Posts Tagged ‘Race Review’

NASCAR Racing At Kansas

June 4, 2011

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. Qualifying presented by Dollar General for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 took place for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Saturday morning at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. The drivers come onto the track based on practice speeds on Friday, from slowest to fastest. The top 25 in owner points are locked into the race. For this race, 37 were entered for 36 spots. 65 Stephan McCurley had to go home. 3 Austin Dillon sits on the pole for the race with a speed of 169.966 mph and 31.771 seconds. 2 Clint Bowyer will start next to him on the front row. Eleven different drivers sat on the provisional pole!

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series then qualified for the STP 400 race at Kansas. 45 cars qualified for 43 spots. Starting with the next race at Pocono, there will not be two sessions. All drivers entered will come onto the track based on speeds in the first practice session. There will no longer be “knock out qualifying”. (Thankfully, the NASCAR Fan Council listened to me!) If qualifying is rained out, they will line up in that order.

22 Kurt Busch came out fifth and sits on the pole with a speed of 174.75 mph and 30.901 seconds. No one could knock him off. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya will start second. 50 T. J. Bell and 37 Tony Raines did not make the race.

Next up was the O’Reilly 250 Truck race. This is the Series’ 400th race. Johnny Benson and Greg Biffle are the only Truck drivers who also have a Busch Championship and have won in Cup. Ron Hornaday has four Truck Championships, while Mike Skinner has three. Neither of them have any Cup wins. Mike Bliss and Travis Kvapil both won Championships in the 16 Truck. The Series started in 1995  as the Super Truck Series so drivers could hone their skills and move up to Cup. Kyle Busch is using the Series to win races and beat the Truck drivers so the media will tell him how great he is because he can beat the Truck drivers. Cole Whitt leads the points going into this race.

Clint Bowyer entered two Truck races and finished second to Busch in both. He hopes to win in his home state. 4 Ricky Carmichael starts the race from the rear with no practice laps, having crashed the primary Truck in qualifying. past Champion, Greg Biffle drives the pace car in this race.

And now for the O’Reilly 250 race review: 2 Clint Bowyer started out strong and finished that way. 18 Kyle Busch moves over 33 Ron Hornaday to get by. This causes the tire to go down on 33 and the tire blows for the first caution. (I won’t give a blow by blow account here.) 13 Johnny Sauter was strong. 77 Justin Lofton led during  Green Flag Pitting. The second caution was for 39 Ryan Sieg blowing up. 13 took the lead from 2.

The third caution was for spinning 32 Brad Sweet after contact with 8 Nelson Piquet, Jr. They were three wide with 20 Johanna Long. The fourth caution is for 8 spinning. The fifth is for debris. 30 Todd Bodine takes the lead for awhile before 2 gets it back. 33 comes back out, 65 laps down. The sixth caution comes out for 93 Shane Sieg and 9 Max Papis. 9 bumped 93, so the next lap 93 bumped 9 and they both get into the wall.

60 Cole Whitt and 23 Jason White stay out to lead. 18 makes it three wide but can’t get by. 2 gets back into the lead. The seventh caution comes out when damaged 92 Clay Rogers gets loose and sideways. 18 looks to pit but stays out. On the final lap 18 tries to get by 22 Joey Coulter for fifth and gets upset with him because Joey wouldn’t let him by. Kyle finished outside the top five and didn’t lead a single lap. (Of course a Cup driver win the race, but at least it was Bowyer in the 2 in his home state, not the master of the Truck drivers, Kyle.)

The NASCAR Nationwide Series is in Chicagoland Speedway where rain and hail cancelled qualifying for the STP 300. Trevor Bayne is back in the 16 car and will start further down in the field, having missed the race at Iowa Speedway. Nationwide will race this evening.

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

 

Race Review: Air Guard 400

September 12, 2010

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The Air National Guard 400 at Richmond International Raceway is the final race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular season. Next up is the chase for the Sprint cup. The top ten in points are already locked into the chase. This race will set the top 12 drivers in the chase.

