Bristol Motor Speedway, TN
Welcome, race fans to the twenty-fourth race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. This week is the bull ring in Bristol, TN. The .533 mile, high banked track is “racing the way it ought to be”. It’s a Saturday night race, with loads of excitement. 21 is Bill Elliott, who got in on speed. 96 is Ken Schrader. 70 is Tony Raines. 8 is Aric Almirola. 09 is sterling Marlin. Kyle Petty is back in the #45. 00 is Mike Skinner from the Craftsman Truck series to evaluate the 00 car. 34 Jeff Green, 10 Patrick Carpentier and 08 Johnny Sauter failed to qualify. 6 David Ragan crashed in qualifying and will be in a back up car and starting from the rear. 500 laps comes out to 266.5 miles. 99 Carl Edwards is the in-car reporter, and starts from the pole. 44 David Reutimann starts second.
So, here we go! 99 leads from the pole. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. passes three cars before reaching the Start/Finish line. You can only pass on the high side before the Start/Finish Line on a restart. At the start of the race, you must reach the Line before passing. So, Jr. will serve a pass through penalty, which puts him three laps down. 84 A. J. Allmendinger and 21 are holding up points leader 18 Kyle Busch. 48 Jimmy Johnson gets into the wall, much like he did in the Craftsman Truck race here on Wednesday. He pits to repair the damage. There is no caution, and he goes seven laps down. The splitter is touching when he comes back out, so he has to go back into the pits. 48 is now thirteen laps down.
42 Juan Pablo Montoya doesn’t want to be lapped and won’t let leader 99 get by him. While 99 is racing 42, 24 Jeff Gordon takes the lead. 24 can’t get by 42 and 99 takes the lead back. 18 Kyle Busch goes low and gets by 24 and 99 for the lead and gets by 42. 99 backs off and 24 takes second. 24 can’t get by 42. 42 is now holding up 24, 99, 01 Regan Smith, 44 and 12 Ryan Newman. The first caution comes out when 1 Martin Truex, Jr. and 84 get together. 1 had a tire going down and got into 84 who was on the top of the track. They both get into the wall. Everyone pits, and the top ten coming out of the pits are: 18, 99, 24, 12, 29 Kevin Harvick, 31 Jeff Burton, 9 Kasey Kahne, 44, 01, and 07 Clint Bowyer. 19 Elliott Sadler slides into his pit stall and has to back up and straighten out to change the left sides.
09 Sterling Marlin, 88 and 11 Denny Hamlin are three wide. 07 taps 88. 88 taps 07. 19 heads into the pits with a loose seat belt. (How does that happen?) 18 battles 28 Travis Kvapil, trying to put him a lap down. 9 and 20 Tony Stewart battle for sixth. The second caution comes out when 20 gets into 09 when 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. doesn’t clear 09. 31 slows up, but 78 Joe Nemecheck doesn’t and plows 31 into 09. 2 Kurt Busch may have been the Lucky Dog, but the announcers didn’t say.
The third caution comes out and is turned into a Red Flag, with 9 on fire. 55 Michael Waltrip and 5 Casey Mears get together when 5 doesn’t clear 55, but moves up in front of him. (The spotter’s fault.) 5 gets into 07. 9, 7 Robby Gordon, and 77 get into it. 41 Reed Sorenson can’t get by. 44 gets into 21. 96 slowly goes high and gets around it all. 2 goes on the apron to get by. 17 Matt Kenseth is the Lucky Dog. 31 is out of the race. 11 cuts off 24. 20 taps 24.
The fourth caution comes out when 22 spins hard into the wall. 15 Paul Menard is the Lucky Dog. 6 gets by 2. The fifth caution is for debris from 44. Out of the pits, it’s 18, 99, 24, 11 and 29. 99 catches 18. 99 and 18 battle for the lead. The sixth caution comes out on lap 364. The top 8 stay out, but 9th through 15th pit. Note: in March, 1973 Cale Yarborough led all 500 laps at Bristol! The seventh caution comes out with 49 to go, for debris, when 8 got loose and into the wall. So the caution was not because 8 got into the wall, but because he left debris on the track when he did it!
They go Green with 42 to go. The eighth caution is also for debris. A patch flies off 2 who is the first car a lap down. Does he get the Lucky Dog? They never say. 2 pits. 99 bumps 18 to take the lead lap 470. 11 and 18 battle for second. 11 gets by 18 for second. 11 and 18 battle again. 18 takes second from 11. It looks like 99 made better adjustments during that pit stop. 07 and 20 battle for seventh. 07 takes the spot. 99 Carl Edwards wins for the sixth time this year. After the Checkers, Kyle Busch gets into Carl Edwards. To show he didn’t like being nudged. Carl turns Kyle. And Kyle will go to the Trailer after the race.
Brought to you by Sheila Hawley
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