Posts Tagged ‘Brickyard 400’

NASCAR 2011 Year In Review

December 29, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. 36 points races and some non-points races for 2011 has come to an end. There were 18 different winners this year, five of them were first time winners.

The very first race, the Daytona 500, was quite a surprise. The drivers all raced two by two! They found out that they could go faster if they paired up, instead of driving in a big pack. This gave the fans many lead changes. However many fans liked the pack racing, rather than the couple racing. In any event, when it came down to the final restart, 6 David Ragan had been leading with 21 Trevor Bayne pushing.They found themselves side by side for the restart. The plan was for 6 to go down in front of 21 and continue onto the win. NASCAR has a rule that you may not change lanes on a restart until after you cross the Start/Finish Line. 6 moved over in front of 21 too soon and was Black Flagged and moved to the rear. This put Bayne, a Rookie, in the lead and he went on to win the Daytona 500! In only his third Cup start. He was driving for the Woods Brothers, who have been in NASCAR since almost forever. The Cinderella story of the year.

Next came the Subway Fresh Fit 500(K) race at Phoenix International Raceway. 24 Jeff Gordon won his first race of 2011 and his 83rd career win. Then on to Las Vegas for the Kobalt Tools 400, where Carl Edwards won his 19th career win. Next up was Bristol, Tn. for the Jeff Byrd 500 and Kyle Busch’s 20th win in Sprint Cup. At Auto Club Speedway and the Auto Club 500, Kevin Harvick managed to come up from behind to lead the last lap and win his 15th race. He followed that up with a win the following week at Martinsville in the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500. In the Saturday night race at Texas, the Samsung Mobil 500, Matt Kenseth captured his first win of the season.

Next was another restrictor-plate race at Talladega, with the drivers pairing up once again in the Aaron’s 499 . The finish was wonderful with three drivers inches away from each other at the finish. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. pushed Jimmie Johnson to the win on the bottom of the track while two other pairs raced for the win. Jr. finished fourth. In Richmond, Matthew and Daniel Hanson, Military people were honored in the 400 lap race, with Kyle Busch winning his second race of the year. Next up was the Southern 500 at Darlington. The Lady in Black was not too tough for Regan Smith to tame and he won his first Sprint Cup race.

Next up was Dover, the race I always attend, the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks where Matt Kenseth won his second race of the year. In Charlotte, for the longest race of the year, the Coca-Cola 600, Kevin Harvick won his third race, getting it done, once again, in the closing laps. The media dubbed him “the Closer”. On to Kansas, for the STP 400 where Brad fKeselowski wins his second career race and the first of 2011. Jeff Gordon wins his 84th career race at Pocono, tying him for third all time in wins with Bobby Allison and Darryl Waltrip in the -Hour Energy 500. Denny Hamlin wins his first race this year in Michigan in the Helluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 race after winning 8 last year, the most in 2010. Kurt Busch wins the road race at Infineon in the Toyota/Save Mart 350, his first win of the year.

Back to Daytona and “tandem racing, Matt Kenseth pushes David Ragan to the win, his first career Sprint Cup win. The inaugural race at Kentucky was much of a disaster, with many fans unable to get to the track for it’s first Cup race. Kentucky was host to Camping World Trucks and Nationwide races and Kyle Busch wins the Quaker State 400 with all his experience in the Minor Leagues, his third win. Then onto New Hampshire for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 where Ryan Newman wins from starting on the pole. Paul Menard wins his first Cup race at Indianapolis in the Brickyard 400. Back to Pocono, Brad Keselowski breaks his ankle while testing at Road America and wins the Good Sam’s RV Insurance 500! On to Watkins Glen, Marcos Ambrose wins the road course race, his first Sprint Cup win. Back to Michigan and the Pure Michigan 400, Kyle Busch wins his fourth of the year.

