This Week in NASCAR's Top Three: June 4, 2009

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This Week in NASCAR's Top Three: June 4, 2009
(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

News and notes for NASCAR's top three series after a tough weekend at the Monster Mile in the first state of Delaware.

Obviously the main piece of news out of NASCAR this week is the inception of double-file restarts starting this weekend with the Sprint Cup race from Pocono. For more information see here.

 

Camping World Truck Series

Last Week

First off, a congratulations to first-time winner Brian Scott. A late race gamble on tires paid off for the young driver, as he became the fourth different driver to score his first CWTS win at Dover, and the 10th different Dover winner in as many races.

Scott also became the series' youngest first time winner with the win coming only 18 days past his 20th birthday, eclipsing the mark Kyle Busch set in 2005.

Other drivers to notch their first CWTS win at Dover are: Scott Speed (2008), Chad Chaffin, and Jason Leffler

Now, a look back at some facts from last week's race at Dover.

Estimated attendance: 28,000

There were 12 lead changes amongst nine drivers.

The race was slowed by a total of 10 cautions for 49 laps of the 200 total.

Caution    Laps       Reason                                        Lucky Dog

1             3-5        No. 4 accident, backstretch           None

2             8-11      Debris                                           No. 48-Wayne Edwards

3             17-20     No. 11 accident, backstretch        No. 57-Norm Benning

4             35-39     No. 33 accident, Turn One            No. 00-Tim Bainey Jr.

5             47-51     Competition                                 No. 11-TJ Bell

6             78-85     Debris                                          No. 9-Max Papis

7           102-106   No. 10 accident, Turn Four           No. 81-Tayler Malsam

8           134-139   Debris                                          No. 81-Tayler Malsam

9           144-146   Debris                                          No. 1-Johnny Benson

10         185-190   No. 51 accident Turn Two             No. 00-Tim Bainey Jr.

The race saw a longest green flag run of 39 laps on the next to last green flag run of the day before the 10th caution was displayed.

 

Race No. 8 of 25(WinStar World Casino 400)

2008 Winner: Ron Hornaday Jr.

2008 Pole: Justin Marks

There are currently only 33 trucks on the entry list for the WinStar World Casino 400 race this Friday at the Texas Motor Speedway. Some notable entries include:

No. 4-Ricky Carmichael makes his first start since late April in the KHI Monster Energy Chevy

No. 15-Aric Almirola will drive the BBM Samsung Instinct Toyota

No. 21-Marc Mitchell will drive the GunBroker Racing Dodge

No. 51-Brian Ickler will sub for Kyle Busch in the Miccosukee Resort/Samsung Instinct Toyota

No. 73-JJ Yeley returns in the County Building Centers/Circle M Inspection Chevy

No. 75-Ryan Mathews will drive the Ray Hackett Racing Ford

No. 89-Nick Tucker in the Blue Ox Chevy was added to the final list

Don't let the race name confuse you this race will be 167 laps or roughly 250.5 miles in total scheduled distance.

Teams will have two practice sessions on Thursday to prepare for this weekends race from 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM and 12:45 PM - 2:00 PM before qualifying later in the day at 6:00 PM. The green flag is scheduled to drop at 8:00 PM(9:00 PM Eastern).

SPEED's coverage will begin with the prerace show at 8:30 PM and the race at 9:00 PM(both times Eastern).

 

Go Or Go Home

As of this moment due to the entry list being three cars short of a full 36 truck field there will be no teams going home after Thursday qualifying. But in case that should change here are the current teams that will need to qualify on time.

No. 8-Dennis Setzer TBA Chevy Owner-Dave Malcolmson

No. 12-Mario Gosselin James Carter, Attorney Chevy Owner-Michelle Gosselin

NO. 72-John Jackson TBA Chevy Owner-James Carter

No. 73-JJ Yeley County Building Centers/Circle M Inspectors Chevy Owner-Ron Crosby

No. 75-Ryan Mathews JandRSupply.com Ford Owner-Ray Hackett

No. 76-Ryan Hackett JandRSupply.com Ford Owner-Ray Hackett

Raybestos Rookie Report

Heading into Texas Tayler Malsam and Johnny Sauter find themselves tied for the points lead with 71 points. Six points back in third is James Buescher with KHI teammates J.R. Fitzpatrick in fourth with 52 and Ricky Carmichael in fifth with 45.

The top three have been in all seven races while Fitzpatrick and Carmichael have only competed in five of the scheduled seven. Carmichael will be getting the start this week in the No. 4 Chevy.

