Posts Tagged ‘NASCAR race review’

NASCAR Race Review: VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200

May 12, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Nationwide Series raced their ninth race of the season, VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, SC. Friday night. Qualifying was earlier on Fast Friday, with Nationwide driver Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. on the Pole with a speed of 173.546 mph and 28.336 seconds around this 1.366 mile egg-shaped oval. Sprint Cup driver Denny Hamlin, in the Sport Clips car, starts next to him on the front row. The guys in the booth all pick their favorite Sprint Cup driver to win the race, even though this is a Nationwide race. There are many drivers here at Darlington Raceway for the first time at this track “too tough to tame”. 88 Cole Whitt and 99 Travis Pastrano crashed into the wall during qualifying and will start the race from the rear in backup cars.

6 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. starts the race on the inside and moves past 18 Denny Hamlin to lead from the Pole. On Lap 2 the first caution comes out. 36 Ryan Blaney gets going too fast and slides up into the wall, and sends 51 Jeremy Clements sideways. Others get together behind them.

6 again restarts on the inside and moves up in front of 18. 38 Kasey Kahne and 31 Justin Allgaier race side by side and 38 gets by. 33 Brendan Gaughan and 22 Brad Keselowski race side by side and 22 gets by. 11 Brian Scott drives under 31. 22 drives under 31. 2 Elliott Sadler gets by 3 Austin Dillon for fourth. 18 challenges for the lead and 6 lets him by. 20 Joey Logano drives under 2 for fourth.

The second caution comes out when 01 Mike Wallace blows a tire in front of 6 and heads for the wall with much sparks. 31 makes a pit stop with the hood up. 18 and 20 come out of the pits first and they race for the lead at the restart. 20 takes the lead. 18 drives under 20 to take the lead.

The third caution comes out when 50 T. J. Bell was trying to get between 39 Josh Richards and 31. 39 wouldn’t let him in and 50 hits the outside wall, down the track and into the inside wall. 99 Travis Pastrano gets back onto the lead lap.

At the restart, 18 and 20 race each other for the lead and 54 Kurt Busch drives under them to take the lead. After a few laps 18 takes the lead back. 6 gets by 20 for third. 12 Sam Hornish, Jr. lets team mate 22 by for sixth. 6 gets by 54 for second. 6 gets sideways into a lapped car and 54 gets by. 22 and 6 start Green Flag Pitting. 18 pits and 54 leads. 54 pits and 20 leads. 20 pits and 33 leads. 33 pits and 31 leads. 18 takes the lead driving between a lap car and 31. 22 gets by 3. 2 is overheating.

20 drives under 54 for second as 54 has a tire going down. 54 smacks into the wall, bringing out the fourth caution. 2 takes two tires to lead the race. 20 drives under 18 for second. 08 Matt Frahm is smoking and heads for the garage. 18 and 20 race for second and 18 gets by.

18 challenges 2 for the lead as the fifth caution comes out with ten laps to go when 33 gets into the wall. 41 Timmy Hill gets his lap back. 2 restarts on the inside again as they restart with five laps to go. The sixth caution comes out at the restart. 20 in third, instead of pushing 2 to lead, turns left sending 2 across 18 into the wall. (Once again the Sprint Cup drivers take out the Nationwide championship contenders trying to win a Nationwide race.)

18 was leading at the last loop and is declared the leader, even though 20 took the lead when he crashed 2 out. 99 Travis Pastrano is again the Lucky Dog. This will be a Green White Checker Finish. 22 pushes 20 into the lead and he holds off 18 for the win. 20 Joey Logano wins the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway, his second straight Nationwide victory. (Logano takes Elliot Sadler’s trophy. What a great Nationwide driver Joey is!)

So, Sprint Cup drivers finish the Nationwide race in the first three spots, with Logano winning, Hamlin second and Keselowski third. Sam Hornish, Jr. finished fourth, followed by Austin Dillon, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Brian Scott, (Sprint Cup driver) Kurt Busch, James Buescher and Cole Whitt for the top ten.

Logano’s taking Elliott Sadler out puts him 23 points behind Championship points leader, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (Hopefully other Sprint Cup drivers will not take him out and he can make up points in races to come.) Austin Dillon remains in third, Sam Hornish, Jr. remains in fourth, Cole Whitt stays in fifth, Michael Annette stays in sixth and Justin Allgaier remains in seventh. Mike Bliss, Joe Nemechek and Danica Patrick each move up a spot for the top ten, as Tayler Malsam falls three spots into eleventh.

