Race Review: Richmond International Raceway



Welcome race fans to the tenth race of the season. This one at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, VA. The Crown Royal/Russ Friedman 400. Russ entered a contest and got his name as part of the Sponsor.  This is the best track in NASCAR, at least in my opinion. Ask any NASCAR driver what their favorite track is and they’ll tell you Richmond. It’s the perfect size, shape and length. With enough room to race and pass. This is a Saturday night race, but the track is on the East Coast, so it starts at 7 instead of 9, like Phoenix.

#83 Brian Vickers is on the pole with a speed of 127.131. 24 Jeff Gordon starts second. The 09 car won the race at Talladega last weekend with Brad Keselowski driving. This week Mike Bliss is in the car. 66 Dave Blaney qualified well enough to get in. He had a family commitment last week, and the car failed to qualify. 41 Jeremy Mayfield, 36 Scott Riggs and 37 Tony Raines also qualified fast enough to get into the race. Those failing to make the race were: 64 Todd Bodine, from the Camping World Truck Series and old timer 06 Trevor Boys.

It was raining earlier in the day, so the festivities start with the blowers on the track. Then the cars all line up single-file around the top of the track to help dry the track. However, several laps are run under the Yellow/Green flags. Pole sitter 83 Vickers obviously leads these laps. They finally get going on lap 6 and it’s double file all around the track. 24 Gordon leads at the Start/Finish line. And then 83 takes it back.

The second caution comes out when 66 Blaney gets into the wall all by himself after he got loose. After the Restart, 00 David Reutimann and 18 Kyle Busch battle for eighth. 18 gets by. 24 takes the lead. 39 Ryan Newman, 00 Reutimann and 33 Clint Bowyer battle for eighth. 33 finally gets by 39. 11 Denny Hamlin and 83 battle for second. 11 takes the spot. 5 Mark Martin gets by 83 for third. 18 and 1 Martin Truex, Jr. battle for fifth. 2 Kurt Busch gets by 1 for sixth. 2 gets by 18 and then 83. 36 Riggs goes behind the wall.

9 Kasey Kahne and 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. get together. 9 and 96 Bobby Labonte battle for position ahead of leader 24. 11 catches 24. 2 gets by 5 for third. 11 Hamlin takes the lead during the commercial. 2 is catching leader 11. 14 Tony Stewart and 1 battle for nineteenth. Green Flag Pitting begins. 2 leads when 11 pits. 83 misses the entrance to pit road and has to go back around. 39 Newman lead, then pits. After all the pitting, 11 is back in the lead, well ahead of 2 who pitted later.

18 drives by 5 for third. 18 has a tire rub or something because the back end is smoking, although no one notices. The third caution comes out when 41 Mayfield gets into the wall and spins. 33 Bowyer takes two tires to come out of the pits first. 48 Jimmy Johnson is caught speeding. 00 has a tire go onto pit road. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya is the Lucky Dog and gets his lap back. 11 takes the lead from 33. 33 and 39 battle for second, holding up 2. 39 gets by 33. 18 gets by 5. 2 and 39 battle. 18 gets by 39 for third. 7 Robby Gordon slams into 1. 2 and 11 battle for the lead, and 2 takes the lead.

The fourth caution comes out when 9 Kahne spins into the infield. 26 Jamie McMuray is the Lucky Dog. At the restart, 16 Greg Biffle is ahead of leader 11 at the tail end of the lead lap. 11 puts 16 back a lap down. 42 and 00 get together. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and 42 battle. Brothers 2 and 18 battle for second.

The fifth caution comes out when 12 David Stremme spins 99 Carl Edwards and takes 26. The top seven stay out. 2 and 18 again battle for second. 5 and 18 battle for third. 48 has a brake line issue and gets into 20 Joey Logano. 12 and 17 Matt Kenseth get together. 17 gets into the wall. 5 gets by 18 for third. 39 drives by 18 for fourth.

The sixth caution comes out for 48 spinning because he has no brakes. 7 Robby Gordon is the Lucky Dog. 11 leads them into the pits, and is the first back out. 31 Jeff Burton got blocked in his pit by 42. After they restart, 2 moves to the bottom but can’t get by 11. 48 gets a black flag. With no brakes, he can’t go fast enough to stay on track. 88 and 39 battle for tenth. 09 Bliss is very slow on the track with brake problems, and has to pit. 33, 88 and 31 are three-wide for eleventh. 88 and 31 battle for twelfth.

The seventh caution comes out during the commercial. 88 got into 31 and the wall. 07 Casey Mears is the Lucky Dog. When they restart 1 and 39 battle for the lead. 18 bump, bump, bumps 83. I guess he wanted Brian to get out of the way. 14 and 77 get by 18. 18 and 14 battle for eighteenth. 18 gets by. 39 and 1 battle for the lead. 39 takes the lead. We hear rain is in the area. 11 and 39 battle for the lead. 11 takes the lead. 24 is struggling. 5 gets by 1. 2 gets by 1 for fourth.

The eighth caution is for debris. 17 Matt Kenseth is the Lucky Dog. They go Green while they show us the Sponsors! 11 had trouble in the pits with the lug nuts falling off. 5 and 18 battle. 11 and 2 have trouble getting by 1.

The ninth caution comes out when 16 and 20 get together and 16 gets into the wall. 26 Jamie McMurray is again the Lucky Dog. At the Restart 99 and 6 David Ragan push 24 up and out of the way. 24 looses spots. The tenth caution comes out when 29 Kevin Harvick blows a tire and gets into the wall, after making contact with 77.

After the Restart 18 takes the lead. 39 and 18 battle side-by-side for the lead. 39 finally takes the lead. The eleventh caution comes out when 47 Marcos Ambrose gets hard into the wall, after 77 gets into him. 24 stays out, while everyone else pits. The twelfth caution comes out with 86 to go when 18 makes a move and those behind check up. 5 spins and 1 can’t avoid 5. 55 Michael Waltrip is the Lucky Dog.

The thirteenth caution comes out with 73 laps to go. 48, 12 and 9 get into the wall. 31 and 96 get collected. 19 Elliott Sadler is the Lucky Dog. They go Green with 65 to go. 11, 18 and 77 are three-wide. 44 AJ Almendinger won’t let leader 24 get by. 18 gets by 11 for fourth.

The fourteenth caution comes out when 96 Labonte spins. 18 takes the lead on the outside. 9, 99 and 44 are three-wide. The fifteenth caution comes out when 00 Reutimann spins. 44 AJ Almendinger is the Lucky Dog. This ties for most cautions at Richmond. 43 Reed Sorenson was ahead of the leader and stays on the lead lap.

At the Resart 18 spins the tires and 24 gets into him. 9 drives by 18 to get his lap back. 39 and 31 battle for fourth. 18 gets back by 9. 26 and 31 battle for third. 14 gets by 26. 26 and 39 battle for fifth. 31 gets by 24 for third. 14 gets by 31 for second. 2 and 42 battle for ninth. 77 gets by 24. 26 and 24 battle for seventh.

And 18 Kyle Busch wins on his twenty-fourth birthday. There were eight different leaders. And Jeff Gordon takes the Points lead back from Kurt Busch. Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch move up a spot, while Jimmy Johnson looses three spots.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

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One Response to “Race Review: Richmond International Raceway”

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