Denny Wins 2nd Straight; Kyle Holds On to Wild Card
Team Interstate race weekend wrap-up for Sept. 1-3, 2012:
Team Interstate‘s Denny Hamlin led the way Sunday night by winning the Advocare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, his fourth win of the season and second straight visit to Victory Lane. Kyle Busch put together another strong run for a sixth-place finish, and Joey Logano battled back from a flat right-front tire and a stomach virus to finish 18th.
Hamlin’s win ensures at least a share of the top seed in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s race in Richmond. Busch put himself in position to control his destiny and lock into the Chase at Richmond, a track where he has four wins, 12 top-five and 13 top-10 finishes.
“Overall, the night was good for us,” said Busch, who earned his 12th top-10 finish of the season. “Our car was fast. We qualified up front with our Doublemint Camry, ran up front and stayed up there. We had a good long-run car all night. The last pit stop we just didn’t have what we needed there and came out ninth. Had to pass a few cars and got by a few cars and finished sixth.”
Only the top-10 in points are locked into the 12-driver, 10-race Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. In the event of multiple drivers having the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.
Kasey Kahne holds the 11th-place wild-card spot thanks to his two victories, the most of any driver outside the top-10. Busch remained in the 12th-place wild-card spot by virtue of his victory April 28 at Richmond, combined with his 12th position in the point standings, which is higher than his fellow single-race winners in the top-20 in points: Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Marcos Ambrose and Logano. Busch sits 12 points ahead of Gordon for the final Chase wild-card spot heading into the final race of the regular season this Saturday night.
Atlanta: Team Interstate’s Best Track
Hamlin’s win Sunday night gave Joe Gibbs Racing 10 Cup wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the most of any track. Interstate’s own Bobby Labonte has six of those victories, while Tony Stewart has two and Busch and Hamlin each have one.
Motocross: Millsaps Earns Another Top 10
Team Interstate/JGRMX rider Davi Millsaps turned in another overall top-10 finish Saturday at Steel City Raceway in Delmont, Pa. Millsaps finished fifth in the first round and 11th in the second round, good enough for seventh overall on the day.
The final event of the 2012 season will be the inaugural Red Bull Lake Elsinore Motocross National in California on Saturday.
NHRA Drag Racing: Rained Out in Indy
Persistent rains forced NHRA officials to postpone the 58th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. Qualifying will reopen with two sessons on Saturday, with eliminations scheduled for Sunday.
Team Interstate’s Mike Edwards sits in fourth place in the NHRA Pro Stock standings, and the U.S. Nationals is the last event to earn points before the NHRA Countdown to a Championship playoff series begins.
- Team Interstate Sweeps Bristol; Kyle Busch Back in Wild-Card Picture (blogbattery.com)
- Busch Battles to 13th Place in Michigan (blogbattery.com)
- Kyle Sees Victory Slip Away on Last Lap (blogbattery.com)