This Week in NASCAR's Top Three: June 18, 2009

Mason DunnCorrespondent IJune 19, 2009

Camping World Truck Series

Last Week

Colin Braun took the lead with 24 laps to go to win his first CWTS race in 35 starts and bring the 50th CWTS trophy back to the Roush Fenway Racing garage. Braun overtook Kyle Busch for the lead while Busch was battling with lap traffic and never looked back. Rest of the top 10 were; No. 15 Brian Ickler, No. 88 Matt Crafton, No. 5 Mike Skinner, No. 81 Tayler Malsam, No. 33 Ron Hornaday Jr., No. 17 Timothy Peters, No. 8 Dennis Setzer, and No. 25 Terry Cook.

There were 10 lead changes amongst six drivers.

The race was slowed five times by the caution flag for a total of 20 laps.

Laps      Reason                                                          Lucky Dog

9-13      No. 10 and 16 accident Turn 4                No. 47-Brandon Knupp

29-32    No. 07, 33 and 60 accident Turn 1           No. 57-Norm Benning

34-37    No. 5, 13, 15, 17, 24, 30 accident Turn 4  No. 33-Ron Hornaday Jr.

60-63    Debris, backstretch                               No. 84-Chris Fontaine

65-67    No. 4 accident backstretch                     No. 57-Norm Benning

The race saw a longest green flag run of 33 laps to close out the race and unlike recent trends only one caution for debris with 40 to go was displayed during the race.

Race No. 10 of 25(Copart 200)

2008 winner-Johnny Benson

2008 pole-Johnny Benson

The preliminary entry list released on 6-17 consisted of 34 drivers and teams, some notables include;

No. 4-Ricky Carmichael back in the Monster Energy Chevy

No. 12-Dexter Bean in the TBA Chevy

No. 15-Aric Almirola returns to the Zaxby's Toyota

No. 27-Duane Bischoff in the Chevy

No. 29-Mikey Kile makes his second CWTS start for Brad Keselowski Racing in the Greased Lightning Cleaning Products Chevy

No. 39-Ryan Sieg in the TBA Chevy

No. 40-Mike Bliss makes another start with Key Motorsports

No. 72-Mario Gosselin in the James Carter Attorney Chevy

No. 90-Gabi DiCarlo makes her second start of 2009 in the Great Clips Toyota

Teams will have three hours of practice from 12:00 - 3:00 PM EST on Friday before qualifying at 6:30 PM EST. The green flag will drop on the 200 lap race at 9:00 PM EST. SPEED will have race coverage starting with the pre-race show at 8:30 PM EST.

Raybestos Rookie Report

Brian Ickler took home the rookie of the race award last week at Michigan with an impressive third place finish vaulting him ahead of Brent Raymer into sixth in the current rookie rundown.

Tayler Malsam took over the rookie points lead with a 6th place finish as he now leads over Johnny Sauter by two points.

1. Tayler Malsam, 98

2. Johnny Sauter, 96, (-2)

3. James Buescher, 78, (-20)

4. J.R. Fitzpatrick, 60, (-38)

5. Ricky Carmichael, 54, (-44)

Driver Point Standings

Matt Crafton protected his points lead with a fourth place finish at Michigan as second place Ron Hornaday Jr. finished seventh and third place Mike Skinner finished fifth.

1. Matt Crafton, 1362

2. Ron Hornaday Jr., 1323, (-39)

3. Mike Skinner, 1318, (-44)

4. Todd Bodine, 1265, (-97)

5. Kyle Busch, 1180, (-182)

6. David Starr, 1179, (-183)

7. Terry Cook, 1157, (-205)

8. Tayler Malsam, 1157, (-205)

9. Rick Crawford, 1140, (-222)

10. Chad McCumbee, 1131, (-231)

Some CWTS News

Current CWTS driver Colin Braun and fellow Roush driver Ricky Stenhouse will be piloting Nationwide cars for Roush Fenway Racing in 2010 according to team owner Jack Roush.

