NASCAR Racing: Road Courses

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Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. This week NASCAR has two different road courses on the schedule. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is in Sonoma, CA, and the NASCAR Nationwide Series is in Elkhart, WI. Infineon Raceway in CA. is 1.99 miles of twists and turns, eleven of them. Road America in WI. is over four miles long with fourteen turns!

The Bucyrus 200 was run by the Nationwide drivers with several different Nations offering their drivers. 60 Carl Edwards, a Sprint Cup regular started from the pole. 32 Jaques Villeneuve (from Canada) started second. This was the inaugural race here. Last year they raced at the Milwaukee Mile, also in WI.

The first caution came out on lap three when 12 Justin Allgaier got too deep in the rumble strips and broke the drive shaft! They had to remove his car from the track. 24 Eric McClure took this opportunity to get out of the car and put road racer, Chris Cook into the car. Eric had surgery and was in too much pain to continue.

(Pitting is strange on a road course. It’s backwards! In fact, they race around the track opposite of how they run on an oval track.) 21 Tim George, Jr. gets into the grass after 38 Jason Leffler makes contact with him. The second caution came out when the 87 car driven by Antonio Parez blows up and leaves fluid on the track. 24 got into the oil and ended up in a gravel pit. 62 Brendan Gaughan was on pit road when the caution came out.

Something interesting: Cup Series back in 1956 came to this road course and Tim Flock won the race. However, not many fans came to the race, so they made only that one trip out to WI.

38 stayed out and leads at the restart. But 60 with fresher tires, soon takes the lead back. 38 makes a pit stop next time around and is caught speeding. He came back in for the drive through penalty and was again caught speeding! 20 Matt DiBenedetto has a broken sway bar. The third caution came out when 16 Colin Braun gets stuck in the gravel pit. 24 has a flat tire.

33 Ron Hornaday who drives for KHI in the Camping World Truck Series, was too fast on pit road. 70 Mark Green gets his lap back. 90 Patrick Long, 66 Steve Wallace and 05 Victor Gonzalez, Jr. stay on track. 60 gets by 66 for second. The fourth caution comes out for a massive pile up on turn four, with everyone getting into everyone else. There is a thirty minute Red Flag for clean up.

Something broke on the 81 car of Michael McDowell and the car is smoking. 32 makes it three wide to get past 60. But 98 Paul Menard wheel hops into 32 and sends him off the track. Jacque gets back on track and Paul has damage to his hood.

The fifth caution comes out when 33 and  get together, racing for seventh. 38 Jason Leffler  gets back on the lead lap after all the speeding .They restart with twelve to go. 18 Brad Coleman gets bumped aside. 32 and 62 battle for the lead and 32 takes the lead. 60 makes his way up to second. 23 Alex Kennedy spins around.

The sixth caution comes out with smoke all over the track when 40 Mike Bliss and 23 get together and 99 Trevor Bayne spins. 33 Ron Hornaday gets his lap back. They restart with nine to go. 60 takes the lead. 98 goes off track. 98 gets into 05 who spins. 11 Brian Scott gets spun around. 66 gets into the back of 99. 31 Stanton Barrett gets off the track in turn six into the gravel. And the seventh caution comes out because 31 can’t get out of the gravel. 6 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. gets his lap back.

They restart with three to go. 01 Mike Wallace spins onto the grass. 35 Tony Ave gets past 7 J. R. Fitzgerald. 05 goes around. 32 is having engine problems with popping noises and falls back. 35 and 98 spin on the last lap.

And 60 Carl Edwards wins the Bucyrus 200 from the pole. He makes his way around the track and heads for Victory Lane, forgets to do his signature back flip (he hasn’t won in quite awhile!) and has to back the car up to flip for the fans. For there being only fifty laps, this was certainly a long race!

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. Next up: Toyota/Save Mart 350K from Sonoma, CA.

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