99 Carl Edwards captured the Coors Light Pole award on Friday with a speed of 127.762. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya will start second. 13 is Casey Mears. 36 is Dave Blaney. 71 is Landon Cassill. 32 is Jason Leffler. 34 is Tony Raines. 7 is Kevin Conway. 83 is Mattias Ekstrom. 09 is Bobby Labonte. 10 Terry Labonte failed to make the race, but 55 Mike Bliss did and is handing over driver duties to Terry. Terry will have to start from the rear. Also not qualifying were: 46 Michael McDowell, 64 Todd Bodine, 66 Scott Riggs and 92 Brian Keselowski. 83 had a transmission change and will have to start from the rear, although he was already starting 42nd.

So, here we go! 99 starts from the pole and takes off. 42 and 43 A. J. Allmendinger battle for second, side by side for seven laps before 42 finally keeps second place. 00 David Reutimann and 48 Jimmie Johnson battle for fifth and 48 takes the spot. 2 Kurt Busch and 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. battle and 2 takes the position. 29 Kevin Harvick gets by 18 Kyle Busch for 23rd. 33 Clint Bowyer and 43 race each other. 24 Jeff Gordon, 29 and 18 battle for position.

48 and 33 get by 42. 48 takes the lead. The first caution comes out on lap 56. 00 gets a flat left rear when 2Kkurt Busch spins him. Greg Biffle (16) clenches a spot in the chase. 19 Elliott Sadler is the Lucky Dog and gets his lap back. 33 takes second from 48. 48 and 14 Tony Stewart battle for third and 14 gets by. 17 Matt Kenseth battles 42, while 12 Brad Keselowski battles team mate 2. 42 and 2 move ahead. 29 battles 20 Joey Logano and 29 takes the spot. 18 gets by 20. 16 is tight and is falling back.

11 Denny Hamlin and 2 battle for fifth, with 11 getting by. 33 takes the lead. 11 gets by 48. 11 and 48 get by 99. 11 catches leader 33. 11 takes the lead. (Marty Reid, the announcer says “our race leader, Denny Hamlin is our race leader.”)

The second caution comes out for 55 bouncing off the wall while 9 Kasey Kahne is in the pits. 11 comes out of the pits first.Eight drivers take the wave around as they already made Green Flag Pits. 20 Joey Logano gets the free pass, back onto the lead lap. 11 and 48 battle for the lead. 48 takes the lead. 48 and 11 battle for the lead. 48 keeps the lead. 31 Jeff Burton and 99 battle for position and 99 takes the spot. 48 and 11 battle for the lead and 11 takes the lead when 48 gets loose. 33 takes the lead. 11 takes the lead back. 18 gets by 99 for fifth. 33 takes the lead. 11 takes the lead. 48 gets by 33 for second.

The third caution is for sprinkles on the track. 24 Jeff Gordon gets the free pass onto the lead lap. 31 stays out to lead. The rain stops and 31 pits, putting 11 back in the lead. 33 gets by 48 for second. 47 Marcos Ambrose gets by 20. 39 Ryan Newman and 17 Matt Kenseth battle side by side for seventh. Green Flag pitting starts and 9 drives by leader 11 to get his lap back. 42 takes the lead. 11 catches 42 and takes the lead. 18 catches leader 11 in traffic.

There are sixteen cars on the lead lap. 11 puts 14 in sixteenth a lap down. 33 and 20 battle for fourth, with 20 taking the spot. 47 gets by 33 for fifth. 18 falls back from 11. And 11 Denny Hamlin wins the Air Guard 400 at Richmond International Raceway. This is his sixth win this season and puts him first in the chase for the Sprint Cup. There were six leaders in the race. and only three cautions, one of them for sprinkles.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR.

Race Review: Samsung Mobile 500

April 20, 2010

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. This week NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is racing the Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, TX. This is the eighth race of the schedule. Mother Nature did not cooperate this weekend. Practice and qualifying were on Friday. And then it rained. No practice on Saturday. The NASCAR Nationwide race was postponed until Sunday after the Sprint Cup race. But Sunday was no better. So, on Monday, they finally raced. Both Series’ got to race. And there were quite a few fans in Texas who showed up for the race.

