Posts Tagged ‘NASCAR weekly review’

Race Review: Ford 400

November 23, 2009

Welcome, race fans to the final race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway is the final race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Jimmy Johnson is going for four Championships in a row. Mark Martin is looking to capture his first Championship after finishing the points in second four times. He would be the oldest Cup Champion. He also is the only driver still in contention to do so.

Eight drivers have won consecutive titles, but none of them have four in a row. Two drivers now have three consecutive titles. Jimmy is a three time Chase winner and in reality, the only Sprint Cup Champion. Johnson has never won at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Traditionally, the track is a Roush track. Can Carl Edwards or Greg Biffle win this one and get one win this year?

Mike Rowe, Ford spokesperson, and Dirty Job host starts the engines. 99 Carl Edwards is the in-race reporter. Robby Gordon is back in his 7 car for the race, starting from the rear, after racing and winning the Baha Championship.

So, here we go! 48 Jimmy Johnson takes off from the pole. 82, started second, but falls way back. 29 Kevin Harvick gets by 5 Mark Martin for third. 47 Marcos Ambrose catches 48. 2 Kurt Busch gets by 44 A. J. Allmendinger for tenth. 47 and 48 battle for the lead. 48 holds him off. 47 finally takes the lead. 47 gets a flat tire and pits. 29 and 14 Tony Stewart battle for second. 29 lets him by. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is up nineteen position, racing along the outside. 47 is back in the pits and they are changing batteries. 39 Ryan Newman and 2 battle for sixth.

14 takes the lead. 1 Martin Truex, Jr. challenges 42 Juan Pablo Montoya for position. 33 Clint Bowyer gets by 5 for third.  Leader 14 is lapping the field. 88, after starting 32nd, rides the rim into ninth. 2 is now third in points and can spoil the Hendrick 1-2-3. 29 and 33 catch 48 in traffic. 33 and 29 battle for third. 17 Matt Kenseth pits to start Green Flag Pitting. 2 leads a lap, then pits. 33 leads after it all. 29 and 33 battle for the lead. 29 takes the lead. 14 and 33 battle for second, with 14 taking the spot. 48 and 5 battle for fourth. 48 finally gets by. 14 takes the lead on the outside. 5 wiggles on the top. 2 gets by 39 Ryan Newman for ninth. 1 gets by 24 Jeff Gordon on the outside.

The first caution comes out when 47 gets sideways. He doesn’t hit anything, and pits. The officials signal that an extra person is allowed over the wall to work on the windshields. Everyone pits. 82 Scott Speed is the Lucky Dog, and gets his lap back, putting 31 cars on the lead lap. 14 comes out of the pits first and chooses the outside. 29 takes the lead. 33 and 14 battle for second. 42 drives under 14, then under 2 for fourth. 48 and 33 battle for second. 24 is holding up a pack of cars. 42 and 48 battle for third, with 42 getting by. 31 Jeff Burton and 2 get by 48. 42 and 31 battle for second.  11 Denny Hamlin gets by 48 and 33. 88 gets into the wall again.

The second caution comes out when 34 John Andretti gets into the wall. Everyone pits. 29 comes out first and chooses the inside. Six cars take the wave around before the Green Flag. The third caution comes out when 47 gets into the wall. 43 Reed Sorenson is the Lucky Dog and is back on the lead lap. On the restart, 31 spins the tires and 29 takes off. 29 is warned to maintain speed before coming to the Green Flag. 14 and 42 get together.

The fourth caution comes out when 42 gets into the wall after a tire goes down from contact with 14. 48 leads a group including 5 into the pits, but 20 cars stay on the track. There’s a big back up in the pits when 96 Erik Darnell attempts to go to the garage. 7 gets into 96, 98 Paul Menard into 7, 43 into 98, 19 Elliott Sadler into 43, 55 Michael Waltrip into 19. 19 is on fire and 43 has lots of damage. Rookie mistake by 96, I guess. 42 is in the garage for repairs.

39 and 24 battle for sixth. 39, 9 Kasey Kahne and 24 battle three wide with 9 pulling ahead. 2 and 11 battle for second, with 2 getting by. 2 and 29 battle for the lead. 2 takes the lead. 88 runs over something, gets a flat and pits. 5 gets loose in all the traffic around him. 42 is back on the track, 29 laps down.

