NASCAR Race review: Bristol, Week 5

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Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. This week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series  race is at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN. #20 Joey Logano captured the Coors Light Pole award with a speed of  124.63. #2 Kurt Busch will start on the front row with him. 66 Dave Blaney qualified third, but will not race the entire race, and so chooses to start from the rear so the rest of them can race. 26 today is David Stremme, hoping to get some points for Boris Said, to keep him in the top 35 in points. 90 Casey Mears and 46 Terry Cook both made it into the race for the first time this year. 71 Bobby Labonte used his past Champion provisional to get in. 36 Mike Bliss and 13 Max Papis failed to qualify.

The SAFER barrier was extended out of turns 2 and 4, making  Thunder Valley a little narrower coming off the turns. However, there is still room for racing side by side. This .533 mile concrete oval is the “World’s fastest half mile”. 46 Terry Cook was late to the driver meeting and will start from the rear. This will be the last race with the wing on the car. The cars are going back to the traditional spoiler.

So, here we go! 20 Logano chooses to start the race on the inside. 2 Kurt Busch gets a good start from the top to lead the first lap. 20 leads the second lap. 2 leads the third lap. 48 Jimmie Johnson gets by 20 for second. 48 and 2 battle for the lead. 48 takes the lead. 24 Jeff Gordon gets by 20 for third. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and 38 David Gilliland battle for position, with 88 getting by. 29 Kevin Harvick makes it three wide between 18 Kyle Busch and 26 Stremme to get by both of them.

48 gets stuck trying to lap 71 Labonte and 2 takes the lead. 71 still won’t let 48 get by. The first caution comes out when 66 Blaney has a flat tire and can’t get to the pits. 34 Travis Kvapil gets the free pass to get back onto the lead lap. 12 Brad Keselowski stays out to lead. 55 Michael Waltrip, 26 and 09 Aric Almirola also stay out, but 55 and 09 pit next time around. 12 chooses the outside for the restart. 48 takes the lead. 26 falls way back. 24 gets by 12 for second. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. and 17 Matt Kenseth battle for ninth, with 56 getting by.

The second caution comes out during the commercial. 33 Clint Bowyer blows the engine and gets into the wall, taking 55 with him. 7 Robby Gordon gets the free pass and back onto the lead lap. They restart on lap 63. 00 David Reutimann gets by 14 Tony Stewart for sixth. 2 and 24 battle side by side for second. 00 gets by 16 Greg Biffle and 42 Juan Pablo Montoya, into fourth. 2 finally gets around 24. 20 is tight and is falling off the pace, holding everyone up. 00 catches 24, in third. 00 and 24 battle for third, with 00 getting by. 16 and 24 battle for fourth in traffic. 20 gets a flat tire,  heads for the pits, and goes three laps down. Under Green drivers may pit from where their pit is, while under caution everyone comes in the same place and go all the way around. Joey went all the way around and lost those laps. 2 takes the lead in traffic. 00 gets by 48 for second. 00 in second, drops a cylinder and pits.

The third caution comes out when 11 Denny Hamlin cuts a tire and gets into the wall. 19 Elliott Sadler is the Lucky Dog and gets his lap back. 2 comes out of the pits first and chooses the inside. 16 takes the lead. 48 gets by 2 for second. The fourth caution comes out for rain drops. 78 Regan Smith gets the free pass back onto the lead lap. 47 Marcos Ambrose is caught speeding and has to go to the rear.

16 chooses the outside. 5 Mark Martin goes around 2 for fourth. 1 Jamie McMurray and 98 Paul Menard battle, with 1 getting by. 24 and 12 battle for sixth, with 12 taking the position. 24 and 1 battle for seventh and 1 gets by. 56 gets by 24. 42 takes second from 48. 5 gets by 48 for third. 42 and 16 battle for the lead. 98 gets by 24 for tenth. 42 takes the lead. 24 falls back to seventeenth. 12 and 48 battle for sixth. 16 takes the lead back. 47 catches 2, in fourth. 47 takes fourth from 2 in traffic.

The fifth caution comes out when 9 Kasey Khane blows a tire. He manages not to get into the wall. 11 Denny Hamlin gets the free pass, back onto the lead lap. 42 chooses the outside. 2 gets by 16 for second. 9 has a vibration and bounces off the wall. 16 takes the lead from 42. 16 and 2 battle for the lead side by side. 48 and 12 battle for fifth, with 48 getting by. 31 Jeff Burton, 12 and 88 battle for sixth. 12 keeps the spot. 5 drives under 42 for third. 9 goes behind the wall and they look under the hood. 2 takes the lead. 12 and 83 Brian Vickers battle for ninth, with 83 getting by. 24 gets by 12. 34 Travis Kvapil gets a flat tire and pits.

The sixth caution comes out when 18 Kyle Busch gets into the wall. 34 Travis Kvapil is the Lucky Dog and gets back on the lead lap. 2 chooses the outside for the restart. 5 can’t get by 2 for the lead. 42 and 88 battle for seventh, with 88 taking the position. 31 and 1 battle for fifth, with 1 getting by. 42 and 24 battle for ninth and 24 can’t get by. 88 gets by 31 for sixth. 39 Ryan Newman scraped the wall.

The seventh caution comes out on lap 323 when 78 gets into the wall. 19 and 78 got together,  and 78 blew a tire. 11 Denny Hamlin gets the free pass back onto the lead lap. 88 is too fast entering the pits. (How can that be, when it’s a caution and he didn’t get by the car in front of him?) 2 chooses the outside. 12 and 99 battle with 29 right behind them. 16 blocks 5 and clips him into the wall, causing the eighth caution. 16 moves 5 into the wall, 24 slides to avoid 5 and thirteen cars are involved when 5 tries to pit while going to fast. They have to repair the SAFER barrier where 5 his the wall.

2 chooses the outside for the restart. 39, 99 and 88 battle for tenth. 17 and 31 battle for fifth, with 14 coming on them. 31 finally gets by 17. 14 and 17 battle, but 14 can’t get by. 31 and 16 battle for fourth. The ninth caution comes out during the commercial for rain again. 12, 24, 19 and 42 stay out. They restart with 90 to go. 12 and 2 battle for the lead and 2 takes the lead. 48 and 12 battle for second, with 48 getting by. 16 and 24 battle. 88 gets by 19 for thirteenth. 1 and 12 battle for third. 99 gets by 24 for ninth. 1 finally gets by 12. 16 and 12 battle for fourth. 16 finally gets by. 77 drops a cylinder and heads for the garage. 99 and 12 battle for seventh, with 99 taking the spot. 82 Scott Speed blows a tire and gets into the wall. 20 gets into the wall.

The tenth caution comes out for debris with 18 laps to go. 39 Ryan Newman is the Lucky Dog and gets back on the lead lap. 16, 17, 99 and 14 take two tires and come out before 2 and 48, who took four. They go Green with ten laps to go. 14 takes the lead. 48 gets by 16 for second. 48 takes the lead.

And Jimmie Johnson wins the Food City 500 at the Bristol Motor Speedway for the first time in 17 tries. 2 Kurt Busch led the most laps. There were thirteen different drivers in the race. And ten caution flags.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

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