Race Review

by

Pepsi 500

Auto Club Speedway

Fontana, CA.

Welcome race fans to the twenty-fifth race of the season. 48 Jimmy Johnson starts on the pole with a speed of 180.397. 84 AJ Almendinger will start second. 8 is Aric Almirola, 96 is Ken Schrader, 00 is Mike Skinner from the Craftsman Trucks, 21 is Marcos Ambrose from the Nationwide Series and 08 is Johnny Sauter. 70 Tony Raines had to go home. That seems a little pathetic to me, as this is a two mile track and NASCAR certainly could have filled the final row. 17 Matt Kenseth is in a gold and green R&L Carriers car. 20 Tony Stewart is in a yellow and green Subway car. 99 Carl Edwards will be the in-car reporter.

So, here we go. At the start 48 and 84 are side by side around the track, with 84 leading the first lap by just a little bit. 48 takes the lead by lap two. 26 Jamie McMurray has a left front tire going down, which brings out the first caution on lap five. We go back to green on lap eight. 44 David Reutimann and 22 Dave Blaney battle for ninth. 16 Greg Biffle and 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. battle for position.    The second caution comes out when the caution lights come off the pole! Someone had gotten into the wall, and with the speeds they were going, and the wind, the lights ended up on the track. I have to wonder what kind of set-up Auto Club Speedway has for these lights if they fall off onto the track. 26 Jamie McMurray is the Lucky Dog and gets back the lap he lost with the flat tire. Everyone comes into the pits. It’s light out in California with blue skies and dark here on the East Coast, so this race feels like it was previously taped.    19 Elliott Sadler and 6 David Ragan battle for position. 84 gets by 9 Kasey Kahne for second. 9 and 83 Brian Vickers battle for third. 11 Denny Hamlin and 18 Kyle Busch battle. 11 gets by. 29 Kevin Harvick gets by 18. 11 and 29 get by 88. 88 gets back by 29 by going way up high. 83 gets by Team mate 84 for second. 84 gets back by 83. 16 gets by 83 for third.

The second caution comes out when 2 Kurt Busch blows a tire. The tire cap comes off and onto the track and 12 Ryan Newman runs into it. 2 had gotten into 1 Martin Truex, Jr. to cause the tire cap to come off.  The top ten are 48, 16, 84, 83, 88, 9, 29, 11, 17, and 20. 17 Kenseth started  in thirty-seventh. 55 Michael Waltrip and 96 were caught speeding on pit road. 29 and 84 battle for fourth. 44 gets by 18. 18 and 88 fall back to thirteenth and fourteenth. 88 gets by 18 for thirteenth. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya, 20 and 31 Jeff Burton get by 18.    The fourth caution comes out on lap 69 when 78 Joe Nemechek gets loose, tries to save it and ends up into the wall.Out of the pits, it’s 48, 16, 11, 29, 17, 99, 44, 9, 88, and 84. 19 is repairing the car. 83 had a lug nut issue. 16 and 48 battle for the lead. 08 Johnny Sauter was the Lucky Dog. 88 and 24 Jeff Gordon battle. 17 gets by 9. 20 and 31 get by 18. 83 gets by 9 for fifth. 44 and 42 battle. Lots of drivers are getting sideways, nearly into the wall. Green Flag Pitting begins with 26 and 7 Robby Gordon on lap 110. 16 leads when 48 pits. 17 leads when 16 pits. 24 leads when 17 pits. After all the Green Flag stops, 48 is back into the lead. 1 has to go back into the pits with a loose wheel. 84 is wabbling all over.    6 brushes the wall.

The fifth caution comes out during the commercial for debris. 12 Ryan Newman is the Lucky Dog, and is back on the lead lap. The race is restarted with ninety-eight to go. The sixth caution is also for debris. 16 and 99 take two tires. 12 takes two tires and gains fourteen spots. 48 gets by 83 and 22 at the restart. 48 catches the leader 16, and takes the lead.

The seventh caution is for  7. He spins out onto the grass and there is turf all over the track and on his splitter. In the pits, the jack man for the 48 gets tangled in the air hose. 44, 16, 99 and 29 take two tires to come out ahead of 48 who takes four tires. 83 looses control of a tire in the pits. 43 Bobby Labonte is the Lucky Dog. 16 takes the lead from 44. 48 takes the lead. 44 and 99 battle for fourth. 99 gets by 44. 9 gets by 18. 18 battles back. 83 and 31 battle for position.

The eighth caution comes out when they were needing to make pit stops under green, for debris from 21 when he got into the wall. 1 Martin Truex, Jr. is the Lucky Dog. 16 is leading, followed by 48, 11, 99, 29, 17, 18, 9, 44 and 07 Clint Bowyer. 48 takes the lead. 99 is falling back. 29 and 17 get by him. 99 and 17 battle. 42, 24 and 84 are three wide. 24 backs out of it. 88 gets by 12. 83 gets by 88 and 12. 16 has trash on the grill and it seems to be making him go faster, getting closer to the leader 48. But the trash falls off, and so does 16. 84 gets by 6 for thirteenth. 18 gets by 9 at the line. 48 Jimmy Johnson wins the race after leading the most laps, from the pole. This has never happened in the sixteen years NASCAR has been coming to Southern California.

Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Jimmy Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Jeff Burton and Greg Biffle are all locked in The Chase. The remainder of the twelve will be locked in at Richmond, the final race of the regular season. Kasey Kahne deserves to be in the Chase with his three wins, but is 48 points out of it. Richmond, under the lights should be an exciting race.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

Visit my site: http://www.ilovemynascar.com

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