The fifth caution comes out when 42 bumps 14 hard enough to wrinkle his hood and spins 14. 42 gets Black Flagged with a two lap penalty for rough driving. That will put him 31 laps down. Everyone pits. 11 leads out of the pits, after starting 38th, and chooses the outside. 9 and 48 battle and 99 Carl Edwards makes it three wide. 48 backs out. 99 and 9 battle. 48 gets by 99. 48 and 9 battle for seventh. 31 and 2 battle for second. 48 finally gets by 9. 31 can’t get by 2. 2 catches leader 11. 11 and 2 battle for the lead. 2 can’t get by. 24 and 48 battle, and 48 finally gets by.

2 takes the lead during the commercial. A brake rotor from 42 hit the roof of 9 and made a hole. 31 gets by 11 for second. The sixth caution comes out when 7 gets into the wall. He lost it in the high groove. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. gets the free pass. Everyone pits. 11 comes out first and chooses the outside. 31 takes the lead. 18 moves into second. 48, 24 and 1 are three wide. 48 gets by 24 and 1. 18 and 2 battle for second, with 2 getting by.

The seventh caution comes out and 14 Tony Stewart gets the free pass. 2 takes two tires and comes out first. 55 stays out to lead a lap, and then pits. 2 chooses the outside. 18 pulls away. 11 and 18  battle for the lead. 9 and 99 battle. 24 and 48 battle, with 24 getting by. They battle some more, but 48 can’t get by. 99, 1 and 26 Jamie McMurray battle three wide. 24 gets by 33 for sixth. 5 can’t get by 1.

44 and 33 battle for eighth, with 44 getting by. 33 and 99 battle for ninth. 48 gets by 24 for seventh. 99 finally gets by 33. 31 and 18 battle for second, with 31 getting by. 2 and 18 battle for third, and 2 gets by. 18 brushes the wall. 29 drives by 18 for fourth. 5 is still trying to get by 1. 48 gets by 18 for fifth.

And 11 Denny Hamlin wins the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Jimmy Johnson becomes the only driver to win four consecutive Championships. He equals team mate Jeff Gordon with four. And Hendrick Motor sports becomes the first owner in the history of NASCAR to have his teams finish 1-2-3. This is also the last year a Waltrip will be racing full time in NASCAR’s top series. Mark Martin finishes second for the fifth time. Lots of history today at this track. A great ending to the NASCAR 2009 Season.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

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Race Review: Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500

November 16, 2009

83549055RL036_Checker_O_ReiWelcome, race fans to my version of the 35th race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and the 9th race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 takes place at the Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, AZ. The race is 312 laps, for 500 kilometers. PIR is a one mile track called the “Jewel of the Desert”. It is also the penultimate race of the year.

Qualifying was on Friday, with Martin Truex, Jr. capturing the Coors Light Pole Award with a speed of 135.12. The great thing about it is that Kurt Busch starts second. This is the first time in NASCAR history that the #1 and #2 cars have started first and second. 71 is Bobby Labonte. He will be in that ride next year. 12 is Brad Keselowski in his new ride for 2010. 09 is David Gilliland, who is out of the 71 ride. 36 is Michael McDowell. 96 is Erik Darnell. Failing to qualify are 78 Regan Smith, 70 Kevin Conway (from the NASCAR Nationwide Series, who also raced in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Phoenix) and 02 Brandon Ash.

Three drivers were going for the trifecta at this track. Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Kevin Conway. Harvick won the Truck race, but Carl Edwards won the NNS race and Conway failed to qualify for the Sprint Cup race. Tyrese Gibson sang the National Anthem and Senator John McCain started the engines, as he was the Grand Marshall for the race. 14 Tony Stewart is the in-race reporter.

So, here we go. 2 Kurt Busch starts on the outside and leads the first lap. 07 Casey Mears locks up his breaks in front of 5 Mark Martin and gets into 14 Tony Stewart. 5 drives under 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. for seventh. 1 Truex, Jr. and 48 Jimmy Johnson battle for second, with 48 taking the spot. 5 gets by 24 Jeff Gordon for fifth. 2 starts lapping cars, and 48 catches him in traffic. 48 leads at the Line, but 2 stays ahead. 48 is persistent and takes the lead. 1 wiggles and 5 gets by for fourth. 24 gets by 1 for fifth.