If you’ll recall, Tony Stewart starts his 400th career race from the pole with a speed of 191.327. Sam Hornish, Jr. joins him on the front row. David Stremme, Terry Cook and Johnny Sauter failed to qualify. Since no one has been on the track since Friday, there will be a competition caution on lap 25. If anyone pits before that time, they may not get fuel. Hornish has three IRL wins at Texas. Let’s see how he does in Sprint Cup.

So, here we go! 14 Tony Stewart starts the race on the inside, and leads from the pole. 18 Kyle Busch gets by 33 Clint Bowyer for seventh. 48 Jimmie Johnson gets by 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. for third. 9 Kasey Kahne gets by 77 for sixth. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya and 29 Kevin Harvick battle for nineteenth, with 29 getting by. 29 and 42 battle some more. 18 gets by 77 for sixth. 33 gets by 77 for seventh. 77 is tight and having trouble turning. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and 77 battle for eighth, with 88 getting by. 16 Greg Biffle takes the lead. 55 Dave Blaney goes to the garage.

The competition caution comes out with the completion of lap 25. 37 David Gilliland is the Lucky Dog and gets back on the lead lap. 66 Michael McDowell stays out to lead a lap. 12 Brad Keselowski is having trouble with his transponder. He pits to fix it and NASCAR gives him back his position. 14 chooses the inside for the restart. 18 and 48 get by 16 for second and third. 33 and 16 battle for fifth, with 33 getting by. 31 Jeff Burton gets by 16 for sixth. 77 almost gets into the wall. 17 Matt Kenseth, 5 Mark Martin and 47 Marcos Ambrose are three wide. 48 drives by 18 on the top for second. 00 David Reutimann complains that his alternator light keeps going on and off.

88 ducks under 18 for third. 48 takes the lead during the commercial. 24 Jeff Gordon gets by 33 for fourth. 31 gets by 18 for fifth. 99 Carl Edwards gets by 9 Kasey Kahne for tenth. 16 gets by 18 for seventh. 42 and 9 battle for eleventh. 88 gets by 14 for second. 11 Denny Hamlin thinks he has a loose wheel. 42 and 9 get by 99. 31 gets by 33 for fifth. 88 takes the lead from 48. 29 Kevin Harvick pits with a vibration. 12 also makes a pit stop.

83 Brian Vickers nearly gets into the wall, flattens a tire, tries to pit, but spins coming onto pit road, bringing out the second caution, for debris. 34 Travis Kvapil gets the Free pass back onto the lead lap. 29 and 12, having pitted, stay out to get the wave around. 21 Bill Eliott has the hood up in the pits. 17 comes in a couple of times. 83 makes many pit stops for repairs.

14 restarts from the inside. 88 doesn’t take off. 88 is loose outside of 24 and 24 gets by. 33 and 88 battle for fourth. 33 can’t get by. 99 gets by 42 for sixth. The third caution is again for spinning 83. He cuts a tire in front of the leader. 12 Brad Keselowski is the Lucky Dog and gets back on the lead lap. 88, 24, 31, 16 and 1 Jamie McMurray all take two tires. 48 is slowing them down.

The fourth caution comes out when 77 spins. He is severely loose, and has been since the start of the race. 88, leading, stays out. 24 in third heads for the pits. 31 in second sees 24 pitting and tries to pit, but hits the commitment cone. He will have to make a drive through. 1 also stays out, and takes the lead after the restart. 33 is slowing everyone up. He has a tire going down and pits.

31, 12 and 78 Regan Smith are three wide. 43 A. J. Allmendinger is overheating and pits. 32 Reed Sorenson is being pushed to the garage. 24 drives under 2 Kurt Busch for fifth. 48 and 20 Joey Logano trade eleventh place back and forth. 24 drives under 11 for fourth. 48 drives under 99 for tenth. 24 gets by 00. 24 gets by 1 for second. 24 takes the lead. 12 is backing up. 14 gets by 18 for tenth. 5 heads for the pits. 48 and 00 battle. 88 pits. And there is Green Flag Pitting. 42 leads when 24 pits. They are having trouble getting the left rear tire off of 24.

