Kurt Busch dominated Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway by leading 75 of the 110 laps in route to his first road course victory of his career.
[media-credit name=”CIA Stock Photo” align=”alignright” width=”254″][/media-credit]“It was an unbelievable setup. Once we got into the groove with this car, it seemed to get better after lap five or six. Our cars have never done that before. I’m real proud of this Dodge team, everybody from Shell and Pennzoil.” Busch said.
This was Busch’s 23rd career victory and his first win of the season, continuing his remarkable turnaround since his troubles earlier this season.
“I’m so proud of these guys for really stepping up after what we’ve been through. Man, we’ve been on a high these last few weeks.” Busch added.
Jeff Gordon finished second, Carl Edwards third, Clint Bowyer fourth and Marcos Ambrose finished fifth.
Gordon’s second place finish moves into the top-10 in points.
“I don’t know just the adjustments we made were that good or the track position or the track changing at the end. It looked like a lot of guys were really, really struggling with grip there at the end and our car was actually pretty good. We were fast and I think we were faster than the leaders. That felt awesome to start there with old tires and be able to work through traffic all the way up to second, man that was amazing.” Gordon said.
Edwards decided not to race in Saturday’s Nationwide Series race at Road America to better prepare his car for Sonoma and it paid off.
“I’m glad I stuck around for practice.” said Edwards. “”I am really proud of my team for the way we battled today. It was just a crazy race and for us to be able to work our way up to where we finished just says a ton about my Aflac crew and Bob and everyone.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was involved in Brian Vickers and Tony Stewart’s first incident in turn 11.
“We just got in a little bit of a bang up there in turn 11 with a bunch of guys and knocked a hole in the radiator and drained all the water out of it and hurt the engine. The engine is ruined so we won’t be able to get back out there. We had made the car better. It was a really rough race but it was fun though. It just sucks to be out this early.” Earnhardt Jr. said.
Earnhardt Jr. finished 41st and drops to 7th on the standings.
Vickers later gave Stewart a payback spin. On lap 88, Vickers drove thru Stewarts entering turn 11, sending Stewart into the outside tire barrier. Stewart’s car came to rest with the rear end atop the tires. Stewart tried to continue on after making repairs in the garage but was unable to.
“I dumped him earlier for blocking and he got me back later on. If they block, they are going to get dumped. It is real simple. I mean I don’t blame him, I don’t blame him for dumping us back. But, I don’t race guys that way, I never have. If guys want to block then they are going to wrecked every time. Until NASCAR makes a rule against it, I am going to dump them every time for it. He did what he had to do, I don’t blame him, there is nothing wrong with it.” Stewart said.
Stewart finished 39th and Vickers finished 36th.
|Unofficial Race Results|
|Toyota/Save Mart 350, Infineon Raceway|
|8||14||56||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||36|
|35||41||71||Andy Lally *||Ford||9|
|41||18||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||3|