And now my commentary. This race only had 43 cars entered. Five of them were Sprint Cup drivers. They say NASCAR race fans only watch Nationwide races if Sprint Cup drivers are in the race. This NASCAR race fan says fans do not come to Nationwide races instead of Sprint Cup races to see the Sprint Cup drivers. The fans that are there for the Nationwide race are fans that are there for the weekend and get to see the Sprint Cup drivers the following day. The Nationwide race should be about Nationwide drivers going for their Championship. Not about which Sprint Cup driver will win the Nationwide race. Nor about which Sprint Cup driver will take out Nationwide drivers to win these Nationwide races. Granted, it would not have been a full race this time without them, but I fail to understand why they have to take out Nationwide Championship contenders to win Nationwide races. Perhaps the Sprint Cup drivers should start these Nationwide races from the rear of the field, instead of taking over the Nationwide races. Joey Logano took out Elliott Sadler to win the Nationwide race. Sadler was leading the race. Had he gone on to win, he would be leading the points. Instead, Logano wins the race and Sadler falls way behind. Perhaps Logano should drop down to Nationwide so he can win races and Championships. I suppose Sprint Cup drivers liven up the Minor League races, but they should not be allowed to take out drivers racing for Championship points to win Minor League races. Have them start from the rear so we can watch these Pros race their way to the front. It’s no fun watching Sprint Cup drivers start out front, lead most of the laps and win these Minor League races. Especially if they take out championship points contenders to do so. Let them take each other out in Sprint Cup, not in the Minor Leagues.This NASCAR race fan would much rather see Nationwide drivers in these races. Perhaps Nationwide owners should find Nationwide drivers to drive their Nationwide cars, not Sprint Cup drivers.

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

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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.

NASCAR Race Review: Aaron’s 312

May 6, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Nationwide Series raced the Aaron’s 312 race on Saturday at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. This massive 2.66 mile track is known for spectacular crashing while they race in packs three wide, many deep. Lately, the drivers figured out that if they double up, they can go much faster than the pack can. And that leads to less crashing. So NASCAR made changes to the grill so that the cars would heat up more quickly so that they would not be able to push another car for as long.

Qualifying for the Aaron’s 312 was canceled when rain came on Thursday, leaving more time on the track for practice. The lineup is owner points, putting Elliott Sadler and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. on the front row. There was a short rain before the race so that the start had to be delayed to dry the track. 117 laps around the 2.66 mile Talladega Superspeedway is 312 miles.

So, here we go! 2 Elliott Sadler and 6 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. race for the lead and 2 leads the first lap with 18 Joey Logano pushing. When they make the switch, 33 Kevin Harvick takes the lead with help from 38 Brad Sweet. 54 Kyle Busch pushes 30 James Buescher into the lead. 87 Joe Nemechek pushes 3 Austin Dillon into the lead. 5 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. pushes 30 into the lead. 01 Mike Wallace pushes brother 99 Kenny Wallace. 1 Kurt Busch pushes brother 54.99 pushes 01 into the lead.

70 Johanna Long overheats and heads for the pits, bringing out the first caution a few laps later to check the track for fluids. 6 stays out to lead. (Allen Bestwick says this is “the first and only caution so far”!) In the pits 1 takes off with the gas can still attached and has to start in the rear. 6 makes his pit stop after leading a lap and comes out of the pits above the yellow line instead of bellow it.

87  pushes 5 into the lead. 2 pushes 18 between other cars and into the lead. The second caution comes out when 1 turns 11 Brian Scott to spin him and collect 39 Josh Richards, 89 Morgan Shepherd and 81 Jason Bowles. 3 gets stuck in his pit and has to back up to exit. He came in to fix the nose damage. A few drivers come in to top off the fuel.

5 leads with 7 Danica Patrick right behind. 31 Justin Allgaier is the odd man out in the middle and falling back. 2 pushes 18 into the lead while the camera is on 1 coming up through the pack. The top ten are all single file. Team mates 12 Sam Hornish, Jr. and 22 Brad Keselowski are hanging out in the back, to avoid possible crashing. 2 hooks 18 sideways and he makes a great save as no one was there to crash into. 99 pushes 01 into the lead. When they separate, 5 takes the lead.

31 pits as the third caution comes out. 38 spins himself out with 01 behind him, collecting 14 Eric McClure and 24 John Wes Townley. 3 and 88 Cole Whitt are on the front row. 39 Josh Richards gets back onto the lead lap. 31 was caught speeding. 5 pushes 88 into the lead. 99 with 01 takes the lea. 2 takes the lead. 6 pushes 7 into the lead. 87 pushes 5 into the lead. 1 is in the pits with the hood up after overheating to add more water. 54 pushes 33 into the lead.

