This Week in NASCAR's Top Three: May 26, 2009
News and notes after a long and rainy Memorial Day weekend from Lowe's Motorspeedway in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Camping World Truck Series
40 teams are currently on the preliminary entry list for the AAA Insurance 200 this Friday at Dover International Speedway, among those are:
No. 00-Tim Bainey Jr., Aaron's Chevy debut
No. 4 J.R. Fitzpatrick, debut with KHI
No. 7 David Gilliland
No. 9 Max Papis
No. 15 Brian Ickler
No. 31 Scott Wimmer, second CWTS start, first in 2009
No. 51 Kyle Busch, going for win #3 of 2009
Aric Almirola is slated to jump behind the wheel of the No. 15 Samsung Instinct Toyota for BBM at Texas on June 5. Almirola last drove for BBM back in 2007 at Memphis. He has one previous Cup start and four CWTS starts at Texas.
Win-Tron Racing is all set to make thier CWTS debut this weekend at Dover with Scott Wimmer behind the wheel and Michael Chaffee as the crew chief. They plan to run an additional 3-5 races during the remainder of the 2009 season.
Max Papis will pull double duty at the Monster Mile as he will be competing in the CWTS in the No. 9 Toyota Tundra and attempting to qualify his No. 13 GEICO Camry for the seventh of his twenty scheduled Cup races with Germain Racing.
Ray Hackett Racing has announced that they will bring two trucks for this weekend's race at Dover with Ryan Hackett driving the No. 75 and Brandon Whitt in the No. 76. Both trucks are Ford F-150s.
Heading into this weekend's race Tayler Malsam still holds a five point advantage over James Buescher in the Raybestos Rookie standings. The 2008 AAA Insurance 200 was won by then Raybestos Rookie Scott Speed and Kurt Busch was the only Raybestos Rookie to win a pole position in nine races at Dover back in 2000.
Numerous teams will be carrying the Autism Speaks blue puzzle piece logo on their trucks as a sign of support for the nation's leading autism science and advocacy organization. Participating teams include:
Johnny Benson, No. 1 Toyota Tundra
Max Papis, No. 9 GEICO Toyota Tundra
TJ Bell, No. 11 VisitPIT.com Toyota Tundra
James Buescher, No. 10 International MaxxForce Diesel Ford F-150
Rick Crawford, No. 14 International Truck & Engines Ford F-150
Brian Scott, No. 16 Albertsons Toyota Tundra
David Starr, No. 24 Autism Speaks/ HT Motorsports Toyota Tundra
Terry Cook, No. 25 Cajun Industries Toyora Tundra
Todd Bodine, No. 30 Copart Toyota Tundra
Forty-eight cars make up the preliminary entry list for Saturday's Helluva Good 200 at Dover. Some notes include:
David Green will drive the No. 04 and will be eligible for the past champions provisional
Ryan Newman will be in the No. 5 for JR Motorsports
Patrick Carpentier is the listed driver for the No. 07 but another driver is expected
Kelly Bires is listed in the Braun Racing No. 10
Jeffrey Earnhardt will attempt his series debut in the No. 31
DJ Kennington will be back in the No. 81 for MacDonald Motorsports
The No. 42 team is on the list but noted as being withdrawn
Mike Bliss was the winner after the race was called short of the scheduled distance on lap 171 because of rain showers. Bliss took the lead when the caution came out on lap 151 and was the only car that had not pitted, making him the only car on the lead lap. It is his second career Nationwide win with the first one at Lowe's back in October in 2004.
Points after the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300:
1. No.18 Kyle Busch 1714
2. No. 60 Carl Edwards 1641 (-73)
3. No. 38 Jason Leffler 1541 (-173)
4. No. 20 Joey Logano 1495 (-219)
5. No. 88 Brad Keselowski 1473 (-241)
6. No. 27 Jason Keller 1296 (-418)
7. No. 6 David Ragan 1285 (-429)
8. No. 62 Brendan Gaughan 1237 (-477)
9. No. 1 Mike Bliss 1234 (-480)
10. No. 12 Justin Allgaier 1210 (-504)
Adjusted Nationwide regular only points:
1. No. 38 Jason Leffler 1541
2. No. 88 Brad Keselowski 1473 (-68)
3. No. 27 Jason Keller 1296 (-245)
4. No. 62 Brendan Gaughan 1237 (-304)
5. No. 1 Mike Bliss 1234 (-307)
6. No. 12 Justin Allgaier 1210 (-331)
7. No. 64 Steve Wallace 1200 (-341)
8. No. 47 Michael McDowell 1188 (-353)
9. No. 11 Scott Lagasse Jr. 1162 (-369)
10. No. 28 Kenny Wallace 1133 (-408)
Bottom part of the top 30 in owner points:
28. No. 01 Lori Morgan 902 (+12)
29. No. 26 Dusty Whitney 892 (+2)
30. No. 61 Charlie Shoffner 890
31. No. 23 Johnny Davis 884 (-6)
32. No. 40 Curtis Key 854 (-36)
Toyota holds a one point advantage in the manufacturer standings over Ford (71-70) with Chevy five points behind in third. Dodge brings up the rear with 35 points.
Brendan Gaughan is the current leader in the rookie race. This season has seen 11 rookie drivers with five making all 11 starts.
1. Brendan Gaughan 115
2. Justin Allgaier 112 (-3)
3. Michael McDowell 103 (-12)
4. Scott Lagasse Jr. 101 (-14)
5. Michael Annett 81 (-34)
Jason Leffler will be hitting a personal milestone this weekend as he makes his 200th career Nationwide Series start at Dover International Speedway. Leffler made his series debut in 1999 at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
He ran numerous partial schedules before signing with Braun Racing mid-way through the 2005 season. He has two wins, 29 top-five and 67 top-ten finishes, eight poles and 563 laps led.