88 is back into the lead after all the pitting. 24 drives by 11 for second. 48 and 00 battle for fourth, with 48 taking the spot. 24 catches 88 and takes the lead. 98 Paul Menard gets by 29 for eleventh. 77 and 17 battle each other to stay on the lead lap. 48 takes the lead from 24. 17 gets lapped and pits. 88 and 5 pit. 24 and 48 battle for the lead. 24 takes the lead and Green Flag Pitting begins again. (I love Green Flag Pitting.) 88 is back in the lead after it all. 24 takes the lead with 48 right behind. 88 is getting looser and looser after every pit stop.

The fifth caution comes out when 42 gets a flat tire and gets into the wall. 39 Ryan Newman gets the free pass back onto the lead lap. They go Green with 97 to go. 18 makes it three wide and sends 98 up the track and going back. 24 and 48 battle for second. 24 gets loose and into 48 to get by. 48 gets back into 24. 31 and 48 battle and 31 gets by. 24 takes the lead from 14. 48 pits with a tire rub and Green Flag Pitting begins again.

The sixth caution comes out with 23 laps to go when 00 blows up while running in seventh. 31 takes fuel only for the lead, and chooses the inside. They go Green with 18 laps to go. 88 drives through the middle. The seventh caution comes out and it’s “the big one”. 24 and 14 get together and get sideways. 99 gets into 24. 43 has nowhere to go. 42 goes low onto the wet grass and back onto the track, into the wall. Ten cars are involved. 1, 14, 20, 24, 33, 39, 42, 43, 98 and 99.They bring out the Red Flag for clean up.

When the Yellow Flag comes out, 88 pushes 31 to get him going. 11 and 31 battle for the lead and 18 gets into the battle. 11 takes the lead. 48 scrapes the wall. 18 gets by 88 for second. 31 falls to fourth. 2 gets by 31 and 31 gets into the wall. 17 has a flat tire. 2 and 48 battle for fourth, with 48 getting by. 2 and 88 battle for second. 48 slips, but gets by.

And 11 Denny Hamlin wins the Samsung Mobile 500.

The Nationwide race took place after the Sprint Cup race, with 18 Kyle Busch winning five in a row at Texas.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

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Race Review: Martinsville – Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500

March 29, 2010

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. This week the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is in Martinsville, Va. The Goody’s Fast Relief 500, was to take place on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. But Mother Nature had her way this weekend. Friday Coors Light Pole qualifying was canceled for both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series due to rain. Kevin Harvick started on the pole and won the Truck race on Saturday. But Sunday’s race was postponed until Monday because of rain. Kevin Harvick started on the pole.

Because qualifying was rained out, they line up according to owner points. 38 is now Kevin Conway. 37 is now David Gilliland. 26 is David Stremme. Casey Mears, Terry Cook and Johnny Sauter failed to make the race. Sauter is a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular, who raced on Saturday. 31 Jeff Burton was fastest in practice, so look out for him. 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. is feeling under the weather, and Aric Almirola who is in the 09 car will be on stand-by after he starts and parks his car. Because there was rain, there will be a competition caution on lap 50 so they can check their tires.

So, here we go! 29 Kevin Harvick leads from the pole. 48 Jimmie Johnson and 2 Kurt Busch battle for third, and 2 finally gets by. 14 Tony Stewart drives by 16 Greg Biffle. 24 Jeff Gordon gets by team mate, 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 31 Jeff Burton gets by 88. 1 Jamie McMurray and 99 Carl Edwards battle. 16 gets stuck on top and 98 Paul Menard, 24, 31 and 88 get by. 20 Joey Logano and 9 Kasey Kahne get by 18 Kyle Busch. He slides up the track and 43 A. J. Allmendinger, 56 Martin Truex, Jr. 19 Elliott Sadler, 00 David Reutimann and 6 David Ragan all get by.