KHI's Rick Carelli will be inducted into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame at Irwindale Speedway in California on July 3. The former driver earned the 1991 NASCAR Southwest Touring Championship and the 1993 Camping World West Series Championships as well as racing in other series. Carelli is currently the General Manager for KHI and the spotter for Ron Hornaday Jr..

Johnny Benson has been released from the hospital following a hard crash in a Supermodified race at Berlin Raceway Saturday night. Benson suffered from some broken bones and minor burns as a result of the crash.

Both Chad McCumbee and Todd Bodine received two race extensions from their respective sponsors. McCumbee's sponsor tiwi has announced they will add the Milwaukee race as well as the July race at Kentucky to their sponsorship package with the No. 07. Bodine's sponsor Copart has also announced they will be back on the No. 30 at Milwaukee as well as another race to be announced later.

Colin Braun and Johnny Sauter will be pulling a tweaked form of double duty as they will race thier trucks this weekend at Milwaukee as well as practice the Nationwide cars of Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch while they are with their Sprint Cup rides at Sonoma. Braun will be in the No. 60 and Sauter in the No. 18 for practice.

A few drivers will pull the CWTS/Nationwide double header this weekend at Milwaukee:

Ron Hornaday Jr., No. 33 Copart Chevy(CWTS)/No. 33 Jimmy Johns Chevy(Nationwide)

Aric Almirola, No. 15 Zaxby's Toyota(CWTS)/No. 40 Chevy(Nationwide)

Mike Bliss, No. 40 TBA Chevy(CWTS)/No. 1 Miccosukee Indian Gaming & Resorts Chevy(Nationwide)

Terry Cook, No. 25 Cajun Industries/Harris Trucking Toyota(CWTS)/No. 91 MSRP Motorsports Chevy(Nationwide)

Nationwide Series

Last Week

Joey Logano backed up his win in 2008 at Kentucky in a big way by taking the pole and then finishing the race right where he started by winning the Meijer 300 Saturday night.

Estimated attendance: 70,000

Seven drivers exchanged the lead 16 times over the course of the race.

The race was slowed eight times by the caution flag for 31 laps including a late race red flag after Mike Bliss' wreck on the front stretch.

Laps       Reason                                                      Lucky Dog

5-7        No. 29 spun Turn 4                             None

24-27     Debris Turn 2                                     No. 01-Danny O'Quinn

71-74     Debris front stretch                            No. 29-Stephen Leicht

77-81     No. 42, 77 accident Turn 2                  No. 23-Ken Butler

87-89     No. 09, 47, 73 accident Turn 4             No. 01-Danny O'Quinn

165-168  No. 07 accident T2                             No. 15-Michael Annett

172-174  No. 62 spun Turn 4                             No. 32-Burney Lamar

184-188  No. 1 accident front stretch                 No. 33-Kelly Bires

The race enjoyed a long green flag run of 76 laps from lap 89 to 165 after the multi-car crash in turn four.

Race No. 15 of 35( 250)

2008 winner: Carl Edwards

2008 pole: Brad Keselowski

According to the current entry list for Saturday's race there will be 47 teams fighting for 43 race positions, some notables include:

No. 0-JC Stout gets the start this week in the unsponsored Chevy

No. 04-Kertus Davis will drive the Johnny Davis owned Chevy

No. 5-Scott Wimmer in the Fastenal Chevy for Rick Hendrick

No. 10-Kelly Bires gets the start for Braun Racing

No. 20-Brad Coleman will make the start in the Rudy' Toyota

No. 33-Ron Hornaday will climb in the Jimmy Johns Chevy for KHI

No. 40-Aric Almirola makes his series debut in the Key Motorsports entry

All Nationwide on track activity will take place on Saturday as teams will practice from 10:00 AM-1:00 PM EST before qualifying at 5:35 PM EST. Green flag is schedule for 8:30 PM EST and ESPN2 will have coverage beginning at 7:30 PM EST.

