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Published on June 27th, 2011 | by Shannon Baxter

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Road Course Weekend: Tempers, Excitement

Kurt Busch has been doing everything in his power to get to victory lane.  He’s had three consecutive poles at Michigan, Pocono, and Kansas, but hasn’t had the finishes to go with them.

Busch finally got the win he has been looking for in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway.  He led 76 of 110 laps and earned his first road course win.

Calamity Corner

It all started on lap 37 when Tony Stewart pushed Vickers’ rear fender, sending him into a tire barrier.  After many pit stops Vickers got his car repaired and managed to stay on the lead lap.  Brian isn’t one to forget, and he let Stewart know just how upset he was on lap 88.  Going into Turn 11 running fifth and sixth, Vickers got into the rear fender of Stewart and sent him spinning into a tire barrier.  The No. 14 Stewart Haas Racing Chevy then got stuck on the tire barrier, forcing NASCAR to extend the caution to get his car down.

Stewart intentionally wrecked Vickers because he claimed that Vickers was blocking him.  Vickers, however, said Stewart was “the least of his worries” at that time. Vickers said he was moving over to avoid Kyle Busch, who was coming back on the track after a short excursion off of it.

When asked about being spun by Vickers, Stewart said he knew he “had it coming,” since he intentionally wrecked Vickers earlier in the race.  I think both the drivers agreed to disagree and will let this blow over.

Unfortunately for innocent by-standers like Dale Earnhardt Jr, this will not blow over so easily.  Earnhardt Jr was involved in the pile up on lap 37 in Turn 11 and had damage to the hood of his car, along with the front grill.  This ultimately led to a hole in the radiator and caused the engine to blow up.  Earnhardt finished 41st and fell from third in the standings to seventh, thanks to his misfortune.  He is now 65 points behind leader Carl Edwards.

Where’d He Come From?

Roush Fenway Racing driver Carl Edwards has been doing double duty this year with the Nationwide series.  Normally he would have flown to Wisconsin, missing Cup practice, to participate in the Road America Nationwide race.  This weekend, he decided to have  Billy Johnson fill in for him at Road America so he could focus on his Cup ride at Sonoma because he felt that they were behind on speed and handling when they arrived for the race weekend.

The focus and extra practice seemed to work.  Despite being virtually nonexistent all day, Carl Edwards came home third,  and held his points lead. He is 25 points ahead of Kevin Harvick.

Confusion At Road America

Turner Motorsports driver Justin Allgair was leading the race as a caution came out with one lap to go.  Allgaier was cutting it short on fuel and ran out of gas trying to make it back to the checkered flag.  Teammate Reed Sorenson was running second and got passed by driver Ron Fellows under the caution.  Fellows did not maintain caution speed and passed Sorenson after the caution came out, which is against NASCAR rules.  NASCAR reviewed the video and declared Sorenson the winner.  Fellows made it clear he did not agree with NASCAR’s decision.

I’m all about drivers coming from other racing series to run for NASCAR because it brings publicity to the sport. But, drivers from other racing series should make sure they know the rules.  This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, and I’m sure it will happen again.

NASCAR did not “give” the win to Reed Sorenson. He earned it from obeying the NASCAR rule-book and lowering his speed when the yellow flag was thrown.  This is Sorenson’s first win since 2007 and his fourth career win in the Nationwide series.

Road course racing never fails to give us tempers and excitement.  We’ll be racing under the lights at Daytona International Speedway next weekend.  Who do you guys think will prevail?

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