Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series raced the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 race at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, the sixth race of the season. Martinsville Speedway is the oldest track on the circuit and it’s .526 mile paper clip configuration has never been changed to supposedly make racing better there. Martinsville Speedway started out as a dirt track way back when NASCAR first was born. Clay Earl paved it, but the cars kept digging up the asphalt in the corners, so he made the corners concrete. But the size and shape has never been changed. Most drivers like it because they started their careers on the short tracks across America.
5 Kasey Kahne captured the Pole on Saturday with a speed of 97.128 mph and 19.496 seconds around the track. 29 Kevin Harvick who won this race last year, and won the Camping World Truck race on Saturday, leading 248 of 250 laps, starts on the front row with Kahne.Harvick is making his 400th career start in this race. “Happy Harvick” has End To Prohibition on his car for this race, with “Happy Days Are Here Again” on his car.
Rick Hendrick is going for his 200th win as an organization. (All Cup wins.) The 5 car of Geoff Bodine won the first race for HMS at Martinsville Speedway. Today the number 5 of Kasey Kahne is starting on the Pole. Hendrick has three other drivers in the race who can win that 200th, 24 Jeff Gordon, 48 Jimmie Johnson and 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Let’s see if any of them can win this race. They have been dragging around their 200 win hats for quite sometime! Richard Petty started the engines.
So, here we go! 5 Kasey Kahne chooses the inside lane leaving 29 Kevin Harvick on the outside. 29 leads the first lap. 55 Brian Vickers gets stuck on top. 24 Jeff Gordon drives under 2 Brad Keselowski for sixth. 15 Clint Bowyer moves 11 Denny Hamlin out of the way to get by and 24 follows. 24 gets by 5 for second and drives under 29 for the lead. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. gets by 11 for seventh. 29 and 2 race for second. 29 yields and 2 takes the spot. 5 and 29 race for fourth and 5 gets by. 51 Kurt Busch has a flat right front tire after getting the brakes too hot to heat up the bead on the tire. He makes a pit stop.
31 Jeff Burton and 48 Jimmie Johnson drive by 56 Martin Truex, Jr. 11 drives under 29 for fifth. 24 thinks he has a tire problem but maybe it is only debris on the tire. The first caution comes out during the commercial when 18 Kyle Busch comes off the corner straight into the wall. He has a rear end problem. 39 Ryan Newman is too fast entering the pits. 48 is too fast exiting the pits. 27 Paul Menard gets back onto the lead lap.
24 and 11 come out of the pits first and 24 chooses the inside. 43 Aric Almirola moves up into 88. 88 bumps 43 and drives away. 5 gets by 11 for second. 88 drives under 2 for seventh. 11 takes second from 5. 15 gets by 5 for third. 99 Carl Edwards and 20 Joey Logano race side by side with 22 A. J. Allmendinger right behind. 22 gets behind 99 and they both get by 20. 88 gets by 5 for fourth. 43 gets by 29, who has no rear grip. 17 Matt Kenseth drives inside 14 Tony Stewart. (18 is back on track, 79 laps down.)
2 drives under 31 for sixth. 10 David Reutimann has his brakes on fire! 55 gets bumped up high. 51 has another right front tire going down. 88 gets by 11 for second. 47 Bobby Labonte starts Green Flag Pitting. 88 catches leader 24 and takes the lead. The crowd roars. 5 thinks something is broken. 88 and 24 pit and 11 leads. 11 pits and 15 leads. 15 pits and 17 leads. 17 pits and 43 leads. 5 is smoking. 24 is back in the lead after the pitting.
The second caution comes out for 36 Dave Blaney spinning into the wall. 48 Jimmie Johnson gets his lap back. 5 is in the garage with the hood up. 11 and 48 make pit stops, while the rest of the leaders stay out. 24 and 88 restart out front and 24 chooses the inside to lead the race. 15 makes 88 slip to get by.
The third caution comes out when 42 Juan Pablo Montoya spins after contact with 32 Ken Schrader. 39 Ryan Newman gets back onto the lead lap. 24 and 15 race for the lead at the restart. 24 stays in the lead. 99, 38 David Gilliland and 9 Marcos Ambrose are three wide. 38 backs out. 11 gets by 17. 48 gets by 17. 48 gets by 2 for fourth. 48 gets by 88 for third and then by 15 for second.
The fourth caution comes out when 5 comes out of the garage onto pit road and spins in his own fluid after the engine lets go. This closes pit road until it can be cleaned up. 16 Greg Biffle gets his lap back. 2 is too fast out of the pits trying to get ahead of 88. 24 leads and chooses the outside.
24 and 48 race for the lead side by side and 48 takes the lad. The fifth caution comes out on lap 361. 93 Travis Kvapil spins around and backs into the wall. 99 Carl Edwards gets back onto the lead lap. 48 stops, coming out of his pit after a miscommunication with the Official. 88 has a long stop. 11 comes out of the pits first and chooses the inside. 24 and 48 race for second and 48 gets by. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. gets by 88. 39 gets by 14 Tony Stewart for sixth.
11 and 48 race for the lead with 24 right behind. 48 takes the lead. 24 gets by 11 for second. 10 David Reutimann and 36 Dave Blaney stay out of the way of the leaders. 15 gets by 11 for third. 2 gets by 39 for fifth. 88 gets by 39 for sixth. 88 and 39 get by 11. 88 gets by 2 for fourth. 88 drives by 15 into third. 27makes a pit stop and is too fast on pit road. 24 catches 48 with 6 laps to go. 48 and 24 race for the lead. 48 is better off the corner and keeps the lead.They race side by side and 24 beats 48 to the line.
The sixth caution comes out for 10 stopped on the track. He broke a tie rod and the engine was going. The engine let go as he missed the entrance to pit road and stopped on the track. This put an end to 24 and 48 trying for the win and set up a Green, White Checker Finish. 24 and 48 stay out for position while the others pit for better tires and fuel to make it to the end.
15 comes out of the pits first. At the restart, 24 and 48 spin the tires and 15 dives low, making it three wide for the lead. 15 gets onto the curb and into 24. 24 spins 48 into the wall. 39 gets by the mess to lead. 22 shoves his way through, 88 follows. 24 is coasting on the track, out of fuel, and stops on the track. 48 is going to push 24 but thinks better of it and drives around. The tow truck pushes 24 off the track.
This will be the second of a possible three Green White Checker Finishes. 39 and 22 start out front and race side by side for the lead. The White Flag comes out and they are still racing side by side. Finally 39 is a little stronger and takes the lead. 39 Ryan Newman wins the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway in his Outback Steak House car. This was his sixteenth win and his first this year.
Newman is followed by 22 A. J. Allmendinger (his best finish ever), 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr., 17 Matt Kenseth, 56 Martin Truex, Jr., 11 Denny Hamlin, 14 Tony Stewart, 43 Aric Almirola, 2 Brad Keselowski and 15 Clint Bowyer for the top ten. The Goody’s Fast Relief 500 ran fifteen extra laps and there were ten different leaders.
In Championship points, Greg Biffle is still leading. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. moves up a spot into second, 6 points behind. There is a four way tie for third with Tony Stewart moving up one, Matt Kenseth moving up two, Kevin Harvick falling three and Martin Truex, Jr. falling one spot. Denny Hamlin remains in seventh. Ryan Newman moves up two into eighth. Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson fall one spot each into ninth and tenth. Newman gets a Grandfather clock for a trophy. (How cool is that?)
Next week is Easter weekend, so the drivers all get to stay home with their families. In two weeks they will be headed out to Texas Motor Speedway. See you then.
Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I Love NASCAR racing.