NASCAR Race Review: Southern 500

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Welcome NASCAR race fans to me NASCAR blog. This week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race review is the Showtime Southern 500 held at the Darlington Raceway, the tenth race of the season. Darlington is the Lady In Black because everyone gets into her walls and leaves black stripes on her. And is the Track Too Tough To Tame. The drivers must race the track, not each other to win here. This track needs brain power and concentration to win. Five hundred miles and 367 laps is a very long time.

4 Kasey Kahne capture the Coors Light Pole Award on Friday with a speed of181.254 mph and 27.131 seconds. 39 Ryan Newman starts second. Both drivers broke the track record. 81 Scott Riggs, 71 Andy Lally and 92 Brian Keselowski failed to make the race. Darlington is the oldest paved super speedway 1.366 miles around located in the Sand Hills of South Carolina. This egg-shaped oval is a tough track to race on. The Southern 500 is the day before Mothers’ Day and the drivers’ Mothers gave the command to start the engines.

So, here we go! 4 Kahne chooses the outside line and leads from the pole with 39 right behind. 39 challenges for the lead but 4 holds him off. The first caution comes out on lap 2 for spinning 60 Mike Skinner. He had help from 66 Michael McDowell. 11 Denny Hamlin scraped the wall. 24 Jeff Gordon catches the leaders, 4 and 39. 16 Greg Biffle gets loose in front of 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 18 Kyle Busch gets by 99 Carl Edwards. 14 Tony Stewart drives under 83 Brian Vickers.  29 Kevin Harvick drives under 9 Marcos Ambrose for ninth. 48 Jimmie Johnson gets by 9 for tenth. 18 gets by 83 for fifth. 14 gets by 24 for third.

The second caution comes out when 46 J. J. Yeley goes up in smoke. 7 Robby Gordon gets back onto the lead lap. This is the competition caution NASCAR was going to throw to check tires because of the rain on Friday. The drivers will be able to take fuel. 32 Ken Schrader stayed out a lap to lead, then pits. 4 chooses the outside and drives around 18 to continue leading. 17 Matt Kenseth slides into 9, the tire goes down and he has to pit but the car won’t steer and he goes under the cone to get to the pits and has to come back in for a penalty. 83 and 39 race for eighth and 83 finally gets by.

The third caution comes out for 34 David Gilliland getting into the wall. He would have gotten his lap back but he was the caution. 1 Jamie McMurray takes two tires to lead. 14 has a long pit stop. 4 dives under 18 for second. 24 gets loose and 48 gets by. The fourth caution comes out on lap 83. 48 gets by 42 Juan Pablo Montoya, 42 crosses over and spins 48. Most of the lead lap stays out. 48 makes a pit stop because he flat spotted the tires after spinning.

4 takes the lead. 18 gets by 1 for second. 42 puts 83 into the wall to get by. 4 scrapes the wall (he lost focus for a second). 99 drives under 4 to take the lead. 18 gets by 4 for second. The fifth caution comes out during the commercial for debris. On pit road, 2 Brad Keselowski spins 27 Paul Menard sideways into his pit stall. He will have to back up to get out. 18 comes out of the pits first to lead. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. gets by 24 and then goes under 00 David Reutimann. 5 Mark Martin drives under 2. 17 gets another flat tire and starts Green Flag Pitting. 56 spins trying to get to pit road after taking the lead and looses a lap. 47 Bobby Labonte leads a lap before pitting. After it all 18 is back in the lead. 18 pits with a loose wheel and 99 takes the lead.

The sixth caution comes out on lap 222. 48 gets sideways and slides down the track but doesn’t hit anything, (Now that’s car control.) 22 Kurt Busch slides into the wall and pits. No caution. The seventh caution comes out when 6 David Ragan and 83 get together trying to be the first car a lap sown. 6 takes out the whole driver’s side panel exposing the foam underneath. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. gets back onto the lead lap.

The eighth caution comes out when 20 Joey Logano and 9 get together and 20 gets into the inside wall. 29 takes the lead and scoots away. 24 gets by 4 for second. 5 gets into the wall and the ninth caution comes out for his debris. 48 Jimmie Johnson gets back onto the lead lap. At the restart 4 and 29 battle for the lead and 4 is back in the lead. 99 gets by 29 for second. 24 gets into the wall, getting his “Darlington stripe”.

Green Flag Pitting starts again. 88 hits the cone coming in and will have to come in again. 14 leads. 38 Travis Kvapil gets into the wall. 14 pits and 4 is back in the lead. 4 and 99 battle for the lead and 99 takes the lead. 31 Jeff Burton goes up in smoke, bringing out the tenth caution with ten laps to go. 14, 78 Regan Smith and 2 stay out while the top five pit. They go Green with five laps to go.

The eleventh caution comes out when 18 tries to make it three wide and spins 29 and 33 Clint Bowyer. There is a Green White Checker Finish and 78 Regan Smith wins his first career race at a Crown Jewel Event with Carl Edwards right behind. There is a pit road confrontation between Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick after the race.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.

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