Front-running is a big deal at Infineon Raceway. It helps avoid all the chaos that’s following in your wake. Kurt Busch enjoyed that position immensely Sunday. Making just two pit stops in the 110-lap, 219-mile race, he scored the first road-course win of his 12-year NASCAR Sprint Cup career by holding off a late-charging Jeff Gordon in the Toyota/Save Mart 350.
Speaking of chaos, Sunday’s race at Infineon had a lot of it, most notably Tony Stewart and Brian Vickers. Stewart dumped Vickers early in the race for blocking, Vickers came back onto the track and made sure he got even with Stewart, ending Stewart’s day, while running in the top 5. Believe it or not, that was Stewart’s first DNF at a road course in his entire career. How will Stewart and Vickers race each other from here on out? It should be interesting, to say the least. Stewart now is in 12th place in the Sprint Cup standings with no wins as of yet.
Speaking of good days, look no further than Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards. Both drivers ran mid pack the entire race, at one point Jeff Gordon was seen in 27th position with no hope in site, only to come home 2nd, running down Kurt Busch for the win. It also moved Gordon up three positions in the Sprint Cup standings to 9th. After the race, Jeff Gordon’s post race interview said it all, you would have thought he won the race with a big fist pump, that is what championship teams are made of. Also, don’t overlook Carl Edwards, from the opening practice on Friday, his car was terrible—terrible enough for Edwards to opt out of his Nationwide race at Road America just to get his #99 Ford competitive, he did just that with a 3rd place finish on Sunday. If you look at both Gordon and Edwards, it would bring up a great question– Which driver’s finish was the most surprising?
Edwards has been strong all year as he looks for his first Sprint Cup Championship, after Sunday’s miracle comeback, it only made Edwards look that much stronger, battling back for a 3rd place finish at a track he hasn’t had a ton of success at in his career.
Joey Logano also had a great run on Sunday, he was on pole to start the race and finished 6th. Will this get the 20 team rolling? Logano needed the confidence as he is underachieving majorly this year with seemingly everything not going his way.
After a great weekend of road course racing, we’ll take it to Daytona for possibly another photo finish on what has been a great year of racing. Who will grab the checkers on Saturday night? Trevor Bayne will be looking to take home his second Daytona win of the year. Dale Earnhardt Jr is always strong at Daytona, will that be where he captures his first victory of the year and snap his 108 race winless streak?
Lots of questions and uncertainty as we head to Daytona.
Sonoma top 10:
1. Kurt Busch
2. Jeff Gordon
3. Carl Edwards
4. Clint Bowyer
5. Marcos Ambrose
6. Joey Logano
7. Jimmie Johnson
8. Martin Truex Jr
9. Kevin Harvick
10. Brad Keselowski
Tags: Brad Keselowski Brian Vickers Carl Edwards Clint Bowyer Dale Earnhardt Jr Jeff Gordon Jimmie Johnson Joey Logano Kevin Harvick Kurt Busch Marcos Ambrose Martin Truex Jr. Tony Stewart Trevor Bayne