Virginia 529 College Savings 250: Nationwide Winners and Losers

Patti RodischAnalyst ISeptember 12, 2009

RICHMOND, VA - SEPTEMBER 11:  Carl Edwards, driver of the #60 Scotts Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Virginia 529 College Savings Plan 250 at Richmond International Raceway on September 11, 2009 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The Nationwide series heads to the short track in Richmond, Virginia for a Friday night show under the lights.

With the races winding down and the Championship still in reach for the top drivers, every race is important and everything is on the line.

Check out this week’s winner and the losers.


Carl Edwards

Carl Edwards started at the back of the field, after an unapproved adjustment on the car he was forced to the back. Even being at the back of the pack, Edwards was able to move forward and quickly. He was in the top 10 just after half way.

Edwards was in the top five with less than 100 to go.With a fast car and great stops. He was able to work traffic to perfection and take advantage of the cautions to work on the car and gain positions on pit road.

Edwards who is fighting for a championship couldn’t get caught up in a Richmond wreck and he couldn’t afford to injure his foot more in case of an accident. Edwards is determined to run every race even with a broken foot.

Edwards might be walking with a limp for a while, but he has a little swagger with that limp.

Points: Second

Trevor Bayne

You know something Trevor Bayne quietly had a solid race. He started the race in ninth and never left the top 10. At one point he was racing in the top five.

The team had solid pit stops and while they struggled with the handling they were able to maintain position and work on the car, giving Bayne exactly what he needed to bring that car home with a solid finish.

Bayne was impressive tonight; he was running well and with the top drivers in this sport. He ran a smart race and this will certainly be something not only to build on but to continue to build up his confidence.

Bayne might have been the biggest surprise in the top 10, but you shouldn’t be too surprised Bayne needs the laps more than anything and he would continue to have finishes like this. Tonight Bayne tied his season best finish of seventh.

Bayne brought home his car in one piece and one heckuva a run.

Points: 33rd

Justin Allgaier

After a rough couple weeks of finishes outside the top 20, Justin Allgaier rebounded with a top 10 finish in eighth. This was a much needed run and way to turn the momentum a bit.

Allgaier started the race in 19th and very nearly went a lap down. They were struggling with changing track and really tight conditions at times.

Allgaier gave solid feedback on the car and the adjustments had this car moving forward and battling for a top 10 finish.

Allgaier has been struggling lately and the success he found early on in the season, he just can't find in the second half. Allgaier will benefit from Brad Keselwoski as his teammate, gives him another person to bounce information off of.

Allgaier was just biding his time it seems until the last 50 laps and he made his charge.

Points: Fifth


Denny Hamlin

Once again Denny Hamlin leads a lot of laps but is unable to close the deal at his home track of Richmond. Hamlin though made the save of the night possibly the season late in the race.

Hamlin started on the pole and ran in the top five all night long. He was swapping the lead back with his teammate Kyle Busch and Keselowski in the first half of the night.

Hamlin fought a loose condition for most of the night and that came to a head while battling with Kevin Harvick late for the lead.

Harvick was underneath Hamlin and as Hamlin all but spun out, Harvick and Hamlin made great saves. While Harvick didn’t sustain too much damage, Hamlin watched his chance at a win disappear and was forced to battle back to get on the lead lap.

Hamlin has little consolation for starting on the pole and leading the most laps but not having anything to show for it. He finished 17th.

Hamlin dominates but once again has to watch someone else celebrate at his home track.

Oh home sweet home.

Points: 14th (OP)

Paul Menard

Well Paul Menard started in the top five, after a stellar qualifying lap. It looks like they missed the setup, the actual race setup.

Menard was looking to build on recent strong finishes, and it started out well. They had a fast car in practice and that equated to the qualifying setup. The team was unable though to make adjustments on the car, so that Menard could contend.

Menard team seemed to struggle a bit in the pits tonight and unable to make up ground on the track, the team came home with a 13th place finish.

A good rebound for a team that at one point could have went a lap down had it not been for a debris caution.

Menard is quietly having a solid season in the Nationwide series.

Points: 23rd

Lucky Dog…

Kenny Wallace

For Kenny Wallace Friday's race is particularly special. Wallace is starting his 800 career start tonight. A feat that ranks him 17th on the all time list, a list that has over 3,000 drivers.

A humbled Wallace who has been racing for over 20 years, once drove a car for the late Dale Earnhardt.

Wallace started tonight 29th tonight and was able to work his way up to 20th both on the track and on pit road. Wallace was dealing with similar issues that everyone else, tight early on.

He struggled with this car though and the handling, ended up going a lap down before the 100 lap mark. He ended up finishing 26th.

Wallace is a great ambassador for this sport, and 800 starts later he is not looking to slow down just yet.


Final lap…

This one will be short and sweet.

Friday was a day of remembrance for the attacks on our country eight years ago. We cannot forget the sacrifices of not only the men and women who lost their lives that day in Washington D.C., New York, and Pennsylvania.

But also the families who lost loved ones but must move forward and the soldiers who are fighting for our freedoms every day.

We are lucky and blessed to live in the United States of America.


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