Kansas Lottery 300: Winners and Losers

Patti RodischAnalyst IOctober 3, 2009

KANSAS CITY, KS - OCTOBER 03:  Joey Logano, driver of the #20 Game Stop/Our House Party Toyota, performs a burnout in celebration of winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Kansas Lottery 300 at the Kansas Speedway on October 3, 2009 in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

The Nationwide series headed into Kansas. Kansas is a big, wide track, and the teams  were dealing with Mother Nature, and windy conditions. Those conditions had the teams struggling to find the balance on their cars.

See below, who has beat the wicked winds of Kansas.

Winners

Joey Logano

What a week it has been for Joey Logano. After flipping last week at Dover in the Sprint Cup race, Logano made a late race pass on teammate Kyle Busch and took the win.

Logano had a good car. He qualified seventh and quickly began moving forward, running in the top five for most of the day. He did not have as strong of a car as Busch, but he was able to keep in touch with him.

Logano and his crew made good adjustments on the car, and were able to hold off Brad Keselowski for second late in the race, and to charge to the front. Logano even seemed surprised he was able to drive right past Busch.

Logano is as ready as anyone to put the Dover flip behind him, and he proved that this weekend with this win.

I think it’s time to stop replaying the Dover flip, I think we get it.

Points: 14th

Greg Biffle

Saturday didn’t start as Greg Biffle had hoped. He ran his first qualifying lap that had him sitting in the top five. Trouble happened on his second when the car got away from him, and he hit the wall hard.

The team had to go to a backup car, which was actually the car they were taking to California.

However, Biffle did not need pit road strategies to make his way through the field. He drove his way from the back of the pack all the way to the front. He got a break when a caution came out, because John Wes Townley had blown a tire.

That caution came during the green flag stops. Biffle had the chance to make a stop under caution, and make slight adjustments. Biffle had a great car today, and they were able to stay on top of the conditions and kept track position which is always important on these big mile and a half tracks.

They finished fifth after slight damage to the car on a restart.

Points: 22nd

Parker Kligerman

What a weekend for Parker Kilgerman. He won the ARCA race earlier this weekend, then Saturday morning he snagged the Nationwide pole from series leader Kyle Busch.

Kligerman did talk to Busch about the start of the race. He is a racer, and starting on the pole, and leading races is not something new for him.

Kligerman led the first seven laps, but began to battle a tight race car that cost them some positions on the track. During their first pit stop they lost time on pit road with a tire issue. They lost a lap on pit road but did get the lucky dog for a debris caution.

Kligerman did a great job for his first race in this series, finishing 16th. He did exactly what he needed to do and that was log laps, and finish the race.

Kligerman had a solid run on Saturday. He might be someone to watch down the road.

Points: N/A

Losers

Mike Bliss

After a second place finish last week at Dover, Mike Bliss was struggling at Kansas. Bliss had hoped to continue the momentum he had from Dover. With potential rides for the remainder of the season dwindling, every lap is important for Bliss who still does not have a ride for 2010.

Bliss really struggled with this race car, after starting 36th. The team could not get a handle on the car, and went down a lap early. Bliss struggled on long runs when the tires and fuel had burned off and the handling went away.

They did get the lucky dog on one of the cautions, but they were never able to get up to the lead pack and battle for a win. They finished 21st.

Bliss is really racing for his career at this point. In this series, the number of solid rides is at a minimum and there are more drivers than there are rides.

Points: Eighth

Steve Wallace

After moving into the fifth position in the standings, after a strong run at Dover, Wallace was hoping to build on the point’s separation between himself and Justin Alllgaier. Wallace started 27th and was able to move forward early.

Wallace and his team once again struggled with adjusting the car throughout the race. Wallace fell a lap down early, and was forced to battle back before half way. With less than 50 laps to go Wallace had a tire rub from earlier contact.

They stayed on track instead of pitting, and changing the tires, and finished 15th.

Wallace is one of those drivers, who at times this season has had a great car. Rookie mistakes, and not being able to adjust on the car has cost them good finishes.

Points: Sixth

Brian Vickers

It seems that lately when Brian Vickers drives in the Nationwide series he usually finds his way up front at one point or another. Today was no different, but the circumstances were different.

Vickers started fourth and was battling in the Top 10, but a mistake on pit road had them battling just to get back into contention. A fast two tire stops had them up front, but everyone behind them had four tires, and he quickly dropped back. 

He got into it with Carl Edwards, and spun through the grass, and was back in traffic. Vickers late in the race was trying to battle back when he went into the wall after Brendan Gaughan got loose, and took Vickers out.

He went to the garage and finished 28th, a disappointing finish after what looked promising early on.

Points: 21st

Lucky Dog…

Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch had the dominant car for the race on Saturday, and he still didn’t win the race. For the fourth time this season Busch finished second to his teammate Logano. Logano led the most laps today, but also broke another record in 2009.

Busch passed Sam Ard for most laps led in a season, 2,229 laps. This was a record that goes back to 1984. Adding to what has been a very impressive season for an impressive driver.

Say what you want about Busch, and his antics, but he hates losing. Does not matter if it is a teammate or not. It’s that type of passion that is refreshing to see in NASCAR.

Points: First

Final lap…

Kansas is a good track. There are multiple grooves that give drivers the chance to use the entire track to pass cars. Saturday afternoon was no different, we saw that tires were important early in the run.

We saw some good racing today. Some drivers, who needed a strong run, got just that today. Even though rain was not a threat all weekend, the wind and mixes of sun and cloud did affect how some crews made adjustments on the car.

The coverage of ESPN was decent. The Nationwide team does a decent job of full field run down throughout the race.

On to California for the series as the season winds down, and the storylines begin to shift towards not only the end of this year but next year.