NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rewind: 2009
Tony Stewart took the checkered flag for his fourth win of the season at Kansas Speedway on October 4, 2009 by nearly one second over Jeff Gordon. Stewart’s win was his second at Kansas Speedway and tied him with Gordon, who had back-to-back wins at Kansas Speedway in 2001 and 2002.
Joey Logano brought out the first caution of the day on lap two when he would get loose and spin out, keeping the car under control. Green flag racing resumed on lap six but quickly returned to yellow when Paul Menard spun on lap eight taking David Ragan, Bobby Labonte and Michael Waltrip with him.
High above the start finish line, the green flag would wave on lap 12 and would remain out for the next 57 laps.
Reed Sorenson would get high on the track and come in contact with the wall, bringing out the next yellow flag on lap 70, allowing drivers to return to pit road to make minor adjustments. Greg Biffle and Jimmie Johnson would swap lead positions several times over the next 52 laps.
On lap 126, Brian Vickers would spin coming out of turn four cutting a swath through the infield grass and stopping near pit road. Biffle who was on pit road when the caution came out would take the lead on the lap 130 restart. Biffle would lead Johnson, Juan Pablo Montoya, Gordon and Stewart but would find himself quickly giving it back to Johnson.
Elliott Sadler, like Vickers, would spin on lap 147 in turn two bringing out the next yellow flag, once again giving the drivers the opportunity to come in for pit stops. Johnson and Montoya would take four tires on their stops in hopes of getting better track performance, but the move sent them back to ninth and 10th place, respectively and returned the lead to Biffle.
Green flag racing would return over the next 87 laps with lead changes between Biffle, Stewart, Denny Hamlin and Kurt Busch. Biffle was leading by nearly eight seconds when Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s car would lose power on lap 234, sending him to the garage for the remainder of the day.
Pit strategy would now become the order of the day as drivers and crews enacted their final strategies. Stewart and Kasey Kahne would take only two tires, while Johnson, Hamlin and Biffle would take four tires, giving Stewart and Kahne coveted track position. When the green flag flew again on lap 242, Biffle would jump to a quick lead over Kahne and Johnson but Stewart wouldn’t be outdone as he took the lead on the outside exiting turn two.
Gordon would begin his late race charge to the front on lap 254, but with only 13 laps remaining he was unable to muster enough power to catch Stewart, who took the checkered flag by .894-second over Gordon.
Mark Martin, who finished seventh, increased his point lead over Johnson by 18 in the point standings. However, over the next seven races, Johnson would visit Victory Lane three times as he went on to claim his fourth consecutive championship tying him with Gordon.
- Jeff Gordon Coming Out of Retirement -- At Least For Two Races
- Part 2: A look at the final nine Sprint Cup Series races and impact on the Chase
- Part 1: A look at the final nine Sprint Cup Series races and impact on the Chase
- Tony Stewart Looks to Reclaim Championship Form in Final Season
- Rookie William Byron and Veteran Matt Crafton Battle for Top Spot of NASCAR World Truck Series