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.