Welcome race fans to the 28th race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the second race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The AAA 400 takes place at the one mile concrete oval track of Dover International Speedway in Dover, DE., affectionately known as the “Monster Mile”. This is a high-banked roller-coaster of a track. I personally go to the Spring race here.
Friday’s Coors Light Pole award saw 48 Jimmy Johnson grab the pole with a speed of 157.356. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya starts next to him on the front row. 19 Elliott Sadler broke the crank in qualifying and will start the race from the rear. 33 Clint Bowyer had to change his engine and will also start from the rear.
71 again today is David Gilliland. 09 today is Mike Bliss. 36 today is Michael McDowell. 4 Scott Wimmer was the only team that had to go home. You know how I feel about that. They could have filled the 22nd row. There have been seven different winners here in the last seven races. Let’s see how this one plays out.
There was rain all night and into the morning, so they dry the track before the festivities. But Mother Nature co-operates and the race begins on time. There will be a competition caution at the end of the 25th lap so everyone can check the tires. If there is a caution before that, those choosing to pit will not be allowed to fuel.
So, here we go! 48 leads from the pole and pulls away. 37 Tony Raines heads for the garage. 2 Kurt Busch and 83 Brian Vickers battle for ninth, with 2 making the pass. 9 Kasey Kahne gets by 16 Greg Biffle for fourth. On lap 22, as the competition caution is about to come out, we go to commercials. I guess so we can be treated to more when the caution gets here. We come back to the caution already out. 34 John Andretti is the Lucky Dog and gets back on the lead lap.
39 Ryan Newman takes two tires and comes out of the pits leading. He chooses the outside for the restart. The second caution is quite a big one. Especially for this one-mile track. 96 Bobby Labonte slides in front of 20 Joey Logano, who checks up. 14 Tony Stewart slams into Joey and sends him spinning into the inside wall, and back up the track into 43 Reed Sorenson. Joey tumbles side over side down the track seven times until he lands on his left side, and then plops onto his wheels. 1 Ryan Truex, Jr. slams into 43 and 7 Robby Gordon has nowhere to go and slams into 43. Robby and Reed go to the garage for repairs. Joey is out. But everyone is ok. They have to repair the nose of 14. There is a Red Flag for the clean up.
When the Yellow flag comes out, 99 Carl Edwards pits before pit road is open to fix his wing. He will have to restart from the rear. My question is, why did they have to go around a second time before the pits were open? 14 comes in to repair his nose. The leaders stay on the track, and 39 chooses the outside. He keeps the lead. 5 Mark Martin makes it three-wide on the top. 98 Paul Menard and 9 battle for position. 9 finally gets by. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya battles 98, with 42 getting by. 11 Denny Hamlin and 31 Jeff Burton battle for thirteenth, with 11 getting by. 44 A. J. Allmendinger gets by 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. for eighteenth.
2 Kurt Busch takes the lead from 39. 42 gets by 9. 24 Jeff Gordon gets by 9. 18 Kyle Busch gets by 9. Kasey says the tires have too much air. 39 and 42 battle for second, with 42 getting by. 24 drives by 39. 39 and 16 Greg Biffle battle for fourth with 16 getting by. I guess he shouldn’t have taken only two tires, as he is falling back. 00 David Reutimann is pitting under Green.
The third caution comes out during the commercial when 55 Michael Waltrip gets into the wall, hard. 11 gets into 17 Matt Kenseth getting out of the pits. 2 leads out and chooses the outside. 48 and 18 battle 16. 48 gets by 16. 42 gets by 24 for fifth. 39 and 5 battle for seventh, with 5 getting by. 18 gets by 16. 42 gets by 16. 5 and 16 battle for sixth and 5 finally pulls ahead. 42 gets by 18 for third. 26 Jamie McMurray gets by 39 for ninth. 48 catches leader 2 in traffic. 1 is back out, 47 laps down. 88 fights 2 to stay on the lead lap. 5 gets by 18 for fourth. 24 drives by 18 for sixth. 26 pits from the sixth position. 48 takes the lead.
The fourth caution comes out during the commercial. 18 gets into the wall a couple of times, with a flat tire. The caution is for debris. 31 Jeff Burton is the Lucky Dog and gets back on the lead lap. 2 comes out of the pits first and chooses the outside. 39 drives by 5 on the top. 48 battles 2 for the lead, side by side. 48 finally gets by to take the lead. 48 picked up some debris where the brakes are being cooled. 83 and 07 Casey Mears battle, with 07 getting by. 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. fights 48 to stay on the lead lap.
The fifth caution comes out when 18 bounces again off the wall three times. 48 comes out of the pits first and chooses the outside. 5 doesn’t get going and holds the pack up on the bottom. 31 and 83 battle for eighteenth, with 83 taking the spot. 48 puts 11 a lap down. 26 goes back into the pits. 14 gets by 39 for eighth. 14 bumps 44 to get by. 18 is back out, 53 laps down racing to get by the leaders.
The sixth caution comes out during the commercial, when 12 David Stremme gets into the wall. 83 Brian Vickers is the Lucky Dog. 26 gets the wave around, to stay on the lead lap, but cannot pit. The winner at Dover and leading the points has never won the Title. And the leader of the most laps has never won the race at Dover. 07 and 47 Marcos Ambrose battle side by side, with 07 finally making the pass. 39 and 9 battle for ninth, with 39 getting by. 16 dives under 9 to battle for tenth. 9 keeps the spot. 5 gets by 14 for sixth. 43 is back out, 229 laps down. 5 drives below 2. 5 gets by 17 for fourth. 11 goes another lap down.
The seventh caution comes out on lap 325 for debris. 31 Jeff Burton is the Lucky Dog, and back on the lead lap. eighteen cars are now on the lead lap. 24 has a long pit stop. 48 comes out of the pits first and chooses the outside. 42 and 17 get by 5. 2 gets by 5. 2 tries to get by 17 but can’t. 39 gets by 14. 5 drives under 2 for fourth. 5 gets by 17 for third. 14 gets back by 39.
The eighth caution comes out when 78 Regan Smith looses it coming off turn 4. 12 gets into 78 and 19 and 1 get collected. 34 John Andretti zips by on the top forcing 19 into 1. 83 Brian Vickers is the Lucky Dog. 24 has a stop of 12.6 seconds and comes out of the pits first, but the top eleven stay out. 17 gets behind leader 48 to get by 42. 24 and 39 battle. 24 and 39 get together with 24 loosing spots. 44 gets by 24. 99 Carl Edwards and 9 get together. 44 and 39 battle for position. 44 can’t get by. 24 gets back by 44. 24 finally gets by 39 for ninth. 17 gets by 5 and 42 for second. 24 gets by 07 for eighth.
The ninth caution comes out with 32 laps to go for 77 into the wall. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is the Lucky Dog. 77 got loose trying to get by 00. 14, 39, 9, 16 come into the pits. 39 and 9 take two tires. 16 takes four. 48 takes the outside and pulls away. 2 tries to get by 42. 44 gets by 07 on the top. 9 gets by 39 on the top. 14 drives under 39. 5 slides in front of 17 for second. 14 finally gets by 39. 07 and 31 battle. 44 drives under 9.
And 48 Jimmy Johnson wins the AAA 400 after leading 271 laps, the most. 71 David Gilliland led a lap. There were four different leaders. Mark Martin stays first in the points, with Jimmy Johnson ten points behind. Matt Kenseth moves past Kyle Busch into thirteenth in points. Denny Hamlin looses three spots, and Brian Vickers looses two spots.
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