LOUDON, N.H. (Sunday, June 28, 2009) Last year, Kurt Busch won the rain-shortened LENOX Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The event was halted after 284 laps, 16 short of the scheduled distance. Busch used fuel strategy to get the lead, but needed a final pit stop for a splash of fuel if the race went the full 300 laps. He did have enough to make it 284 and picked up the win.
Sundays event had a similar finish. Rain ended the race once again before the 301 laps had been completed. The end came on lap 273, 28 short of the scheduled distance. Busch was in contention for the win, but lost out on fuel strategy as rookie Joey Logano didnt need the late-race stop for fuel thanks to the early end.
Busch finished third in the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger. He raced in the top five most of the afternoon and led on two occasions for 28 laps. He was making a charge on runner-up Jeff Gordon just as the rain brought out the 11th caution of the day.
It was a solid day for us, Busch said. We made some good adjustments in the pits. My biggest downside was restarts, slipping the tires and getting forward bite going through the gears. I just couldnt get the car to stay low. When the time came to push really hard, the car was there. Last year, to drive into Victory Lane and do it in a rain-shortened race and then today where we were fast enough to win and not get the win, thats how this sport evens itself out. You have your good and your bad luck and overall it was a good day for our Miller Lite Dodge.
It was the fifth top-five and ninth top-10 finish of the season for Busch. He remains fourth in the season point standings, 270 behind the leader.
The No. 2 Dodge was fast from the start and Crew Chief Pat Tryson and the crew needed to make few adjustments during the afternoon to keep pace.
I think it was a good day for our Miller Lite Dodge Charger, said Tryson. The difference in this one is that the guy that had a couple of problems got a couple of breaks and was able to run further on fuel than everyone at the end. We were trying to race the 24 and in a couple more laps, the 20 would have been off and we would have been racing for the win. Third-place isnt bad. It was a good points day.
Sam Hornish Jr. turned in an impressive performance in the No. 77 AAA/Penske Racing Dodge Charger, running as high as fourth in the closing laps before finishing eighth.
We had a really good car today, said Hornish. The Penske Dodge ran real well. Its just unfortunate we didnt get to finish the race out. Im real proud of all the guys working on the car. Thats what we need to continue doing going out there and getting top fives and top 10s. Then you can win races. Well keep working away at it. I think were going to have some real good days coming up here. Thats what we need to keep doing. We had a pretty darn good points day today.
Crew Chief Travis Geisler is pleased with fourth top-10 finish in the last 10 outings for the No. 77 team.
It was a real good day, he said. We started 26th, but felt we could have started a little better had we been able to qualify on Friday. We never had anything go wrong. We were able to capitalize on having a good car and Sam made some great moves on restarts. I think without the rain we were definitely a top-five car.
Kasey Kahne followed up his win at Infineon with a 10th at the 1.058-mile flat track. It was his fourth top-10 finish in the last six starts.
The Budweiser Dodge ran great today and we were working our way back toward the front when the rain came, he said. There were a lot of cars that got lucky at the end when the rain came in. The guys gave me another great car and something to build on for the upcoming weeks.
Kahne jumped to within one point of the 12th spot in the driver standings.
Teammate Reed Sorenson managed to work his way from 27th to just outside the top 10, but when the pit cycle didnt complete before the rain came, he ended up 17th.
That was a heck-of-a-lot of hard work for 17th, he said. We ran pretty well today. There were guys up in front of us that I passed a couple of times today that finished better than us. Thats frustrating. We ran well today, thats the key and we can take this on to Daytona.
David Stremme overcame early problems and battled his way into the top 12 before late-race problems dropped the No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge to 28th.
Two Richard Petty Motorsports drivers Elliott Sadler and AJ Allmendinger were caught up in a six-car mishap on lap 60. Sadler was able to continue and worked his way into the top 15 before settling for 26th. Allmendinger received more serious damage which required a trip to the garage for repairs. He finished 32nd.
The starting field was set per the NASCAR rule book after Fridays qualifying was rained out with the first 35 positions determined by 2009 owner points.
Driver Team Finished
Kurt Busch No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge 3rd
Sam Hornish Jr. No. 77 AAA/Penske Truck Rental Dodge 8th
Kasey Kahne No. 9 Budweiser Dodge 10th
Reed Sorenson No. 42 McDonalds McCafe Dodge 17th
Elliott Sadler No. 19 Best Buy Dodge 26th
David Stremme No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge Charger 28th
AJ Allmendinger No. 44 Berlin City Auto Group Dodge 32nd
Driver Rank Starts Points Behind Wins Poles T5s T10s
Kurt Busch 4 17 2254 -270 1 0 5 9
Kasey Kahne 13 17 2048 -476 1 0 2 6
Elliott Sadler 23 17 1660 -864 0 0 1 2
Sam Hornish Jr. 25 17 1638 -886 0 0 0 4
Reed Sorenson 26 17 1604 -920 0 0 1 1
AJ Allmendinger 29 17 1534 -990 0 0 1 3
David Stremme 31 17 1441 -1083 0 0 0 0
NASCAR SPRINT CUP
SERIES POINT STANDINGS
(Top 12 after 17 of 36 races)
1. Tony Stewart 2524 -
2. Jeff Gordon 2455 -69
3. Jimmie Johnson 2355 -169
4. Kurt Busch 2254 -270
5. Carl Edwards 2157 -367
6. Denny Hamlin 2132 -392
7. Ryan Newman 2127 -397
8. Kyle Busch 2108 -416
9. Greg Biffle 2106 -418
10. Matt Kenseth 2054 -470
11. Mark Martin 2052 -472
12. Juan P. Montoya 2049 -445
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