US Cellular 250: Winners and Losers

Patti RodischAnalyst IAugust 1, 2009

NEWTON, IA - AUGUST 1: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #88 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, does a burnout following his win in the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on August 1, 2009 in Newton, Iowa.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

For the first time ever NASCAR Nationwide headed to the cornfields of Iowa. This was the Nationwide regulars’ opportunity to once again show case what they have, in one of the final stand alone events of 2009 for the Nationwide series.

Check out who were this week’s winners and losers.

 

Winners

Brad Keselowski

You know Brad Keselowski took a lot of slack for not practicing Friday night, in happy hour. Keselowski and crew knew that with as many miles they ran on Thursday during the six-hour practice, preserving his engine and equipment would be important.

Keselowski had a good car, he was able to work traffic and quickly move to the front. He took the lead on pit road and stayed in the top 10 the rest of the day.

The crucial call of the day came on one of the final cautions when everyone behind him pitted except for Keselowski and a few others.

Everyone thought he was a sitting duck, but Keselowski had a strong car and was able to battle for the lead and take the lead with just a handful of laps left.

Keselowski held off Busch and won for the second time this year and just the third win for a nationwide only driver in 2009.

Keselowski finished first but Busch finished second, and Carl Edwards finished third, can a guy catch a break?

Points: Third

 

Kyle Busch

Say what you want about Kyle Busch post race interview on Saturday, but Busch continues to break records every week. Busch has finished in the top two for the ninth consecutive race, breaking Jack Ingram’s record in 1983.

Busch started in the back and methodically worked his way to the lead. Battling for much of the final half of the race with Keselowski for the lead, Busch was better early in a run but would quickly fall off after a few laps.

Busch couldn’t hide his disappointment in finishing second, lamenting what if he had finished first in all these second place finishes?

As a reporter, it must be tough to interview Busch, even when you try to point out the records he is breaking he is still not happy.

Points: First

 

Losers

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier night started out great, qualifying on the pole with identical times to Ricky Stenhouse Jr.Allgaier quickly took the lead and looked good early.

But they fell behind on adjustments and struggled with the handling, but continued to battle.

They kept their track position but contact on pit road and then after a restart his day went from bad to worse. Allgaier get’s loose and pinches Eric Darnell and Stephen Wallace and the three collided in front of the entire field.

He finished 15th and on the lead lap but what looked to be a promising day quickly became a disappointment.

Points: Fifth

 

Stephen Wallace

After earning a career best finish last week at ORP, Stephen Wallace came into Iowa with a lot of momentum.

After qualifying eighth, he immediately moved forward and was battling for a top-five spot.

Wallace had a great car and was running well when on a restart Allagier got loose and forced Wallace into the wall, and all but ending his day and chances at a win.

Wallace and his team before the restart incident had been working on their car, making good adjustments. They didn’t have the best car out there, but they were in line for a strong finish.

Instead they settled for a 17th place finish.

Wallace is steadily showing that this team will be competitive with the top three teams in the standings. If they could break some of this bad luck they have, a win could be right around the corner.

Points: Seventh

 

Lucky Dog

Benny Gordon

You wouldn’t have known it, because they didn’t really talk about Benny Gordon until the very end of the race, but Gordon pulled off his best career finish of 12th. Gordon ran strong all day long; the crew worked on his car and continued to make it better.

Strong pit stops and good feedback, gave this part time driver a great finish.

They avoided all the wrecks and brought home their car in one piece. It was a strong run and a good confidence builder for this team.

Points: 87th

 

Final lap...

It was refreshing to see a sold out crowd at a NASCAR race. The crowd was so large that track officials added a section of bleachers to accommodate the huge crowd. Iowa was everything most expected, there was great racing all the way around the track.

I think in the last two weeks we have seen some of the best racing all year long in both the Nationwide and Truck series. Iowa was one of the best races, we have seen.

Fans got to see passing and battling for the lead all day long is exactly what the Cup series is lacking.

The race track which was designed by Rusty Wallace, proved to give everyone of the 56,000 fans a great racing experience.

The drivers said the inaugural race at Iowa was a success, I think the fans would say so to, as in the final laps not one person had left and everyone was on their feet.

The nationwide drivers are putting on a show week in and week out.

Next up, the series heads to Watkins Glen next week.

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