Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. This week the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes place at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, AZ. The Subway Fresh Fit 600 is a little longer than the Subway Fresh Fit 500 from last year. The race had to start at 7:00 PM Eastern time because of the new starting times for 2010. So the Sponsor, Subway, made it 75 more laps for 600K. The race starts in daylight and ends under the lights.
On Friday, 18 Kyle Busch won the Bashah’s Supermarkets 200 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series after starting second. 22 Brad Keselowski finished third to take over the points lead. Too many Sprint Cup drivers are in Nationwide for my taste. But back to the race review.
43 A. J. Allmendinger captured the Coors Light Pole Award on Friday with a speed of 134.675, knocking 82 Scott Speed off. 66 is Michael McDowell and 55 is Dave Blaney. 90 is Scott Riggs since Casey Mears is on standby for Denny Hamlin, who had ACL surgery last week. 35 is Johnny Sauter. 46 Terry Cook made the race. Going home were 26 David Stremme, 09 Aric Almirola, 36 Mike Bliss (he raced in the Nationwide race.)and 02 Brandon Ash. Ash is a road course specialist and this track drives like a road course.
So, here we go! 43 leads from the pole and 82 tucks behind 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. 47 Marcos Ambrose gets stuck on the outside. 2 Kurt Busch and 31 Jeff Burton get by 18 Kyle Busch. 5 Mark Martin and 11 Denny Hamlin battle, but 5 can’t get by. 83 Brian Vickers gets by 5. 17 Matt Kenseth on the top gets by 5. 20 Joey Logano and 82 battle for third, and 20 takes the spot. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya and 24 Jeff Gordon get by 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who started fifth. 82 and 42 battle and 42 gets by.
The first caution comes out on lap 9 when 2 and 9 Kasey Kahne get together and spin into the wall. 2 goes down the track into 11, giving his car damage. 46 Terry Cook stays out to lead a lap and then pits. 39 Ryan Newman comes out of the pits first, but when the Green Flag flies, 14 Tony Stewart takes the lead.
The second caution comes out around lap 25 when 33 Clint Bowyer gets loose into 1 Jamie McMurray and 1 spins into the wall. 39 didn’t get going very well on the Restart. 14 and 42 battle for the lead, but 42 can’t get by. 42 tries again, and again, and finally takes the lead. 20 gets by 14 for second. 31 gets by 88 for ninth.
The third caution comes out on lap 55 when 83blows a tire and turns fast into the wall. 46 Terry Cook is the Lucky Dog and gets back onto the lead lap. 20 and 42 battle for the lead, but 20 can’t get by. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. makes a pit stop. 48 Jimmie Johnson gets by 14 for third. 33 gets by 43. 88 is falling further back after each pit stop and not gaining any ground on the track. 88 is chattering and pushing. 48 gets by 20 for second. 48 catches leader, 42. 31 and 12 Brad Keselowski battle for thirteenth. 12 finally gets by. 14 pits to start Green Flag Pitting. 48 takes the lead. 2 gets into the wall, but keeps going and pits.
The fourth caution comes out for debris from 2. 11 team repairs his car. 88 is being worked on. 11 comes back out, only to have his battery go dead and gets pushed back into the pits where he replaces the battery. 1 returns to the pits “half a dozen times (!) during this caution, and comes back in. 48 takes the lead. 00 David Reutimann almost makes it three wide with 12 and 31 but thinks better of it.
47 and 39 battle for twelfth. They almost touch and 39 gets by. 12 and 31 are still battling. 29 Kevin Harvick gets by 77 for eighth. 31 finally gets by 12. 18 gets by 24 for sixth. 17 and 20 battle, with 17 grabbing the position. 24 gets by 20 for fifth.
The fifth caution comes out for fluid in turn 2. 55 Dave Blaney heads for the garage. 82 Scott Speed gets the Free Pass back onto the lead lap. 48 chooses the outside. 42 gets by 18 for second. The sixth caution comes out when 12 gets into the wall. He slid up in front of 56. Truex, Jr. was able to save his car. 98 Paul Menard gets the Free Pass back onto the lead lap. 31 is stuck a lap down, but by the time a caution comes out, the leader puts more cars a lap down and he doesn’t get the free pass. NASCAR Officials decide 78 Regan Smith is the Lucky Dog instead of 98, putting 98 back a lap down.
1 and 5 battle for thirteenth. 39 gets into 77 to get by him. 24 gets by 77 for tenth. 77 and 1 battle for twelfth. 39 zips past 99 Carl Edwards, when 99 slows for 34 Travis Kvapil. The seventh caution comes out during the commercial when 00 gets into the wall. 78 Regan Smith is again the Lucky Dog and back onto the lead lap. 1 goes back into the pits for repairs. 48 gets stuck on top and 18 takes the lead. 42 and 48 got together. 48 gets by 42 for second. 82 and 88 battle for seventeenth. 24 and 17 battle back and forth for seventh.
The eighth caution comes out during the commercial when 34 blows up. 1 Jamie McMurray gets the Free Pass back onto the lead lap. They Restart with 54 to go. 42 makes it three wide. 42 and 39 battle with 17 right behind. 33 and 24 battle for third and 24 gets by. 42 is right behind them. 29 and 99 battle. 77 washes up the track and 43 gets by. 18 is smoking. 33 and 42 battle. 33 and 39 battle for fifth.
The ninth caution comes out when 90 Riggs blows a right front tire and gets into the wall, just ahead of the leader. 24, 39, 5, 17, 43 and 88 take two tires for track position. It will be Green, White Checkers. 39 takes the lead, getting by 24. 48 with four tires, moves up to third from seventh.
And 39 Ryan Newman wins the Subway Fresh Fit 600. This was an emotional win for him, since he hasn’t won since he won the Daytona 500 in 2008. I thought it was a great race. For all you “anyone but Jimmie” fans Ryan’s win was great. The points leader finished third. Kyle, who won in Nationwide on Friday, finishes eighth to get himself into the top 12.
Brought to you by Sheila Hawley
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