Race Review: Autism Speaks 400

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Welcome NASCAR race fans! This review will be a little different. Because I attended the race, I may not have all the facts about what happened on the track. I only have my observations. Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway was a great race. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

00 David Reutimann captured the Pole on Friday with a speed of 156.794. The 1 mile track in Dover, DE. is very fast. Okay, some facts. 82 Scott Speed, 71 David Gilliland, 78 Regan Smith, 36 (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series veteran) Mike Skinner, 09 Mike Bliss (NASCAR Nationwide Series regular), 87 Joe Nemechek, 66 Dave Blaney and 37 Tony Raines all made the race on speed. 25 Brad Keselowski, 13 Max Papis, 75 Derrike Cope and 06 NCWTS regular David Starr failed to make the race. 24 Jeff Gordon crashed while qualifying and will start in the 42nd position. The #88 team of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has a temporary new crew chief, Lance McGrew, this race and will have a new one, Brian Whitesell, starting next week.

So, here we go! 00 Reutimann leads from the pole. 00 and 42 Juan Pablo Montoya battle for the lead. 42 takes the lead, and 00 takes it back. 11 Denny Hamlin and 39 Ryan Newman battle for thirteenth. 39 takes the spot. 24 is moving up the field. 16 Greg Biffle gets by 18 Kyle Busch for third. 37 Raines heads for the pits. 48 Jimmy Johnson gets by 18 for fourth. 9 Kasey Kahne gets by 42 for seventh. 1 Martin Truex, Jr. gets by 42 for eighth.

43 Reed Sorenson and 00 run ahead of the pack. 43 and 00 fight for the lead, and 43 takes the lead. 16 takes the lead from 43. 99 Carl Edwards gets by 18 for fifth.

The first caution comes out on lap 31. It is a competition caution because of the rain during the night and into the morning. 37 Tony Raines is the Lucky Dog and gets his lap back after pitting earlier. 19 Elliott Sadler comes out of the pits first. 71 Gilliland, 87 Nemechek and 66 Blaney stay out. 71 leads a lap and they all pit, leaving 19 in the lead. They restart on lap 35. 16 Biffle takes the lead. 48 and 16 battle for the lead.

The second caution comes out on lap 44 for debris when 37 blows a tire. 34 John Andretti is the Lucky Dog. At the restart, 48 Johnson takes the lead. 44 A. J. Allmendinger and 33 Clint Bowyer battle for position. 2 Kurt Busch gets by 00. 9 gets by 1. 66 makes a pit stop. 2 and 9 battle for fourth. 9 takes the spot. 7 Robby Gordon gets by 88. 26 Jamie McMurray and 11 Denny Hamlin battle. 18 and 33 get by 11. The leader 48 is catching the field.

99 gets by 39 for seventh. 5 Mark Martin gets by 17 Matt Kenseth for fifteenth. 20 Joey Logano battles the leader 48 to stay on the lead lap. 20 goes down a lap. 17 gets by 11. They are three-wide on the track. 16 catches 48, the leader in heavy traffic. 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. gets by 5. And we get to Green Flag Pitting. They are three-wide again.

The third caution comes out during Green Flag Pitting for debris in turn three, lap 120. 83 Brian Vickers is the Lucky Dog. The leader is 48, with 77, 9, 33, 16, 00 and more in front of the leader. 99 Edwards takes the lead. 33 gets by 77 and 9. 9 gets by 77. 48 takes the lead back. 42 and 18 battle.

The fourth caution comes out for debris when 42 blows a tire. 00 David Reutimann is the Lucky Dog. 9 and 42 pit again. 5 gets by 18 for fourth. 26 dives under 18. 17 gets by 26. 17 and 18 battle for sixth. 17 gets by. The leader 48 is running away from the field. 39 gets by 43 for eighth. 6 David Ragan and 24 battle for position with the leader 48 right behind them. 48 drives side-by-side with 24. 24 and 19 battle. 9 gets by 98 Paul Menard for fifteenth. 24 gets by 19. 48 laps 18.

The fifth caution comes out when 11 gets into the wall. 18 is the Lucky Dog and will restart at the end of the longest line. They go Green on lap 236. 18 makes it three-wide in turn 4. 17 gets by 88 for third. 5 Martin takes the lead. And 48 takes the lead back. 9 gets by 31 Jeff Burton for eleventh. 18 gets by 31 for twelfth. 17 gets by 5 for second. 55 Michael Waltrip goes to the garage. 2 gets by 88 for fourth. 9 gets by 39 for eighth. 18 and 39 battle for ninth. 18 takes the spot.

The sixth caution comes out on lap 275 for debris. 26 Jamie McMurray is the Lucky Dog and gets back on  the lead lap. 17 Kenseth is first out of the pits to lead. They go Green on lap 280. 17 pulls away. 18 gets by 88 for seventh. 48 catches 17 and takes the lead.

The seventh caution comes out when 12 David Stremme gets loose into 98. 98 gets into 7 Robby Gordon and they both spin into the infield. 42 has a right rear flat and pits. They get back to Green on lap 290. 2 gets loose. 31, 33 and 07 Casey Mears battle for twelfth. (They are team mates). 5 gets by 17 for second. 17, 2 and 16 battle for third.

The eighth caution comes out on lap 330 for debris. 47 Marcos Ambrose is the Lucky Dog. They go Green on lap 335. Lap cars hold up 18. 2 and 5 get by 16. 18 has a vibration and makes a pit stop. They change right side tires and Kyle is out again. But there is still a vibration. The front splitter is broken. He goes down a lap. And the crowd cheers. 17 gets by 16 for fourth.

The ninth caution comes out on lap 364 when 18 is about to be lapped, for debris. 29 Kevin Harvick is the Lucky Dog. 16 is first out of the pits and 18 comes back out onto the track with one to go before the Green Flag. 48 finds himself in ninth place having taken four tires.

The tenth caution comes out on lap 370 when 5 gets into 12, and 12 spins into 00. They go back to Green on lap 373. 48 gets by 2 and 39 for third. 17 gets by 2 for fourth. 39 and 99 battle for seventh. 14 takes the lead from 16. 48 and 14 battle for the lead. 14 keeps the lead. And they battle some more for the lead. 48 finally takes the lead.

48 Jimmy Johnson wins the thirteenth race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Dover and does the “Polish Victory Lap”. That is, he takes the Checkered Flag and goes around the track in the wrong direction to wave to the fans. 14 Tony Stewart takes the Points lead. What a great finish!

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

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