Busch caps off second half of race with win
Kurt Busch started far back in the field on Sunday, but came forward quick to take his second win of the season in the Siemens 300, held at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon.
Busch, who has struggled through the first half of the season, led 110 laps, dominating the second half of the race.
“My car was just really good on long runs,” Busch said after his win. “Once we got in front, we were able to run real strong in the clean air.”
It didn’t seem like there were many opportunities for long runs in the race, as the field was slowed twelve times for sixty-two laps.
Many of the favorites for the race had trouble from the start. Hometown driver, Ricky Craven, spent more time spinning and hitting other cars than he did racing. Current points leader, Jimmie Johnson fought the handling on his Lowes Chevrolet all day, but got it good enough at the end to finish in the eleventh spot.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. could only muster fifty-nine laps, before the pain of his injuries, suffered last week in Sonoma, took him to the motor home, giving way to Martin Truex Jr., who could only get the Budweiser Chevrolet to thirty first after a spin.
“It ain’t no fun getting out, I can tell you that,” Earnhardt said on his way back to his trailer.
Pole sitter, Ryan Newman dominated the first half of the event. His Dodge paced the field and looked like he would have no problem getting another win.
“My car was fast,” said Newman. “But the 97 and 24 got by me and my car got a little loose, so I couldn’t catch them.”
All of the drivers are starting to think about the final ten race shootout for the Nextel Cup points championship, with only seven races to go until the top ten or drivers within 400 points race for the championship.
“We started our ten races now,” said Busch. “We knew that if we were going to be there at the end, we had to start this race, I think we have good momentum now.”
Jeff Gordon kept his late season charge alive, taking second. “We are proud of this finish,” said Gordon. “We lost two key crewmembers this week, so everyone stepped up and showed us what they were made of, it was awesome.”
Other notable finishes this weekend were Matt Kenseth in fourth and Tony Stewart in the fifth spot. Michael Waltrip and Jamie McMurray fought it out at the end of the race with Waltrip taking sixth, just in front of McMurray. Kasey Kahne, Dale Jarrett and Jeremy Mayfield rounded out the top ten.