Last week Johnny Sauter used a fifth place finish to take home the Rookie of the Race award and gain two points on Tayler Malsam as he would finish 12th behind fellow rookie Fitzpatrick.

 

Driver Point Standings

Ron Hornaday continues to lead the overall point standings with 1056 despite running into some road bumps at Dover. The win on Saturday vaulted Brian Scott up to fifth in points. Also look for everyone fifth on back to at least tenth to gain a spot as current fourth place Kyle Busch will be absent from the No. 51 Toyota this weekend.

Heres a quick look at the current top ten in points.

1. Ron Hornaday Jr., 1056

2. Mike Skinner, 1029 (-27)

3. Matt Crafton, 1027 (-29)

4. Kyle Busch, 1000 (-56)

5. Brian Scott, 949 (-107)

6. Todd Bodine, 946 (-110)

7. Terry Cook, 920 (-136)

8. Chad McCumbee, 916 (-140)

9. David Starr, 903 (-153)

10. Johnny Benson, 887 (-169)

 

Some CWTS News

The upcoming CWTS race at Memphis Motorsports Park has recently gained a new identity after being without a sponsor for much of the year. The inaugural MemphisTravel.com 200 presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts will take place on June 27th at the .750 mile track in the heart of Tennessee.

Good news for fans of Virginia native Timothy Peters as Strutmasters.com has announced that they will continue their support of the driver and the Premier Racing No. 17 Toyota for the rest of 2009.

Nationwide Series

Last Week

Congrats go out to Brad Keselowski who was able to rebound from the devastation of his first ever Sprint Cup DNQ and bring home the win in the Helluva Good! 200 Saturday afternoon at Dover.

Now for a look back at last week's race from Dover.

Estimated attendance-35,000

There were only seven lead changes amongst five drivers.

Only one car failed to qualify and that was the No. 31 of Rick Ware Racing driven by fourth generation driver Jeffery Earnhardt.

The race was slowed by nine cautions for 50 laps, one-fourth of the 200 lap distance.

Caution    Laps       Reason                                        Lucky Dog

1             3-7        No. 77 accident, Turn One               None

2             29-34    No. 09, 23 accident, backstretch   No. 26-Brian Keselowski

3             74-78     No. 52 accident, backstretch      No. 81-Bobby Hamliton Jr.

4             86-89     No. 10, 38 accident, Turn Three   No. 11-Scott Lagasse Jr.

5             93-96     No. 5 accident Turn One               No. 26-Brian Keselowski

6             130-138  No. 5 accident Turn Three            No. 26-Brian Keselowski

7             146-150  No. 33 accident Turn Four            No. 66-Steve Wallace

8             160-166  No. 11, 47 accident, frontstretch  No. 11-Scott Lagasse Jr.

9             194-198   Debris                                        None, less than 10 to go

The race saw a longest green flag run of 40 laps during the first half of the race before the #52 of Kevin Lepage brought out the caution flag on lap 74.

Props go to Brian Keselowski for fighting hard all race and putting himself in position to earn the Lucky Dog three times this race, half of the total LD's given out on Saturday.

 

Race No. 13 of 35(Federated Auto Parts 300)

2008 winner: Brad Keselowski

2008 pole: Joey Logano

The entry list for this weekend's stand-alone event in Nashville has 45 cars on it which means that two of the go-or-go home cars will be getting sent to the house after qualifying Saturday afternoon. Some notable entries include:

NO. 2-Sean Caisse will be in the Richard Childress Racing entry

No. 07-Mike Harmon withdrew his No. 84 and replace Patrick Carpentier on the entry list

No. 16-Ricky Stenhouse will be in the CitiFinancial Ford

No. 31-Daryl Harr returns to the seat of the Rick Ware No. 31

No. 33-Cale Gale will be making his season debut in the No. 33

No. 81-Bobby Hamilton Jr. once again replaces D.J. Kennington on the entry list

No. 85-Justin Ashburn will be in the 31-W Insulation Ford

No. 91-Kelly Bires is listed as the driver of the MSPR entry

No. 99-Trevor Bayne, the former DEI development driver will be in the MWR entry

Teams will get roughly three hours worth of practice time Friday evening before qualifying Saturday at 1:35 PM(2:35 PM EST) before the race at 6:30 PM(7:30 PM EST). The race is scheduled for 225 laps to make up the 300 mile distance.