16 Greg Biffle pits on lap 70 to start Green Flag Pitting. 77 gets into his pit stall sideways. 11 Denny Hamlin had a lug nut issue for a long pit stop. 39 Ryan Newman leads, then pits. 2 has a faster pit stop than 48 and leads after all the pitting. 48 takes the lead. 7 Robby Gordon and 20 Joey Logano aren’t making it easy for the leader to put them a lap down.

The first caution comes out on lap 116 for debris in turns one and two. 07 Casey Mears gets the free pass and is back on the lead lap. Everyone pits and 2 has a long stop, coming out fifth. The second caution comes out at the restart. 16 slowed down for 18 Kyle Busch spinning his tires and there is  chain reaction crashing. Involved are 96 Darnell, 55 Michael Waltrip, who got the worst of it, 7, 19 Elliott Sadler, 12, 6 David Ragan, 09 and 34 John Andretti.

For the restart, 48 chooses the outside, as there is speedy-dry on the track on the bottom. 48 pulls away. 11 drives on the outside past 5 for second. 18 gets into 24. 24 bumps 18 and gets by. 9 Kasey Kahne and 42 Juan Pablo Montoya battle for position, with 42 getting by. 44 A. J. Allmendinger and 00 David Reutimann battle side by side with 44 finally getting by. 31 Jeff Burton and 39 battle, with 31 taking the spot. 42 and 18 battle for eighth, with 42 sneaking by. 31 gets by 00. 14 Tony Stewart is very inconsistent. He started eighth and is back to 22nd.

The third caution comes out on lap 163 for debris in turn one. I think 7 Robby Gordon gets the free pass. 48 comes out of the pits first and chooses the outside. 33 Clint Bowyer is second, 11 is third. 2 takes over second. 11 gets by 33 for third. 24 and 18 battle again.

The fourth caution comes out when 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. gets sideways and they all stack up behind him. He had an oil leak that got onto his tires. Those involved are 14, 12, 20, 83 Brian Vickers, 71, 39, 17 Matt Kenseth, 82 Scott Speed and 77. 07 slides by and 29 Kevin Harvick stops. 48 chooses the outside again. 31 shuts the door on 5. 24 gets by 1. 18, 42 and 1 battle for seventh. 88 goes to the garage to see what happened. 5 finally gets by 31. 42 gets by 18. 55 is back out in a modified car. 33 and 11 battle for third. 5 catches them and drives under 33. 11 and 5 get by 2. 47 Marcos Ambrose gets by 18. 31 gets by 2 for fourth.

29 Kevin Harvick starts Green Flag Pitting once again. 17 leads, then pits. When it’s all over, 48 is back in the lead. 18 and 00 battle for eleventh, with 00 getting by. 11 is catching 48 in traffic. 31 gets by 11 for second. 16 and 9 battle for fourteenth, with 16 getting by. 1 and 33 battle for fifth, with 1 taking the position. 47 and 00 battle for tenth, with 00 taking the spot.

And points leader, 48 Jimmy Johnson wins the Checker O’Reilley Auto Parts 500. If you’ll recall, the last race in Texas saw Jimmy loose a lot of points in the Chase by being taken out on the third lap. The points leader is back in contention. He leads Mark Martin by 108 points going into the final race at Homestead-Miami next weekend. Johnson is looking to be the first driver to win four Championships in a row.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

Race Review: Dickies 500

November 9, 2009

dg0409TEX_5402Welcome race fans to the Dickies 500 coming to you from the Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, Texas. This race is the 34th race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and the 8th race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Texas Motor Speedway was busy this weekend, with races on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Thursday there was a tragedy at nearby Fort Hood. The flag is at half-mast and prayers are said for the victims and their families.

The Coors Lite Pole Award for qualifying took place on Friday, with Jeff Gordon grabbing the pole with a speed of 191.117. 02 David Gilliland made the race in the JGR fourth car. 71 is Bobby Labonte. 70 is Mike Skinner from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. 12 is Brad Keselowski in his new ride for 2010. He will be in his new ride for the last three races. 36 is Michael McDowell. 96 is Erik Darnell. 21 Bill Elliott got into the race with his former champion provisional. Not making the race are: 37 Tony Raines, 66 Dave Blaney, 13 Max Papis and 09 Mike Bliss from the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

On Friday night, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series raced. 51 Kyle Busch won that race, with 88 Matt Crafton coming in  second. Saturday, the NASCAR Nationwide Series raced, with Kyle Busch winning that race also. He’s going for the trifecta, hoping to win all three races in a weekend at one track. He tried it at Auto Club Speedway in California earlier this year, but fell short on Sunday, finishing third. He will be the first one to do so, if he can pull it off. Jeff Gordon won at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this year. Can he make a sweep?

