2009 Pennsylvania 500 Review

2009 Pennsylvania 500 Review
by Virginia Vroom of Predictem.com

I have to say, the best Pocono race that I’ve ever seen I think! This is usually one of the tracks that I can be less than excited about. As a super speedway, it often lacks the ‘super’ to keep my attention. The drivers get spread out. The winners win by seconds over the other guys. There is little to no side by side racing. In fact, I’m baffled as to why NASCAR has two dates for Pocono on a yearly basis.

Although it was rain delayed to Monday of this week, Pocono proved to be a great race. Maybe the drivers just needed a little motivation to run harder so that they can get to the Glen faster. Who knows? Denny Hamlin cruised to victory lane just under a second over Juan Montoya.

The weird thing about Hamlin winning is that everyone I’ve talked to keeps saying how he hasn’t impressed them or done very well this season. Not that I’m an ecstatic Hamlin fan or anything, but Hamlin is currently 5th in the points after moving up a spot from winning this weekend. That’s not too shabby. He has to have had some decent finishes to maintain that top 12 points standing week in and week out. He may not have the best finishes of the season but he’s been consistent and consistency is what brings you championships. Just ask Jimmie Johnson.

For Hamlin, this was an emotional win, after dealing with the loss of his grandmother earlier in the week. This is also his 3rd win at this track and his first in the new cars.

One of the most notable drivers of the race was Jimmie Johnson. As a master of consistency, he managed a 13th place finish after coming back from being 3 laps down. That’s an impressive feat. Thirteenth may not sound great, but it’s a heck of a lot better than 40th, if he hadn’t managed to get those laps back. That’s why you see these guys working so hard in the garages and pits even under green. Every spot counts. You never know who else may have bad luck or be involved in a wreck so you can never give up.

Here are your top 10 finishers from Pocono on Monday:

1. Denny Hamlin
2. Juan Montoya
3. Clint Bowyer
4. Sam Hornish Jr.
5. Kasey Kahne
6. Brian Vickers
7. Mark Martin
8. Jeff Gordon
9. Kurt Busch
10. Tony Stewart

Stewart came back from wrecking his car in practice on Saturday to a top 10 finish in a backup car. He continues to be the one to watch.

The top 12 in points stayed the same as far as who is in it, but some spots were rearranged. Here are your current top 12 points leaders:

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

Gordon is only 2 points behind Johnson while Busch, in 4th place, is 238 points behind Gordon. Mark Martin, Greg Biffle, and Matt Kenseth need to watch what they’re doing because we are getting pretty darn close to the Chase and basically anyone from 6th place back is not necessarily safe at this point. Plan to see some bigger shakeups in the points this weekend as we head to The Glen for our second road course this season. I am planning on seeing some new names in the top 12 this weekend after the road course.