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.