In the Irwin Tools Night Race 500 at Bristol, Brad wins again with his broken ankle, making him in contention for the Wild Card to get into the chase. In Atlanta, Jeff Gordon wins the Advo Care 500, giving him third place overall in wins by himself. Back to Richmond for the final race to set the chase, Kevin Harvick wins his fourth race in the Wonderful Pistachios 400. This puts him tied with Kyle Busch in first place heading into the chase.

Tony Stewart, winless in the regular season, wins the first two races in the chase, the Geico 400 in Chicago, the new addition to the chase, and the Sylvania 300 in New Hampshire. Kurt Busch wins the AAA 400 at Dover. Kansas gets a second race this year and Jimmie Johnson wins only his second race of the year in the Hollywood Casino 400. Matt Kenseth wins the Bank Of America 500 at Charlotte, the only night race in the chase. More couples racing at Talladega in the Good Sam’s Club 500, with Clint Bowyer pushing Jeff Burton and then leaving him to win the race. Tony Stewart wins the Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville, rain shortened. He backed up the win with another win in the AAA Texas 500, his fourth win in the chase. Kasey Kahne finally gets a win while racing for Red Bull before going to Hendrick in 2012, the Kobalt Tools 500(K) in Phoenix. As they head to the final race in Homestead-Miami, Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart are tied for the lead in points. Tony wins the Ford 400 after many times being forced to the rear. The two end up tied in points with Carl finishing second and Tony wins the championship with his five chase wins. He won five out of ten races!

While Tony was busy winning in the chase, the Busch brothers were busy having meltdowns. Kyle, thinking he should be the only Truck driver allowed to win in the Camping World Truck Series, ran championship contender, Ron Hornaday, up the track and into the wall during the caution where Ron got loose and got into Kyle. The both could have gone to pit road for repairs and both could have been in contention by the end of the race to win, but Kyle decided payback was the answer. He was parked for the rest of that race and the Nationwide and Cup races at Texas. It is my opinion that he always melts down by the end of the year, but this was worse than most years. Meanwhile, his brother Kurt was annoyed at everyone and everything in the final race in Homestead after transmission trouble early in the race, gave the finger to the car that held the First Lady and swore at the media while they were attempting to interview him. Kurt was fired. Kyle sat out the races in Texas and M&M’s pulled their sponsorship for the last two races. I have heard the NFL players have meltdowns as well. Read more here.

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

NASCAR Race Review: Ford 400 Season Finale

December 1, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series comes to an end with the Season Finale Ford 400 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Coming into the race, two drivers can win the Sprint Cup Championship. Carl Edwards is three points ahead of Tony Stewart. Tony has already won four of the final ten races. Carl has not finished worse than eleventh in the nine races in the chase for the Sprint Cup. Carl is leading Tony by the three points given to him for winning in Las Vegas earlier in the season. Who ever wins this race will be crowned champion.

99 Carl Edwards holds the advantage by qualifying on the Pole with a speed of 175.467 mph and 30.775 seconds around this 1.5 mile track. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. starts next to him on the front row. Scott Speed, Reed Sorenson, Mike Skinner, Scott Riggs and Grant Enfinger failed to make the race. (J. J. Yeley reports he is stuck in traffic on the way to the track and hopes he will make it to the driver’s meeting.)

This was quite a year for NASCAR racing. There were eighteen different winners, five of which were first time winners. Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500, Regan Smith won at Darlington Speedway, Paul Menard won the Brickyard 400, David Ragan won the 400 race at Daytona and Marcos Ambrose won at Watkins Glen International. They will all get to race in the Sprint All Star race next year. No Owner/driver has won a Championship since Alan Kulwicki did it in 1992. Tony can do this by winning in his Stewart/ Haas #14 car.

So, here we go! 14, starting fifteenth, makes it three wide for position. 99 leads the first lap from the pole with 56 right behind. 22 Kurt Busch is smoking and slow on the track with transmission issues on Lap 3. He heads for the garage. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr., racing on the high line, gets by 48 Jimmie Johnson. 2 Brad Keselowski and 24 Jeff Gordon get around 17 Matt Kenseth. 88 gets around 17 for fifth.

