NASCAR Race Review: N. C. Education Lottery 200

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Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. Today’s race review is the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 held Friday night at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Beast of the South East. 17 Timothy Peters started on the Pole with Sprint Cup driver 2 Clint Bowyer next to him on the front row. This was Peters’ fourth career pole.

During the Setup, they talked about several of the Truck drivers. 92 Clay Rogers started out young, wanting to drive in Cup. He shared a ride with Cup driver, Matt Kenseth one year in the Busch Series. Nothing came of it as owners were looking for vets instead of young drivers to develope. So he went back to the (Hooters) Pro Series, where I first found him, and won championships there. Now that he has wins behind him, owners are looking for young guns to develope! (This also happened to Matt Kobyluck in the Busch North Series.) 8 Nelson Piquet, Jr. is from Brazil. 9 Max Papis is from Italy. Also from Brazil is 7 Miguel Paludo. All eyes are on 15 Kimi Raikkonin from Finland, driving for Kyle Busch.

All eyes are on 18 Kyle Busch (Cup driver) and 33 Ron Hornaday, who have won most of the Truck races at Charlotte. 88 Matt Crafton won his first race at Charlotte and is leading the points coming into the race. But the big deal somehow for this race is Kyle Busch. After all he will have to beat all those Truck drivers who have never won anything in Cup and one Cup driver. (Does winning short races with little competition make one a great driver?) In the race, along with Hornaday, are 5 Travis Kvapil (former Truck Champion) and 62 Brendan Gaughan. Each have tried their hand at Cup racing without any success. (And Kyle is great because he can beat them?!?)

On with the review. 17 chooses the inside and 2 leads the first lap. 31 James Buescher goes outside to take the lead. 15 gets into the wall. They are all loose. The first caution comes out when 30 Todd Bodine, definding Truck champion, who is great at 1.5 mile tracks, gets loose and into the inside wall.

31 chooses the outside and 2 takes the lead. 18 can’t get by 31 and 17 gets by for third. 15 gets loose and has to chase it up the track. 31 drives inside 2 to take the lead. 2 drives under 31 and 31 drives back around 2 for the lead. The second caution comes out when 33 goes around but doesn’t hit anything. 88 somehow manages to not hit him. 29 Parker Kligerman gets his lap back. 31 stays out while 2 takes two tires.

7 goes up in smoke and they finally throw the third caution for fluid on the track before anyone gets into it. 17 takes the lead, 31 slips back to fourth and they are four wide on the track. 28 Wes Burton hits the wall and heads for the pits. 31 gets by 2 for second. The fourth caution comes out when 18 spins himself out. 84 Chris Fontaine gets back onto the lead lap. They race three-wide for the lead.

The fifth caution comes out when 17 gets into the wall trying to get by 13 Johnny Sauter. 99 Bryan Silas gets back onto the lead lap. 13 takes the lead. 62 bounces off the wall. The sixth caution comes out when 62 is slow on the outside and 02 Jamie Dick swerves to avoid him into 50 T. J. Bell who lifts off all four tires in the grass.

62 Gaughan is just in the way riding on the outside, not up to speed, and causes the seventh caution. 9 Papis moves  up into 62 and 88 was already there. 32 Brad Sweet spins 84 in the pits and he gets his fuel facing the wrong way! The eighth caution comes out when 02 has a tire go down and gets into the wall. 9 Max Papis gets his lap back. 22 Joey Coulter is driving on the apron because his truck keeps jumping out of gear. 02 gets into the wall again with much sparks and the ninth caution comes out.

8 drives inder 13, then races 33 side by side for furth. 3 Austin Dillon gets by 4 Ricky Carmichael and 60 Cole Whitt. The tenth caution comes out when 81 David Starr blows a tire and hits the wall. 2 leads, 31 gets by 33 for second. 18 makes it three wide for the lead. 60 goes around 13 for fourth. 15 gets into 5 to get by. 31 and 4 battle for position and 31 gets by. 60 drives on top and gets by 33.

18 takes the lead. 2 bounces off the wall trying to catch 18. And 18 Kyle Busch wins the N. C. Education Lottery 200. What a great job that Sprint Cup driver did, beating all those Truck drivers! I fail to understand how beating the drivers in the Minor Leagues makes him a great driver. It was a battle of the Cup drivers once again. How I yearn for Truck drivers racing each other and winning Truck races. Put a Cup driver into quality equipment, have him compete with drivers who have never won in Cup and he will win every time. I say, who cares? (Tiger Woods isn’t the best golfer out there, but if he wanted to, he sure could beat the LPGA Ladies and Amateurs. And that is exactly what Kyle is doing. No one cares that a Pro Baseball player is batting 1000 in the AA and AAA Leagues.) This is what the Minor Leagues of NASCAR has come to. Cup drivers winning all their races. Last year Justin Allgaier won a Nationwide race. This year Johnny Sauter won a Truck race.

The Sprint Cup drivers finished first and second. It would have been a much better race if Cole Whitt (once again) could have won the race. He finished third, followed by James Buescher, Hornaday, Sauter, Dillon, Kligerman, Justin Marks and Sweet. Cole Whitt takes over the points lead. Can he win the Championship without winning any races? Certainly!

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR racing.

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