3M Performance 400
Welcome race fans to the foot hills of Michigan, just outside of Detroit. This is the twenty-third race of the season. This is the best racing track in the Series. It’s very wide, so there is a lot of room to race. 83 Brian Vickers is on the pole with a speed of 187.536 mph. 48 Jimmy Johnson will start second. 45 is again Terry Labonte, who didn’t have to use his past Champ provisional. 00 is Mike Skinner, a Craftsman Truck driver, trying to evaluate Michael McDowell’s 00 car. 00 fell out of the top 35 in owner points and has to qualify on speed to get into the race. 70 is Tony Raines. 21 is Marcos Ambrose from the Nationwide Series. 96 is now Brad Coleman, also from the Nationwide Series. J. J. Yeley is no longer the driver. Today’s in-race reporter is 16 Greg Biffle.
So, here we go! 48 leads the first lap. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. gets by 83 for second. 18 Kyle Busch gets loose and can’t get by 10 Patrick Carpentier. 88 takes the lead. 10 gets gets by teammate 19 Elliott Sadler. 18 gets loose again. The first caution comes out on lap 9 when 21 blows up. The Little Debbie’s car is usually white with Dabbie’s picture on the hood. Today it’s yellow, with no picture. I wonder if that had anything to do with it blowing up! It’s a long caution since they have to clean up pit road before they can pit. 84 A. J. Allmendinger gets hit in the pits and has to go back in for repairs.
Out of the pits, it’s 48, 83, 88, 10, 24 Jeff Gordon. 24 had a “sorry” pit stop. 88 takes second from 83. 83 takes third from 48. 83 and 18 battle. 88 takes the lead. 18 gets by 83. 18 pulls in front of 48. 99 gets by 48 for fifth. 24 gets by 48 for sixth. 88 has debris on the grill and is overheating, while leading. Now he’ll have to slow down to let someone by to pull it off. 83 takes second from 18. 83 takes the lead and dislodges the debris on the 88 in doing so. 83 brushes the wall. They all seem to be loose out there.
99 Carl Edwards gets by 18 for third. 20 Tony Stewart gets loose. 12 Ryan Newman is pitting to start Green Flag Pitting. 41 Reed Sorenson and 22 Dave Blaney get together in the pits. 41 was going in and 22 was coming out. 88 resumes the lead after all the pitting. 99 takes the lead. 83 gets by 88 for second. 88 is very loose. 6 David Ragan and 48 battle for ninth. 18 gets by 88 for third.
The second caution comes out during the commercial. 15 Paul Menard gets into 12, who spins into 22, sending 22 into the wall. It lifts the right side of the 22 right off the track! No one says who the Lucky Dog was. 24 drops back to fifteenth. 99 is in the lead out of the pits. 16 Greg Biffle takes the lead. 20, 48, 24 are four-wide. 20 and 24 get into 48. 48 is smoking with a tire rub and has to pit. 99 takes the lead. 16 and 18 battle for second. The third caution comes out when 24 cuts a tire and gets into the wall. 24 goes to the garage. Everyone pits. 18, 88, 99, 16 all take two tires. 43 Bobby Labonte misses his pit and comes out +23 positions! But he’ll have to pit for real next time around. 84 A. J. Allmendinger is the Lucky Dog.
48 is the first car a lap down and will start on the inside. 99 is leading at the restart. 18 takes second from 16. 9 Kasey Kahne gets loose. 9 and 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. battle. 28 Travis Kvapil gets into 77, but 77 saves it. 07 Clint Bowyer (the NASCAR Nationwide Series Leader) is falling back. 16 gets by 83 for third. 9 goes to the garage with engine trouble. 10 gets loose in front of the leader, 99. 11 Denny Hamlin gets by 17 Matt Kenseth for eighth. Green Flag Pitting starts again. 18 takes the lead. 88 and 48 battle. 48 is a lap down. 99 gets loose. 11 and 17 battle again.
The fourth caution comes out for debris from 24 who just got back out onto the track. 1 Martin Truex, Jr. should be the Lucky Dog. 83 takes two tires to get out of the pits first. 18 takes the lead. 2 Kurt Busch spins and saves it, then pits. No caution. 70 and 2 got together. 99 takes second from 83. 16 and 83 battle for third. 24 is officially out. 99 and 18 battle for the lead. The fifth caution is for debris. There are seventeen cars on the lead lap. 6 and 88 stay out. 88 should have pitted. 99 gets out of the pits first. 88 gets into the wall and pits. 99 keeps 48 a lap down.
The sixth caution comes out with thirteen to go for debris from 88. Now, why didn’t they just throw the caution when he hit the wall? When you hit the wall, there’s usually debris. 48 Jimmy Johnson is the Lucky Dog. We restart with ten to go. 18 gets by 6 for second. 6 and 18 battle for second. 83 and 8 Mark Martin battle. 17 gets by 83 for sixth. The seventh caution comes out with five to go when 11 blows up. It is a Green, White Checker finish with 99 Carl Edwards winning. The top ten are 99, 18, 6, 16, 17, 8, 83, 29 Kevin Harvick, 19 Elliott Sadler and 26 Jamie McMurray. Rouch Fenway Racing had all five of their cars in the top ten! First, third, fourth, fifth, and tenth. Carl Edwards does his back-flip.
Brought to you by Sheila Hawley
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