NASCAR Race Review: Samsung Mobile 500

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Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. This week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race review is the Samsung Mobile 500 held at the Texas Motor Speedway. 6 David Ragan starts from the pole with a speed of 189.82 mph and 28.448 seconds around the track. This was his first career pole. The Pole Award is a shotgun! (We are in Texas, after all.) Those Fords are fast this year with their new engine. Let’s see if one of them can win this race.

Three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regulars attempted to qualify for this race. 95 David Starr (Texas native) and 60 Mike Skinner made the race, but 38 Travis Kvapil was the lone car that failed to qualify. (You know how I feel about one driver going home.)

11 Denny Hamlin has a special paint scheme for this race. March of Dimes is the sponsor with 9 year old twins Josh and Jake Aron creating the scheme. They were the size of a beanie baby when they were born and March of Dimes made sure they survived. They got to color the car and put foot decals on it. A wonderful story.

This race is 500 miles, or 334 laps around this 1.5 mile track. So, here we go! 6 leads from the pole. 17 Matt Kenseth gets by 33 Clint Bowyer for third. 99 Carl Edwards  and 17 battle for second with 17 going high on the track. He can’t get by so he dives down low and takes second from 99. 22 Kurt Busch gets by 78 Regan Smith (Regan has the best starting position of anyone this year.) 43 A. J. Allmendinger gets by 78.

The first caution comes out after nine laps when 37 Tony Raines goes up in smoke. 22, 2 Brad Keselowski and 71 Andy Lally stay out while the rest of the field pit. 29 Kevin Harvick leaves his pit before a tire gets put away and will have to restart at the tale end of the longest line.

22 and 2 battle for the  lead at the restart and 2 takes the lead. 71 is too slow and holding everyone up. He falls way back. 17 gets by 6 and 99, then 17, 22 and 2 battle for the lead. 16 Greg Biffle gets by 99 for fifth. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. gets by 4 Kasey Kahne. 17 gets by 22 for second. 17 and 2 race side by side for the lead and 17 takes the lead.

The second caution comes out on lap 45 when 34 David Gilliland blows a tire and gets into the wall. In the pits, 20 Joey Logano and 00 David Reutimann get together and 00 ends up sideways on pit road, blocking 29 from getting out of his pit stall. They come back in for repairs and have too many men over the wall. At the restart, 16 takes the lead. 2 and 18 Kyle Busch race for position and 18 gets by. 43 and 27 Paul Menard battle for eleventh.

16 and 17 battle for the lead and 17 takes the lead. 88 goes around 27. 9 Marcos Ambrose gets by 99 for fifth. 00 runs into the wall. (The leader 17 has trash on his grill but is running away from the field anyway.) 43 pits early. 71 has a flat tire and pits. 6 and 17 make pit stops and the field follows for Green Flag Pitting. 33 leads, then pits. 99 leads, 88 leads. After everyone has been in, 17 is back in the lead.

The third caution comes out on lap 113. 32 Ken Schrader cuts a tire and the caution comes out for debris. 4 Kasey Kahne gets back on the lead lap. 22 and 2 take two tires and come out first. 22 and 17 battle for the lead and 17 takes the lead with his four tires. 33 gets by 11 Denny Hamlin. (Denny won both races here last year.) 99 and 16 get by 11. 95 Starr hits the wall and pits.

6 and 22 battle for second and 6 takes the spot. 48 Jimmie Johnson takes eighth from 22. 1 Jamie McMurray makes an unscheduled pit stop. 33 gets by 18 for third. 16 drives around 18 for fourth. 27 and 22 battle for tenth and 27 gets by. 33 gets by 6 for second. 48 drives by 9 for seventh.

There is another round of Green Flag Pitting. 24 Jeff Gordon leads and is the final driver staying out. When he pits, 17 is back in the lead. However, 17 didn’t get a full tank of gas. When he’s close to running out 17 pits and starts another round of Green Flag Pitting. 33 takes the lead. 78 gets a pass through penalty when a tire gets away in the pits. 14 Tony Stewart leads. 18 and 6 race side by side for sixth and 18 takes the spot. After the pitting 17 is back in the lead.

The fourth caution comes out on lap 208 for debris on the backstretch. 14 Stewart gets his lap back. The leaders stay out. 18 had a loose right rear tire and had to pit. At the restart, 33, 17 and 9 are three wide for the lead. 33 takes the lead. The fifth caution comes out on lap 215. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. gets loose and slams into 5 Mark Martin. 78 has nowhere to go and hits both of them at the outside wall. 56 and 5 slide down the track and into the concrete inside wall. (A very hard, vicious crash.)

39 Ryan Newman gets back onto the lead lap. There are only fifteen cars on the lead lap. 27 and 18 race for fifth and 18 takes the position. 6 and 88 battle for seventh and 6 keeps the position. 18 gets by 9 for third. 88 gets by 6 for seventh. 33 and 83 Brian Vickers get together when 33 is trying to put 83 a lap down. They both recover.

17 takes the lead, then starts Green flag Pitting again, putting 33 back in the lead. 9 leads, then pits. 14 leads and 17 drives by to get his lap back. 22 takes the lead. 22, 14 and 2 still haven’t pitted. 6 unlaps himself. 18 pits again with a tire vibration. 2 pits and then 22, leaving 14 the only one left to pit. (He’s hoping a caution will come out.) Finally 14 pits, putting 17 back in the lead. 14 was too fast entering the pits and has to make a pass through into the pits.

6 and 42 Juan Pablo Montoya make a pit stop, as they can make it from here on fuel. That starts another round of GFP. (My kind of race…lots of Green Flag Pitting, instead of cautions.) 22 leads. 11 goes a lap down and pits. 48 drives by 22 to get his lap back. 22 makes his pit stop with 13 laps to go and takes two tires. 18 pits again. 16 and 27 race side by side and 16 finally gets by. Coming to the end of the race, 24 is out of gas, as is 14.

17 Matt Kenseth wins the Samsung Mobile 500, his nineteenth career win and breaks a 76 race streak without a win. The winner gets a pair of six-shooters. There were thirteen different leaders. Kenseth led the most laps. This was his nineteenth career win. Carl Edwards takes over the points lead.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.

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