The first caution comes out on lap 14 for rain. Some part from 22 hit Stewart’s front end and he has to make repairs to the grill. He restarts in fortieth place. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya is caught speeding. The rain is only a few sprinkles and they restart on lap 22. 88 and 56 race for second. 56 is on top where 88 likes to be and can’t get by. 39 Ryan Newman and 48 race for fourth with 24. 24 gets by 48. It’s hard to pass on the bottom of the track, but 24 tries again and gets by 39.

The second caution comes out during the commercial for spinning 35 Dave Blaney. 99 tire changer slips, giving him a long pit stop. 14 makes more repairs to the grill after making his way into the top fifteen.  42 stays out to lead. 2 takes the lead, with 29 Kevin Harvick in second as 42 falls back. 29 and 99 race for second. 21 Trevor Bayne slips in front of 14. 48 and 83 Brian Vickers race for position. 14 drives under 31 Jeff Burton. 99 gets by 29 for second. 29 bumps 99.

2 and 99 race for the lead and 99 takes the lead. 14 gets by 18 Kyle Busch for fourteenth. (The drivers are moving over when Tony gets to them.) 9 Marcos Ambrose is on seven cylinders. 29 and 48 race for eighth. Green Flag Pitting begins on lap 76. 24, 17 and 48 lead before pitting.

The third caution comes out after Green Flag Pitting is complete when 6 David Ragan blows up. 9 also heads for the garage. 13 Casey Mears gets back onto the lead lap. 4 Kasey Kahne makes lengthly adjustments. They restart on lap 88 with 99 and 24 up front. 88 and 17 race for position with 39 right behind. 17 gets by 88, 39 drives under 88. 48 drives under 88. 17 gets by 2. 14 drives under 88 as 88 gets loose. 14 drives under 39 for seventh. 48 makes a pit stop from fifth and the hood goes up.

The fourth caution comes out on lap 108, again for rain. (There is a rainbow across the track.) The blow driers come out, but there is too much rain and the Red Flag comes out. 14 is up to fifth. When the Yellow Flag comes back out, they can continue working on 48. The jet driers dry off pit road so they can get underway. 48 is back on the track after fixing the carburetor. 16 Greg Biffle stays out to lead, then pits. 47 Bobby Labonte was teh Lucky Dog recipient. 29 takes two tires to lead and restarts on the inside. 14 dives under 99 and 24 into second. 29, 56 and 99 are three wide. 42 scrapes the wall. 24 and 14 race for the lead and 24 lets 14 by to take the lead. 88 and 18 race for seventh. 14 is flying! 99 drives under 24 for second. 21 gets into the wall, bringing out the fifth caution.

29 and 39 are first out of the pits. 14 had lug nut trouble. 14 makes it four wide! 39 and 56 race side by side for second and 56 drives under 39 to get by.14 drives around 24. The sixth caution comes out for spinning 48. He had taken the wave around, but now has four flat tires. 34 David Gilliland gets into 48 as he starts to spin. They restart on lap 147 and are three wide for the lead. 56 takes the lead. 14 makes it four wide to get by three others. 14 drives under 56 to take the lead.

The seventh caution comes out when 51 Landon Cassill tries to get around 1 Jamie McMurray but doesn’t clear and goes off spinning. 21 blows a tire and spins. 84 Cole Whitt has nowhere to go and gets caught up in the accident. Pit road is closed until they can clean up the track so the drivers don’t get debris on their new tires when they get back onto the track. 14 had trouble with a lug nut getting stuck in the socket and changed only two tires. 31 and 88 stay out to lead. They quickly lose the lead. 14 drives under 88 for fifth. 14 drives under 31 for fourth. 99 and 56 race for second. 99 drives under 56 into second. 17 and 99 race for the lead and 99 takes the lead.

14 gets by 56 into third. 31 and 4 race for fifth. 14 drives under 17 for second. 99 almost gets into the wall. 33 Clint Bowyer and 43 A. J. Allmendinger nearly collide. 31 pits. 16 is down a cylinder and heads for the garage. (The third Ford with engine trouble.) Green Flag Pitting starts.

