Posts Tagged ‘Aaron’s 499’

NASCAR Race Review: Aaron’s 499

May 7, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was in Alabama this weekend for the Aaron’s 499 race at the Talladega Superspeedway. Talladega Superspeedway is a massive 2.66 mile track that lends itself to high speeds with no letting off of the throttle. It also lends itself to multi-car pile-ups because they are going so fast, inches apart. NASCAR mandates a restrictor-plate on the cars to cut horsepower and therefore, speed. They race around in large packs three wide, many deep. Which lends itself to spectacular crashing. The drivers figured out that if you get a partner to push you around the track, you can outrun the pack. NASCAR race fans like their crashing, so NASCAR is doing what it can to bring back the pack racing and not have them racing two by two for very long by changing the opening in the grill so they will overheat sooner. (I have to wonder how they will be able to race in a pack if they will be overheating in the middle of the pack.)

Coors Light Pole Qualifying took place on Saturday and 24 Jeff Gordon tried a different line around the track and captured the Pole with a speed of 191.624 mph and 49.973 seconds around the track. 22 A. J. Allmendinger will start on the front row with him. J. J. Yeley was the lone driver that did not qualify for the Aaron’s 499 race. Every six years on May 6, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. wins the race. This race is on May 6. Can he keep this record up? You don’t want to be leading on the last lap, as the driver pushing you will let go and beat you to the Line. There have been a lot  of first time winners at Talladega Superspeedway. Will another driver win for the first time? They are drying the track as the race is set to start. Comedian Ron White starts the engines.

So, here we go! 24 Jeff Gordon starts the race on the outside, 9 Marcos Ambrose with 39 Ryan Newman pushing gets by 24. 17 Matt Kenseth pushes 14 Tony Stewart to lead the first lap. 39 leads the outside lane. 29 Kevin Harvick is on the outside, moving forward.

The first caution comes out when 78 Regan Smith, running in a tight pack, has the engine let go. 17 and 14 come out of the pits first. 22 A. J. Allmendinger is too fast on pit road. 15 Clint Bowyer stalls the car and has to reset everything to get it going. 38 David Gilliland is caught speeding. 93 Travis Kvapil and 27 Paul Menard each led a lap before heading to pit road.

17 restarts on the outside with team mate 16 Greg Biffle right behind. They move down to lead the race. 9 pushes 14 and 14 drops behind leader 17. They are racing four wide in the pack! 48 Jimmie Johnson is leading the middle line. 9 gets stuck on top with no help. 11 Denny Hamlin pushes 55 Michael Waltrip into the lead. 11 gets out of line and finds himself in 14th place. 39 is overheating and heads for the pits. It is an oil pump, so he goes to the garage. 48 and 55 race for the lead with the two lines coming together. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. pushes 48 into the lead and they both move to the inside lane. 17 takes the lead, moves up to 24 and they both go down in front of 48. 11 makes a pit stop by himself. The stop is too slow and he goes a lap down.

Others pit together to start Green Flag Pitting. 31 Jeff Burton leads a lap before pitting. 48 leads after the pitting. 48 is blowing up with another oil pump problem and heads for the garage. 88 leads the way to the delight of the fans. 17 drives under 88 to take the lead. 24 is in the middle of the pack with the water gage flashing. (Looks like trying to get rid of the tandem racing is only causing problems in the pack.)

5 Kasey Kahne takes the lead and they are back to pack racing. 17 takes the lead. 5 takes the lead back. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya takes the lead. 2 Brad Keselowski and 22 pit together to start Green Flag Pitting again. 27 leads a lap before pitting. 29 is leading after the pitting. 16 takes the lead. 51 Kurt Busch in the Ricky Bobby paint scheme takes the lead. (The crew chief announces: new leader, Ricky Bobby.) 17 takes the lead. 16 gets by 51 for second. 51 retakes the lead and moves down. 17 and 16 get by 51 for the lead. 16 gets shuffled back. 29 is on top slowing down. 31 runs out of fuel. They start another round of Green Flag Pitting. 51 is on the apron, out of fuel.

The second caution is The Big One. 47 Bobby Labonte runs out of gas with 18 leading. Everyone bunches up. 43 Aric Almirola is on the bottom and moves up into 36 Dave Blaney and 42. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. gets caught in it and slides down into 24 who is low to avoid the mess. 20 Joey Logano, 32 Terry Labonte, 93, 83 Landon Cassill and 99 Carl Edwards are also caught up in it. 43 was out of fuel on the apron and tried to get back up onto the track. (Are you happy now, NASCAR race fans?) 27 comes off pit road as the caution comes out to lead. 17, 9 and 51 pit before pit road is open and will have to restart dead last.

