Good Things Come to Those Who Wait, Wait, Wait;
Ultimate Patience Pays off for Busch at Michigan
BROOKLYN, Mich. (Wednesday Aug.22, 2007) -- Like everyone else, Kurt Busch and the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger team came to the Irish Hills ready to race on Sunday.
Rain washed out things on Sunday and Monday, and Tuesday got to be a guessing game with fog in the area. But the race finally started and Busch once again took his time working through the field. When he finally took the lead, Penske Power kept him out front for 92 of the final laps and he came away with his second win in three starts.
Busch remained 12th in the series standings, but he gained a lot of ground on 13th place, He now leads 13th-place Dale Earnhardt by 163 points with three races left to qualify or The Chase. Busch trails 11th-place Martin Truex by 33 points headed to Thunder Valley in Bristol, Tenn., one of Busch's favorite and most successful tracks
Ryan Newman and the No. 12 alltel team, the only other Dodge squad with an outside opportunity of making The Chase finished 16th Tuesday at MIS. Newman dropped to 14th in the standings and trails Busch by 171 points. He's 163 points behind Earnhardt.
Bobby Labonte also had a good run in his No. 43 Cheerios/Better Crocker Dodge Charger at MIS on Tuesday with a ninth-place finish.
Other Dodge Charger finishers were:
* DAVID STREMME (No. 40 Tums Dodge Charger) 21st
* JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 42 Texaco-Havoline Dodge Charger) 26th
* KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) 31st
* ELLIOTT SADLER (No.. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) 32nd
* SCOTT RIGGS (No. 10 Stanley Tools/Valvoline) 36th
* JOHN ANDRETTI (No.49 Paralyzed Veterans of America Dodge Charger) 37th
* REED SORENSON (No. 41 Tums Dodge Charger) 38th
* CHAD MCCUMBEE (No. 45 Marathon American Spirit Oil Dodge Charger) 41st
* JOE NEMECHEK (No. 20 E&M Motorsports Dodge Charger) 43rd
World of Outlaws
Donny Schatz won Sunday night's final at Castrol Raceway in Edmondton, Alberta, Canada, while Joey Saldana finished second in his Mopar-powered No. 9 Open Joist JEI. Saldana trails Schatz by 74 points. The next race is scheduled for Aug. 24 at Skagit Speedway.
NHRA POWERade Drag Racing
Richie Stevens ended up 10th in points in Reading. Stevens Jr. had a goal this weekend at the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals: to earn a spot in the top eight for the Countdown to the Championship. Entering this event 10th in the standings, he had his eye on Larry Morgan in eighth and Vieri Gaines in ninth.
First round of eliminations, which were postponed until Monday because of rain, saw Morgan eliminated by Jim Yates, while Stevens defeated Warren Johnson on a holeshot (6.678/206.73 to 6.661/207.11, .022 R/T for Stevens, .095 for Johnson) to advance to the second round. V. Gaines also moved on after dismissing Mike Edwards.
Second-round match-up: Stevens versus Gaines. Gaines ran a near-perfect pass to take the victory with a 6.629/207.08, while Stevens survived a problematic run to trail with a 6.778/205.69 loss.
With that result, Stevens' chances of earning a slot in the top eight were dashed, as he had to settle for 10th place in the standings.
Allen Johnson held on to fourth place in the point standings for the Countdown to the Championship, despite a first-round exit at the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals.
Qualified No. 5, Johnson took on No. 12 qualifier Ron Krisher in the opening round of eliminations, but Johnson suffered tire shake at the hit of the throttle, slowing him to a 13.125-second finish at 65.97 mph, while Krisher sailed on to a 6.773/205.66 and the victory.
"The track was just really good and we just wadded the tire up and it shook. It just got us," said Johnson.
"We'll stay fourth, so we'll go testing next week in Michigan and work with the new engine Dad (Roy Johnson) has about got ready and start the Countdown.
"We ran bad at Brainerd and we ran bad here for three runs, and we found our problem. So now the car is fast again."
Next up on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule is the U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park outside of Indianapolis, Aug. 29-Sept. 3, where the Countdown to Four begins.
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Driver Ken Schrader, driver of the No. 18 Fastenal Dodge Ram, had his hands full during last week's race at Nashville Superspeedway. The No. 18 Fastenal Dodge was not handling to his liking as he battled both tight and loose conditions entering and exiting the corners respectively. Schrader started the event in the 23rd position and never really grasped the handling on the Dodge Ram. He finished 22nd one lap down to winner Travis Kvapil.
Schrader qualified the No. 18 Fastenal Dodge in the 23rd position Saturday morning.
In the opening laps of the event Schrader gained several positions, climbing as high as 19th position before a loose condition overtook the Fastenal Dodge. Schrader was unable to keep the truck on the bottom and fell to 30th.
On lap 34 race leader Mike Skinner passed the No. 18 Fastenal Dodge putting Schrader one lap down.
Fortunately, the first caution waved on lap 43 and Schrader was awarded the lucky dog and allowed to return to the lead lap.
Kvapil won the Toyota Tundra 200 before an estimated crowd of 26,500. Ron Hornaday Jr., Skinner and David Starr rounded out the top five finishers.
-credit: dodge motorsports
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