Jimmy Johnson leads Mark Martin by 181 points heading into this race. This is the last 500 mile race of the year. The Texas Christian University marching band did an excellent job with the National Anthem. 29 Kevin Harvick is the in-race reporter. 9 Kasey Kahne starts second.

So, here we go. 24 Jeff Gordon and 9 Kahne are side by side at the start of the race. 24 leads the first lap from the pole. 2 Kurt Busch gets by 9 for second. 2 takes the lead.

The first caution comes out on lap three. 00 David Reutimann, 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. and 48 Jimmy Johnson were three wide. 00 bumped 77, which got him loose. He went up the track, into 48. 48 gets into the outside wall, down the track, into 77, spinning him, and then into the inside wall. 48 has massive damage and heads to the garage, where they will rebuild the car. The crowd cheers because the points leader is no longer invincible.

18 Kyle Busch gets by 9 for third. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. gets by 9 for fourth. 14 Tony Stewart gets by 9 for fifth. 16 Greg Biffle gets by 9 for sixth. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya drives around on the top of the track around 5 Mark Martin and they continue to battle. 5 gets back by 42. 6 David Ragan and 9 battle for thirteenth. 6 and 47 Marcos Ambrose battle side by side. 99 Carl Edwards gets by team mate 16. The leader 2 is lapping cars.

00 David Reutimann and 24 battle for third, with 00 taking the spot. 14 gets by 24 for fourth. 33 Clint Bowyer, 5 and 11 Denny Hamlin get by 16. 16 and 47 battle. 19 Elliott Sadler gets lapped and pits, starting Green Flag Pitting. 2 stays out the longest on old tires, and 18 leads after all the pitting is done. 77 gets sideways, but catches it. In the pits, 24 dropped a lug nut and had a long pit. 12 tries to stay on the lead lap, racing leader 18.

The second caution comes out on lap 87 when 77 spins out. 12 Brad Keselowski is the Lucky Dog and gets back on the lead lap. 18 chooses the outside for the restart. 14 and 2 battle for second. 26 Jamie McMurray gets loose, almost into 6. 5 and 17 Matt Kenseth battle. 42 and 24 battle for ninth, with 42 getting by. 00 and 47 battle for fourth, with 47  getting by. 5, 44 A. J. Allmendinger and 9 are three-wide. They end up 5, 44, 9. 17 gets by 9. 17 and 44 battle. 42 gets by 33 for eighth. 5 gets by 24.

48 is back on the track after one hour and eight minutes in the garage, 114 laps down. They rebuilt the car. He comes back into the pits to correct a tire rub. 47 catches second place, 2. And there is Green Flag Pitting once again. 11 leads when 18 pits. After it all, 18 is back in the lead. 24 and 99 battle. 24 and 1 Martin Truex, Jr. battle.

The third caution comes out as 1 and 24 were about to be lapped, for debris. 31 Jeff Burton gets the free pass. 47 had to back up in his pit stall to get by 39 Ryan Newman, who was gone by the time 47 backed up. The fourth caution comes out just past halfway, when 42 gets loose into 99. 99 gets into the wall. 24 gets loose and slides, trying to avoid them. 12 got into 42 to get him loose. 24 heads to the pits before they are open to fix the splitter brace.

2 chooses the outside for the restart. 18 spins the tires. 29 Kevin Harvick gets by 44. 31 gets by 16. The fifth caution comes out on lap 207. A tire goes down on 43 Reed Sorenson and he gets into the outside wall and down the track, into the inside wall. 43 heads for the garage. 6 David Ragan gets the free pass. Everyone comes to pit road. Smoke is coming from 02. 18 comes out first and chooses the inside. 47 gets by 33 for ninth. 42 is back on the track, smoking.

Once again, there is Green Flag Pitting. 18 pits and 2 leads. 2 stays out two more laps before he pits. After all the pitting, 18 is back in the lead. 18 laps 24, but 24 drives back by. 2 gets by 00 for second. Fuel is a factor in this race, with the leaders saving fuel, and not really racing, but just driving. 24 pits for fuel. 88 pits for fuel and stalls the car, loosing two laps. 18 runs out of fuel… 47 runs out of fuel.