They restart with 38 laps to go. 2 takes the lead. 11 takes the lead. 17 pushes 13 Casey Mears into the lead. 11 retakes the lead. 13 leads. 11 is back in the lead. 15 takes the lead. 11 takes the lead back. 2 pushes 17 into the lead. The third caution comes out when 13 has a tire going down and wobbles in front of 9, spins and comes down the track and clips 21 Trevor Bayne. 5 manages to get by. 29 Kevin Harvick gets his lap back. 31 stays on the lead lap.

They restart with nine laps to go and 17 leading. 29 pushes 14 on the outside. The fourth caution comes out when 51 gets bumped in the corner by 2. He slides down the infield and into the wall. The caution comes out while he is sliding. He drives down pit road, going the wrong way. The B-post holding the window net on 17 is cracked.

They restart the race with four laps to go and the fifth caution comes out on the restart. 17 is on the outside with 16 right behind. 11 moves to the middle and 22 tries to block, spinning 27. 29 gets into 1 Jamie McMurray. 55 gets into 20. 15 and 55 get together. 88 gets by. 5 once again gets by, his third miss. 2 is worried about fuel and drives on the apron. 11 car is falling apart from a tire rub. 17 has fender damage.

This will be the first attempt at a Green White Checker Finish with 17 leading on the outside. 16 pushes 17 and they both go to the bottom. 18 pushes 2 on the outside past 17 and 16 who get disconnected, so aren’t close enough to each other to try to fight for the lead.

The White Flag comes out with 2 leading. 18 figures he will win, as he is pushing the leader and can pull out at the last second to win. (Like Joey did to him on Saturday.) As they come around the fourth corner, 2 turns left to break the connection and takes off, leaving 18 too far away to challenge.

2 Brad Keselowski wins the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. No one remembers who finished second. Nineteen cars were taken out in this race. So, I guess it was a great show for the fans. There were sixteen different leaders, with 17 Kenseth leading the most. 194 laps had to be raced, making it the Aaron’s 516!

2 Keselowski was followed by 18 Kyle Busch, 17 Matt Kenseth, 5 Kasey Kahne, 16 Greg Biffle, 15 Clint Bowyer, 34 David Ragan, 21 Trevor Bayne, 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and 31 Jeff Burton for the top ten. In Championship points, Greg Biffle remains in first place, seven points ahead of Matt Kenseth who moved up two spots after leading the most laps and finishing third. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Denny Hamlin each fall a spot to third and fourth, while Kevin Harvick climbs two spots into fifth. Martin Truex, Jr. and Tony Stewart swap sixth and seventh places. Jimmie Johnson falls two spots into eighth. Kyle Busch and Clint Bowyer each move up two spots into ninth and tenth. Carl Edwards falls two spots, out of the top ten, into eleventh and Brad Keselowski moves up one place into the top twelve.

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

Fast Friday At Talladega

May 5, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. NASCAR comes to the fastest track on the circuit, Talladega Superspeedway. This is a 2.66 mile track and is so fast NASCAR had to put restrictor plates on the cars to curb the horsepower! This is to keep the speeds below 200 mph. At this track, they race in packs, three wide and ten deep. Truly a sight to behold. The NASCAR drivers, however, figured out that if they double up, with one car pushing another, they can go faster around the track and maneuver better in traffic than they could in a big pack. The fans that NASCAR listened to don’t like “tandem racing” and now NASCAR made it so they couldn’t double up for long periods of time without causing engine trouble. For some reason, crashing is more exciting than RACING.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practiced for the Aaron’s 499 Sunday race on Fast Friday. The NASCAR Nationwide Series was also on hand on Fast Friday for their practice for the Aaron’s 312 race on Saturday. Rain came on Thursday, washing out those practice sessions. As a result qualifying for the Nationwide race was canceled. They will line up according to owner points for the race on Saturday, with Elliott Sadler and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. starting on the front row.

