2009 Tums Fast Relief 500 Review
by Virginia Vroom of Predictem.com
With an unsurprising 14 cautions, Martinsville left thousands of fans smiling yet again after another great race on Sunday. Hometown favorite Denny Hamlin took the checkers after it was all said and done after a great afternoon of close racing and aggressive driving. The top 10 were not surprising to be honest. It was a hodgepodge of the typical strong runners here including Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and even Jamie McMurray.
There weren’t too many surprises here. Dale Jr. had his typical hardships here. Unfortunately for him, this year didn’t get any better in good ‘ole Virginia. He had a tire go down on lap 89 and suffered the same fate again on lap 128. The last time was a pretty hard blow as he slammed the wall down the backstretch.
Sam Hornish Jrhere’s a guy I want to spend a minute on. He’s a GREAT driver. He wouldn’t be where he is if he wasn’t. BUT, he’s not a NASCAR driver. Some of the IRL guys like Montoya have had great success in this league, but Hornish proves that not everyone is cut out for stock cars. Yet again, Hornish spun out literally 2 or 3 times bringing out multiple cautions. I’m honestly surprised to see that he still has a ride. I think that he’s going to be digging for a contract after this year.
Speaking of Montoya, he may be a great driver, but he sure as heck needs to learn some manners. Jeff Gordon rarely gets mad, but when Montoya was pushing Jeff and almost wrecking him around the track, Gordon was throwing threats on the radio. It’s cool to bump. After all, rubbin’ is racin’, right? But rubbing to the point where you’re wrecking other drivers is not acceptable. Montoya needs to understand that he needs some patience. If we were within the last 20 laps, yeah, I understand, but in the FIRST 20? That’s just crazy. He needs to calm down a bit. He reminds me of Kyle Busch and I’m not so sure that I like that. There’s a lot of talent in there, but if you don’t know how to harness it and how to treat people, you’ll get booted quicker than all get out.
As for the rest of the field, here were your top 10 finishers from the Tums Fast Relief 500:
1. Denny Hamlin
2. Jimmie Johnson
3. Juan Montoya
4. Kyle Busch
5. Jeff Gordon
6. Jamie McMurray
7. Ryan Newman
8. Mark Martin
9. Tony Stewart
10. Kevin Harvick
It was nice to see Kevin Harvick up there in the top 10 again. The RCR guys have had a tough year. There’s going to be a lot of changes in those teams come next year.
As far as the points are concerned, Martinsville definitely showed us who the true contenders are going to be. Here’s a look at your current top 12 after Martinsville:
1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Mark Martin
3. Jeff Gordon
4. Tony Streart
5. Juan Montoya
6. Kurt Busch
7. Ryan Newman
8. Greg Biffle
9. Denny Hamlin
10. Carl Edwards
11. Kasey Kahne
12. Brian Vickers
With only 4 races left, we’re talking about really Juan Montoya being the farthest guy out who practically has a chance and that’s even throwing him a bone. In my opinion, the real contenders are those top 3, although you can’t ever throw Stewart out.
Speaking of Stewart, we’re headed to the one and only Talladega this weekend! If Martinsville wasn’t the excitement you were looking for, then how about this super speedway where dreams are made and dreams are crushed. Let’s see how far these guys will go for the championship!