And 2 Kurt Busch wins the Dickies 500 on fuel mileage. Kyle didn’t win the trifecta again. Kurt drives the car around the track in reverse. A lucky fan wins $1M as a result of 2 winning the race. There were only four different leaders this race.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

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Race Review: Amp Energy 500

November 1, 2009

dg0409TAL_dega_5401Welcome race fans to my NASCAR race review. The Amp Energy 500 takes place at the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, AL. The race here is the wild card of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. At this 2.66 mile track, anything can happen, and usually does. In the drivers meeting before the race, the drivers were warned not to get too close to the car ahead in the corners. They could draft on the straight aways, but no in any of the corners. So one will no longer be allowed to push a car all the way around the track. NASCAR wants to “see daylight between the cars in all corners”. I guess so two cars working together cannot race up to the front through the pack. It made for long periods of single file racing. I don’t see what is so great about that.

Qualifying was rained out on Saturday, so they line up according to owner points. This is the 33rd race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and the 7th race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. 96 is Erik Darnell. 09 is Brad Keselowski from the NASCAR Nationwide Series. 71 is Bobby Labonte. 36 is Robert Richardson also from the NASCAR Nationwide Series. 44 teams showed up for qualifying, but only 43 could make it. Which annoys me. Certainly at a track that is 2.66 miles long, there should be room for two in the 22nd row. Tony Raines in the 37 car bowed out of the race so that 78 Regan Smith could get that position. Regan has not entered all the races, being on a limited schedule. It was the sixth time this year that qualifying was rained out, and the second time at Talladega. 48 Jimmy Johnson has never won this race in the Fall. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is the in-race reporter.

So, here we go 48 leads from the pole. 14 Tony Stewart pushes 5 Mark Martin on the inside into the lead. 26 Jamie McMurray is on the high side, falling back. 17 Matt Kenseth leads the outside line. 31 Jeff Burton pulls in front of 17. 2 Kurt Busch takes the lead. 9 Kasey Kahne, who had to start the race from the rear after changing the engine is loosing the draft. They are three wide with 07 Casey Mears on the outside.

The first caution comes out on lap 5, when 98 Paul Menard blows a tire and gets into the wall, with 87 Joe Nemecheck getting collected. Twenty cars pit. 2 leading, chooses the inside. 99 Carl Edwards is on the outside. 99 takes the lead. 16 Greg Biffle pushes 00 David Reutimann into the lead. 2 takes the lead back. They are three wide, eight deep. 99 leads. 00 leads from the middle. 9 got back into the draft. 16 pushes 24 Jeff Gordon into the lead. 07 takes the lead on top. 39 Ryan Newman has trash on his grill, but can’t catch anyone to get it off.

They are single file all around the track. (Great idea, NASCAR, make it a parade.) 07 has trash on his grill and is starting to overheat. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya, 20 Joey Logano and 83 Brian Vickers start Green Flag Pitting. 1 Martin Truex, Jr. is too fast entering the pits. 07 is too fast exiting. They will both have to make a pass through the pits. 19 Elliott Sadler leads. 96 was too fast. 43 Reed Sorenson is pitting by himself. 31 leads. 44 A. J. Allmendinger spins into the pits. 39 leads. 14 leads. 2 spins going into the pits and causes the second caution. He slides along the infield. As the caution comes out, 48, 39, 14 and 24 are about to pit. 24 sees the light go red to close pit road and stays on the track. 48 comes in and pits. 39 and 14 go through pit road, but do not stop to pit. 2 goes two laps down, trying to repair the damage.

19 leads, with 09 beside him. 11 Denny Hamlin leads on the outside. 88 pushes 19 back into the lead, and then takes the lead. 24 takes the lead. 11 pushes 29 Kevin Harvick, then moves up ahead of 24 to take the lead. 88 pushes 29 into the lead. The announcers exclaim what a great race it is, and go to commercials. 44 and 9 get together and 9 goes down the track. 44 had to pit for trash and lost a lap.  17 leads 24 on the bottom. 44 gets a flat, maybe from contact with 9. 88 takes the lead, and they are back to three wide racing. 1 pits. 42 takes the lead. 11 pushes 29 into the lead. 42 pushes 5 into the lead.

