2009 Sylvania 300 Review – Mark Martin Wins!

2009 Sylvania 300 Race Review
by Virginia Vroom of Predictem.com

Who doesn’t love seeing Mark Martin win? This past weekend at Loudon, Martin pulled into victory lane, even being congratulated by third-place Juan Montoya. Martin is on his way to a championship! For Mark, it was bittersweet, especially after extending his contract with Hendrick through 2011.

As if it wasn’t already a good start for Martin. He came into the Chase with the lead because of his wins throughout the regular season. Now, he just extends that lead heading into race number 2 of the Chase. Jimmie Johnson is second in the standings, now 35 points back. Denny Hamlin, in third place, is also 35 points out of the lead.

The race was a pretty exciting one. It was Martin’s first win in 26 starts here. Additionally, the race ended under caution, as the drivers pulled out of turn 4 on the final lap. Unfortunately for Juan Montoya, Denny Hamlin got past him to take over second-place right before the race was called. The driver I chose, Kyle Busch, ended with a respectable 5th place finish.


It was pretty incredible watching Martin in victory lane. Never does this man take credit for running well or even winning for that matter. He always gives credit to his team and especially crew chief, Alan Gustafson. Gustafson gushed about how he tried to be like Martin throughout his career, being gracious and logical. It seems like a pretty darn good pairing between these two if you ask me, and I am going to bet that we will see a lot more out of these guys if not a championship.

For Montoya, I think that this is the most gracious I have seen him. Maybe it’s just his accent, but he always comes off as arrogant, but even Montoya had to give respect to Martin. When someone like Martin is recognized as a legend and has as much class as he does, it’s hard to show any sort of disrespect. Montoya said that in the next race, he may have to bump Martin. He said he knows that Martin doesn’t drive like that so he didn’t want to wreck him and never would, but he would be willing to bump him next time to get that win.

Here were your top 10 finishers from Loudon:

1. Mark Martin
2. Denny Hamlin
3. Juan Montoya
4. Jimmie Johnson
5. Kyle Busch
6. Kurt Busch
7. Ryan Newman
8. Elliot Sadler
9. Greg Biffle
10. Clint Bowyer

It’s good to see Sadler with a solid top 10 effort. It’s also interesting how many of the Chase racers did not have such a good day. Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon finished 14th and 15th respectively. Additionally, Carl Edwards had a disappointing run finishing 17th. It wasn’t a good points start for these guys, but where we’re headed isn’t necessarily the best place to take risks to gain those spots back. The Monster Mile at Dover tends to be pretty treacherous for a lot of drivers.

Here are your current top 12 standings after Loudon:

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

It seems like Gordon, Edwards, and Kahne have dug a pretty deep hole for themselves. Johnson is holding strong in second as he attempts to make it 4 championships in a row. But remember, y’all, it’s only the first race of the Chase. Dover is bound to shake up the points pretty well this weekend. Stay tuned! Next up…AAA 400; The Monster Mile!