NASCAR Race Review: FedEx 400

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Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. This week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race review is the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks taking place at the Monster Mile of Dover International Speedway in Dover, DE. Coors Light Pole Qualifying was rained out on Saturday so they will line up according to practice speeds from Friday, with 48 Jimmie Johnson starting from the pole and 43 A. J. Allmendinger next to him on the front row. 81 Scott Riggs failed to make the race. (You know how I feel about not filling the 22nd row and sending one car and team home.) 18 Kyle Busch changed the engine and will start the race from the rear. This is the last chance for drivers to get a win and race in the All-Star Race next week. 11 Denny Hamlin has FedEx and Autism Speaks on his car. Let’s see if he can win the race. I was here watching the race in person and this review is what I saw.

So, here we go! 48 pulls ahead of the pack and leads the first lap. 22 Kurt Busch goes high in Turn 2 and 42 Juan Pablo Montoya gets by as does 31 Jeff Burton. 29 Kevin Harvick drives under 4 Kasey Kahne for seventh. 47 Bobby Labonte gets by 22.

The first caution comes out on lap 19 when 20 Joey Logano slides off Turn 2. He looses a lap on pit road. The sun comes out and the leaders stay out. They restart on Lap 24. 48 pulls away again. 43 holds off 99 Carl Edwards. 29 gets by 43 for third.

The second caution is the competition caution on lap 40 because of the rain overnight. 30 David Stremme gets back onto the lead lap. 32 Mike Bliss stayed out to lead a lap. 16 Greg Biffle has the throttle hanging up and looses a lap changing the air filter. 99 comes out first and 48 and 99 battle side by side for the lead. 48 finally pulls ahead. 43 gets by 99 for second. 18 gets by 17 Matt Kenseth and 17 gets back by 18. 9 Marcos Ambrose drives under 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. for fifth. 9 gets by 29 for fourth. 9 drives by 43 for third.  42, 2 Brad Keselowski, 22 and 43 make pit stops to start Green Flag Pitting. 17 takes the lead. 88 leads, as does 56 Martin Truex, Jr. After the pitting, 48 is back in the lead.

9 and 99 race for second and 99 prevails. 18 gets into 31 to get by. 99 takes the lead in traffic. 88 brushes the wall between Turns 1 and 2. 31 gets by 18. It has started raining on me! 43 gets loose and looses spots. The third caution comes out on Lap 163 for rain. Everyone pits. 11 is too fast and must make a pass through. 43 is smoking, losing a cylinder, then heads for the garage.

The sun comes back out and we go back to racing on Lap 169. 99 gets by 9 for second with 48 leading. 88 gets too high and looses spots. 99 and 48 battle for the lead and 99 takes the lead. 18 gets high and 88 and 24 Jeff Gordon get by. 88 gets by 24.

The fourth caution comes out on Lap 217 for debris. 22 Kurt Busch gets his lap back. 99 chooses the outside and 48 jumps into second. 33 Clint Bowyer gets by 9 for third. And another round of Green Flag Pitting takes place on Lap 284. 42 leads. 48 takes the lead back and 42 finally pits. 48 and 99 with 33 battle for the lead, but 48 prevails.

The fifth caution comes out on Lap 331. 4  is stuck between Turns 1 and 2. The tow truck pushes him to his pit and his crew push him to the garage. 33 leads and pulls away from 99 and 48. The tenth caution comes out on Lap 362 when 42 gets into the Turn 4 wall. The leaders pit. 5 Mark Martin stays out to lead. 17 takes two tires. 17 takes the lead and pulls away. 9 and 18 race side by side for third and 9 takes the spot. 20  is slow on the track and pits with eight to go for a flat tire.

And 17 Matt Kenseth wins the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at the Monster Mile, Dover International Speedway in Dover, DE. This was Matt’s second win at the Monster Mile. It was also his second win in 2011 and his twentyth career win. By changing only two tires with 38 Laps to go, he stole the win from Johnson who led the most laps.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.

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