14 gets by 17 Matt Kenseth for second. 14 was faster, and 17 let him by. 16 is falling back and can’t get back down on the track. 11 Denny Hamlin is up to ninth, after starting in nineteenth. 18 is down to 32nd after starting tenth. 11 drives by 48 for eighth.

The first caution comes out during the commercial for 87 Joe Nemechek getting into the wall. This will be the competition caution and everyone may pit for fuel. 26 David Stremme is the Lucky Dog and gets back onto the lead lap. 29 comes out of the pits first. 11 dropped the jack and had a long pit. 37 Gilliland stays out to lead.

29 chooses the bottom for the restart. 29 and 2 battle for the lead, but 29 keeps it. 82 Scott Speed gets into the wall, smashing his front end. He heads for the pits. 24 gets by 2 for second. 2 bumps 24. 31 gets by 88. 31 and 88 get by 17. 5 Mark Martin and 17 battle, with 5 getting by. 17 is stuck on top of the track. 33 Clint Bowyer gets by 17. 24 and 29 battle for the lead. 24 takes the lead. 2 gets by 29 for second.

The second caution comes out during the commercial for spinning 26. 48 and 31 battle with 31 on top. 33 gets out of shape when 88 and 33 get together. The third caution comes out when 00 spins and gets stuck in the grass. 82 Scott Speed gets the free pass back onto the lead lap.

24 chooses the inside for the restart. 2 and 24 battle for the lead, with 2 leading at the line. 24 gets warned about not restarting properly. 24 regains the lead. 47 Marcos Ambrose and 98 get together. 47 gets into 42 Juan Pablo Montoya. 42 gets by 98. 42 drives past 39 Ryan Newman. 42 and 47 battle with 42 getting by. 39 gets by 47. 42 gets by 77  Sam Hornish, Jr.. 42 gets by 9.

29 and 2 battle for second, with 29 getting by. 14 and 43 battle and 14 gets by. 14 gets by 77. 77 and 47 get together. 29 is off the pace with something wrong with the brakes. He heads for the garage. There was contact with 31. 42 gets by 20 on the outside. 42 gets into the wall, hard when the bead gets too hot and he blows a tire. He was racing in twelfth and goes to the garage. They stay Green.

The fourth caution comes out when 7 Robby Gordon blows a tire. 37 David Gilliland gets the free pass onto the lead lap. 24 comes out of the pits first and chooses the inside for the Restart. 88 and 18 battle for tenth, with 88 getting by. 2 and 24 battle for the lead. 2 takes the lead. 31 gets by 24 for second. 9 gets by 83 Brian Vickers. 88 and 83 get together. 83 slides up the track. 29 is back on the track, many laps down in 38th. 31 and 2 battle for the lead. 31 takes the lead.

The fifth caution comes out when 47 and 16 get together and 16 spins. 2 has a miscommunication  and stays out. 5 stays out to lead and 12 Brad Keselowski also stays out. 39 and 31 get together on pit road. They Restart on lap 164. 39 gets by 24.

The sixth caution comes out when 19 Elliott Sadler spins and can’t get going. 98 got into 19, 19 spins and 26 gets into 98. 43 also has damage. 19 gets going as the leaders get to him. 2 almost jumps the Restart but pulls back and then takes the lead. 39 and 31 get by 12. 24 and 28 battle for eighth. 18 gets by and 24 pulls in behind him. 48 and 11 get by 12. 5 gets under 2 to battle for the lead, but 2 keeps it. 5 takes the lead.

39 and 2 battle for second. 11 and 48 battle. 39, 2 31, 48, 11 all battle together. 39 gets by 2. 31 and 2 battle. 11 gets by 48. 11 and 2 battle, with 11 getting by. 11 and 39 battle for third, with 11 taking it. 88 and 18 get by 2. 31 takes the lead without 5 putting up a fight. 11 finally takes second from 5. 56 finally gets by 2 for eleventh. 29 returns to the garage. 11 has caught leader, 31. “Let’s see what happens” and they go to a commercial! 11 takes the lead during the commercial by getting into 31.