4 gets by 56 into fourth. 99 pits and 14 takes the lead. 99 gets by 14 to unlap himself. 14 stretches his fuel so he will only have to make one more stop. Those with fresh tires get by to get back onto the lead lap. 14 finally pits and 5 Mark Martin takes the lead. 99 takes the lead.

The eighth caution comes out for rain. The leaders pit but 18, 2, 43 and 1 stay out but will not have enough fuel to make it to the end. The jet driers blow dry the track while the cars are on the track. 43 pits. 00 David Reutimann gets back onto the lead lap.

They restart with 37 laps to go. 14, 18 and 2 race for the lead. 14 takes the lead. 2 and 99 race for second and 99 clears. 2 makes a pit stop. 14, leading and 99 in second come on lap traffic. They both get by. The Flag man waves for lap traffic to let the leaders by. 14 is about a second ahead of 99 and not about to be caught.

14 Tony Stewart wins the Ford 400 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship in the most exciting race this race fan has ever seen! This was his fifth win in the last ten races of the year. He now becomes one of very few drivers with three or more championships. And he is the only driver to have a Winston Cup, a Nextel Cup and a Sprint Cup! Carl Edwards did what he had to do by leading the most laps. Tony’s winning the race gave both drivers the same amount of points, 2403, but as with any tie, the win goes to the driver with the most wins. Tony Stewart won all five in the last ten races! What a wonderful, exciting race for the grand finale. Tony passed 55 cars to win the race! Tony becomes the first owner/driver to win the Championship since Alan Kulwicki in 1992! And his team is only three years old. Truly remarkable. He now has bookends to Jimmie Johnson’s five in a row, as he was the last driver to win the Championship whose name is not Jimmie Johnson. A tie! How about that? That has never happened before. It was a race between the two contenders and they finished first and second. It starts to rain in Victory Lane!

Truex finished third with Kenseth, Gordon, Bowyer, Kahne, Harvick, Hamlin and Burton finishing in the top ten. There were twelve different leaders. Stewart and Edwards finished the points in a tie with 2403 points each. Harvick ended up in third place, like he did last year. Kenseth moved up two spots into fourth. Keselowski fell a spot into fifth. Johnson lost a spot to sixth, his worst finishing position since he began racing in Cup. Earnhardt, Jr. remained in seventh. Gordon moved up three spots into eighth, while Hamlin moved up into ninth. Newman fell a spot, but still finishes in the top ten to get on the stage for the banquet. Kurt Busch fell three spots and joins his brother Kyle as the final ones of the chase who will not be on stage in Las Vegas.

I will be back to recap the NASCAR season. This race was the best of all Grand Finale’s.

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

NASCAR Racing Weekend: Atlanta Motor Speedway

September 1, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. This week NASCAR will be at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, GA. For the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, this will be the Sprint Summer Showdown. Four drivers and five fans, along with the driver’s favorite charity will each win $1 million. Paul Menard won the Brickyard 400. Brad Keselowski won the race at Pocono and the latest race at Bristol. Marcos Ambrose won at Watkins Glen and Kyle Busch won in Michigan. If any of them win the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta, $3 million will be awarded.

Atlanta Motor Speedway is a 1.54 mile track. This year this race is the only race at this track. The other date went to Kentucky Speedway. And to make things more exciting, this will be a night race on Sunday night. Bobby Labonte has six wins at this track! Jeff Gordon has four wins. Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart have three wins. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne have also won at this track.

Of course, the big deal is drivers making it into the chase and Atlanta and Richmond International Raceway are the last races before the chase begins. Personally, I don’t understand why a playoff makes racing more exciting, but I am just a NASCAR race fan. So, what do I know? Earnhardt, Jr. and Stewart are now in the top ten in points without a win. Keselowski has three wins but is not in the top ten. He will not get any bonus points for his three wins if he does not make it into the top ten by the end of the Richmond race. More for the media to talk about, but not more excitement for the races coming up.

The NASCAR Nationwide Series will be racing the Great Clips 300 race on Saturday. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be racing the Atlanta 200 race on Friday. I’m not sure how much of the practicing or qualifying will be televised. That’s not up to me. I just hope that if ABC televises anything, they remember to put the ticker of who is running where and how far behind they are on the top of the screen so we at home can follow the race. If you need tickets, Vivid Seats has NASCAR tickets.

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

NASCAR Race Review: Good Sam RV Insurance 500

August 8, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. Sunday the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series raced in the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway in the mountains of Long Pond, PA. This massive “tricky triangle” is 2.5 miles long with three different Turns with three different lengths of straightaway between them. Saturday Coors Light Pole Qualifying took place before the rain came and 20 Joey Logano captured the Pole with a speed of 172.055 mph and 52.309 seconds around the track. This was his third Pole and second at Pocono. 4 Kasey Kahne will start the race next to him on the front row. Geoff Bodine, T. J. Bell and Mike Skinner failed to qualify for the race.

Sprint is having a Sprint Summer Showdown. It started with the race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and goes on to Pocono Raceway, Watkins Glen International, Michigan International Speedway, and Bristol Motor Speedway. Paul Menard has already qualified by winning the Brickyard 400 at Indy. The winner of this race and the next three races will qualify also. If one of those qualified drivers wins the following race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, he will win $1 million, as will a fan that chose the winner and the driver’s favorite charity. Three million dollars to win the Sprint Summer Showdown. Pretty cool, huh? Good for Sprint. I remember Winston did this several times for Winston Cup.

So, here we go with the race review! 20 Logano leads from the Pole. 48 Jimmie Johnson gets by 27 Paul Menard. 16 Greg Biffle and 48 get by 31 Jeff Burton. 29 Kevin Harvick and 18 Kyle Busch get by 56 Martin Truex, Jr. 11 Denny Hamlin drives around 4 Kahne for second. 22 Kurt Busch gets by 4 for third. 99 Carl Edwards gets by 18 for fifth. 39 Ryan Newman drives under 29 for seventh.

The first caution comes out as 18 spins onto pit road from sixth place on Lap 13. He makes a pit stop while pit road is closed and will have to restart from the rear of the field. 37 Scott Speed and 13 Casey Mears stay out, but head for the pits before the restart. 20 comes out of the pits first to lead. 22 takes the lead. 11 drives under 20 for second. 16 has a tire rub after contact with 17 Matt Kenseth at the restart.

The second caution comes out when 6 David Ragan backs into the wall after trying to drive under 00 David Reutimann. 83 Brian Vickers has engine trouble and is being pushed in the pits to the garage. For the restart on lap 27, 22 is outside and 11 is inside. 16 changes lanes before the Line and has to make a pass-through penalty. 18 drives under 29. 11 takes the lead. 18 and 48 race for tenth and 18 gets the spot. 39 gets by 99 for fourth. 11 starts Green Flag Pitting. 22 leads, then pits. 99 leads. 47 Bobby Labonte leads, as does 51 Landon Cassill. After it all, 11 is back in the lead. 2 Brad Keselowski (he was hurt testing earlier in the week and broke his ankle, making it hard for im to brake) slides through his stall and has to back up to be serviced. 18 drives under 22 for second.

Green Flag Pitting starts again. 11 pits and 20 leads. 99 gets by 22 for third. 18 takes the lead. And there is another round of Green Flag Pitting. 1 Jamie McMurray left his pit stall with the jack stuck under the car and is penalized for removing equipment. The third caution comes out at half way for debris. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya gets back onto the lead lap. For the restart, 20 and 11 are on the front row. 48 gets by 22 for third. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. drives under 22. 22, 88 and 18 are three wide for position. 18 gets by, 88 gets by 22. 24 Jeff Gordon slides in front of 39.

There is rain in Turn 3 and the fourth caution comes out. 14 Tony Stewart gets back onto the lead lap. Before the caution came out for rain, 2 and 22 came to pit road hoping the rain would stop and the race would resume. The pace car brings them to pit road and the Red Flag comes out with Logano doing a rain dance.

The sun comes back out and they dry the track. They will get a pit stop before the restart. 22 and 2 stay out. 22 leads. 20 and 18 get by 2. 18 drives under 20. 99 and 88 race side by side and 31 makes it three wide. 39 and 5 Mark Martin push 99 past 31. 48 drives under 20. 9 Marcos Ambrose bounces off the wall. 31 is falling back and makes a pit stop, starting another round of Green Flag Pitting. 48 has a vibration, but when they change tires it goes away.

18 and 22 battle for the lead and 18 takes the lead. 24 and 20 start another round of Green Flag Pitting for their final stop. 16 leads while on pit road. 14 leads. After it all, 18 is back in the lead. The fifth caution comes out with 21 laps to go. 4 was on the outside near the wall, 42 didn’t know he was there and ran up the track into 4 and both into the wall. 34 David Gilliland gets the free pass.

18 and 2 are on the front row for the restart and 18 chooses the inside. 48 dives down, making it three wide up front. 18 is distracted by 48 making a Kyle-like move and 2 takes the lead with 15 Laps to go. 20 has a tire going down and has to make a pit stop. 18 closes in on 2 but 2 pulls away around Turn 3. 48 is worrying 22. 48 and 22 race side by side and 22 gets into 48. 48 gets a tire rub. (They have words after the race.) 18 can’t get close enough to 2 to take the lead away. And 2 Brad Keselowski wins the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at the Pocono Raceway with a broken ankle and hurt back. (Beating media favorite Kyle Busch.) This is his second win this year and third career win, and puts him into the top twenty, in contention to make the chase.

Kurt Busch finished third, followed by Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Paul Menard for the top ten. Denny Hamlin led the most laps and finished fifteenth. There were nine different leaders. Now Paul Menard and Brad Keselowski are qualified for the Sprint Summer Showdown. Carl Edwards keeps the points lead and Jimmie Johnson stays in second. Kyle Busch moves up a spot to third, Kurt Busch moves up two spots to fourth while Keven Harvick falls two spots to fifth and Matt Kenseth falls a spot to sixth. Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. round out the top ten.

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

NASCAR Race Review: Brickyard 400

August 1, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. Each year the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series goes to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They started going to this famous track in 1994 and Jeff Gordon won that inaugural race. The open wheel cars race here for the Indy 500 on Memorial Day weekend. To celebrate the win, they drink mild. Cup drivers race the Brickyard 400. In 1996 Dale Jarrett won the Brickyard 400 and he and crew chief Todd Parrett decided to start a Cup tradition at this track. The whole crew knelt down at the yard of bricks that marks the Start/Finish Line and kissed the bricks. Brickyard 400 winners have been kissing the bricks ever since.

6 David Ragan starts from the Pole with a speed of 182.994 mph in qualifying and 49.182 seconds around this 2.5 mile track. This is his second pole this year. The #6 UPS  car is blue this week, sporting NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, “Gentleman” Ned Jarrett. What an honor it would be to win this race for Ned. 4 Kasey Kahne starts next to him on the front row. Juan Pablo Montoya has won the Indy 500 here at this track. Can he be the first Sprint Cup driver to win both the Indy 500 and the Brickyard 400? Jeff Gordon has four wins here. Can he make that five today? Reigning Champion, Jimmie Johnson has three wins and went on to win the championship twice. Can he make that four wins and six championships? 160 laps make 400 miles. The track is nearly flat with only 9 degrees banking around the corners.

