Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. NASCAR Ford Champion Weekend is at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in southern Florida. Friday was the Ford 200 for the Camping World Trucks and Johnny Sauter did all he could by leading the most laps and winning the race. But Austin Dillon won the Championship, the youngest driver to do so. Joey Coulter was the Rookie of the year, also the youngest. And Kevin Harvick Inc. won the Owners Championship with his #2 Truck.
Now comes part two of the weekend. The NASCAR Nationwide Series races the Ford 300 race at Homestead- Miami Speedway, their final race of the season. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. leads the points over Elliott Sadler by a large margin entering this final race. Ricky must finish thirty-sixth or better to win the Championship. Coors Light Qualifying was Saturday before the race, with 22 (Sprint Cup chaser) Brad Keselowski capturing the pole with a speed of 167.660 mph and 32.208 seconds around this 1.5 mile track. 2 Elliott Sadler starts next to him on the front row.
22 Keselowski and 2 Elliott race for the lad and 2 leads the first lap. 89 Morgan Shepherd is blowing up. 39 Fain Skinner hits the wall with help from 14 Eric McClure (perhaps oil from 89 was the culprit). 04 Casey Roderick gets back onto the lead lap after having to pit on the first lap for a loose wheel.
22 drives around 2 to take the lead. The second caution comes out on lap 15 when 66 Steve Wallace gets into the wall. 33 Clint Bowyer and 22 restart on the front row. 33 takes the lead. 2 and 60 Carl Edwards race side by side. 12 Sam Hornish, Jr. and 88 Aric Almirola race for eleventh. 22 takes the lead. 6 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. lets 2 by. 2 drives around 33 for second. (On lap 32, six cars are officially out of the race, giving the Championship to Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.)
The third caution is the competition caution due to lack of practice. 52 Kevin Lepage gets back onto the lead lap. 28 Derrike Cope is smoking. 2 misses a lug nut and restarts in 32nd. 18 Denny Hamlin and 60 race for second. 2 is up to twelfth. 18 and 6 race side by side for third and 6 gets by. 6 drives around 18. 22 leading gets loose and 60 races him for the lead. 60 finally takes the lead. 16 Trevor Bayne and 6 get by 18. 32 James Buescher starts Green Flag Pitting.
67 Andrew Ranger slides across the track to bring out the fourth caution. 12 Sam Hornish, Jr. leads them into the pits. 22, who had pitted under Green gets his lap back. 60 and 16 race for the lead and 16 takes the lead. 60 takes the lead back. 60 and 16 race for the lead. 6 and 16 race for second. 22 gets by 12 for fifth. 2 drives by 12 and 22, into fourth. 16 drives around 6, 6 drives under 16, 6 brushes the wall and 16 gets by.
The fifth caution comes out when 41 Stanton Barrett scrapes the wall. 23 Robert Richardson, Jr. is the Lucky Dog and gets back onto the lead lap. 2 was too fast exiting the pits. 60 leads and takes off. 18 drives under 16 for fifth. The sixth caution comes out during the commercial. 66 Steve Wallace cuts a tire and slides across the track. The leaders out of the pits take fuel only. 33 Clint Bowyer and 62 Michael Annett stay out to restart on the front row. They do not have enough fuel to go to the end. 33 chooses the outside and leads. 62 gets shuffled back. 60 gets loose and 22 takes third from him.
6 takes the lead. 60 and 18 race side by side and 60 gets by. 22 and 33 race side by side and 22 gets by. 31 Justin Allgaier can’t get by 12. 16 gets too high and scrapes the wall. The seventh caution comes out during the commercial. 16 got into the wall again, cut a tire, got into the wall and couldn’t control the car. 70 David Stremme takes two tires to lead. 60 had trouble with the right front tire. 32 James Buescher gets his lap back. 70 spins his tires and 22 takes the lead. 60 gets by 70 and 18, into second.
82 Reed Sorenson spins on the track and stops, bringing out the eighth caution. He had a tire going down and couldn’t save it. 16 Trevor Bayne gets his lap back. 22 takes the lead. 60 takes the lead. 2 and 18 race side by side for third. 7 Danica Patrick gets a little too loose and brushes the wall. She heads for the pits.
The ninth caution comes out when 70 gets into the wall and sends 09 Kenny Wallace sliding down the track, into the inside wall. 51 Jeremy Clements gets back onto the lead lap. The crowd cheers when Kenny gets out of his car unhurt. They restart with seven laps to go. 22 and 60 race for the lead. 22 takes the lead. 6 gets by 33 for fourth. 6 drives under 2 for third. 33 and 2 race for fourth and 33 gets by. With two laps to go, 22 and 60 are nose to tail. 6 drives under 60 for second but there is not enough time to catch 22 for the lead.
22 Brad Keselowski wins the Ford 300 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, after starting from the pole. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. nearly won the race, finishing second. Carl Edwards finishes third followed by Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, Elliott Sadler, Sam Hornish, Jr., Aric Almirola, Brian Scott and Joey Logano for the top ten. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. wins the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Championship and nearly won the race! 60 wins the Owner’s championship. Jack Roushe is the owner of both cars. 6 and 60 do a burn out nose to nose.
Stenhouse finished 45 points ahead of Sadler. Justin Allgaier finished third in points, followed by Aric Almirola, Reed Sorenson, Jason Leffler, Kenny Wallace, Brian Scott, Michael Annett and Steve Wallace are the top ten. The top five will be on stage at the Banquet next month. Ricky was last years Rookie of the year and won the championship the following year! Timmy Hill is this year’s Rookie of the year.
Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR racing. Next up: Ford 400 to decide the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion.