Willwerth: NASCAR Notebook
By Brian Willwerth
Kyle Busch made it look easy Saturday night in the inaugural Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway. He dominated the Quaker State 400 and drove his #18 car into victory lane for the third time this season.
Busch needed to survive a final restart in the closing laps, but was able to easily pull away from Jimmie Johnson. Make no mistake: this was Kyle’s night. He led a race-high 125 laps. He also leap-frogged over Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards to take the points lead. Last week’s leader, Harvick, dropped to third.
David Reutimann had a great night, finishing second. Johnson, Ryan Newman and Edwards rounded out the top five.
The biggest story emerging from Kentucky may not have been the actual race, but those who were just trying to get into the track. Not surprisingly, the speedway was sold out for its first-ever Cup race. But that led to a major traffic jam on I-71. Some cars were backed up several miles away from the track when the race began. The folks in Kentucky have a whole year to work out the kinks before the next Cup race comes to town.
THE WRECK WRAP:
*Jamie McMurray‘s frustrating season continues. His night ended when his engine blew up on Lap 200. He finished 36th.
*More problems for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who blew a left tire with 14 laps to go. He ended up in 30th place, much to the chagrin of his legion of fans.
*Clint Bowyer brought out the final caution of the night when he hit the wall with six laps to go.
NEXT WEEK… the big one for us New England fans, as the Cup stars come to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the first time in 2011. I’ll be in Loudon for that one. I can’t wait!