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2009 AMP Energy 500

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2009 AMP Energy 500

2009 AMP Energy 500
Race details[1]
Race 33 of 36 in the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season

Talladega Superspeedway
Date November 1, 2009 (2009-11-01)
Location Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, Alabama
Course Permanent racing facility
2.66 mi (4.28 km)
Distance 191 laps, 508.06 mi (817.643 km)
Scheduled Distance188 laps, 500.08 mi (804.80 km)
WeatherTemperatures reaching up to 62.6 °F (17.0 °C); wind speeds up to 11.1 miles per hour (17.9 km/h)[2]
Average speed 157.213 miles per hour (253.010 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports
Time No time trials
Most laps led
Driver Jamie McMurray Roush Fenway Racing
Laps 32
Winner
No. 26
Jamie McMurray
Roush Fenway Racing
Television in the United States
Network ABC
Announcers Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett, and Andy Petree

The 2009 AMP Energy 500 was the 33rd race of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup season and the seventh event of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Summary

It was held on November 1, 2009 at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama, and is the only race in the Championship Chase to utilize restrictor plates. This marks the first time the race was run in an early November spot, the slot formerly occupied by the Atlanta Motor Speedway event. Jamie McMurray won the race, his first since Daytona in 2007. Nationwide Series regular Robert Richardson Jr. made his first Cup start and finished 18th.

Qualifying

Because qualifying was rained out, the rules awarded points leader Jimmie Johnson the pole position.

Single-file racing

NASCAR told the drivers in the drivers meeting that they could not bump draft in the corners. That was followed by a controversial race where drivers drove in a single file line all the way around the track for a few segments. Many fans believed and still believe that that was a protest by the drivers to the new rule. Jimmie Johnson and Jamie McMurray all defended their actions. Johnson responded by saying, "No, there's not truth to that. When we hit single-file like that, we just know there's no need to race at that point. All that matters is from that last pit stop on." Instead of deciding to wreck and dwindle down the field on Sunday, Johnson said the drivers finally got smart about how to approach the race. Everyone seemed to realize that you can't win if you aren't around at the end.[3]

McMurray, the eventual race winner, said, "It wasn't like everybody was in their cars and we were like, 'Let's get single-file and prove a point' or 'Let's just follow each other.' You had to be in the outside groove because that's where all the momentum was."[4] This continued with Casey Mears leading the line for many laps until the first round of green flag pit stops started.

Race ends under caution

With five laps to go, Ryan Newman's car flipped on the back straightaway, landing on Kevin Harvick, and also collecting Marcos Ambrose and Elliott Sadler. The race was briefly red-flagged as debris was cleaned up and paramedics cut Newman from his car. Newman was uninjured. After a green-white-checkered restart, a big wreck happened with two laps to go, causing Kurt Busch, Scott Speed, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Robby Gordon to crash; Martin's car blew over, but landed back on its wheels. The race ended under the caution flag and McMurray was scored as winner.

Top twenty finishers[5]

Television-related issues

Announcers reprimanded

Throughout the race the ESPN announcers gave their opinion on how unnecessary the no bump drafting rule was. Dale Jarrett and Rusty Wallace were among those who thought the rule was not needed and dumb. After the race the ESPN announcers were confronted by NASCAR about their actions during their broadcast and how much they used their own opinion. They were told to never have another race like this to happen again.

Issues with ABC affiliates

KXLY-TV in Spokane and WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh preempted NASCAR Countdown and instead aired the Emperor's New School and The Replacements in order to fulfill an E/I commitment. It was also not seen on Philadelphia affiliate WPVI-TV because of a Philadelphia Phillies World Series special, as well as affiliates KGTV-TV in San Diego, KABC-TV in Los Angeles, KSAT-TV in San Antonio, and WDAY-TV in Fargo.

NASCAR Countdown started at 12 Noon ET / 9 AM PT for the only time in 2009 instead of the 1 PM or 2:30 PM that has been used for the other day races in the Chase. West Coast affiliates' E/I commitments are different than other time zones, as often an ESPN College Football game will start at 9 AM PT on Saturday. When a sporting event airs at 9 AM PT, the E/I commitment will take place on Sunday.

References


Previous race:
2009 TUMS Fast Relief 500
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
2009 season
Next race:
2009 Dickies 500
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