Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The Air National Guard 400 at Richmond International Raceway is the final race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular season. Next up is the chase for the Sprint cup. The top ten in points are already locked into the chase. This race will set the top 12 drivers in the chase.
99 Carl Edwards captured the Coors Light Pole award on Friday with a speed of 127.762. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya will start second. 13 is Casey Mears. 36 is Dave Blaney. 71 is Landon Cassill. 32 is Jason Leffler. 34 is Tony Raines. 7 is Kevin Conway. 83 is Mattias Ekstrom. 09 is Bobby Labonte. 10 Terry Labonte failed to make the race, but 55 Mike Bliss did and is handing over driver duties to Terry. Terry will have to start from the rear. Also not qualifying were: 46 Michael McDowell, 64 Todd Bodine, 66 Scott Riggs and 92 Brian Keselowski. 83 had a transmission change and will have to start from the rear, although he was already starting 42nd.
So, here we go! 99 starts from the pole and takes off. 42 and 43 A. J. Allmendinger battle for second, side by side for seven laps before 42 finally keeps second place. 00 David Reutimann and 48 Jimmie Johnson battle for fifth and 48 takes the spot. 2 Kurt Busch and 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. battle and 2 takes the position. 29 Kevin Harvick gets by 18 Kyle Busch for 23rd. 33 Clint Bowyer and 43 race each other. 24 Jeff Gordon, 29 and 18 battle for position.
48 and 33 get by 42. 48 takes the lead. The first caution comes out on lap 56. 00 gets a flat left rear when 2Kkurt Busch spins him. Greg Biffle (16) clenches a spot in the chase. 19 Elliott Sadler is the Lucky Dog and gets his lap back. 33 takes second from 48. 48 and 14 Tony Stewart battle for third and 14 gets by. 17 Matt Kenseth battles 42, while 12 Brad Keselowski battles team mate 2. 42 and 2 move ahead. 29 battles 20 Joey Logano and 29 takes the spot. 18 gets by 20. 16 is tight and is falling back.
11 Denny Hamlin and 2 battle for fifth, with 11 getting by. 33 takes the lead. 11 gets by 48. 11 and 48 get by 99. 11 catches leader 33. 11 takes the lead. (Marty Reid, the announcer says “our race leader, Denny Hamlin is our race leader.”)
The second caution comes out for 55 bouncing off the wall while 9 Kasey Kahne is in the pits. 11 comes out of the pits first.Eight drivers take the wave around as they already made Green Flag Pits. 20 Joey Logano gets the free pass, back onto the lead lap. 11 and 48 battle for the lead. 48 takes the lead. 48 and 11 battle for the lead. 48 keeps the lead. 31 Jeff Burton and 99 battle for position and 99 takes the spot. 48 and 11 battle for the lead and 11 takes the lead when 48 gets loose. 33 takes the lead. 11 takes the lead back. 18 gets by 99 for fifth. 33 takes the lead. 11 takes the lead. 48 gets by 33 for second.
The third caution is for sprinkles on the track. 24 Jeff Gordon gets the free pass onto the lead lap. 31 stays out to lead. The rain stops and 31 pits, putting 11 back in the lead. 33 gets by 48 for second. 47 Marcos Ambrose gets by 20. 39 Ryan Newman and 17 Matt Kenseth battle side by side for seventh. Green Flag pitting starts and 9 drives by leader 11 to get his lap back. 42 takes the lead. 11 catches 42 and takes the lead. 18 catches leader 11 in traffic.
There are sixteen cars on the lead lap. 11 puts 14 in sixteenth a lap down. 33 and 20 battle for fourth, with 20 taking the spot. 47 gets by 33 for fifth. 18 falls back from 11. And 11 Denny Hamlin wins the Air Guard 400 at Richmond International Raceway. This is his sixth win this season and puts him first in the chase for the Sprint Cup. There were six leaders in the race. and only three cautions, one of them for sprinkles.
Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.