2009 Southern 500 Review – Mark Martin Wins!

2009 Southern 500 Race Review
by Virginnia Vroom of Predictem.com

And you thought short-track racing was crazy?! This past weekend at Darlington was nothing short of a crazy night for a lot of the drivers. The race was full of surprises, wrecks, and angry drivers. Jr. continued with his pit stop troubles after climbing to a race high of second place, while Mark Martin ended up in victory lane for the second time this year. But don’t jinx Martin. He knows there’s a potential championship on the line. This veteran just wants to rightfully earn it and not count his eggs before they hatchas he should!

Honestly, it would be correct to call this race Hendrick dominated. Not only did Martin win the race, teammate Jimmie Johnson came in second while Tony Stewart and teammate Ryan Newman came in third and fourth. That is significant as the Stewart team is racing Hendrick motors and equipment. Jeff Gordon rounded out the top five. The remaining Hendrick driver, Dale Jr., continued his struggles on pit road after charging through the field and holding second place. However, when the 10th caution rolled around, his crew let a tire roll down pit road, sending Jr. to the back of the field. That only set him up for bigger problems when he made contact with Reed Sorenson and hit the wall.

Other notables include Clint Bowyer, who was trying to continue his stretch of consecutive races finished. At 83, close to the all-time record, Bowyer and A.J. Allmendinger made contact, bouncing Bowyer off the outside wall. He ended up hitting the inside wall after he came across the track, quickly ending his night.

Kyle Busch, who made sweeps at Richmond last weekend, ended up hitting the wall hard on lap 274. Greg Biffle, whom everyone expected to do well if not win, ended up hitting the wall in turn 4. Before that, though, he bumped his teammate, Carl Edwards, causing Edwards to hit the wall. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Edwards turned right instead of left on the track to get back to pit road, causing NASCAR to penalize him one lap for going the wrong way on the track.

Overall, this weekend exceeded even my expectations for craziness. There were a ridiculous amount of wrecks, silly mistakes, and overall bad decision by a lot of drivers and their teams. Here are your top 10 finishers from Saturday night’s race:

1. Mark Martin
2. Jimmie Johnson
3. Tony Stewart
4. Ryan Newman
5. Jeff Gordon
6. Martin Truex Jr.
7. Brad Keselowski
8. Greg Biffle
9. Joey Logano
10. Matt Kenseth

It turned out to be another great weekend for rookie Brad Keselowski, who actually already has a win in the Cup series. He’s doing a great job in the Nationwide series, and I really think that he is going to be one to watch in the Cup series here in the next year or so. Martin Truex Jr. made a much needed good showing for DEI with a solid 6th place.

Here is how your current top 12 in the points are looking after Darlington:

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

This coming weekend is going to be another awesome race. This Saturday night is the All-Star race, where guys are racing solely for the win. There are no points, so you can count on them to run all-out. Stay tuned for the All-Star preview.