The seventh caution comes out when 78 and 7 blow tires and they can’t get off the track. 43, in a modified car, is back on the track. 2 had fallen to 14th before the caution. 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. gets back on the lead lap. 11 chooses the inside for the Restart. 31 and 11 battle for the lead. 31 takes the lead. 12 babbles when 83 gets into him. 5 and 18 battle and 5 gets by. 18 is smoking from the tail pipe when he lets off the gas. 24 gets by 18. 1 and 14 get together. 14 gets by. 12 gets into the curb and into 99. 42 blows a right front tire and gets into the wall. He pits and they stay Green. 29 is back out, 99 laps down.

The eighth caution comes out after 5 spins 19. 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. is again the Lucky Dog. 14 is still in the pits at the restart. He pulls out before the leaders get there. 31 and 11 battle for the lead. 48 and 5 battle for fourth, with 5 getting by. 00 and 4 get together, 47 spins, and they stay Green. The ninth caution comes out when 00 and 47 get together again and 47 spins again. 00 gets into the curbing and stuck in the grass. (There have been nineteen lead changes with 182 to go.) 31 chooses the inside. After a long battle with 11, 31 stays in the lead. 48 gets stuck on top. 77 and 9 race side by side for eighteenth. 24 and 18 battle for fourth, with 24 getting by. 11 catches leader, 31 in traffic. 11 takes the lead.

The tenth caution comes out during the commercial. 26 Stremme is stopped on the track. 5 has an equipment violation. The air hose got caught on the rear panel and took the hose out of it’s socket. He will have to go to the back of the pack. He was out third. 24 gets stuck on top. 33, 39, 2 and 17 get by. 33 drives around 18 for third. 17 gets by 2 for sixth. 2 is falling back. 39 drives by 18 for fourth. 2 has a loose wheel and pits. 24 and 17 battle for sixth, with 24 getting by. 31 takes the lead.

31 and 11 battle for the lead, but 31 shuts the door. They battle once again and 11 takes the lead. 2 is two laps down, racing the leaders, trying to get one back. The eleventh caution comes out during the commercial. 47 spins 38 Kevin Conway. 31 and 18 battle for second and 18 takes the spot. 1 is trailing the back panel and gets Black Flagged. He must come in to get that taken care of. 20 and 24 battle for seventh. 39 gets by 20. 31 and 18 battle for second, with 31 taking the position. 5 slaps the wall. 24 gets by 56. 39 and 56 battle for seventh, with 39 getting by.

12 and 98 battle for sixteenth. 12 keeps the spot. 5 and 17 battle for sixth. 5 can’t get by. 11 and 31 battle for the lead. 11 keeps the lead. 5 gets into the wall with a a blown tire and pits. 1 blows a tire and finally gets to pit road. 11 laps 9 and 14. 48 gets by 56 for ninth. 31 and 11 get together. 31 feals a tire going down. 18 gets by 31 for second.

The twelfth caution comes out when 31 blows the tire that was going down and gets into the wall. 11 and 18 in first and second are the only ones of the leaders who pit. The rest stay out. 18 takes two tires and comes out ahead of 11 who took four tires. They will restart 8th and 9th. 20 has a slow start and bottles up the pack. 11, 99 and 48 are three wide. 11 gets by 20 for fourth.

The thirteenth caution comes out when 18 tries to three wide by 47 and 98 and gets into the wall. It will be a Green, White, Checker Finish. 24 chooses the inside, with 39 next to him. 24 and 17 get together. 11 gets into 20. 24 slides 17 up the track, into the wall. 39 bumps 24. 11 takes the lead. 20 sneaks by 24.

