NASCAR Race Review: Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500

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Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. This weeks race review is the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Martinsville is the oldest and shortest track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit. Martinsville is the only track still on the original circuit, the 125th race at this .526 mile track shaped like a paperclip with pavement on the straightaways and concrete in the turns. They added the concrete because the pavement was being chipped away in the corners.

1 Jamie McMurray starts the race from the pole with a speed of 96.509 mph and 19.621 seconds. 39 Ryan Newman starts next to him on the front row. The last nine races here have been won by 48 Jimmie Johnson or 11 Denny Hamlin. Hamlin has won the last three races here. Can either one of them win this one?  24 Jeff Gordon has the most wins of any current driver with seven wins. Can he make it eight? 5 Mark Martin makes his 800th start here and has two wins. Can he make it three? 18 Kyle Busch won his fifth race at Bristol Motor Speedway, the other 1/2 mile track, but has never won here. Can he do it today?

Starting position here is important, not only for starting position, but for pit selection. Martinsville Speedway is the home of the “Bump and run”. There is no room to pass so the drivers need to move other cars out of the way to get by.

So, here we go! 1 leads from the pole. 17 Matt Kenseth changes lanes before the Start/Finish Line and has to make a pass through, putting him a lap down. 20 Joey Logano gets by 39, shutting the door on 11. 33 Clint Bowyer and 6 David Ragan get together racing for position. 31 Jeff Burton and 13 Casey Mears get by 27 Paul Menard. 20 gets stuck on the top and falls back to twelfth before he can find an opening to get back down. 4 Kasey Kahne drives under 1 for the lead. 39 and 11 get by 1 and 39 drives under 4 for the lead. 11 takes the lead. 6 and 9 Marcos Ambrose get together. 99 Carl Edwards drives under 9 and 42 Juan Pablo Montoya and 13 follow  him by 9.

The first caution comes out when 34 David Gilliland blows a tire. 66 Michael McDowell gets back onto the lead lap. 48 and 39 are neck and neck out of the pits. 83 Brian Vickers gets caught speeding. 7 Robby Gordon makes a commitment line violation when he decides to stay out to lead. 48 and 39 race side by side for the lead at the restart. 18 gets by 39 for second. 39 gets stuck on the top. 17 gets by 22 Kurt Busch to be the first car a lap down. 18 takes the lead. 39 drives under 4. 24 drives around 5.

The second caution comes out during the commercial. 36 Dave Blaney cut a tire. 11 and 33 get by 18. 42 drives under 99 who has no power steering. 4 gets stuck on top. 11 takes the lead. The third caution comes out when 9 Marcos Ambrose pulls in front of 66  and 66 spins 9 hard into the wall. 21 Trevor Bayne heads for the garage, overheating. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. gets back onto the lead lap. 33 gets by 48 for second. 33 takes the lead. 48 gets by 11 for second.

36 gets into the wall and they finally throw the fourth caution when he is stopped on the track. He gets a two lap penalty for stopping and bringing out the caution. 5 changes lanes before the line and gets Black Flagged. 1 moves 18 18 over and he and 11 get by. 24 gets by 18. 11 drives under 1 for third.

The fifth caution comes out during the commercial. 71 Hermie Sadler got into the wall. 33, 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and 42 take two tires to come out first. 88 gets stuck on top. 24 drives under 18 for third and then under 42. The fifth caution is a big one. 56 has a throttle problem and slams into 4, both getting into the wall. Truex bursts into flames before he stops. He gets out of the car to see how Kahne is doing. And there is a 25 minute Red Flag for clean-up and to repair the wall. 17 Matt Kenseth gets his lap back.

33 leads when the Yellow Flag comes back out. 42 gets by 24 for second. The seventh caution comes out when 22 dives under 83 to avoid 78 Regan Smith without clearing 83, gets into the grass and curb and into 47 Bobby Labonte. 7  and 20 get collected. The eighth caution comes out when 2 Brad Keselowski gets into 27 and collects 66 and 13. 24 and 88 get by 42 when 42 can’t get to the bottom. 24 takes the lead. 14 Tony Stewart changed lanes before the Start/Finish Line and gets a drive through penalty.

11 gets by 88 for third. 24 and 33 battle for the lead and 33 takes the lead. 11 gets by 24 for second. 24 and 88 get together and 88 gets by. 18 gets by 24.11 takes the lead. 1 drives under 24. 00 David Reutimann and 6 get by 24. 39 drives under 48. 48 and 43 A. J. Allmendinger battle for position and 43 gets by. 66 and 13 are slow on the track with flat tires. Both make it to the pits and there is no caution. 39 thinks he is blowing up.

11 starts Green Flag Pitting. 99 leads. 29 leads and then pits. After all the pitting, 18 is in the lead. The ninth caution comes out when 21 cuts a tire and can’t get to pit road. 17 Matt Kenseth finally gets back onto the lead lap. At the restart 18 pulls away. 24 catches 18 and takes the lead.

The tenth caution comes out when 39 spins after making contact with 29 Kevin Harvick and cutting a tire. 6 David Ragan gets his lap back. 39 goes a lap down. 31 gets his front end mashed and has to pit to pound it out, as he can’t see!  18 drives under 24 for the lead. 48 gets by 11 for third and 24 for second. 29 drives around 11. 11 starts another round of Green Flag Pitting. The eleventh caution comes out before pitting is complete. 78 gets into the wall. 48 is too fast entering the pits. 29 starts second and gets stuck on top. 18 leads and tries to close the door on 88 but 88 takes the lead. 29 and 18 battle for second and 29 gets by. 29 takes the lead with three laps to go.

29 Kevin Harvick wins the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 with 88 crossing the line ahead of 18 at the Line. Harvick wins his second race in a row and his sixteenth career win in the black Budweiser car. Budweiser is the king of beers and Harvick is the king of the last ten laps! There were thirteen leaders in this race.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.

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