NASCAR Race Review: Pure Michigan 400

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Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. Sunday afternoon, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was at the Michigan International Speedway for the Pure Michigan 400 race, the twenty-third race of the season. Starting from the Pole is 16 Greg Biffle with a speed of 190.345 mph and 37.826 seconds around this two mile D-shaped oval. Team mate 17 Matt Kenseth starts next to him on the front row. Johnny Sauter, Erik Darnell and T. J. Bell failed to qualify for the race. 11 Denny Hamlin won the race here in the Irish Hills of Brooklyn, MI. in the Spring. Can he sweep the track? The nice thing about this track is there is lots of room to race, so there are few caution laps. However, debris usually finds its way to the grills of the cars. Jeff Gordon is chasing his 85th win to be third all time by himself.

16 Biffle chooses the outside and leads from the pole. 2 Brad Keselowski gets by 11. 14 Tony Stewart drives under 27 Paul Menard. 29 Kevin Harvick drives under 14. 17 has trash on the grill. The first caution comes out for debris on the track on lap 29. 32 Ken Schrader gets back on the lead lap. The leaders all pit, except 13 Casey Mears, who stays out to lead before stepping aside for the leaders. 29 misses a lug nut and has to come back in to put it on. 48 Jimmie Johnson makes a second pit stop. 16 comes out first and again chooses the outside. 99 Carl Edwards is in the pits with the hood up and they push him to the garage.

24 Jeff Gordon gets by 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. for fifth. 4 Kasey Kahne drives around 88 for sixth. 17 Kenseth takes the lead. (16 had trash on the grill so he got behind 17 to get it off.) The second caution comes out and 5 Mark Martin leads out of the pits with 16 right behind. 16 takes the lead. 43 A. J. AllmendingerĀ  gets sideways and makes a nice save. There is a round of Green Flag Pitting. 48 leads, then makes a pit stop, with the right rear tire outside the box. (This is legal. That is the only tire that can be outside the box.) 71 Andy Lally leads before pitting himself. They are four wide on the track. After all the pitting, 16 is back in the lead. 48 and 22 Kurt Busch race side by side without getting into one another.

16 and 18 Kyle Busch battle for the lead and 18 takes the lead. The third caution comes out. 4 takes two tires and comes out first to lead the way. 17 takes the lead. 11 scuffs the wall. 24 Jeff Gordon and 17 battle for the lead and 24 takes the lead. 17 takes the lead so 24 can get the trash off the grill and 24 retakes the lead, minus the trash. 29 scrapes the wall. There is another round of Green Flag Pitting. 17, 24 and 18 battle for the lead and 24 takes the lead. 17 and 18 race side by side for second and 18 takes the spot. 48 gets by 17 for third. The fourth caution comes out when 36 Dave Blaney runs out of fuel on the track coasting to the pits while others are about to make their pit stops.

48 had already made his pit stop and stays out to lead. At the restart 48 takes off. 18 gets by 17 for second. 24 gets by 17 and races side by side with 18 for second. 2 pushes 17 by 24. 88 dives to the bottom to get by 5 and 16. 2 gets by 17 for third. 18 takes the lead from 48. 5 drives under 24 to remove trash. 22 scrapes the wall. 5 gets by 17 and 17 crosses over to get by 5. The fifth caution comes out when 22 blows a tire and gets into the wall. 9 Marcos Ambrose is in his pit stall sideways.

This will be the first attempt at a Green, White Checker Finish. 18 chooses the outside, next to 48. 18 side drafts 48 to lead and wins the Pure Michigan 400. This is his fourth win this year and his first at Michigan. Johnson finishes second followed by Keselowski, Martin, Ryan Newman, Gordon, Kahne, Clint Bowyer, Stewart and Kenseth for the top ten. There were nine different leaders, with Biffle leading the most laps. Kyle was tied for first in points heading into the race and now is in sole position of the points lead. Johnson and Harvick pick up a spot as Edwards falls two spots. Kenseth stays in fifth. Gordon and Newman each move up a spot as Kurt Busch falls two spots. Earnhardt, Jr. and Stewart remain ninth and tenth.

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

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