And 11 Denny Hamlin wins the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500, with 20 , 24, 39 and 56 the rest of the top five. This is Denny’s third win at Martinsville Speedway. His third Grandfather clock. It took 508 laps to complete the race. 48 finishes ninth and takes over the points lead. Denny will undergo surgery on Wednesday on his left knee. Next week is an off-week for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Denny led the most laps, so the best car won the race.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

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Race Review: Kobalt Tools 500

March 7, 2010

Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. This week the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in the Kobalt Tool 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga. The track is 1.54 miles around and they will race for 325 laps, just over 500 miles. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is on the pole with a speed of 192.761. That’s the fastest any driver has run in the new car. Atlanta Motor Speedway is FAST! Next to him on the front row is 18 Kyle Busch. 09 Aric Almirola, 46 Terry Cook and 90 Casey Mears failed to qualify for the race.

16 Greg Biffle crashed into the wall in practice and had to go to a back-up car. He will start from the rear. Both Stewart-Haas Racing cars, 14 Tony Stewart and 39 Ryan Newman, changed the engine and both will be starting from the rear.

So, here we go! 88 chooses the inside, but 18 gets a better run and leads the first lap. The first caution comes out on lap 5 when 7 Robby Gordon blows a tire and crashes into the wall, leaving long black marks on the track. Cars in the rear of the field pit.

18 chooses the outside for the restart, since it worked out for him at the start. 48 Jimmy Johnson is up ten spots from starting 16th, into sixth. 9 Kasey Kahne takes second from 88. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya goes high to get around 88 for third. 9 comes on 18 on the top. 18 goes up to block, so 9 goes to the bottom to take the lead. 42 goes high to get by 18 for second. 33 Clint Bowyer has a flat tire and makes a pit stop. 5 Mark Martin falls from starting fourth all the way back to 30th. 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. won’t let 16 Greg Biffle by. 11 Denny Hamlin, 48 and 88 are three-wide. 48 backs off and 11 gets by 88. 6 David Ragan brushes the wall. 2 gets by 6, and 83 Brian Vickers gets by 6.

The second caution comes out on lap 35 when 6 blows the right front tire and gets into the wall. 13 Max Papis gets the free pass back onto the lead lap. 48 gets stuck behind 38 David Gilliland in the pits and has to back up to get out. 9 comes out of the pits first and chooses the outside.

The third caution comes out at the restart when 12 Brad Keselowski clips 99 Carl Edwards. 99 came down on 12 and 12 stayed where he was, they touch and 99 goes up into 20 Joey Logano and then into the wall. 33 Clint Bowyer gets the free pass, and back on the lead lap. 42 drives by 88. 24 Jeff Gordon and 2 Kurt Busch battle, with 24 getting by.

9 catches 18 and takes the lead. 42 drives by 18 for second. 16 and 39  battle side by side, but 16 can’t get by. 24 and 88 battle for fourth, with 24 taking the position. 11 drives past 18. 2 and 24 battle for third. 2 gets by. 43 A. J. Allmendinger gets by 1 Jamie McMurray and then 39. 14 Tony Stewart gets by 18 for seventh. 11 and 2 battle for third with 11 getting by. 11 and 42 battle for second and 11 takes the spot. 83 gets by 18 for eighth. 48 gets by 18. 16 gets by 18.

The fourth caution comes out during the commercial. 33, trying not to get lapped, gets into the wall. The caution is for debris and 33 gets the free pass. 18 pitted before the caution, and will get the wave around. 9 had a hard time getting out of the pits behind 48. 88 threads the needle between 11 and 14 for the position. 9 gets by 11 and 14. 88 and 42 battle for second, with 42 getting by. 24 gets by 88. 16 and 43 battle back and forth for tenth. 39 and 18 battle for 24th. 42 catches leader 2. 88 is pitting with what he thinks is a loose wheel.

The fifth caution comes out when 5 Mark Martin cuts a tire and slides through the grass, but saves the car. 71 Bobby Labonte gets the free pass. 88 takes the wave around. 38 stays out to lead, then pits to avoid 48 in the pits. 42 and 2 battle for the lead but 42 can’t get by. 24 and 17 Matt Kenseth battle for fifth. 11 and 42 battle for second, with 11 taking the spot. 24 and 48 battle for sixth, with 48 getting by. 16 is up to ninth after starting 41st. 14 is up to eleventh from 43rd. 11 and 2 battle for the lead. 16 and 43 battle. 11 and 2 battle again for the lead, and 11 takes the lead. 43 finally gets by 16. 24 and 88 are having tire woes and pit. 24 was too fast.