The fourth caution comes out when 39 blows a tire and spins. 12 stays out to lead a lap. 51 Jeremy Clements takes the wave around. 7 pushes 33 into the lead. 2 pushes 18 into the lead. 99 pushes 54 into the lead. 2 is overheating from pushing. 12 takes the lead with help from 22. When they separate 54 takes the lead by going between them with 5 right behind.

The fifth caution comes out when 2 is pushing 44 Mike Bliss. Damage on the 2 bumper snags 44 and he spins. 2 comes in for repairs. 31, in 16th comes to the pits while the top fifteen stay out. They restart with four laps to go. The sixth caution comes out when 15 Jeffrey Earnhardt gets loose and 4 Danny Efland and 01 spin behind him. 2 manages to maneuver around them. 1 Kurt Busch gets back onto the lead lap. (And they are all talking about how he can now win the race.)

The restart is the first Green, White, Checker attempt. 54 is on the top and 87 on the bottom. Before they get to the White Flag there is a seventh caution. 18 is pushing 54, leading. They block 43 Michael Annett, who turns 33 and collects 23 Robert Richardson, 19 Tayler Malsam and 7. 14 hits hard into the inside wall and has to be extracted from the car and air lifted to the Hospital, after barrel rolling 6 1/2 times and landing on his side. (Is this the kind of excitement the NASCAR race fans long to see?) There is a Red Flag to get Eric out of the car. 18 ran 43 out of  room to start the excitement.

This restart is the second attempt at a Green White Checker Finish. (There can be up to three.) 54 and 87 are leading. 12 runs 7 into the wall. 18 pushes 54 ahead. 12, 87 and 3 get together. 18 gets next to 54 at the tri-oval, 54 goes below the yellow line to try to beat 18 to the Finish Line.

18 Joey Logano wins the Aaron’s 312 by inches over 54 Kyle Busch. 6 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. comes in third, followed by 88 Cole Whitt, 5 Dale Earnhardt, Jr., 1 Kurt Busch, 30 James Buescher, 31 Justin Allgaier, 99 Kenny Wallace and 2 Elliott Sadler for the top ten. In Championship points, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. takes over the lead by 5 points over Elliott Sadler. Austin Dillon and Sam Hornish, Jr. stay in third and fourth. Cole Whitt and Michael Annett trade fifth and sixth. Justin Allgaier and Tayler Malsam stay in seventh and eighth while Mike Bliss and Joe Nemechek trade ninth and tenth.

The NASCAR race fans wanted pack racing and all the spectacular crashing and NASCAR did what they had to, to give it to them. But, as you see, the drivers still raced two by two. The spectacular crashing still took place in the pack. But all the lead changes were two by two racing. So, this NASCAR race fan has to ask. Was it a great race with all the crashing, or a boring race with all the lead changes and only seven cautions?

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

 

 

NASCAR Race Review: Capital City 400

April 29, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series raced their ninth race of the season, The Capital City 400 presented by Virginia is for Lovers at the Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night. RIR is a beautiful .75 mile D-shaped oval track with room to race. Races at RIR are always at night. A reason some always go but also a reason some stay away. This NASCAR race fan prefers Sunday afternoon at the races so I can go to my local race track on Saturday night. And have less congestion coming out of the track after the race.

Coors Light Pole Qualifying took place on Friday late afternoon. 55 Mark Martin captured the Pole with a speed of 128.327 mph and 21.040 seconds around the track. His first Pole was at this track 30 years ago! 99 Carl Edwards starts second with a time of 21.046. That’s .006 seconds less! 18 Kyle Busch is going for his fourth consecutive Spring race win here.

So, here we go! 55 Mark Martin takes off and 29 Kevin Harvick takes second from 99 Carl Edwards. 99 gets back by 29 and takes the lead from 55. 29, 11 Denny Hamlin and 18 Kyle Busch get by 55. A competition Caution comes out on Lap 50, as there was rain earlier in the day. 93 Travis Kvapil stays out to lead before making his pit stop.

99 leads at the restart. 43 Aric Almirola gets into 24 Jeff Gordon, who gets into 51 Kurt Busch. 24 and 51 slow down as both have a tire rub. 24 pits while 51 continues. No caution. 5 Kasey Kahne gets by 55. 2 Brad Keselowski gets by 55. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. drives under 9 Marcos Ambrose. 48 Jimmie Johnson drives under 9. (Ambrose has a hurt back and Trevor Bayne is on hand if there needs to be a change in driver.) 18 gets by 22 A. J. Allmendinger for fourth. 14 Tony Stewart dives under 5 for sixth. 14 gets by 18 for fourth. 48 gets by 22 for sixth.