And there is Green Flag Pitting once again. 16 has a tire unattended and must come back in. 24 gets into 07 as 07 tries to get to his first pit stall. 47 Marcos Ambrose leads. After the pit stops, 11 is back into the lead. 42 knocks 5 below the double yellow line, but 5 slows to get behind 42, and thus, no penalty.

The third caution is for debris. 16 Greg Biffle gets the free pass and is back on the lead lap. The leaders all pit. 11 takes fuel only and is out of the pits first. 00 and 47 are back in repairing damage. 11 chooses the outside. 7 Robby Gordon takes the lead. 24 pushes 31 into the lead, 31 goes high and 24 takes the lead. 11 pushes 20 Joey Logano into the lead. 88 takes the lead on top. 11 gets warned not to stay on 20’s bumper. 11, behind leader 88 pulls low and then ahead of 88 to take the lead. 24 pulls in front of 11 to take the lead.

11 pushes 18 Kyle Busch into the lead. 18 moves high. 24 pushes 31 into the lead on the bottom. 12 David Stremme leads the middle line. 31 moves high and 24 takes the lead. 2 pushes 88 up the middle. 33 Clint Bowyer gets in front of 31 on top. 29 leads. 12 leads. 07 drives low to take the lead. 88 pushes 09 into the lead.

11 is blowing up and the caution comes out for the fourth time. 2 Kurt Busch gets the free pass and is back on the lead lap. Everyone pits when 11 finally makes it to the garage. Some of the leaders come back in for more fuel. They restart with 47 to go, with 09 on the outside. 12 pushes 24 into the lead. 88 goes to the middle line. 24 on the outside, falls back.  1 takes the lead, but gets into the middle line and falls back. 9 takes the lead on the bottom, then falls back. 19 takes the lead. 42 takes the lead. They are four wide on the track. 29 pushes 31 into the lead. 26 takes the lead on the bottom. They are single file with 26 leading and 29 to go. 88 and 5 move to the bottom. 26 and 17 move to the bottom. 07 pushes 88 into the lead. 88 moves to the top in front of 26. 26 drops below in front of 88 to lead. 12 takes the lead on top. 88 gets stuck on the bottom with everyone going around him on top. 26 takes the lead.

And we get “the big one” with five to go for the fifth caution. 14 and 39 get together. 14 gets into the wall. 39 gets airborne and lands his back end upside down on the hood of 29. 47 and 19 get collected. 39 then slides on his roof up the track into the wall, and back down the track, rolls into the infield the whole time on his roof. They have to turn the car over to get Ryan out. And there is a 12:35 Red Flag for clean up. When the Red Flag is lifted, 14 pits for repairs. Many cars are running out of fuel, and they can’t go Green with all that happening. 24 gets pushed into his pit.

It will be a Green, White, Checker Finish. But as they get to the White Flag, mayhem breaks out. 83 shoves 09 into 2. 2 spins into 82 Scott Speed, 00 and 6 David Ragan. 1 clips 5 and flips him. 48 manages to get by. 26 Jamie McMurray wins the Amp Energy 500 under caution. The top ten ended up being 26, 9, 20, 16, 31, 55 Michael Waltrip, who led a lap, 19, 48(!), 09 and 88. Racing is usually crazy at Talladega, and this one was no exception. Jimmy Johnson stays in the chase lead, now 181 points ahead of Mark Martin, and 195 ahead of Jeff Gordon.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

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Race Review: Tums Fast Relief 500

October 26, 2009

jimmie_johnson_denny+Hamlin_jr309mar_3250_540Welcome race fans to the 32nd race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series season and the 6th race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The Tums Fast Relief 500, brought to you by Goodyear takes place at NASCAR’s shortest and oldest track, Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, VA. At .526 miles long, this paper clip race track is one of the toughest in NASCAR.

This week Mother Nature came in and spoiled things. There was practice and qualifying on Friday, with Ryan Newman grabbing the pole with a speed of 96.795. And the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race here was finally run after hours of delay for drying the track. Happy Hour was canceled, so NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers had no practice. A competition caution will take place on lap 50. In the lineup is 37 Travis Kvapil, 09 Sterling Marlin, 36 Michael McDowell and 64 Derrike Cope. Only one team had to go home, that being 73 Josh Wise. (You know how I feel about not filling the 22nd row and sending only one car home.) 11 Denny Hamlin, home town favorite, is the in-race reporter. The fans all have a Green Flag to wave for the start of the race.