The sixth caution comes out for debris after 20 blows a tire and gets into the wall. 78 Regan Smith gets the free pass. 11 chooses the inside and they get the Green Flag on lap 165. 17 can’t get by 42 for third. 00 David Reutimann goes to the apron and pits. He is down a cylinder or dropped a valve. 9 gets by 17 for fourth. 2 is right there behind leader 11. 42 drives around 2  and then takes the lead. 9 gets by 11 for second. 9 takes the lead from 42.

16 and 43 are battling again, with 16 getting by. 14 is pitting from sixth place. 99 is back on the track. 48 has a vibration and pits. 88 also pits. 42 and 2 battle for third. 24 is off the pace and pits. 12 pits from sixth. 77 Sam Hornish, Jr. gets by 42 for fourth. And Green Flag Pitting starts. 9 pits and 11 leads. 31 Jeff Burton leads when 11 pits. 21 Bill Elliott (“Atlanta’s son”) leads when 31 pits. After it all, 9 is back into the lead. 31 was too fast entering. He had no brakes.

The seventh caution is for debris. 1 Jamie McMurray gets the free pass onto the lead lap. 38 stays out again to lead before pitting. 9 comes out of the pits first and chooses the inside. 2 takes the lead. 11 and 48 battle for third. 9 catches leader 2, they battle for the lead, but 9 can’t get by. 9 takes the lead during the commercial. 77 is having ignition problems. 98 Paul Menard gets by 56 Martin Truex, Jr. for tenth. 48 and 2 battle for second. 48 gets loose.

11 pits from the fourth position. 88 gets sideways. And Green Flag Pitting begins again. 21 has to come back in for a missing lug nut. 31 was again too fast entering the pits. 11 and 2 battle in traffic for the lead. 9 gets by 2 for second and catches leader 11. 9 takes the lead.

The eighth caution comes out during the commercial for debris when 11 cuts a tire. 48 slides out of his stall and has to back up. 47 Marcos Ambrose had a commitment cone issue. 2 chooses the inside and they go Green with 33 to go. 19 Elliott Sadler and 13 Max Papis get together at the restart and they finally throw the ninth caution for debris. 5 Mark Martin gets back on the lead lap. 48 pits from sixth with something rubbing the right front tire. He got into 39 who was on the outside and didn’t see him there.

17 can’t get by 2 for the lead. 31, 1 and 14 are three wide, with 29 getting into the mix. 14 pits for a right front tire. 17 and 42 battle for second, with 42 getting by. 9 and 17 battle for third. 9 finally gets by. 17 and 12 battle and 12 gets by. 43 and 17 battle for fourth. 42 is catching leader 2.

The tenth caution comes out with six laps to go. 99, 156 laps down, plows into 12 and sends him up into the air near the wall. Edwards gets parked for rough driving and goes the wrong way up pit road on his way to the garage. 11 Denny Hamlin gets back on the lead lap and everyone pits. 33 chooses the outside for the first Green, White, Checker attempt. 33, 2, 98 all go for the lead. 2 takes the lead.

The eleventh caution comes out before the White Flag. 1 tries to block 9, gets into 33 and everyone behind them. Collected are 5, 11, 18, 38 and 56. 26 cars are on the lead lap. 39 gets back on the lead lap. (I thought there was no Luck Dog with less than ten laps to go.) 2 chooses the inside for the second attempt at the Green, White Checker finish. 17 gets by 98 into second. 42 and 9 get by 98.

And 2 Kurt Busch wins the Kobalt Tools 500. They ran 341 laps with the race scheduled for 325. Thirteen different drivers led laps. Kurt won the spring race at Atlanta Motor Speedway last year also.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

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