Sunday, March 1, 2009 | 9:21 p.m.
TOP TEN STANDINGS
- Jeff Gordon -- 459
- Clint Bowyer -- 441
- Matt Kenseth -- 419
- Greg Biffle -- 419
- David Reutimann -- 408
- Kyle Busch -- 405
- Kurt Busch -- 393
- Tony Stewart -- 379
- Carl Edwards -- 377
- Bobby Labonte -- 360
In a race with 14 cautions, several engine failures and a hometown champion, the Shelby 427 Sprint Cup Series race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway also produced a new leader in the standings.
“It was an eventful day, that’s for sure,” Jeff Gordon said.
Gordon’s sixth-place finish was good enough to move him into first place in the standings (459). The race provided plenty of excitement for Gordon, as he blew a front tire on Lap 221 trying to make an exit to the pit road. The blown tire ripped off some of Gordon’s fender and caused the race to go into caution.
“I was just coming to pit road and saw the guys behind me, looked like they were coming down on me pretty hard so I tried to get off on the apron, and when I did it just locked the left front up and I missed pit road.”
Gordon’s crew fit him with a new tire and taped up his fender to keep him on the track.
Matt Kenseth was not as fortunate. He entered the race first in the cup standings, but his time in Las Vegas was cut short when an engine blew six laps into the race and he finished last, dropping him to third in the standings (419).
“We didn’t even really get to race today and we qualified bad, so it was a pretty long weekend for nothing,” Kenseth said. “It’s just one of those things that happens.”
Jimmy Johnson, who led for a race-high 92 laps, saw his early success end quickly after he spun out on Lap 280 and finished 24th. Johnson, the three-time defending Cup champion, is 19th in the standings (319).
“It was just unfortunate,” Johnson said. “I think that there were some bad calls that ended up hurting us today.”
After his victory, Kyle Busch moved to sixth in the standings (405), one spot better than his brother, Kurt (393).
Clint Bowyer finished second Sunday, which puts him at second (441) in the standings. After Kyle Busch passed him and Jeff Burton, the two drivers and teammates battled out the rest of the race for a second place finish.
“You know it was a wild day,” Bowyer said.