NASCAR kept four cars after the Charlotte race in an effort to keep aerodynamic improvements in check. One car from each manufacturer was rechecked: No. 29-Jeff Burton's Chevy, No. 98-Paul Menard's Ford, No. 32-Brian Vickers' Toyota and No. 12-Justin Allgaier's Dodge. The cars all passed inspection, so there were no issues with any of the bodies.
Auggie Vidovich has been announced as Carl Edwards backup driver for Nationwide races that conflict with Edwards' Cup schedule the first of which being at Nashville Speedway in two weeks.
Edwards plans to race but Vidovich will practice and qualify the Roush Fenway Ford when Edwards is unable to make it. A backup driver for Kyle Busch has yet to be determined.
Much like teams in the Truck series, several Nationwide series teams will be running Autism Speaks logos at the race at Dover. Those teams are:
Michael Annett, No. 15 Pilot Travel Centers Toyota
Eric McClure, No. 24 Hefty Odor Block Ford
Kenny Wallace, No. 28 U.S. Border Patrol Chevy
Clint Bowyer, No. 29 Holiday Inn Chevy
Kertus Davis, No. 49 Get More Vacations.com Chevy
Morgan Sheperd, No. 89 Eldora Speedway/Prelude to the Dream Chevy
Sprint Cup Series
David Reutimann pulled out the unthinkable by winning the rain delayed and then rain shortened Coca-Cola 600 Monday evening at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Reutimann, Ryan Newman and Robby Gordon were the only teams to stay out when the caution came out for rain on lap 227 putting them at the front of the field when the race was eventually called.
There were 14 lead changes among 10 drivers and 6 cautions for 40 laps.
Points after the Coca-Cola 600
1. No. 24 Jeff Gordon 1722
2. No. 14 Tony Stewart 1678 (-44)
3. No. 2 Kurt Busch 1607 (-115)
4. No. 48 Jimmie Johnson 1594 (-128)
5. No. 11 Denny Hamlin 1575 (-147)
6. No. 18 Kyle Busch 1540 (-182)
7. No. 39 Ryan Newman 1538 (-184)
8. No. 31 Jeff Burton 1472 (-250)
9. No. 17 Matt Kenseth 1460 (-262)
10. No. 16 Greg Biffle 1448 (-274)
11. No. 99 Carl Edwards 1431 (-291)
12. No. 5 Mark Martin 1428 (-294)
Contenders for the top-12/chase
12. No. 00 David Reutimann 1422 6 points out of 12th
13. No. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya 1387 (-31)
14. No. 9 Kasey Kahne 1351 (-77)
15. No. 83 Brian Vickers 1348 (-80)
Infraction Sheet - Charlotte
Car No. Lap Reason Penalty
No. 36 0 Engine Change Tail end(TE)
No. 29 17 Pitting on a closed pit road TE
No. 29 41 Pitting on a closed pit road TE
No. 39 43 Lug nut(s) not installed Must come in
No. 34 43 Excessive speed entering pits TE
No. 5 72 Rolling a tire(s) beyond center of pit road TE
No. 7 74 Pitting on a closed pit road TE
No. 55 75 Pitting on a closed pit road TE
No. 13 75 Pitting on a closed pit road TE
No. 29 77 Pitting on a closed pit road TE
No. 29 128 Excessive speed entering pits Pass Thru(PT)
No. 71 131 Excessive speed entering pits PT
No. 66 167 Pitting on a closed pit road TE
No. 29 167 Pitting on a closed pit road TE
No. 66 168 Excessive speed exiting pits TE
No. 13 177 Pitting on a closed pit road TE
No. 47 223 Rolling a tire(s) beyond center of pit road TE
Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution
Caution 1: no driver down a lap
Cuation 2: no driver down a lap on the track
Caution 3: no driver down a lap on the track
Caution 4: no driver down a lap on the track
Caution 5: No. 6-Ragan, 24th
Caution 6: No. 47-Ambrose, 26th
Top 35 in Owner Points
34. No. 7-Robby Gordon 1017 +181
35. No. 34-Earnhardt Ganassi 882 +46
36. No. 82-Red Bull 836 -46
37. No. 71-TRG 756 -126
Rumors abound saying that Penske Racing could run a fourth team car this season, running the #22 Dodge with Justin Allgaier as the possible driver.
Scott Riggs has officially parted ways with Tommy Baldwin Racing and TBR has already found a group of drivers to fill in for the rest of the 2009 season. Mike Skinner will assume majority of the driving duties driving 17 of the remaining 24 races on the 2009 schedule.
Patrick Carpentier will be behind the wheel during both Poconos, the June 28 race at New Hampshire, the September 12 race at Richmond and wrap up with the September 27 race at Dover. Brian Simo will navigate the car for both the road course events.
During post-race inspection, NASCAR confiscated No. 7-Robby Gordon's rear-end housing and took it back to its R&D Center in Concord, NC for further evaluation.
The Dover entry list has RaceSavers.com listed as the sponsor for the No. 47 of Marcos Ambrose for the Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway.
It has been reported that Brian Vickers is close to re-upping his current deal with Red Bull Racing. Both sides hols an option that has to be exercised by June 1.
Kasey Kahne will be running Dodge's new engine package this weekend at Dover in his No. 9 Budweiser entry. RPM has been slow in introducing the new R6P8 engine that the other Dodge team, Penske Racing, has used all season.
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