So, here we go! 39 Newman leads from the pole. 11 Hamlin gets stuck on the outside with many cars passing him by. The first caution comes out on lap 7 for 47 Marcos Ambrose, 17 Matt Kenseth, 7 Robby Gordon and 64 Cope. All cars get going and stay on the lead lap. 17 got into 47, trying to make a hole and gets loose and can’t turn. 55 Michael Waltrip gets into 7 and 64 is left with nowhere to go. 17 pits for adjustments.

39 chooses the inside for the restart. 1 Martin Truex, Jr. and 24 Jeff Gordon battle for second. 1 moves 24 up the track, but 24 takes the spot. 07 Casey Mears and 20 Joey Logano race side by side for position. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. moves 07 out of the way. 96 Bobby Labonte and 14 Tony Stewart battle, with 96 getting by. They battle some more and 14 gets by. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya gets by 96. 48 Jimmy Johnson goes low around 20 to get the spot. 88 also goes low around 20. 88 and 29 Kevin Harvick race side by side. 24 goes under 39 to take the lead. 11 goes under 43 Reed Sorenson to take the position. 1 gets by 39 for second.

5 Mark Martin drives around 39 on the top of the track to take third from 39. 00 David Reutimann gets by 39. 48 goes low to get by 39. 42 and 33 Clint Bowyer get by 20 who is driving on the top of the track. 48 drives past 5 for third. The second caution comes out for 55 with a flat tire, spinning. This caution on lap 43 will be the competition caution and those pitting may refuel. Pit speed is 30 mph. 24 takes two tires to lead off pit road. 88 and 11 get together in the pits and both have some damage. 34 John Andretti and 71 David Gilliland lead while pitting is going on. Both then pit. 29 and 33 get together. 99 Carl Edwards gets into 14 at the restart. 42 gets by 00. 48 catches leader 24. 24 and 48 battle for the lead and 48 takes the lead. 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. and 17 race side by side. 39 gets by 24.

42 gets by 1 for fifth. 24 and 5 battle, with 5 getting by. Looks like two tires for 24 was not a good idea. 42 gets into 24 to get by. 11 drives under 1 to get by. 11 drives under 24 to take fifth. 1 and 24 battle for sixth, with 1 getting by. The third caution comes out during the commercial on lap 88. 88 has a flat tire and gets into the wall. 48 gets out of the pits first and chooses the inside. 9 Kasey Kahne is too fast exiting the pits and must come back in.

39 and 5 battle. 24 and 42 battle. Both battles are side by side for a long time. They end up 39, 5, 24 and 42. 42 slides in front of 33. 42 bumps 24 and moves him up the track to get by for fourth. 14 gets by 00. 11 gets by 00. 07 and 00 battle side by side. 09 is pitting with a flat tire. 1 has a vibration, maybe a loose wheel, and pits.

The fourth caution comes out on lap 136. The right front tire of 88 blows and he gets into the wall in front of 48. There is no free pass, as 88 was the caution. The leaders all pit, with 48 coming back out with the lead. 7 breaks a gear and heads for the garage.

48 chooses the inside for the restart. 42 is all over 48, battling for the lead. 42 takes the lead. 18 Kyle Busch started 41st and is driving aggressively to move up. 24 bumps 39 to get by. The fifth caution is for debris on lap 157. The top eleven stay out. 11 leads the rest down pit road. 16 Greg Biffle is the Lucky Dog and gets his lap back, making it thirty-one cars on the lead lap. 42 chooses the inside. 24 and 48 battle for second, with 48 keeping the spot. 14, on top, battles 31 Jeff Burton. 2 Kurt Busch and brother 18 battle for twelfth, with 18 getting by. 11 and 00 battle side by side, with 11 getting by. 18, on the outside battles 00 and gets by.

The sixth caution comes out for 12 David Stremme and team mate 77. 77 and 12 get together, 1 bumps 77 and 77 and 12 spin together. 31 Burton stays out to lead. The leaders who stayed out last caution, now pit. 1 Martin Truex, Jr. is the Lucky Dog and gets back on the lead lap. 11 takes the lead. 18 and 29 get by 31.

The seventh caution comes out on lap 195 for spinning 77. 31 and 2 pit. 11 chooses the inside for the restart. 18 and 11 battle at the restart. 18 takes the lead. 48 and 99 are side by side, with 48 getting by. 11 and 18 battle for the lead and 11 takes the lead. 39 and 83 Brian Vickers race side by side with 83 up on the outside.

