johnson, who has had his share of struggles, despite one of the most dominating seasons in NASCAR history last year.

As far as Gordon is concerned, this is certainly not a weekend that he needed. His 43rd place finish knocked him out of the top twelve yet again back into 14th position. Ironically, Gordon’s only other 43rd place finish came back in 1999 at the spring race here at Texas in one of the worst crashes of his career. He was not the only one who suffered an ill-handling car, though. By all accounts, anyone from 11th place on back was not doing something right. That’s because there was only 10 cars on the lead lap after the race ended. Edwards led the most laps at 123 with clearly the dominant car on the track. No one came up with a clear reason as to why only 10 cars finished on the lead lap other than the handling of those top 10 cars was impeccable when compared to the rest of the field. Jr. struggled with his handling as well finishing a lap down in 12th place after leading more than 30 laps. Jeff Burton had a great comeback from starting in the 35th position climbing all the way to sixth.

The top ten finishers were:

1. Carl Edwards
2. Jimmie Johnson
3. Kyle Busch
4. Ryan Newman
5. Denny Hamlin
6. Jeff Burton
7. Tony Stewart
8. Mark Martin
9. Matt Kenseth
10. Clint Bowyer

If those places count for anything, it should tell you that Roush is a force to be reckoned with this year. They’re definitely doing something right. They are by far the most consistent teams out there right now. Edwards, Kenseth, and Biffle all are typically within the top 15 if not the top 10 week in and week out. I think this can be seen through the points standings now.

The top 12 in points are:

1. Jeff Burton
2. Kevin Harvick
3. Kyle Busch
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
5. Tony Stewart
6. Jimmie Johnson
7. Denny Hamlin
8. Ryan Newman
9. Greg Biffle
10. Carl Edwards
11. Clint Bowyer
12. Kasey Kahne

The big movers this week were Jimmie Johnson jumping four spots and solidifying his position in the top twelve. Ryan Newman also picked up three spots and has remained in the top twelve for several weeks now. Edwards jumped back into the top twelve this week moving up four spots into 10th place.

This week, we are moving to Phoenix. There’s no telling who could pull this one out of their hat. The Hendricks guys always seem to perform well here, but here at Phoenix, we have to keep our eyes out for Kevin Harvick and the Busch brothers. Stay tuned and I’ll give you a complete preview coming up later this week.