Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The Bank of America 500 was raced at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC Saturday night. This is the 31st race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and the fifth race in the chase for the Sprint Cup. (All this hoopla about twelve drivers while there are 43 still racing during this chase.)
Chaser 24 Jeff Gordon starts from the pole with a speed of 191.544 mph and 28.192 seconds. This is his first pole of the season. Beside him is fellow chaser, 99 Carl Edwards. (Chasers 18 Kyle Busch starts sixth and 48 Jimmie Johnson starts tenth. The rest of the top ten starters are not in the chase.) This race has always been won by title contenders (except this race).
So, here we go! 24 chooses the outside and leads from the pole. The first caution comes out when 39 Ryan Newman gets loose, slips and spins, hitting the rear quarter panel against the wall. And giving chaser 14 Tony Stewart damage. 11 Denny Hamlin (chaser) flat spots the tires to avoid contact and has to change tires. At the restart, 99, 24 and 18 Kyle Busch race for the lead. 18 goes high to take the lead. 24 takes second and 99 stays in third. 98 Paul Menard takes third from 99 and then takes second from 24.
The second caution comes out at the restart. 2 Kurt Busch gets loose and spins then races down pit road for tires before the rest of the field pits. 99 coming out of his pit cuts off 14 and Tony has to stop and back up to get to his stall. 12 Brad Keselowski gets cut off and ends up in his stall sideways.46 Michael McDowell leads a lap and then pits. 24 with the first pit gets out of the pits first to lead 18. At the restart 18 takes the lead and 20 Joey Logano and 98 get by 24. 16 Greg Biffle gets by 11 Denny Hamlin.
The third caution comes out when four time defending champion 48 Jimmie Johnson gets loose and spins. He doesn’t hit anything. (He says the car is “evil in traffic”.) 29 Kevin Harvick and 98 get by 56 Martin Truex, Jr. 31 Jeff Burton races with 42 Juan Pablo Montoya for ninth. 99 gets by 42. 11 and 42 race side by side and 11 finally gets by. 42 and 99 exchange positions back and forth.
Green Flag Pitting starts and 5 Mark Martin leads. 12 leads, 17 Matt Kenseth leads, 33 Clint Bowyer leads and 26 Patrick Carpentier leads. The fourth caution comes out. 16 gets by 24 for second. 24 gets back by 16. 48 and 98 race each other and 98 keeps the spot. 5 and 16 battle and 5 takes the spot. 11 gets by 16. 20 gets by 16.
The fifth caution comes out when 9 Kasey Kahne gets into the wall and then into 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. (Kasey isn’t feeling well and when repairs are made, J. J. Yeley gets back into the car to finish the race.) 5 and 56 race side by side for the lead and 5 keeps the lead. 1 Jamie McMurray gets by 56 for second. 1 takes the lead. 56 starts another round of Green Flag Pitting. 16 leads and 11 leads. After it all 1 is back in the lead. 48 takes the lead. 18 gets by 1 for second. 24 has no power and is slow on the track. 48 puts 24 a lap down.
The sixth caution comes out for spinning 47 Marcos Ambrose who slides into the infield. 24 Jeff Gordon gets back on the lead lap. 1 and 11 get by 5. 1 gets by 16 for second. The seventh caution comes out when 7 Robby Gordon gets into the wall and slides through the infield. 48 gets by 1 for second with 18 leading. 48 and 18 battle for the lead.
The eighth caution comes out when 31 Jeff Burton spins. There’s so much smoke in the car he can’t see! 18 chooses the outside for the restart. 47 Marcos Ambrose gets back on the lead lap. 29 gets by 56. 1 gets around 48 for second. 17 and 29 battle for sixth and 17 gets by. 43 A. J. Allmendinger is down a cylinder. 00 David Reutimann and 56 start another round of Green Flag Pitting. 42 leads and pits. 83 Reed Sorenson leads and pits. 43 leads, becoming the nineteenth different leader. 24 is too fast entering the pits and must make a pass through. 43 finally pits, giving the lead back to 18.
48 goes between 31 and 12 to get by both. 11 gets by 31. 1 is catching leader 18. The ninth caution is for debris with 26 laps to go. The top eight drivers stay out. They restart with 21 to go. 1 takes the lead. 48 and 18 battle for second, but 48 can’t clear 18. 33 and 99 battle and 33 gets loose. 18 and 48 battle for second but 18 hold off 48.
And 1 Jamie McMurray (nonchaser) wins the Bank of America 500. This is his third win this season. Jamie won the opening race, the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400. Jamie is not in the chase. There were nineteen different leaders.