NASCAR Race Review: Sylvania 300

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Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. This week’s NASCAR race review is the Sylvania 300 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Louden, NH. 39 Ryan Newman captured the Pole with a speed of 135.002 mph and 28.213 seconds around this nearly flat 1.058 mile track. Newman started from the Pole earlier this year at New Hampshire and won the race. Can he do it again? 4 Kasey Kahne joins him on the front row. Steve Park and T. J. Bell failed to make the race. The 22 car of Kurt Busch is in the penalty box as the festivities begin, having failed pre-race inspection. The team fixed the problem and the car is in line for the drop of the Green Flag.

So, here we go! 39 Newman leads the race from the Pole. 4 and 83 Brian Vickers race side by side for second. 4 keeps the position. 16 Greg Biffle, 22, 24 Jeff Gordon and 29 Kevin Harvick race each other for position. 24, 16 and 29 get by 22. 48 Jimmie Johnson drives by 22. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. and 22 race side by side and 56 gets by. 24 drives under 83 for third. 33 Clint Bowyer drives under 22 for eleventh. 31 Jeff Burton drives under 18 Kyle Busch for twelfth. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. gets by 56 for eighth.

Green Flag Pitting starts as 4 takes the lead and then pits. 24 leads when 39 pits. The air hose gets caught on the 39 and he looses time. 78 Regan Smith leads before pitting. After it all, 4 is back in the lead. 83 and 24, with 16 battle for second. 24 takes the spot. 88 drives under 48. 39 and 29 get by 83. 83 and 88 race for seventh and 88 gets by. 48 drives under 83.

36 Dave Blaney is up in smoke, bringing out the first caution. 6 David Ragan gets the free pass, back onto the lead lap. 5 Mark Martin and 42 Juan Pablo Montoya stay out to lead the way for the restart. 18 sneaks between 83 and 14 Tony Stewart, as 14 backs off. 24 and 29 get by 42. 4 catches the leader, 5. 24 gets by 39 for third. 00 David Reutimann gets a flat tire and makes a pit stop. 48 and 16 race for sixth and 16 gets by. 4 takes the lead. 4, 5, 29 and 48 start another round of Green Flag Pitting. 24 leads.

The second caution comes out while 24 is still out on the track for 51 Landon Cassill getting into the wall. There are four cars on the lead lap. 25 cars take the wave around to get back onto the lad lap, as they had just pit under Green. 4 and 24 are out front for the restart. 24 takes the lead. 29 drives around 5.

The third caution comes out when 99 Carl Edwards spins 17 Matt Kenseth. The top nine cars stay out. 29 comes out of the pits first and restarts in tenth. 56, 27 Paul Menard and 99 race three wide. 56 and 27 get by 99. 29 and 18 race side by side. There is another round of Green Flag Pitting. 88 has a flat tire and makes it to pit road. 24 is out of fuel and has a long pit stop. 2 Brad Keselowski leads, then pits. 42, 83, 29, 48 and 56 all lead laps. 48 races with 20 Joey Logano. 48 gets loose and 20 gets by. 48 drives under 20. 22 leads, then pits.

After all the pitting, 4 is back in the lead. 4 and 33 battle for the lead and 33 takes the lead. 24 drives under 4 for second. 14 gets by 24 for second.  4 gets back around 24 for third. 17 drives under 42. 2 gets by 24. 5 makes a pit stop. 99 drives under 18. 18 and 48 race side by side, they get together and they both get sideways. 4 makes a pit stop with 16 Laps to go. With twelve laps to go, 11 Denny Hamlin stops saving fuel and gets going.

39 pits with five laps to go with a right front tire going down. 11 is out of fuel. 33, leading but not in the chase, runs out of fuel. 14 takes the lead and wins the Sylvania 300. He has now won the first two races in the chase! 88 blows up with the Checker Flag flying. Tony had no wins going into the chase, but now has two of them in two races. He’s making up for lost time! There were fifteen different leaders in this short 300 mile race.

Keselowski finished second, followed by Greg Biffle, Jeff Gordon, Brian Vickers, Matt Kenseth, David Ragan, Carl Edwards, Montoya and Regan Smith round out the top ten. Tony now leads the points, with Harvick in second. Keselowski moves up three spots to third. Edwards drops a spot to fourth while Gordon moves up six spots to fifth. There is a three way tie for sixth between Earnhardt, Jr. Kenseth and Kyle Busch. And since NASCAR and the media love Kyle, he moves up three spots to sixth, whereas Junior drops three spots from fifth! Kenseth finished this race in sixth, the best of the three, but Kyle gets the top billing. I have to wonder why. No matter how poorly Kyle does in the race, NASCAR.com still has him ranked at the top. Junior finished third in the first race of the chase, Kenseth finished sixth in the second race. Kyle finished 22nd in the first race and 12th in the second, yet he is considered top of the three tied for sixth. It should be Junior, Kenseth and then Kyle for the points. But I guess that is just my opinion, as NASCAR will do as it pleases.

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

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