 

Go or Go Home

With 46 teams on the entry list that will have 15 drivers fighting for 12 spots, forcing three teams to head to the house after qualifying on Saturday, here is the list of drivers facing that potential fate.

No. 0-Mark Green

No. 2-Sean Caisse

No. 05-Casey Atwood

No. 09-John Wes Townley

No. 23-Robert Richardson Jr.

No. 31-Daryl Harr

No. 41-Justin Hobgood

No. 49-Kertus Davis

No. 52-Kevin Lepage

No. 70-Shelby Howard

No. 85-Justin Ashburn

No. 89-Morgan Sheperd

No. 90-Johnny Chapman

No. 91-Kelly Bires

No. 96-TBA

 

Raybestos Rookie Report

After Justin Allgaier was the top finishing rookie at Dover Brendan Gaughan and Allgaier enter this weekend's race tied atop the rookie post standings. Allgaier will have extra incentive this weekend as his 23rd birthday falls on race day.

Allgaier, Michael McDowell and Gaughan finished 10th, 11th and 12th respectively at Dover. Allgaier and Gaughan have 124 points while McDowell sits third with 113, Lagasse Jr. is fourth with 108 and Michael Annett in fifth with 89 points.

 

Driver Point Standings

After a late race tire going down causing contact from his teammate Joey Logano, Kyle Busch was relegated to a 17th place finish and gave up 33 points to current second place Carl Edwards in the current rundown.

Only change in the top 10 was the swap of positions done by Brendan Gaughan and David Ragan for 7th and 8th place.

1. Kyle Busch, 1,836

2. Carl Edwards, 1,796, (-40)

3. Jason Leffler, 1,683, (-153)

4. Joey Logano, 1,670, (-166)

5. Brad Keselowski, 1,663, (-173)

6. Jason Keller, 1,434, (-402)

7. Brendan Gaughan, 1,364, (-472)

8. David Ragan, 1,358, (-478)

9. Mike Bliss, 1,355, (-481)

10. Justin Allgaier, 1,344, (-492)

 

In the amended, Nationwide-only point standings Jason Leffler moves past two Cup regulars to the front with Keselowski in second.

1. Jason Leffler, 1683

2. Brad Keselowski, 1663, (-20)

3. Jason Keller, 1434, (-249)

4. Brendan Gaughan, 1364, (-319)

5. Mike Bliss, 1355, (-328)

6. Justin Allgaier, 1344, (-339)

7. Michael McDowell, 1318, (-365)

8. Steve Wallace, 1276, (-407)

9. Scott Lagasse Jr., 1244, (-439)

10. Kenny Wallace, 1202, (-481)

 

Some Nationwide News

The No. 31 team of Rick Ware Racing has announced that PeelsPlus.com has joined their team as an co-primary sponsor at Nashville.

With the addition of veteran Sprint Cup crew chief Peter Sospenzo to head up the pit box for the No. 13 GEICO Camry of Max Papis which allows general manager Mike Hillman Sr. to work with the No. 15 Pilot Travel Centers/HYPE Energy Drinks Camry and rookie Michael Annett in the Nationwide Series.

Portions of the Circuit Gilles Villenueve will be resurfaced before the August date on the Nationwide series schedule to allow for better negotiation of the track's demanding bends on a smoother surface.

This weekend's race sponsor, Federated Auto Parts, will also be appearing as the primary sponsor of Scott Wimmer in the No. 40 entry for Key Motorsports on Saturday.

Casey Atwood will be sporting the colors of Western Kentucky University on his hood and rear bumper this weekend. The hood will feature the waving red flag seen at many WKU sporting events.

Jeremy Clements will serve as Kyle Busch's substitute driver this weekend at Nashville for practice and possibly qualifying while Busch is in Pocono.

RCR will have two drivers at Nashville this weekend with ARCA winner Sean Caisse in the No. 2 and Stephen Leicht in the No. 29 Holiday Inn Chevy. Caisse will also drive a yet-to-be-determined number of other races for RCR in the Nationwide series.

Former DEI development driver Trevor Bayne has signed an eight race deal to run the No. 99 for Michael Waltrip Racing. Bayne has one start in 2009 at Bristol where he started 26th and finished 23rd.

The month of June will feature four different drivers carrying the banner for KHI in the Nationwide series with Cale Gale this weekend, Kelly Bires at Kentucky, Ron Hornaday at Milwaukee and Harvick himself at New Hampshire.