Go-or-Go Home

Seventeen teams will complete to fill 13 spots for Saturday's 250.

Those teams are:

No. 0 JC Stout, No. 04 Kertus Davis, No. 5 Scott Wimmer, No. 05 Casey Atwood, No. 09 John Wes Townley, No. 26 Brian Keselowski, No. 31 Travis Kittleson, No. 41 Stanton Barrett, No. 49 Mark Green, No. 52 Kevin Lepage, No. 70 Shelby Howard, No. 73 Derrike Cope, No. 77  Peyton Sellers, No. 89 Morgan Sheperd, No. 90 Johnny Chapman, No. 91 Terry Cook, No. 96 Dennis Setzer.

Raybestos Rookie Report

Brendan Gaughan finished one spot ahead of fellow rookie Justin Allgaier and reclaimed a one point advantage over Allgaier atop the rookie of the year point standings. They finished fourth and fifth respectively in the race.

1. Brendan Gaughan, 149

2. Justin Allgaier, 148, (-1)

3. Michael McDowell, 132, (-17)

4. Scott Lagasse Jr., 124, (-25)

5. Michael Annett, 107, (-42)

Driver Point Standings

After another great performance ended with a runner-up finish current points leader Kyle Busch was able to pad a few points onto his lead with second place Carl Edwards finishing 20th.

1. Kyle Busch, 2211

2. Carl Edwards, 2074, (-137)

3. Brad Keselowski, 2003, (-208)

4. Jason Leffler, 1993, (-218)

5. Joey Logano, 1860, (-351)

6. Justin Allgaier, 1628, (-583)

7. Brendan Gaughan, 1620, (-591)

8. Jason Keller, 1613, (-598)

9. Mike Bliss, 1599, (-622)

10. Steve Wallace, 1543, (-678)

In the adjusted Nationwide-only point standings there is a change atop the board as Brad Keselowski  uses a third place performance to take the lead over from Jason Leffler.

1. Brad Keselowski, 2003

2. Jason Leffler, 1993, (-10)

3. Justin Allgaier, 1628, (-375)

4. Brendan Gaughan, 1620, (-383)

5. Jason Keller, 1613, (-390)

6. Mike Bliss, 1599, (-404)

7. Steve Wallace, 1543, (-450)

8. Michael McDowell, 1541, (-452)

9. Scott Lagasse Jr., 1498, (-505)

10. Kenny Wallace, 1374, (-629)

Some Nationwide Series News

After the suspension of Bryan Berry, Trip Bruce, former crew chief of Johnny Benson while at Red Horse Racing, has been tapped to take over as crew chief for Brendan Gaughan over at Rusty Wallace Inc..

Able Body Labor has been announced as the title sponsor the the November Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway, this is Able Body Labor's first such partnership in NASCAR.

Sprint Cup Series

Last Week

Mark Martin stole the victory on the final lap of yet another fuel mileage thriller Sunday as both Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle had the tanks run dry while leading. The win vaulted 50-year old Martin back into the top 12 in points in eighth position and was his third win of the season.

Estimated attendance: 90,000

Six drivers traded the lead a total of 11 times over the course of the race.

The race saw the yellow flag fly a total of three times and only spent 14 laps behind the pace car.

Laps       Reason                                Lucky Dog

74-77     Debris                            No. 39-Ryan Newman

122-125  Debris                            No. 00-David Reutimann

151-156  No. 12 accident Turn 4     No. 17-Matt Kenseth

The race had a longest green flag run of 74 laps and ended on a 44 lap green flag run that caused many to stretch their fuel tanks to thin and either make late pit stops or run dry before the finish.

