NASCAR Race Review: O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge

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Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. Saturday afternoon the NASCAR Nationwide Series raced the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at the Texas Motor Speedway. Qualifying was on Friday with Elliott Sadler capturing the Pole position with a speed of 186.348 mph and 28.478 seconds around this 1.5 mile track. Kyle Busch was to start second in this race, but after actions in the Camping World Truck race on Friday, he will not be racing in this race or in the Sprint Cup race on Sunday. Denny Hamlin will be in the 18 car, but will have to start tis race from the rear. (Marty Reid, announcing the race, tells us “five cars didn’t make the race including…” and proceeded to tell us all five.)

2 Elliott Sadler leads from the Pole. 33 Clint Bowyer and 20 Joey Logano get by 6 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. 6 gets back by 20. 88 Aric Almirola scrapes the wall and makes a nice save. 22 Brad Keselowski scrapes the wall. The first caution comes out when 52 Jamie Dick gets sideways into the infield. He makes a nice save and doesn’t hit anything. 31 Justin Allgaier is in the pits with the hood up, making a camber adjustment. 7 Danica Patrick is on the high side and looses spots. 32 Brian Vickers races 66 Steve Wallace with 22 right behind. 32 and 22 get by 66. (Those Sprint Cup drivers sure are better than the Nationwide regulars, aren’t they?)

2 is getting tight and 33 drives under him for the lead. 60 Carl Edwards takes the lead. 18 Hamlin and 7 race side by side with 18 getting by. 22 drives under 2 for fourth. 12 Sam Hornish, Jr. drives around 2 for fifth. 32 gets high and 18 gets by. 22 tries the side to get around 6, but can’t get by. So, he tries the low side and he finally gets by. There is a round of Green Flag Pitting. 60 pits and 33 leads, then pits. 22 leads, then pits. 62 Michael Annett leads. 2 has a long pit stop. 70 David Stremme is too fast both entering pit road and exiting. 88 leads. 12 gets by 60 for second.

88 pits, 60 drives under 12 to take the lead after all the pitting. 60 tries to put 7 a lap down and finally does. 12 drives around 33. 33 gets by 12 for second. 2 gets around 38 Jason Leffler for seventh. The second caution comes out during the commercial. (I’m not sure what it was for. Perhaps debris because they didn’t show any crashing.)

16 Trevor Bayne gets by 6 for ninth. 16 gets loose and they race side by side before 6 finally gets back by. 12 gets a little too high on the track and 6 gets by. 22 drives under 18 for third. The third caution comes out when the 08 car of David Ragan is up in spoke with an expired engine. 7 and a couple of others take the wave around to be on the lead lap. 60 and 2 race for the lead. 33 makes it three wide for the lead. 2 gets too high and 33 takes the lead. 60 and 33 race for the lead and 60 clears for the lead. 2 gets by 33 for second. 6 is sliding. 18 gets around 22 for fourth.

Those who took the wave around start Green Flag Pitting again. 20 leads, but still must make a pit stop. 2 is catching 60. 20 pits, giving the lead to 60. The fourth caution comes out for debris. 7 Danica Patrick gets her lap back. They go back to Green with sixteen laps to go. 60 takes off. 18 gets by 33 for second. 16 gets by 2 for fourth. 6 drives under 12 for seventh place after getting 12 a little loose.

The fifth caution comes out when 38 gets into the wall. 16 and 60 race for the lead. 16 takes the lead. 18 and 60 race for second. 2 is extremely loose. 18 is catching the leader 16, but 16 holds off 18 to win the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at the Texas Motor Speedway, his first career win. And he had to beat the Sprint Cup drivers to do it! Good for him. Six Sprint Cup drivers were in the race and they all finished in the top ten. Nice job, Trevor.

Hamlin finished second, followed by Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Sam Hornish, Jr., Joey Logano, Elliott Sadler and Brian Vickers make up the top ten finishers. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. remains the points leader, with Elliott Sadler seventeen points behind. Justin Allgaier moves up a spot into third, while Aric Almirola falls a spot to fourth. Reed Sorenson remains in fifth, followed by Jason Leffler, Kenny Wallace, Brian Scott, Steve Wallace and Michael Annett for the top ten in points.Next up, Phoenix International Raceway.

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

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