So, here we go! 4 Kasey Kahne leads the first lap and 6 David Ragan gets shuffled back. 43 A. J. Allmendiner drives around 48 Jimmie Johnson. 22 Kurt Busch scrapes the wall and looses positions. 14 Tony Stewart drives on the apron to take three spots. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. bumps 20 Joey Logano and Joey makes a nice save. 24 Jeff Gordon gets by 48. 21 Trevor Bayne is overheating and makes a pit stop. 24 gets by 43 for third and then by 6 for second. 43 makes a pit stop, as does 9 Marcos Ambrose. 24 takes the lead. Green Flag Pitting commences and 17 Matt Kenseth takes the lead. 14 hits the commitment cone and has to go back around. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya bumps 31 Jeff Burton and Jeff misses his pit stall. After it all, 4 is back in the lead.

The first caution comes out on Lap 34 for debris. 34 David Gilliland gets back on the lead lap. (18 Kyle Busch threw his water bottle out of his window to bring out the caution, so why was he not penalized for doing that?) The Green Flag comes back out on Lap 39. 42 gets 5 Mark Martin loose but Mak makes a nice save. 83 Brian Vickers, 14 Stewart and 20 Logano are three wide with 14 getting by them and 20 driving below 83. 11 Denny Hamlin gets by 5 for fifth.

The second caution comes out when 00 David Reutimann is hard into the wall when his right front tire went down. 9 Marcos Ambrose gets his lap back. In the pits, the  4 crew drops a lug nut. 14 has a long pit stop. 88 stays out to lead. They restart on lap 53. 24 takes the lead. 48 gets by 88 for second. 1 Jamie McMurray makes a pit stop. He was loose and they tightened the car too much. 2 Brad Keselowski pits. He is also too tight. 88 pits from third and Green Flag Pitting starts again. 48 takes the lead when 24 pits. 27 Paul Menard leads, then pits. 24 is back in the lead after it all. 42 gets debris on the grill. He lets 6 get by to get it off.

The third caution comes out on Lap 94 for debris. Something came off 42. 32 Mike Bliss gets one of his two laps back. 18 leaves his pit stall, right onto the car ahead of him and has to back up into his stall for repairs. 48 and 83 get together in the pits. 17 comes out first but 27 does not pit and leads the way. 83 has a tire smoking where he hit 48. 22 moves 48 out of the way and 48 makes a nice save. 17 moves 27 over to take the lead. 48 nearly gets into the wall twice. (No three strikes and not out)

The fourth caution comes out when 18 gets into the wall. (He keeps going so there was no need for a caution.) 2 stays out to lead. 31, 1 and 51 Landon Cassill also stay out and 51 gets in the way. They fan out on the straightaway but get two by two into the corner. 9 changed lanes before the Line and has to make a pass through. They get four wide and 51 spins, bringing out the fifth caution. Several cars get onto the grass to avoid it all and there is much grass on the track. 29 Kevin Harvick in eighth pits but the top seven and others stay out. 99 Carl Edwards has a splitter broken that they have to repair. They restart with 34 laps to go.

29 makes a planned pit stop for fuel. (They can make a pit stop under Green without loosing a lap, and many are doing so.) 33 Clint Bowyer takes the lead. He pits and 24 takes the lead. 6 leads when 24 pits. 14 leads when 6 pits. 14 pits and 27 leads. 1 gets by 5 for second. 21 gets by 78 Regan Smith for fourth. 1 takes the lead. 21 pits for fuel. 27 and 1 are saving fuel. 24 drives by 5  forcing 27 to get going. 27 has saved enough gas and with three laps to go, he gets going. 24 catches 27 but does not have enough time to make the pass.

27 Paul Menard wins his first race in the Brickyard 400! He is the first to win his first race at IMS. He is the fourth first time winner this year. Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500, Regan Smith won the Southern 500 at Darlington and David Ragan won the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. After he does his burn out and Victory Lane, they drive Paul by the fans to kiss the bricks. There were twelve different leaders and Kasey Kahne led most of them. He finished eighteenth. Regan Smith finished third, followed by Jamie McMurray, Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Mark Martin, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch for the top ten. In the Points battle, Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson stay in first and second. Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth move up one spot, while Kurt Busch falls three spots to sixth. Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman stay in seventh and eighth. Tony Stewart moves up two spots into ninth and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. drops a spot into tenth.

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