Bank Of America 500
Lowes Motor Speedway
Welcome race fans to the thirty-first race of the season and the fifth race in the Chase. This race takes place at most everyone’s Home Track. Qualifying was rained out on Thursday, so the line-up is by owner points. Three drivers were to make their Cup debut, but since their cars had no owner points, they had to go home. Those failing to qualify were: 40 Bryan Clauson, 25 Brad Keselowski, 82 Scott Speed and 175 veteran Derrike Cope. In this race, 84 is Mike Skinner from the Craftsman Truck Series. 21 is Bill Elliott, in with his 1988 Champion provisional. 00 is AJ Allmendinger, vacating the # 84, using the car’s qualifying attempts. 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. gets in on past owner winner in 2007. 96 is Ken Schrader, in with owner attempts. 10 is Mike Wallace from the Nationwide Series, getting in on owner attempts, replacing Patrick Carpentier. 45 is Chad McCumbee from the Craftsman Truck Series, in on owner attempts. 70 is again Tony Raines.
9 Kasey Kahne won at Lowes in the Spring, and the All-Star race here. (He got into the race with the fan vote and won!) He is going for the only person to win all three races in a season. Let’s see if he can pull it off. This will be Kasey’s 175th start in the Cup Series. He is also the in-car reporter.
So, here we go! 24 scrapes the wall on the first lap. 48 Jimmy Johnson, the points leader leads the first lap. 77scrapes the wall. 24 again gets into the wall and says over the radio “We’re in trouble”. 20 Tony Stewart gets by 29 Kevin Harvick for sixth. 24 is pitting. 20 gets by 16 Greg Biffle for third. 20 gets by 99 Carl Edwards for second. 20 takes the lead. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. gets by 31 Jeff Burton and 16 for third. 31 and 16 battle for fourth. 31 gets by 16. 99 and 16 get back by 88.
The first caution comes out during the commercial when 78 Joe Nemechek blows a tire and gets into the wall. 77 also had a flat tire and got into the wall. 20 has a long pit. 78 goes to the garage for repairs. 99 stays out to lead a lap and then pits by himself. The second caution comes out when 00 gets into 01 Regan Smith. 01 smashes hard into the wall, spins and backs into the wall. 24 Jeff Gordon is the Lucky Dog, and gets his lap back. 99 is a lap down. He had to back up to get out of the pits.
The third caution comes out when 84 Skinner and 96 Schrader get together. 55 Michael Waltrip goes into the grass, and back up the track into 84. 99 is on the track and can’t get the car started. They have to wave yellow for one more lap while an emergency truck pushes 99 into the pits. The crew has the hood up to try to figure out what is wrong. The Green flag comes out on lap 71. 20 takes the lead. 18 Kyle Busch gets by 16 for third. 99 is back on the track, sixteen laps down. The fourth caution comes out when 88 blows a tire and gets into the wall. 17 Matt Kenseth stays out to lead, then pits. 48 drives by 20. 20 is falling back. I guess he didn’t like that set of tires.
The fifth caution comes out when 10 M. Wallace spins by himself. 31 gets fuel only. 12 Ryan Newman stays out to lead. 12 and 48 battle for the lead. 83 Brian Vickers gets 18 loose to get by. 12 and 48 battle for the lead. 48 finally takes the lead. 83 gets by 12 for second. 48 and 83 battle for the lead. 83 takes the lead. 18 gets by 12 for third. 88 is back on the track, four laps down. 6 David Ragan is catching 18. 44 David Reutimann gets by 2 Kurt Busch for tenth. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya pits to start Green Flag Pitting. 6 and 01 are too fast. After all the pitting, 83 is back in the lead.
The sixth caution is for debris on lap 187. 9 Kasey Kahne is the Lucky Dog. There are twenty-one cars on the lead lap. The back of the pack make pit stops. 16 and 83 battle for the lead. The seventh caution comes out on lap 194. They were three-wide off turn four. 15 Paul Menard got into 21. 21 spins 70. 28 Travis Kvapil and 17 get together. 45 has damage. His front splitter is stuck in the grass, pointing up. 21 and 15 get by. 9 manages to get by. The leaders all pit. 31 again gets fuel only, and is first out of the pits. But 1 Martin Truex, Jr. stays out to lead. 17 slowed down to avoid the wreck, but the driver behind him didn’t, and he got wrecked. 6 and 7 Robby Gordon are ahead of the leader, the last cars on the lead lap.
1 and 24 battle for the lead. 24 takes the lead. The eighth caution comes out when 48 gets sideways and 43 Bobby Labonte and 55 spin together. Perhaps there was something on the track. 6 and 7 stay on the lead lap. 41 Reed Sorenson is the Lucky Dog. 15 is in his pit stall with the hood up. 45 is back on the track after pitting and his hood flies up onto his windshield! He can’t see a thing. 66 Scott Riggs was in front of the leaders and stays on the lead lap.
8 Mark Martin and 24 battle for the lead. 8 gets loose and under 24. 24 stays in the lead. 8 and 1 battle for second. 8 keeps second. 16 and 8 battle for second. 16 takes second from 8. 44 and 20 battle. 20 and 48 battle. 20 gets by. 07 Clint Bowyer gets into 11 Denny Hamlin to get him loose and into the wall. There is no caution. 83 and 44 battle for eighth. 24 pits to start another Green Flag Pitting. 16 leads when 24 pits. 15 gets Black Flagged for a loose back panel. 83 gets into the wall and can’t turn the car. He has a flat right front tire and heads for the pits. 31 leads when 16 pits. 20 leads when 31 pits. 44 slides sideways into the pits. 6 leads. 18 was too fast entering the pits. 7 leads. 7 blows a tire.
The ninth caution is for debris from 7. He had trouble in the pits with the air gun and only changed right side tires. The left side tire blew. 6 David Ragan is the Lucky Dog. 16 leads at the restart. 16 and 31 battle for the lead. 31 finally takes the lead. 07 gets by 16 for second. 26 Jamie McMurray and 48 battle for fourth. 70 goes to the garage. The tenth caution comes out when 42 gets into the wall, after contact with 2. Thirty-seven laps to go.
31 gets fuel only. 24 and 16 get four tires. 48, 12 and 9 take two tires. They restart with thirty-three to go. 31 and 48 battle for the lead. 31 keeps the lead. 16 and 26 battle. 2 and 9 battle for third. 9 takes third from 2. 18 gets by 26 for fifth. 9 and 48 battle for second. 9 gets by 48 for second. 2 gets into 48 for third. 18 and 48 battle for fourth. 18 gets by 48 when 48 gets loose. 26 gets by 48 for fifth. And 31 Jeff Burton wins the Bank of America 500. The top ten are 31, 9, 2, 18, 26, 48, 16, 24, 8 and 6. This race moves 31 up two spots in the points to second and moves 99 down two spots to fourth. 18 Kyle Busch moves up two spots to ninth and 17 down two spots to eleventh. Jeff Burton is sixty-nine points behind the leader Jimmy Johnson. Greg Biffle remains in third, eighty-six points behind. It looks like a three car race for the Championship, with five more races to go.
Brought to you by Sheila Hawley
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