Race Review: Pep Boys Auto 500

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atlanta.665Welcome NASCAR Sprint Cup Series fans. The 25th race of the season takes place at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, GA. There is only one more race before the Chase for the Sprint Cup begins. All the drivers on the bubble to making it in will have to perform these last two races.

This race is the first one at Atlanta to be run the whole time at night. Some races here have gone on into the night because of rain. But this one is scheduled for night racing. And it should prove to be an exciting race. Atlanta Motor Speedway is 1.54 miles long and very fast.

Qualifying was on Friday, with 1 Martin Truex, Jr. grabbing the pole with a speed of 184.149. Starting on the front row is 9 Kasey Kahne. Earlier in the week, the sponsor of the 96 car decided they wanted to sponsor Erik Darnell. That left driver Bobby Labonte without a ride. But the 71 team put Bobby into their car for the seven races that Erik will be in the 96. At the same time, Bill Elliott, driver of the 21 car cracked some ribs in a dirt bike accident. So, David Gilliland, regular driver of the 71 car, will drive the 21 car. 09 is Mike Bliss. 08 is former Champion Terry Labonte, who had to use his Champion provisional to get into the race. 78 Regan Smith failed to qualify for the first race this year that he has entered. Which is a shame because 08 will start and park. 36 Patrick Carpentier and 37 Tony Raines also failed to qualify.

99 Carl Edwards broke two bones in his foot earlier, playing frisbee, so Travis Kvapil will be on stand-by, in case Carl cannot make it to the end. 99 has the Aflac Cancer Center as the sponsor with cancer victim Jamie designing the paint scheme. If Carl wins, he won’t be doing his trademark flip off his car. Carl is the in-car reporter.

So, here we go! 98 Paul Menard makes a pit stop as they go Green, with the hood up. 1 Truex, Jr. leads from the pole. 2 Kurt Busch is fast on the outside. 18 Kyle Busch gets by 24 Jeff Gordon for fifth. 18 gets by 2 for fourth. 83 Brian Vickers gets by 2. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya goes between 21 Gilliland and 99 Edwards to take the position. 55 Michael Waltrip scrapes the wall. 24 gets by 18. 17 Matt Kenseth gets into the wall. 42 and 14 Tony Stewart battle for twelfth, with 42 getting by. 24 passes 48 Jimmy Johnson for third when 48 gets loose. 83 gets by 18. They are both trying to get into The Chase.

The first caution comes out when 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. spins into the infield. 17 Matt Kenseth is the Lucky Dog and gets back on the lead lap. 9 comes out of the pits first and chooses the outside for the restart. 1 takes the lead back. 9 and 24 battle for second. 18, 24 and 48 are three-wide, with 18 taking the position. 11 Denny Hamlin gets by 24. 5 Mark Martin and 24 battle, with 5 getting by. 24 is falling back.

The second caution comes out again for 77 sliding sideways into the infield, with a flat tire. 18 comes out of the pits first and chooses the inside. 17 is making repairs. 82 Scott Speed is the Lucky Dog, and back on the lead lap. 48 is passing cars on the outside. 11 and 9 battle for position, with 9 getting by. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and 24 battle and 88 gets loose. 48 catches 18. They battle for the lead, and 48 takes the lead.

The third caution comes out for 99 smoking. Debris got onto his oil pan and he is leaking oil. They go to the garage, leaking oil, to make repairs to the radiator and oil pan. 33 Clint Bowyer gets the free pass. 17 stays out to lead a lap, then pits. 18 again comes out of the pits first. 20 Joey Logano gets by 6 David Ragan. 12 David Stremme and 00 David Reutimann battle for eleventh. 1 takes the lead. 48 and 18 battle for second. On the track, 2, 42, 43 Reed Sorenson, 29 Kevin Harvick and 83 battle each other for position.

The fourth caution comes out when something breaks in the front of 13 Max Papis and he gets into the wall hard. 18 comes out of the pits first and chooses the outside. 11 races into second place. 11 and 18 battle for the lead, and 11 takes the lead. 48 goes around 24 for third. 33 heads for the pits with a loose wheel. 48 takes the lead. 99 comes back out after repairs, 23 laps down.

The fifth caution comes out for debris. 31 Jeff Burton has a vibration and pits. 7 Robby Gordon gets the free pass. 24 comes out of the pits first and chooses the outside. 11 takes the lead. 48 gets by 18 for fourth. 24 and 11 battle for the lead. 24 takes the lead, and they battle some more. 88 is out of control. 83 passes 18 for seventh. 88 gets by 5 and 42 on the outside for fourth. 11 and 24 again battle for the lead, and 11 takes it. 24 and 29 battle for second. 29 and 11 battle for the lead. And 29 Harvick takes the lead. 83 gets by 24 for second. 17 gets by 18 for thirteenth.

29 laps pole sitter, 1. 16 Greg Biffle short pits to set in motion Green Flag Pitting. 83 leads when 29 pits. 6 is too fast. 31 is too fast. They will get a pass-through penalty. After all the pitting, 29 is back in the lead. The sixth caution caution comes out for spinning 48. 14 misses a lug nut and has to come back in. 29 comes out first and chooses the outside for the restart. 11 spins his tires, in second. 9 and 29 battle for the lead. 83 makes it three-wide to get by 17 and 18. 9 takes the lead. 9 and 29 battle again for the lead, and 29 takes it. 29 laps points leader 14.

The seventh caution comes out during the commercial. 2 gets loose into 43. 48 backs into the garage to repair an axle that broke. 83 broke his axle, but they repair it without loosing a lap. 5 gets loose in front of 88 and nearly gets into 11. 42 drives by 29. The eighth caution comes out when 20 Joey Logano gets sideways. 14 Tony Stewart gets his lap back.

9 comes out of the pits first and chooses the outside. Twenty cars are on the lead lap. Several cars get waved around before the restart. 9 and 42 battle for the lead. 42 takes the lead. 88 and 18 battle for eighth. 88 slides in front of 18. 83 gets by 18 for tenth. 18 scrapes the wall.12 and 39 Ryan Newman get by 18. 83 and 24 battle for ninth, with 83 taking the spot. 29 gets by 9 for second. 7 and 16 battle for eleventh. 16 gets loose and 7 gets by. 71 gets by 18. 29 catches leader 42. They battle for the lead, and 29 takes the lead.

6 gets sideways, but makes a nice save. 29 laps 18. The ninth caution comes out for 33 spinning into the infield. 18 Kyle Busch gets the free pass. The top five are 29, 9, 00, 42 and 11. Many cars get waved around. 29 and 9 battle for the lead. 9 takes the lead. 16 and 24 battle for eighth, with 24 getting by.

And 9 Kasey Kahne wins the Pep Boys Auto 500. This is his second win this year and it moves him up five spots into sixth. Denny Hamlin is locked into the Chase, behind Stewart, J. Gordon and Johnson. Kenseth remains in twelfth and Vickers moves into thirteenth, ahead of Ky. Busch. There were twelve different leaders.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

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

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One Response to “Race Review: Pep Boys Auto 500”

  1. Barbra Scurley Says:

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Excellent site, keep up the good work. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read….Barbra Scurley

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