To this NASCAR race fan’s delight the ARCA race was shown on television. There were many cautions with multiple cars crashing for those NASCAR race fans who think racing is boring unless there are a number of multi-car crashes. There was even a Red Flag for cleanup. And some spectacular crashing. But the finish was great. Matt Lofton and Chad Hackenbracht led most of the laps. At the end Lofton was leading with Brandon McReynalds and Hackenbracht right behind. In the final turn Hackenbracht pushed McReynalds to the lead to win. Hackenbracht was not able to get past Lofton and had to settle for third, where he was anyway. But this NASCAR race fan found the finish quite exciting.

Saturday will see Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the Aaron’s 499 Sprint Cup race with Aric Almirola rolling out last. He was fastest in both practice sessions on Fast Friday. Saturday afternoon will be the Aaron’s 312 Nationwide race.

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

 

NASCAR Race Review: Aaron’s 499

April 18, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog, here with the Aaron’s 499 race review from the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. 24 Jeff Gordon starts the race from the pole with a speed of 178.248 mph and 53.723 seconds. Hendrick Motor Sports claimed the first two rows, so each of them had a team mate for a partner in this “two car tango” of a race. 5 Mark Martin started third behind 24, while 48 Jimmie Johnson started next to 24, partnering with 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in fourth. This turned  out to be the key to this race.

Let me explain the “two car tango”. Normally a race at Talladega is a big pack, three wide, nose to tail. The drivers figured out they can race faster if they are paired up, one pushing the other, in pairs. They can break away from the volatile pack and help each other. They did it in the Daytona 500. Many fans would rather see the pack racing together, but for the drivers, speed is what they are looking for and two cars hooked up together race about four seconds faster than the pack did. The trick is to get the right “dancing partner” and sticking with that partner all through the race.

Before I start, 46 Bill Elliott had to start the race with a past champion provisional. 60 Mike Skinner, 37 Tony Raines and 66 Michael McDowell filed to qualify for the race. 24 has six wins here and starts from the pole. Can he make it number seven? 88 is the fan favorite but has not won a race in 99 starts. Can he break that streak? He has five wins here, four of them in a row. 21 Trevor Bayne (winner of the Daytona 500) changed the master cylinder after qualifying and will start from the rear. Sam Hornish, Jr. practiced and qualified the #7 Robby Gordon car for him while Robby was in Utah. Robby will start the race from the rear.

So, here we go! All four Hendrick cars lead the pack, with 24 leading the first lap by inches over 48. 33 Clint Bowyer and 15 Michael Waltrip get by 48 and 88. 09 Landon Cassill and 22 Kurt Busch get by 33 and 15 and they are six wide for third.15 pushes 33 into the lead. 15 gets loose behind 33 and 24 takes back the lead, with debris on the grill. 11 Denny Hamlin pairs up with 39 Ryan Newman, while 18 Kyle Busch and team mate 20 Joey Logano work together.

22 and 09 challenge for the lead while 48 and 88 go high and then low to take the lead. 11 and 39 swap places and fall back. 24 and 5 swap places and fall back. 48 and 88 swap places and fall back and 18 takes the lead with 20 pushing. 27 Paul Menard pushes 6 David Ragan to lead at the line. 33 and 15 take the lead.

The first caution comes out for 83 Brian Vickers spinning around. 22 was pushing 09, got him loose and 09 ran into 83 to spin him. 71 Andy Lally gets his lap back. 31 Jeff Burton pushes 33 into the lead. 6 pushes 17 Matt Kenseth into the lead. 20 pushes 18 into the lead. 22 pushes team mate 2 Brad Keselowski into the lead, they swap places and fall back. 21 and 16 Greg Biffle are coming through four sets of cars get by 20 and 18. 4 Kasey Kahne finds 38 Travis Kvapil, a lap down, to lead. 33 pushes 31 into  the lead. 2 pushes 22 into the lead. 31 and 33 take the lead. 48 pushes 88 into the lead (and the fans go wild). 17 with help from 6 takes the lead. 88 and 48 take the lead. 16 takes the lead with 21 pushing, they switch and 21 leads at the line.

There is a round of Green Flag Pitting. 88 is back in front after it all. 39 and 18 hook up after pitting and 39 leads. 11 and 20 hook up together farther back. The second caution comes out on lap 90 with 4 on fire! 22 turns 2 into the wall as 6 blows up. 4 got into 6 when he came back down the track (he almost got by). 39 is leading but at the restart, he is odd man out without a partner. 18 pushes 22 into the lead (brothers). 11 with 20 takes the lead. 29 Kevin Harvick pushes 36 Dave Blaney into the lead.