The second caution comes out on Lap 116 for spinning 51. There is no Lucky Dog, as 51 was the first car a lap down. 99 and 11 come out of the pits first. 27 Paul Menard had a tire get away. 18 and 29 race side by side for third, letting 14 catch up to them. 18 takes third. 39 Ryan Newman gets by 17 Matt Kenseth. 14 gets by 18 for second. (The driver leading the most laps does not normally win the race.) 14 catches and passes 99 for the lead. And Green Flag Pitting begins. 88 gets blocked in his pit by 33 Stephan Leicht and has to back up to get out. 18 pits out of his stall and has to back up to be serviced. 29 leads. 36 Dave Blaney and leader 29 get together. 99 and 29 race for the lead and 99 takes the lead.

The third caution comes out for debris on Lap 227. 16 Greg Biffle stays on the lead lap and 83 Landon Cassill gets his lap back. 99 and 48 restart up front. 99 takes off. 14 gets by 48 for second, leaving 48 on top and not moving forward. 22 and 48 race side by side and 48 gets by. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya gets by 5. 14 catches leader 99 and they race side by side for the lead. 14 takes the lead. 18 and 48 get by 99. 18 and 14 race for the lead and 18 takes the lead from 14. 48 gets by 14 for second. 29 gets sideways and comes to pit road, starting another round of Green Flag Pitting. 14 leads after the pitting. 31 Jeff Burton gets into the wall. 99 misses pit road.

The fourth caution comes out when 31 gets into the wall. 48 is pitting as caution comes out and has a tire issue, trying to beat the leader to the line. The tire was rolled back instead of a crew member rolling it back. 99 has not pitted yet. 10 cars take the wave around. 18 Kyle Busch gets his lap back.

Now, the restart is what really gets downright stupid. 14 is leading, with 99 on top beside him. Carl goes back and forth on the track, as they all do to clean the tires, manages to get slightly ahead of 14 and the pylon puts him in the lead! Now, everyone knows there is no passing under caution. Carl is told he is the leader. Tony says he is the leader. Carl decides   he has the disadvantage of being on top and takes off before the restart line. 14 holds back and 99 gets the Black Flag for jumping the restart! If there was a question as to who was in the lead, the restart should have been put off for another lap to sort things out. They should have had the restart over with everyone knowing who was leading. Instead 99 was Black Flagged and sent to the rear after leading the most laps. And the race continues.

14 leads. 5 drives under 22. 5 gets by 88 for third. 48 and 22 get too close as 48 gets by. 55 gets by 22. 48 (who had to restart in the rear because of the tire issue)gets by 11 for sixth. 99 fights to stay on the lead lap but goes down a lap. 14 leading gets sideways. The fifth caution comes out for debris. (It turns out it was a water bottle and not in the racing groove, but NASCAR is determined to make racing more exciting, so they throw the caution so there will be another exciting restart.) 99 Carl Edwards gets back onto the lead lap.

The race restarts with nine laps to go. 14 spins his tires and 18 takes the lead. 88 and 14 race for second and 88 gets by. 88 has no brakes and cannot catch leader 18. 18 Kyle Busch wins the Capital City 400, his 24th career win and his fourth consecutive Spring race win at Richmond International Raceway. This is his first win this year. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finishes second, followed by 14 Tony Stewart, 11 Denny Hamlin, 5 Kasey Kahne, 48 Jimmie Johnson, 15 Clint Bowyer, 55 Mark Martin, 2 Brad Keselowski and 99 Carl Edwards for the top ten. There were six different leaders, 99 leading the most.

In Championship Points, Greg Biffle stays on top, 5 ahead of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who moved up two spots with his second place finish. Denny Hamlin also moves up two spots into third. Matt Kenseth falls a spot to fourth. Martin Truex, Jr. falls three spots to fifth. Jimmie Johnson moves up one position to sixth while Kevin Harvick falls back a spot to seventh. Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards and Ryan Newman round out the top ten in points.

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

NASCAR Race Review: STP 400

April 23, 2012

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is at the Kansas Speedway for the STP 400. Coors Light Pole Qualifying took place on Saturday morning. A. J. Allmendinger captured the Pole with a speed of 175.993 mph and 30.483 seconds around this 1.5 mile D-shaped oval, his second career Pole. The track will be repaved after the race.

