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Kyle Busch Celebrates 24th Birthday in Richmond's Victory Lane

This Event Tied the Record For Cautions As Kyle Busch Prevailed on His Birthday

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2009 Crown Royal Presents The Russ Friedman 400 at Richmond International Raceway

2009 Crown Royal Presents The Russ Friedman 400 at Richmond International Raceway

Logo Courtesy of NASCAR
Updated May 03, 2009
The 2009 Crown Royal presents the Russ Friedman 400 was a tale of two races. The first half of the race went quickly as drivers were patient. The second half of the race saw the aggression turned up as rain was threatening. Kyle Busch dodged a rash of late cautions and made his way to Victory Lane on his 24th birthday.

Qualifying

There were two Toyotas and three Chevys in the top five this week in Richmond.Brian Vickers picked up his second pole of 2009 with Jeff Gordon starting on the outside of the front row. Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. made up row number two while Jeff Burton rounded out the top five.

Drop Of The Green

The race went green and yellow at the same time to allow the track to finish drying. The drivers stayed in single file behind the pace car for the first six laps before NASCAR turned them loose.

The front row stayed side-by-side for the first lap with Jeff Gordon nipping Vickers at the line to lead the first lap. Vickers got past on the inside and lead the next 35 laps or so before Jeff Gordon moved back to the front for the remainder of the early going.

Storylines

The word from the weather was that the rain should be rolling in around the 300 lap mark. The intensity increased as the race closed in on the 300 lap mark.

The drivers stopped their give and take. After a relatively safe first half this race couldn't get a rhythm going in the second half and tied the record for cautions before it was done.

Richmond is known as the short track that drives like a superspeedway. The first half of this race was superspeedway. The second half of the race was pure short track.

Chasing The Checkers

With 89 laps to go Jeff Gordon stayed out on old tires to take over the lead. through caution after caution Gordon maintained the lead but Kyle Busch was slowly closing in.

On a restart with 51 laps to go Kyle Busch was there. He haunted Gordon for three laps before his fresher tires got him the top spot.

Kyle Busch then checked out on the rest of the field. With 20 laps to go he had a three and a half second lead. Tony Stewart moved into second place and was closing the gap on Kyle Busch. But he simply ran out of laps before he was able to run down the leader.

Kyle Busch completed the weekend sweep and became only the second driver in NASCAR history to win on his birthday.

Top Ten

  1. Kyle Busch
  2. Tony Stewart
  3. Jeff Burton
  4. Ryan Newman
  5. Mark Martin
  6. Sam Hornish
  7. Jamie McMurray
  8. Jeff Gordon
  9. Casey Mears
  10. Juan Montoya

The Points

Kurt Busch and Jeff Gordon continued their battle at the top of the points. Last week Busch took the lead from Gordon. This week Gordon reclaimed the top spot by ten points over Busch.

The top twelve are now:

  1. Jeff Gordon
  2. Kurt Busch -10
  3. Tony Stewart -39
  4. Denny Hamlin -120
  5. Kyle Busch -127
  6. Jimmie Johnson -151
  7. Jeff Burton -184
  8. Clint Bowyer -229
  9. Carl Edwards -237
  10. Ryan Newman -243
  11. Greg Biffle -248
  12. Matt Kenseth -254
Kyle Busch Celebrates 24th Birthday in Richmond's Victory Lane
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