2009 Coca Cola 600 Review – David Reutimann Wins!

2009 Coca Cola 600 Review
by Virginia Vroom of Predictem.com

The rain gods were smiling down on Michael Waltrip Racing on Monday at the continuation of the Coke 600. In NASCAR’s attempt to get the full race in, they red flagged and postponed it to Monday at noon. Unfortunately for the fans and many of the drivers, even that delay wasn’t long enough to push the rain away.

The 600 is supposed to be the longest and one of the most exciting races of the seasons for the fans and the drivers. It’s an extension of the All-Star race that happens the weekend before and, overall, just one of the most eventful weekends of the season; however, the rains have shortened the race for the second time this season. The Daytona 500, another HUGE race for NASCAR was shortened for rain as well.

For “The Franchise”, it wasn’t such a bad day though. David Reutimann made a risky move not pitting and stayed out when his team looked at radar. He assumed the lead and boy did it pay off. The smile on Michael Waltrip’s face seemed bigger than the smile on Reutimann’s. For Waltrip, this has been quite the tumultuous last few years. He started his own team but not at the most ideal time. He had to deal with switching to the COT, dealing with a new slew of rule changes, and overall just dealing with the pressure as one of the first multi-car owner-driver teams. For Waltrip, this weekend was notorious and nothing short of awesome just to see him in victory lane with his driver.

Let’s recap some of the highlights of the laps that the drivers did manage to get in. The race was shortened to 227 laps out of a total 400. For Kyle Busch, it was disaster. He led 173 laps, as usual, and failed to win yet again. It’s just his luck sometimes it seems. There really weren’t too many crazy wrecks as the drivers were called in so many times for rain. Besides Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman was running surprisingly strong, but had issues when he had to get back to pit road on lap 41 for a loose lug nut. For him, though, it was a great weekend as he posted his fourth consecutive top-five finish. For Jr. fans, it was yet another disappointing weekend. He never got his car handling right and ended up 2 laps down and finished a frustrating 40th. For third place finisher Robby Gordon, things were looking great until NASCAR discovered undisclosed issues with his rear-axle. They are taking a look at it and will keep us posted on potential penalties.

Drivers Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, who finished 14th and 13th respectively, wanted to see the race go the distance. They say that they would’ve both had a shot at victory had the race run the full 400 laps. So goes the luck for those guys. Unfortunately, their strategy didn’t do as well in putting them up front when they needed to be. As much as NASCAR stopped and restarted the race for rain, I think that these guys thought NASCAR would give it another go. It was just getting too late in the day and too many showers were still looming for NASCAR to try to fit the rest in.

Here were your top ten finishers for the Coca-Cola 600:

1. David Reutimann
2. Ryan Newman
3. Robby Gordon
4. Carl Edwards
5. Brian Vickers
6. Kyle Busch
7. Kasey Kahne
8. Juan Montoya
9. Joey Logano
10. Matt Kenseth

There weren’t too many big changes in the points this weekend. Drivers lost a few more point to Gordon, but overall, no big movers.

Here are your current top 12 in the points:

1. Jeff Gordon
2. Tony Stewart
3. Kurt Busch
4. Jimmie Johnson
5. Denny Hamlin
6. Kyle Busch
7. Ryan Newman
8. Jeff Burton
9. Matt Kenseth
10. Greg Biffle
11. Carl Edwards
12. Mark Martin

Martin needs to watch himself. He’s only got 6 points now on 13th place David Reutimann. We’re headed to the Monster Mile this weekend at Dover. This is a good track for Carl Edwards, who needs a little kick in the butt. I think that we’re going to see some aggressive driving this weekend as drivers try to make up for lost track position in this rain shortened Coca-Cola 600.