NASCAR Race Review: AAA 400

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Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway is the 28th race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and the second race in the chase for the Sprint Cup. In my opinion, the chase is chasing away a lot of fans. The whole section around turn 3 was closed off and fans were missing all around the track. I love Dover, but I must admit, I don’t go to the chase race.

48 Jimmie Johnson starts from the pole with 43 A. J. Allmendinger right beside him. Dover is the concrete “Monster Mile” in Dover DE. 26 Jeff Green, 64 Josh Wise and 66 Ted Musgrave failed to qualify for the race. 34 Tony Raines had a transmission change. 5 Mark Martin failed post-qualifying inspection and his speed was disallowed. Both will start from the rear. The chase points leader, 11 Denny Hamlin does not have a very good record at this track amoung the rest of the chase drivers. Let’s see how he does. Kyle Busch won the NASCAR Nationwide Series race here in Dover on Saturday. Let’s see if he can make it a double win for the weekend. A chaser has always won this race and the points leader after this race has never gone on to win the championship. Just so you know.

So, here we go! 48 chooses the outside and leads from the pole. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya gets by 11 for fourth. 14 Tony Stewart and 31 Jeff Burton get by 82 Scott Speed. (after 8 laps they go to a commercial) During the commercial, 43 takes the lead. 24 Jeff Gordon and 39 Ryan Newman battle for twelfth, with 24 taking the spot. 16 Greg Biffle gets by 11 for fifth. Regular season points leader, 29 Kevin Harvick has never won at Dover.

The first caution comes out on lap 39. The cover fell off one of the caution lights. 43 leads them to the pits. 48 has trouble on the left side. 34 Travis Kvapil gets the free pass back onto the lead lap. 43 leads them back out of the pits. 2 Kurt Busch and 48 battle for sixth, but 48 slams the door. 14 took two tires for position, but is now really loose. 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. gets close to 83Reed Sorenson. 31 and 77 touch as 31 takes the position away.

The second caution comes out when 39 gets loose into 00 David Reutimann and 00 hits the wall. 09 Bobby Labonte gets back onto the lead lap and 00 stays on the lead lap after repairs. There was trouble for the 29 pit crew when one crew member fell and injured his hand. 17 Matt Kenseth gets by 99 Carl Edwards. 42 and 16 battle for third. 48 and 16 battle and 48 gets by. 16 gets below 48 and they battle some more. But 48 keeps the position. 2 and 11 battle and 2 gets by. 11 and 18 Kyle Busch battle with 24 and 17 right behind. 1 Jamie McMurray gets by 33 Clint Bowyer with fresher tires. 48 gets by 42 for third. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. in second thinks he ran over some debris, as he has a vibration. 1 has a vibration.

34 Travis Kvapil gets into the wall. 43 starts Green Flag Pitting. There is a 35 mph speed limit on pit road. 56 takes the lead. 56 pits and 20 joey Logano leads. 83 leads when 20 pits. 14 is too fast entering the pits and has to make a drive through. He is now two laps down. 09  leads when 83 pits. After it all, 43 resumes the lead, way ahead of the field. 11 gets by 42 for sixth. 29 drives by 1 for thirteenth. 42 is loose and gets sideways. 17 gets by 42 for seventh. 99 gets by 42 for eighth. 33 and 31 get by 1. 33 gets loose, goes sideways, saves it, then gets into the wall. 99 gets by 17 for seventh.

43 gets loose and pits, putting 48 in the lead. 43 had debris on the tire and it almost blew. Good thing he pitted. 33 pits, speeds and has to pit again. 17 tries to pit, can’t get slowed up, misses the pit entrance and has to go back around. He blows the tire after flat spotting the tires trying to slow down. The third caution comes out for debris. 19 Elliott Sadler gets back on the lead lap. 43 will take the wave around and stay on the lead lap, as he had just pitted. the 56 pit crew almost had a tire get away. 2 gets a speeding penalty as he sped up to his pit stall.

48 chooses the outside for the restart. 11 and 20 race side by side for fifth. 31 drives under 11 for sixth. 99 gets by 11 for seventh. 56 has a loose wheel and pits. He stalls the car getting out of the pits and breaks the axle! 18 races into second. 20, 24, 31 and 99 are all racing together. 31 and 99 get by 24. 99 gets by 31 for fourth.  18 gets into the wall. 9 Kasey Kahne gets loose and takes off up the track. 5 is up to eleventh after starting in 42nd.

Green Flag Pitting starts again. 2 leads when leader 48 pits. 48 slowed too much entering pit road and looses time. 78 Regan Smith is caught speeding and speeds when he comes back in. 48 remains the leader after it all.

The fourth caution is for debris. 19 Elliott Sadler is again the Lucky Dog. 18 comes out of the pits first to lead. 20 takes second from 48. 99 and 43 both get loose and both of them save their cars. 43 gets around 5 for eleventh. 20 blocks 48 from taking second. 48 gets around 20 for second. 39 Ryan Newman and 43 battle for tenth and 43 finally clears 39. 48 closes in on leader 18. 48 takes the lead. (“New leader… 48”) 18 tries to battle back but 48 stays in the lead. 31 gets by 20 for third. 31 and 18 battle for second and 31 finally takes the spot.

With 500 to go, there is Green Flag Pitting again. 2 leads when 48 pits. 99 leads when 2 pits. 24 lost a lug nut. 48 is back into the lead. (We come back from commercials with 5 laps to go!) 48 sails to the Checkered Flag. 48 Jimmie Johnson wins the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway. This was Jimmie’s sixth win this year, tying point leader, Denny Hamlin. This win was Jimmie’s 53rd career win. (Look out chase. Here comes Jimmie!) Jimmie started on the pole, led the most laps and won the race. That’s all you could ask for.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.

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