Race No. 16 of 36(Toyota/Save Mart 350)

2008 winner: Kyle Busch

2008 pole: Kasey Kahne

There are 47 teams on the entry list for this weekend's road course adventure, some notables include:

No. 02-Brandon Ash in the Efusjoin Energy Club Dodge

No. 08-Boris Said makes his season debut in the John Carter owned Ford

No. 09-Ron Fellows will race for James Finch

No. 4-P.J. Jones will pilot a second car for Robby Gordon Motorsports

No. 27-Tom Hubert will drive in place of Kirk Shelmerdine

No. 36-Brian Simo makes his first start for Tommy Baldwin

No. 37-Chris Cook fills in for Tony Raines

No. 55-Patrick Carpentier will fill in for Michael Waltrip

Should qualifying be rained out the four cars being sent home will be the No. 02, 08, 27, and 4.

Teams will have three practice sessions that will all be aired live on SPEED, Friday from 3:00 - 4:30 PM EST and Saturday from 12:30 - 1:15 PM and 1:50 - 2:50 PM EST.

Qualifying is scheduled for Friday at 6:35 PM EST and will be aired live on SPEED before the CWTS race. TNT will begin coverage on Sunday at 3:30 PM EST with the green flag scheduled to fly at approximately 5:16 PM EST.

Fight for the Top 35

John Andretti was able to regain 12 points over Scott Speed to bring the separation in the battle for the 35th spot in owner points back to 53 points (1060-1007). Speed will look to use his road course experience to gain some points back on Andretti at Sonoma.

Raybestos Rookie Report

Joey Logano continues to lead the rookie of the year point standings over Scott Speed by 19 points(168-149) with Max Papis in third with 57 points. Logano won his 12th Rookie of the Race award with a 25th place finish at Michigan.

Driver Point Standings

Tony Stewart, who finished seventh on Sunday, continues to lead the points after Michigan by only 47 points over second place Jeff Gordon. Mark Martin used his victory to vault from 13th back into the top 12 in eighth position and is tied for the most wins on the season with Kyle Busch with three victories each.

1. Tony Stewart, 2189

2. Jeff Gordon, 2142, (-47)

3. Jimmie Johnson, 2047, (-142)

4. Kurt Busch, 1961, (-228)

5. Ryan Newman, 1934, (-255)

6. Carl Edwards, 1927, (-262)

7. Greg Biffle, 1913, (-276)

8. Mark Martin, 1868, (-321)

9. Kyle Busch, 1860, (-329)

10. Denny Hamlin, 1849, (42 ahead of 13th)

11. Matt Kenseth, 1848, (41 ahead of 13th)

12. Jeff Burton, 1810, (3 ahead of 13th)

13. David Reutimann, 1807, (-3)

14. Juan Pablo Montoya, 1767, (-43)

15. Kasey Kahne, 1719, (-91)

16. Clint Bowyer, 1710, (-100)

17. Brian Vickers, 1674, (-136)

18.  Dale Earnhardt Jr., 1555, (-255)

19. Jamie McMurray, 1548, (-262)

20. Marcos Ambrose, 1539, (-271)

Some Sprint Cup News

Joey Logano and Boris Said will be pulling double duty at the road course as they will run both the Sprint Cup and Camping World West Series events at Infineon Raceway.

After a final appeal, NASCAR decided to reduce Carl Long's suspension from 12 races to only eight but have remained firm on the topic of the $200,000 fine.

Officials from several different Chevrolet teams have confirmed that GM will begin cutting back it's support of Sprint Cup racing. This comes after the announcement that they will no longer provide support to Camping World Truck and Nationwide Series teams.

Chip Ganassi Racing has announced a second entry into the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4 with NASCAR drivers Kyle Busch and Scott Speed competing in the No. 02 Lexus Riley alongside the No. 01 team of Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas.

Remember in your thoughts and prayers the family and friends of NASCAR Mexico driver Carlos Pardo whom lost his life in the closing laps of a race at Autodromo Miguel E. Abed when he made contact with the wall at the entrance of pit road going 120 MPH.


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