The third caution comes out on lap 128 for debris. Five cars stay out. 22 drops a lug nut. Twenty-three different drivers have led with sixty-two lead changes! 78 Regan Smith leads with help from 27. Team mates, 42 Juan Pablo Montoya and 1 Jamie McMurray get by 48 and 88. 15 gets loose again and into 48.

The fourth caution comes out during the commercial. 20 is pushing 18 and turns him into 17 and 43 A. J. Allmendinger. The four RCR cars are now on the two front rows at the restart. 33 pushes 29 into the lead. They are four wide for the lead! 27 bumps 31 below the yellow out of bounds line. he gets back onto the track without gaining a position in front of 27. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. takes the lead with team mate 00 David Reutimann pushing. 16 pushes 99 Carl Edwards. 33 with 29 takes the lead.

The fifth caution comes out during the commercial for debris with 25 laps to go. They restart with 21 laps to go. 33 with 31 takes the lead. 78 with 27 takes the lead. 42 and 39 get together, both save it. 11 shoved 39 at the wrong spot and 39 ran into 42 and then slides into the infield but doesn’t hit anything. 22 shoves 36 and around he goes, but saves it.

On the Final lap 88 pushes 48, 5 pushes 24, 29 pushes 33 and 16 pushes 99, all going for the win! At the line 48 Jimmie Johnson wins by .002 seconds over 33 Clint Bowyer, tying the closest finish in NASCAR.  Wow! What a race that was! Johnson gave the Checkered Flag to Earnhardt, Jr. as he could not have won without him. Jr. knew the two of them were faster with Jr. pushing and stuck with Jimmie to the end. This was Johnson’s forst win this year and his fifty-fourth career win.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.

Hendrick Motorsports Claims Top Four Positions For Aaron’s 499

April 16, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. Coors Light Pole Qualifying took place on Saturday at the Talladega Superspeedway for the Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Spring Cup Series race on Sunday. All four Hendrick Motorsports entries will start the race in the first two rows. 24 Jeff Gordon claimed the pole with a speed of 178.25 mph and 53.72 seconds. 48 Jimmie Johnson starts second, 5 Mark Martin starts third while 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. claimed the fourth spot. 27 Paul Menard, another Chevy rounds out the top five. 66 Michael McDowell, 37 Tony Raines and 60 Mike Skinner failed to make the race.

Saturday morning the ARCA RE/MAX Series ran their ARCA Racing Series 250. This race was to be raced on Friday, but thunderstorms and hurricane’s were in Alabama and all racing was cancelled. 41 Ty Dillon started from the pole, led most of the laps and won the race in an exciting finish.

There were six cautions, none of them the “big one”. The final restart came with eight laps to go. There was enough time for the top line to challenge the leader 44 Frank Kimmel. 5 Bobby Gerhart led that line on the top and when the Checkered Flag was in sight, Ty pulled in front of Bobby and beat Frank to the Finish Line. The kid beat the veterans in this race.

After qualifying was complete for the Aaron’s 499, the NASCAR Nationwide Series will race in the Aaron’s 312. Qualifying for this race was on Friday before all the rain, with 2 Elliott Sadler on the pole position with a speed of 79.558 mph and 53.331 seconds. Fellow KHI Kevin Harvick Inc) team mate 33 Clint Bowyer will start the race in the front row. I’ll let you know how the race went.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.

Nationwide Driver Wins Nationwide Pole

April 15, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. Coors Light Pole Qualifying took place on Friday for the Aaron’s 312 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. 43 cars are entered for this race, so all 43 are racing on Saturday. The fastest in practice earlier in the day was Kevin Harvick in his own #4 car. He was the last of those locked in the race to come out onto the track. Harvick’s regular Nationwide driver, 2 Elliott Sadler will sit on the pole for the race with a speed of 179.558 mph and 53.331 seconds. With fellow Harvick car, #33 driven by Clint Bowyer  starting on the front row in second. (Hooray, a Nationwide regular gets the pole! Let’s hope one of the regulars can win the race.)

Rain is in the area. NASCAR Sprint Cup practice is also going on at Talladega for the Aaron’s 499 race on Sunday. Tony Stewart was fastest in the first practice session, with team mate Ryan Newman pushing, second fastest. Final practice is being delayed for rain on the track. Most of the rain is missing the track. Qualifying will be on Saturday.

Later on Friday will be the ARCA race. That is, if the weather cooperates. More later.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.