Race Review: Atlanta Motor Speedway

by

Hello race fans. Welcome to my review of the Kobalt Tools 500 from Atlanta Motor Speedway. 5 Mark Martin starts from the pole, and second place is 2 Kurt Busch. 87 Joe Nemecheck was eighth fastest in qualifying. 28 Travis Kvapil got in on speed. 66 Dave Blaney also got in on speed. 21 is Bill Elliott who did not need his past Champion provisional. 09 is Mike Bliss. Those who failed to qualify are: 35 Todd Bodine from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, 36 Scott Riggs, 41 driver/car owner Jeremy Mayfield and 64 Geoff Bodine. Atlanta Motor Speedway is a 1.54 mile track. 325 laps will be 500.5 miles.

So, here we go! 5 Martin leads from the pole. The first caution comes out on lap three. Something breaks in the 43 car of Reed Sorenson and he slides into the wall. After the restart, 2 Kurt Busch takes the lead. 83 Brian Vickers gets by 19 Elliott Sadler. And the second caution comes out when 96 Bobby Labonte gets loose and spins. 66 Blaney narrowly misses him. Bobby has six wins at Atlanta, the most of all active drivers. He won’t get his seventh win today. Everyone comes down pit road.

39 Ryan Newman takes two tires to lead the pack out of the pits. 87 Nemechek, 66 Blaney and 09 Bliss stay out, then pit the second time around. It’s a single file restart with 39 Newman leading. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. gets by 19 Sadler. 39 and 2 battle for the lead. 2 Ku. Busch takes the lead. 39 and 11 Denny Hamlin battle for second. 5 and 16 Greg Biffle battle for fourth. 5 and 39 battle for third. 26 Jamie McMurray, 48 Jimmy Johnson and 18 Kyle Busch are three-wide. 28 Travis Kvapil is pitting, and they get the hood up. 9 Kasey Kahne, 83 Brian Vickers, 39 Newman, 99 Carl Edwards, and 24 Jeff Gordon get by 18 Ky. Busch. 96 Labonte and 7 Robby Gordon battle for thirty-third. 99 and16 battle. 99 takes the spot. 99 gets by 24. 66 is two laps down. 18 and 39 battle. 18 gets by 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. for tenth. 09 Bliss is out of the race with overheating issues. 28 is down a cylinder.

33 Clint Bowyer gets by 88. 33 and 18 battle. 33 gets by. 18 and 88 battle. 88 gets by. 96 gets by 07 Casey Mears for twenty-seventh. 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. pits after going down a lap. 43 Sorenson is back on the track fifty some laps behind. Green Flag Pitting begins. 47 Marcos Ambrose pits and looses a tire. The tire rolls off pit road and into the infield.A crew man goes out to retrieve it, and the third caution comes out. With all the Green Flag Pitting, there are only six cars on the lead lap. 11 Denny Hamlin is the Lucky Dog. Those on the lead lap are 2, 48, 33, 99, 1 Martin Truex, Jr. 9 and now 11. 99 was on pit road when the caution came out and drove through to stay on the lead lap.

There are eight cars in front of the leader 48 at the restart. They are three-wide. 55 Michael Waltrip gets loose, almost getting into 98 Paul Menard. 99 Edwards takes the lead. 2 gets by 48 for third. 96 thinks he’s blowing up. The fourth caution comes out during the commercial. 96 spins into the grass. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya, with new tires got him loose. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is the Lucky Dog. A crew member from 7 Robby Gordon runs after the car to retrieve the gas can. Robby will have to come back  in. 18 is not taking fuel like it should. After the restart, 42 gets caught in the middle, and falls back. 87 is back on the track after brake trouble. 44 A. J. Almendinger is in eighteenth, two laps down! 77 gets loose again. 24 and 5 battle. It’s a great battle for fifth. 7 gets loose in front of the leader.

The fifth caution comes out for debris in turn 2. There are nine cars on the lead lap. 88 Earnhardt, Jr. is again the Lucky Dog. They restart with 163 to go. 24 gets by 33 for second. 48 and 99 get by 33. 48 and 99 battle for third. 33 and 5 battle for fifth. 5 gets by. 83 and 33 battle for sixth. 2 and 24 battle for the lead. 24 gets loose.  2 gets loose. 47 is smoking. And the sixth caution comes out for oil from 47 on the track. 9 Kasey Kahne is the Lucky Dog.  1 Truex, Jr. stays out to lead before pitting himself. 17 Matt Kenseth is in twelfth place, the first car a lap down.

99 gets by 83 for fifth. 16 Biffle tries to slide in front of 6 David Ragan. 6 slides into the wall. 16 gets sideways. They both recover. 24 Jeff Gordon takes the lead when 2 gets into the wall. The seventh caution comes out when 77 gets loose and slides and 21 Elliott can’t avoid him. They both pit. 14 Tony Stewart stays ahead of the leader and stays on the lead lap. 17 Matt Kenseth is the Lucky Dog. Coming out of the pits, they are three-wide. 24, 2, 48. 5 and 31 Jeff Burton finish the top five. The eighth caution  comes out when 5 Martin gets into the wall. 29 Kevin Harvick is the Lucky Dog. 9 and 99 battle. 2 catches leader 24, and takes the lead.

The ninth caution comes out for debris from 7 who got into the wall. 14 Tony Stewart is the Lucky Dog. 48 came out of the pits in second, but was too fast and will go to the end of the longest line. 99 gets into 24’s way in the pits and 24 looses spots. 55 is falling back. The tenth caution comes out with 59 to go. 82 Rookie Scott Speed, trying to get by 6 Ragan, slides in front of him and 6 clips 82 to get him into the wall. 16 and 31 make contact, and 31 plows through the infield, taking grass with him. Sixth on back pit. 26 McMurray is in sixteenth, two laps down. And no one is one lap down. 88 gets into 8 Aric Almirola. They both save it. 44 Allmindinger gets loose, 20 slows to avoid 44 and 14 runs into 20, getting him into the wall. 12 David Stremme also gets into the wall. They both pit and the race goes on with no caution. 9 and 17 battle for fifth. 29 gets by 17 for sixth. 83 is catching leader 2 with fifteen to go. Fourteenth place 11 goes a lap down. 33 gets by 14.

The eleventh caution is for debris from 7 again, with four to go. 99 takes two tires to lead. 2 takes the lead. 99 and 24 battle for second, but 24 gets it with his four tires. And 2 Kurt Busch wins the Kobalt 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. There were eight leaders. 2 Kurt Busch led, by far, the most laps. The other leaders were 24, 99, 48, 1, 39, 5 and 87. Kurt gets the checkerd flag and does the “Polish Victory Lap” in reverse! That is, going in reverse around the track.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

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