The eighth caution comes out when 9 gets into the wall, with a blown left rear tire. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. gets the free pass and is now one lap down. 88 and 9 got together. 11 chooses the outside this time. 07 and 2 and 6 David Ragan and 00 race side by side. They end up 00, 07, 2, 6. 5 and 18 battle for fifth with 5 getting by, with fresher tires. 24 gets by 26. 31 gets by 99 on the top with his fresher tires.

The ninth caution comes out when 44 A. J. Allmendinger gets into the wall and faces in the wrong direction. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is again the Lucky Dog and back on the lead lap. 20 dove below 44 and bumped him into the wall. 48 comes out of the pits first after jamming the brakes so as not to be caught speeding. 16 Biffle stays out to lead. He chooses the inside. 48 takes the lead. 5 and 16 battle for second, with 5 getting by. 11, 42, 39, and 29 get by 16. 42 gets by 11 on the outside. 99 tries to make it three wide between 16 and 2, but backs off. 16 is falling back with old tires.

The tenth caution comes out when 9 spins 34 and 09 comes to a stop without hitting 34. There is no free pass, as 9 caused the caution. 48 chooses the inside. 42 gets by 5. 42 and 48 battle for the lead, but 42 can’t get by. 39 and 18 battle for sixth, with 18 getting by. 24 gets by 39 for seventh.

The eleventh caution comes out during the commercial. The sway bar of 9 is rubbing the tire and causes a flat tire, putting 9 into the wall. 14, 00, 19 Elliott Sadler, 17 and 34 stay out. 12 spins 1, but he gets going again. 00 takes the lead. 48 gets by 14 for second. 5 and 19 battle for seventh, with 5 getting by. 11 and 14 battle for third and 11 finally gets by. 48 catches leader 00. They battle for the lead and 48 takes the lead. 42 drives by 29 for fourth. 11 gets by 00 for second. 00 and 42 battle for third, with 42 taking the spot. 5 gets by 00 for fourth. 2 and 9 get by 16.

11 catches leader 48. 88 has another flat tire, but he makes it to the pits and there is no caution. 11 and 48 battle for the lead, with 11 taking the lead. 18 and 24 battle for ninth, with 24 getting by. 07 and 00 battle side by side. 20 is all over 31. 9 gets by 26 on the outside. 11 gets stuck in traffic, with 98 Paul Menard, 88 and 19 trying to stay on the lead lap. 99 bumps 18 to get by. 18 bumps 99 to get by. 99 moves 18 up the track to get by. 07 and 14 get by 18. 11 laps 18. 83 is pitting, starting Green Flag Pitting with 75 laps to go. 33 is too fast exiting. 48 and 24 have long stops. 11 retains the lead.

The twelfth caution comes out during the commercial. 19 gets into 34 and 34 spins with 56 laps to go. 11 chooses the inside. 24 gets loose and 83 gets by. 14 taps 20 to get by. 24 gets back by 83. 14 and 99 battle, with 14 getting by. 48 bumps leader 11. 6 and 00 battle. 14 gets by team mate 39 for seventh. 24 and 42 battle for third, with 24 getting by. 99 and 18 battle for eleventh. 18 finally gets by. 26 gets by 99.

The thirteenth caution comes out for debris from 44 with sixteen laps to go. 11, 48, 24, 42, 39 stay out. 14 is out of the pits first. 11 chooses the inside. 24 and 48 battle for second, but 48 keeps the spot. 42 and 24 battle for third, with 42 taking the spot. 5 gets into 07 and sends him high on the track. 18 and 39 battle for fifth. 29 and 5 battle.

The fourteenth caution comes out with six to go. 82 Scott Speed gets hard into the wall with too much speed into the corner. Perhaps he had no brakes. 07 and 2 are pitting. There will be a Green, White, Checker finish. 34 crashes into the inside wall on the last lap at the Start/Finish line. He stays where he is and they all race for the finish.

And 11 Denny Hamlin, the hometown favorite, wins the Tums Fast Relief 500. Someone, after all, can beat Jimmy Johnson. Second isn’t too bad for 48. He retains the lead with 5 118 points behind. Denny moves up two spots into ninth. 42 gains a spot, while 2 looses a spot. 39 gains a position, while 16 looses one. 9 falls back two spots.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

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