 

Sprint Cup Series

Last Week

Jimmie Johnson returned to victory lane after a late race battle with Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle for the win in the Autism Speaks 400 at Dover. Johnson found himself towards the back of the top 10 after a slow pit stop before the final restart and made his way through the pack on four fresh tires to bring home the win.

Now a look back at some notes from Dover.

Estimated attendance-100,000

There were 25 lead changes amongst 11 drivers.

The race was slowed by 10 cautions for 43 laps just about one-tenth of the scheduled 400 lap distance.

Caution    Laps       Reason                                        Lucky Dog

1             32-35     Competition                                 No. 37-Tony Raines

2             45-48     Debris                                           None

3             118-123  Debris                                          No. 83-Brian Vickers

4             165-169  Debris                                          No. 00-David Reutimann

5             233-236  No. 11 accident, Turn Four           No. 18-Kyle Busch

6             277-280  Debris                                          No. 26-Jamie McMurray

7             286-290  No. 98, 7 accident, backstretch     No. 33-Clint Bowyer

8             332-335  Debris                                          No. 47-Marcos Ambrose

9             365-368  Debris                                            No. 29-Kevin Harvick

10           371-373  No. 5, 00, 12 accident, frontstretch No. 77-Sam Hornish

The race had a longest green flag run of 70 laps until one of the astonishing six debris cautions came out on lap 118.

 

Race No. 14 of 36(Pocono 500)

The entry list for this weekend's Pocono 500 consist of 46 drivers with most of the drivers being the same consistent flow of Sprint Cup entrants. Notable entries are:

No. 09-Sterling Marlin will be in the car with Bliss in Texas and Keselowski in Nashville

No. 36-Patrick Carpentier will be in the TBR entry with Mike Skinner in Texas

No. 64-Mike Wallace will be in the Gunselman Motorsports entry

Teams will have three sessions of practice between Friday and Saturday, all televised by SPEED, one session Friday from 12:00-1:30 PM and two sessions on Saturday at 10:00-10:45 PM and 11:20-12:20 PM.

Qualifying will be Friday afternoon at 3:45 PM on SPEED with the green flag dropping Sunday at 2:16 with TNT's coverage beginning at 12:30 PM.

 

Fight for the Top-35

The fight continues to get interesting between the No. 34 of John Andretti and the No. 83 of Scott Speed as Andretti has only a 50 point margin over Speed for the 35th position in owner's points. Should Speed miss this weekend's event it will take a lot of work for him to get back into a position to challenge for a spot in the top-35.

 

Raybestos Rookie report

Logano took home his 10th rookie of the race honor with a 15th place finish last weekend at Dover and has extended his current points lead to 16 points over second place Speed. Should Logano take the honor home seven more times go ahead and hand him the trophy.

Speed, who has the other three rookie of the race honors, sits second and has Papis attempting to make up ground on him in the current rookie standings. Remember the final rookie standings is based on their best 17 finishes of the season.

 

Driver Point Standings

With a runner-up finish last weekend along with Jeff Gordon struggling to a 26th place finish, Tony Stewart took over the spot atop the Sprint Cup standings and became the first owner/driver in over 500 races to leave the track the points leader.

1. Tony Stewart, 1853

2. Jeff Gordon, 1807, (-46)

3. Jimmie Johnson, 1789, (-64)

4. Kurt Busch, 1762, (-91)

5. Ryan Newman, 1680, (-173)

6. Kyle Busch, 1634, (-219)

7. Denny Hamlin, 1630, (-223)

8. Matt Kenseth, 1625, (-228)

9. Greg Biffle, 1618, (-235)

10. Jeff Burton, 1587, (51 ahead of 13th)

11. Carl Edwards, 1582, (46 ahead of 13th)

12. Mark Martin, 1567, (31 ahead of 13th)

13. David Reutimann, 1536, (-31)

14. Kasey Kahne, 1501, (-66)

15. Juan Pablo Montoya, 1475, (-98)

16. Clint Bowyer, 1449, (-117)

17. Brian Vickers, 1436, (-130)

 

Some Sprint Cup News

Logano will be pulling double-duty at Sonoma when he races the Camping World West series race in an attempt to get more road course experience before his first ever Sprint Cup road course event.

Persistent rain forced the postponement of the fifth annual Prelude to the Dream yesterday to its new date on September 9. a decision regarding the broadcast will be made at a later date. Jeff Gordon has pulled out of the event due to his back and Marcos Ambrose will likely be taking his place.

Peter Sospenzo has become the new crew chief for Max Papis' Sprint Cup efforts on the No. 13 GEICO entry of Germain Racing.

 

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