NASCAR Race Review: Bank Of America 500

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Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series raced the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday night. Qualifying was held on Thursday, with 14 Tony Stewart capturing the Pole with a speed of 191.959 mph and 28.131 seconds around this 1.5 mile track. 17 Matt Kenseth starts next to him on the front row.  Geoffrey Bodine, Scott Speed and Josh Wise failed to qualify for the race. To start the engines, Bank of America thanked the twelve teams in the chase. And I have to wonder why watching twelve drivers would be exciting. Before the chase, there were 43 drivers racing in the last ten races. The rest of the field is still racing each week, but who cares any more? Not the announcers. Or the sponsors. It doesn’t sound like this chase is doing NASCAR any good, except as something to talk about. The fans don’t want to watch just twelve drivers. 18 Kyle Busch broke something in the engine while tuning it and had to change the engine in his car. He will be starting the race from the rear.

So, here we go! 14 Stewart leads from the Pole. 21 Trevor Bayne and 4 Kasey Kahne race for position and 4 gets by. 6 David Ragan drives around 21. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. drives under 20 Joey Logano. 48 Jimmie Johnson drives around 39 Ryan Newman for sixth. 48 gets by 43 A. J. Allmendinger for fifth. Green Flag pitting begins on lap 43. 17 Kenseth leads, then pits. 99 Carl Edwards leads. 48 leads. 38 J. J. Yeley is the last to pit. 83 Brian Vickers had the jack get away and has to come in for a pass through penalty. 14 is back in the lead after the pitting. 16 Greg Biffle takes the lead. The first caution comes out on lap 78 for debris. 33 Clint Bowyer gets back onto the lead lap. 39 comes out of the pits first with 29 Kevin Harvick after taking two tires. 18 is frustrated about not getting to the front more quickly than he wants. They restart on lap 82. 39 and 29 race for the lead and 39 keeps the lead. 16 and 29 race for second. 16 gets around 29. 21 and 11 Denny Hamlin race for tenth. 14 drives under 29. 16 takes the lead. 17 gets by 39 for second. 99 gets by 29. 21 gets by 29. 29 is plowing, he says. 43 and 21 get by 29. 18 bumps 88 out of the way to get by and 5 Mark Martin follows him by.

Another round of Green Flag pitting starts. 6 leads, then pits. 18 leads. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya leads. 16 is missing a lug nut and has to come back in to put it on. 17 is leading after the pitting. 48 drives around 14 for second. 47 Bobby Labonte and 71 Hermie Sadler get together in front of leader 17. The second caution comes out during the commercial for debris. 16 Greg Biffle gets back onto the lead lap. 14 comes out of the pits first and chooses the outside, with 18 inside. 14 jumps ahead of 18. 5 heads for the pits with a baring problem. The third caution comes out for debris from 5, who heads for the garage. At the restart, 39 makes it three wide for the lead. 14 pulls ahead. 21 drives under 11 for eighth. 48 starts Green Flag pitting once again. 5 comes back out onto the track 40 some laps behind. 2 Brad Keselowski makes a pit stop after going a lap down. Before the pitting cycle is complete, 21 runs out of fuel on the track, bringing out the fourth caution. 14 is the first one a lap down after pitting and gets his lap back in thirteenth place. The rest who pitted take the wave around before the Green Flag to get their laps back. Those who had not pitted yet make stops with 90 Laps to go.

18 comes out of the pits first and chooses the outside. 18 and 17 race for the lead. 18 squeezes in front of 17. 99 and 17 race for second. 6 gets by 4. 4 and 16 race side by side for fifth and 16 gets by. 4 and 16 race side by side. 88 has a vibration and makes a pit stop. Another round of Green Flag pitting starts but before it is complete, again, the caution comes out, for the fifth time with 47 laps to go for 36 Dave Blaney engine letting go. 16 Greg Biffle is again the Lucky Dog. 18 chooses the outside and 17 spins the tires. The sixth caution comes out when 6 gets loose after getting onto the apron and collects 4 and 24. They slide but don’t hit anything. 29 narrowly misses it all. 29 is overheating and has to make a pit stop. He restarts in tenth.

14 won’t give 16 room to get around, 16 scrapes the wall, comes down onto 14 to show his displeasure, cuts a tire and brings  out the seventh caution. Both make spit stops. 22 Kurt Busch gets his lap back. The Green Flag flies with 31 laps to go. 17 gets by 99 for second. 17 catches leader 18. 17 makes a run on the outside, 18 moves up the track, so 17 dives under 18 to take the lead. 29 gets by 48. 48 and 39 race each other with 4 coming on fast. 48 spins and gets into the wall, bringing out the eighth caution. 48 couldn’t save it. He hit the wall so hard, the rear tires were off the ground!

17 chooses the outside and 18 can’t get going, just like all the others restarting on the inside. 9 Marcos Ambrose and 11 bounce off each other. 99 and 18 race for second. 4 gets by 29. 22 gets into the wall. 14 gets by 11. And 17 Matt Kenseth wins the Bank of America 500 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. This moves him up two spots in the points, into third. Busch finished second, followed by Edwards, Kahne, Ambrose, Harvick, Allmendinger, Stewart, Hamlin and Newman for the top ten finishers.  There were ten different leaders with Busch leading the most.

Carl Edwards stays in the points lead with 2203 points. Harvick remains in second, five points behind. Kenseth moves up two spots to third, seven behind. Busch moves up four spots to fourth. Stewart moves up two spots to fifth. Keseowski falls two spots. Kurt Busch falls a spot to seventh while Johnson falls five places to eighth. Earnhardt, Jr. remains in ninth. Newman and Gordon trade tenth and eleventh, while Hamlin remains in twelfth. Kasey Kahne moved up a spot into fifteenth while Biffle fell a spot to sixteenth.

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

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