2009 Crown Royal 400 Review – Kyle Busch Wins!

2009 Crown Royal 400 Review
by Virginia Vroom of Predictem.com

The race gods were smiling down on Richmond International Raceway as the drivers were able to get the full race in on Saturday night despite the imminent threat of showers throughout the weekend. Because of that, there was some craziness going on during the race. It was like the drivers were all riled up from the threat of rain that everyone was going all out.

No one goes all out quite like Kyle Busch, though. On lap 352, Busch powered past Jeff Gordon to take the lead and there was no looking back. Busch swept the weekend, in fact, after winning the Nationwide race on Friday night. What a great weekend for Busch, who was also celebrating his weekend. I guess you can’t ask for a better birthday present than that.

Saturday night’s race was a pretty exciting one, though. There were a total of 15 cautions, which ties the record for this track. The first few laps of the race were actually run under caution to make sure that the track was prepared for racing after rain showers had moved through earlier. One of the best cautions for most fans came on lap 191 when Jimmie Johnson spun in turn 2 after he lost his brakes. Everyone loves to see Johnson have a bad day for some reason.

The top 5 were pretty consistent throughout much of the race. We saw Denny Hamlin competing for the top spot as well as Kurt Busch and Jeff Gordon. Mark Martin was up there for a great deal of time as well. Pit strategy played a little bit late in the race. Gordon managed to stay out while most of the other leaders came in for tires and fuel. Several people were concerned that Gordon had not gotten tires, but all in all, there’s not such a huge risk with tires on short tracks as there is on super speedways late in the race. Unfortunately for Gordon, his risk did not pay off as well as he’d like because too many lead lap cars came in for tires. There was no one on an even playing field with him. He faded back to 8th in the closing laps. Kyle Busch cruised to victory. Tony Stewart made another impressive run, coming in 2nd yet again as he was reigning Busch in slowly but surely.

Here were your top 10 finishers from Saturday night:

1. Kyle Busch
2. Tony Stewart
3. Jeff Burton
4. Ryan Newman
5. Mark Martin
6. Sam Hornish Jr.
7. Jamie McMurray
8. Jeff Gordon
9. Casey Mears
10. Juan Montoya

This weekend was another great showing for Sam Hornish Jr., and Casey Mears made a much needed top 10 finish after switching teams with Kevin Harvick.

After this weekend, there were some changes in the points. Here are your current top 12 in points as we roll into Darlington this weekend:

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

Jeff Gordon regained the lead, but only has 10 points on second-place Kurt Busch. Jimmie Johnson lost 3 spots this weekend, while Ryan Newman gained three spots and reclaimed a spot in the Chase. Edwards is struggling a little bit lately, and you should definitely look for him to make a significant comeback this weekend at Darlington.