Weekly Race Review
Talladega Super Speedway
Hello, Race Fans.This week’s review is at Talladega Super Speedway in Talladega, Al. It is the 30th race of the season and the 4th race of the Chase. I love Talladega. But not because there is always “The BIG One” – A crash involving many cars. I like it because there is 3 and 4 wide racing. You get 3 wide racing 10 or so long. Heck, the whole43 cars are altogether in one big bunch. And they all stay in line. They are racing side by side by side. And it’s a beautiful site to behold. That’s why I love NASCAR.
There were 51 Drivers attempting to race for 43 positions. The top 35 in Owner points are guaranteed a spot. It is also an impound race. Meaning that once you qualify, you can’t touch the car. They are impounded until the race. And no practice after qualifying. There were 16 Drivers going for 8 spots. So those “go or go homers” had to qualify in the top 8 spots. The 8 that made it in order were: 55 Michael Waltrip, 22 Dave Blaney, 83 Brian Vickers, 78 Joe Nemechek, 00 David Reutimann, 27 Jacque Villeneuve, 49 John Andretti and 44 Dale Jarrett. Those that went home and did 187+ in qualifying were: 60 Boris Said, 10 Scott Riggs, 06 Sam Hornish, Jr., and Jeremy Mayfield. Also going home were 09 Sterling Marlin, 4 ward Burton, and 37 Kevin Lepage. In my opinion, They should make it the fastest 43 cars. But I’m not one of the Powers that be. 44 Dale Jarrett had to start last for some reason. Some rule in the Owner points thing.
Today 88 is Mike Wallace. He’s good at restrictor plate racing, and Ricky Rudd is still out healing from a crash several weeks ago. 01 today is Aric Almirola. This is the first race for the Car Of Tomorrow on a restrictor plate track. It should be interesting. 2 Kurt Busch and 6 David Ragan had their front too low, so their times were dissallowed and they had to start from the rear. No real problem. They were already in the rear. The track is 2.66 miles long, and they will race 188 laps. 27 elects to start from the rear as this is his first NASCAR race and he doesn’t want to get in the way. Or have anyone point a finger at him for causing anything.
38 David Gilliland gets pushed below the out of bounds yellow line, but he doesn’t advance his position, so all is well and they keep racing. 22 Blaney leads the first lap. 43 Bobby Labonte thakes the lead. 83 Brian Vickers takes the lead. 55 Michael Waltrip, the pole sitter takes the lead. 48 Jimmy Johnson takes the lead. And there’s a commercial. 11 Denny Hamlin leads when we get back. It’s one big pack in two straight lines. Officials warn 5 Kyle Busch about rough driving. If he keeps it up he will be black flagged. 55 Waltrip has his tear-off coming off where he looks out of the car. 17 has a right tire going low and pits.
The first Caution comes out when 49 John Andretti blows a tire. 17 Kenseth gets his lap back. Everyone pits and 55 is able to get the tear-off off. 45 Kyle Petty stays out to lead a lap and then pits. 17 Kenseth raises the hood to make adjustments. 27 is also making serious adjustments.
11 Hamlin is in the lead at the restart lap 22. 19 Elliot Sadler takes the lead with help from 29 Kevin Harvick. 11 Hamlin takes the lead. 9 Kasey Kahne takes the lead. 1 Martin Truex, Jr. leading. 8 Dale Earnheardt take the lead. At this point they are all in single file. 8-43-5-31-1-41-11-83-00-20 in the top 10. 17 Kenseth gets debris on his grill, causing his car to overheat, and he can’t get it off. His team mate 99 Carl Edwards is leading a pack that 17 is close to catching. 99 slows his whole line down so 17 can catch up and get rid of the debris. No one tried to pass 99. No one got out of line. The whole line just slowed behind 99. 8 Earnheardt has debris on his grill.
99’s whole line comes down pit road, and Green Flag Pitting begins. 16 Greg Biffle and 38 Gilliland get together and the 2nd caution comes out when 16 spins. The Pa ce car leads them down pit rd. to avoid the debris. 11 is leading. It was a chain reaction crash.15 Paul Menard and 01 Almirola slowed and it went back to 16 into 99, 38 into 16 and 16 spinning. 1 got into the wall. 78 Joe Nemechek is smoking. 00 Reutimann takes the lead. 8 takes the lead. 31 Jeff Burton blows up and the third coution comes out when 31 catches fire. 8 leads them down pit rd. 55-9-8-83-19-12-41 out of pits.
In the pits they show a jackman watching his driver to the line while holding the jack in the pits. 12 Rkyan Newman runs over the jack! And has to come back in for repairs. I wonder why that car wasn’t brought back in for not having equipment out of the way. 19 Sadler is leading.
The 4th caution comes out when 1 blows up and there’s lots of smoke. 8 gets loose by himself, but saves it. It’s single-file again, 65 to go. With 57 to go, it’s 3 wide. 15 Menard gets left behind. 27 has contact with the wall. 20 Tony Stewart takes the lead. 8 is smoking. And the 5th caution comes out. That’s the third Richard Childress engine that has expired. 15 was right behind 8, but gets by. 44 Jarrett has damage. Everyone pits. 70 Johnny Sauter comes out first to lead.The Green comes out with 48 to go. 24 Jeff Gordon has to come back into pits because the tire changer didn’t get the gun out of the way and Jeff ran over the hose.
The 6th caution comes out for the big one. Involved were 5,00,26,15,7,6,17,43 with 43 to go. 43 lost it and got into 15, then back up into 7 Robby Gordon and into the wall. 96 Tony Raines leads at restart. 12 takes the lead. 27 gets black flagged because he has no radio communication.2,42 and 41 are pushing 12. 18 pushes 20 into the lead.
The 7th caution is when 21 Ken Schrader gets into the wall. Ken won his first race at Talladega. Green comes out with 32 to go . The 8th caution comes out during the commercial. 45 looses a tire and backs it into the wall on the driver’s side. 11 has damage to patch. Top 10 is 20,12,2,42,9,88,70,41,24 and 66 Jeff Green. 12 and 2 go by 20, leaving 20 high. 20 was in front of 48 and went high to get in front of 12 and 2 . they go by 20.
The 9th caution comes out when 55 looses a tire and gets into the wall, collecting 19, 16 and 96 Tony Raines. There is 8 laps to go at the restart. 88 gets loose but saves it. 48 takes the lead. 20 sends 25 Casey Mears into the middle and back. 20 gets stuck in the middle. 24 takes the lead. 24 Jeff Gordon wins the UAW-Ford 500. According to nascar.com, after the race everyone led a lap and no one led the most laps. I will look again later.
Brought to you by Sheila Hawley