Reutimann wins first Busch race
David Reutimann's victory Saturday wasn't as much about performance as it was about survival. A race-record 25 caution periods in the Sam's Town 250 NASCAR Busch Series race at Memphis Motorsports Park made sure of that.
David Reutimann, Jerry Baxter and Toyota personnel celebrate his first Busch Series victory
Still, Reutimann's performance was pretty good. He scored the first NASCAR Busch Series win of his career by dominating the race, leading 194 of the 253 laps, though many of those were under yellow.
The only challenge Reutimann faced -- other than dodging the cautions -- was an outside move by Mike Bliss with nine laps left. Reutimann's Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota was more than up to the task, however, and pulled away from Bliss.
Fittingly, the race ended with a green-white-checkered finish. No one was going to touch Reutimann, however, and he beat Bliss by three-quarters of a second. David Ragan was third, with Marcos Ambrose fourth and Jason Leffler fifth.
One of the victims in the caution-flag frenzy was points leader Carl Edwards, who couldn't wrap up the season championship after finishing 25th.
With Reutimann winning and leading the most laps, Edwards needed to finish eighth or better to clinch his first NASCAR title. Driving with damage to his No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford in the second half of the race, Edwards was hanging on to a top-10 spot in the closing laps.
On the final lap, however, Landon Cassill spun, and Edwards all but stopped in the smoke. Edwards lost 13 spots in the process and finished 25th.
Edwards can clinch the championship by finishing 36th or better next weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
Indianapolis 500 winner and IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti ran well early in his NASCAR Busch Series debut, but brake problems caused him to be involved in two cautions. Franchitti finished three laps down in 32nd.
Tempers flared early in the race between series regulars Bobby Hamilton Jr., Kyle Krisiloff and part-time driver Robert Richardson Jr. On Lap 16, soon after a restart, Richardson and Krisiloff tangled, with Hamilton Jr. getting spun off Turn 2.
Hamilton Jr. drove to the entrance of Turn 1, driving around Richardson's car before turning around to rejoin the field.
On Lap 45, Richardson retaliated by turning left off Turn 2 into Krisiloff's car, which ended up slamming the outside wall.
Richardson was penalized two laps for aggressive driving, while Krisiloff was later parked by NASCAR.
Those were hardly the only caution flags. By Lap 109, the race had tied the season mark for most cautions in a race with 13, and then that mark fell eight laps later.
NASCAR penalized three drivers -- Franchitti, Richardson Jr. and Brad Keselowski -- for rough driving, and parked two others, Krisiloff and Steve Wallace.
Unofficial results of the NASCAR Busch Series Sam's Town 250 at the 0.75-mile Memphis Motorsports Park, with position, driver, team, laps completed and status:
1. David Reutimann, No. 99 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota, 253, running
2. Mike Bliss, No. 22 Fitz Motorsports Dodge, 253, running
3. David Ragan, No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, 253, running
4. Marcos Ambrose, No. 59 Wood Brothers/JTG Racing Ford, 253, running
5. Jason Leffler, No. 38 Braun Racing Toyota, 253, running
6. Scott Wimmer, No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, 253, running
7. Jamie McMurray, No. 26 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, 253, running
8. Jason Keller, No. 11 CJM Racing Chevrolet, 253, running
9. Brad Keselowski, No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, 253, running
10. Brian Keselowski, No. 49 Holloway Motorsports Dodge, 253, running
11. J.J. Yeley, No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet, 253, running
12. Stephen Leicht, No. 90 Robert Yates Racing Ford, 253, running
13. Mike Wallace, No. 7 Phoenix Racing, 253, running
14. Kelly Bires, No. 47 Wood Brothers/JTG Racing Ford, 253, running
15. Danny O'Quinn, No. 56 Mac Hill Motorsports Chevrolet, 253, running
16. Tim McCreadie, No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, 253, running
17. Ron Young, No. 71 RB1 Motorsports Chevrolet, 253, running
18. Bryan Clauson, No. 41 Chip Ganassi Racing Dodge, 253, running
19. Stanton Barrett, No. 30 Stanton Barrett Motorsports, 253, running
20. Landon Cassill, No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, 253, running
21. Brent Sherman, No. 10 Braun Racing Toyota, 253, running
22. Brett Rowe, No. 05 Day Enterprises Racing Chevrolet, 253, running
23. Richard Johns, No. 25 Team Rensi Motorsports Ford, 253, running
24. Chase Miller, No. 9 Gillett Evernham Motorsports Dodge, 253, running
25. Carl Edwards, No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, 253, running
26. Sterling Marlin, No. 1 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet, 253, running
27. John Graham, No. 37 Brewco Motorsports Ford, 253, running
28. Eric McClure, No. 0 DDL Motorsports Chevrolet, 253, running
29. Cale Gale, No. 33 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet, 253, running
30. Colin Braun, No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, 252, running
31. Robert Richardson Jr., No. 28 Jay Robinson Racing Chevrolet, 251, running
32. Dario Franchitti, No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Dodge, 250, running
33. Brad Coleman, No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet, 240, running
34. Brad Baker, No. 27 Brewco Motorsports Ford, 239, running
35. Steve Wallace, No. 66 Rusty Wallace Inc. Dodge, 234, parked
36. Bobby East, No. 43 Brewco Motorsports Ford, 224, engine
37. Brandon Miller, No. 77 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet, 190, accident
38. Bobby Hamilton Jr., No. 35 Team Rensi Motorsports, 190, running
39. Matt Carter, No. 40 Taylor Motorsports Ford, 129, accident
40. Jeremy Clements, No. 36 McGill Motorsports Chevrolet, 100, accident
41. Chase Austin, No. 64 Rusty Wallace Inc. Dodge, 86, accident
42. Kyle Krisiloff, No. 14 Carl A. Haas Motorsports Ford, 47, parked
43. D.J. Kennington, No. 72 McDonald Motorsports Dodge, 34, handling