43 Aric Almirola is sporting the STP retro colors on his car for this race. Tim Andrews, Jeff Green and Tony Raines failed to qualify for the race. No Pole sitter has won a race this year. Joey Logano qualified third for this race, but had to change the engine, so will be starting the race last.

So, here we go! 22 A. J. Allmendinger leads from the Pole. 29 Kevin Harvick wiggles and slows everyone else up. 11 Denny Hamlin and 29 race for second. 29 keeps second. 17 Matt Kenseth and 39 Ryan Newman race for position. 51 Kurt Busch and 12 Sam Hornish, Jr. race side by side. 24 Jeff Gordon drives under 31 Jeff Burton and they almost touch. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. drives around 11 for third. 56 is closing in on the leaders, 22 and 29. 99 Carl Edwards gets by 31. 55 Mark Martin and 48 Jimmie Johnson race side by side and 55 closes the door on 48. 48 drives under 55 and this time gets by. 56 drives under 29 for second.

22 and 56 race for the lead and Green Flag Pitting begins. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. misses the entrance to pit road. 99 leads, then pits. 56 is in the lead after the pitting. 15 Clint Bowyer is slow on the track and thinks it’s the engine. 22 was out of fuel and stays in the pits to make sure it is full this time.

The first caution comes out when 15 spins trying to get to pit road. He heads for the garage. 10 David Reutimann gets back onto the lead lap.Twelve drivers stay out, while the back of the pack pit. At the restart, they are bunched up all together. 18 Kyle Busch gets into 16 Greg Biffle. 83 Landon Cassill goes to the apron as they are already three wide. 11, 2 Brad Keselowski and 48 race three wide. 11 pulls ahead and 48 gets by 2. 48 drives under 11 for fourth. 16 drives under 39. 56 is leading and pulls away. 29 and 5 Kasey Kahne race for second. 15 is out on the track racing on seven cylinders.

29 is short on fuel and starts another round of Green Flag Pitting. 5 is out of fuel. 48 leads. 48 pits and 17 Matt Kenseth leads. 43 misses his pit stall. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya leads. 48 has to take the time to get a lug nut on. After the pitting, 56 is back in the lead. 11 and 17 race for second and 17 gets by. 48 and 88 race for fourth and 48 gets by. 18 is sideways. 51 drives under 2.

The second caution comes out for debris as 1 Jamie McMurray completes his pit stop. The leaders all pit.  22 is in the pits with the hood up. 47 Bobby Labonte is having engine problems. 15 blows up and heads for the garage. 27 Paul Menard gets his lap back. At the restart 17 doesn’t get going. 18 and 29 race for position. 18 slides in front of 29. 48 gets by 11, into second. 48 catches leader 56. 56 and 48 race for the lead.

51 pits, starting another round of Green Flag Pitting. 56 and 48 pit together and 2 leads. 10 stalls on pit road. 2 misses pit road entrance. He was going too fast to turn in. 56 and 48 are up front after it all. The third caution comes out when 42 hits a strip on the track (which is why they will repave after the race) and wiggles into the wall. 48 pits while the first seven stay out.

They restart with 75 laps to go and 56 takes off. 29 gets by 18. 39 makes another pit stop. He took two tires and the car is chattering, so he comes in for four tires. 55 Mark Martin drives under 18. 24 gets by 18. 24 gets by 29. 29 and 18 race side by side but 18 cannot get by. 48 gets by 17 for third. 5 gets by 18.

Another round of Green Flag Pitting starts and 14 Tony Stewart leads. 42 leads, then pits. 12 stays out, leading while 56 and 11 race for what will be the lead when 12 pits. 39 drives by 12 to get his lap back. 12 finally  pits and 56 leads. 11 is catching 56 who does not like these last set of tires. 11 and 56 race for the lead. 11 drives under 56 for the lead. 56 dives under 11, but can’t get by.24 looses a cylinder and with 28 laps to go, he pits. 5 gets by 18. 18 gets by 99 for ninth.

56 dives to the bottom again to battle for the lead, but cannot make the pass. 11 Denny Hamlin wins the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway, his second win this year and nineteenth of his career. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. led the most laps and finishes second. 48 Jimmie Johnson comes in third, followed by 17 Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, 29 Kevin Harvick, 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr., 5 Kasey Kahne, 99 Carl Edwards and 18 Kyle Busch for the top ten. There were nine different leaders in the race.

Greg Biffle remains on top of the points by 12 over Martin Truex, Jr. who moved up two with this win. Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. each fall one spot to third and fourth. Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick trade fifth and sixth. Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart trade seventh and eighth. Carl Edwards moves up two spots into ninth, while Ryan Newman falls a position to tenth.

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