Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series raced the Food City 500 in Thunder Valley, the Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN. This was the fourth race of the season. So far there have been three different race winners. Bristol Motor Speedway is the Fastest Half Mile in the world, a .533 mile track. Bristol Motor Speedway was reconfigured to give it a second groove to make for more racing for position. Some NASCAR fans prefer the old shoving out of the way for position. This NASCAR race fan prefers the side by side racing with less shoving and caution laps.
Sunday morning, there was rain at the track, washing all the rubber off the track. But that stopped, the track was dried and the race is good to go. There will be a competition caution around lap 50 so the teams can see how the tires are. Should there be a caution before that, they will not be allowed to fuel the cars.
Pre-race ceremonies included driver introductions with each driver picking a song and introducing himself. Watching the race at home, we got to see only a handful of the drivers and their songs.
45 cars were entered in the race. 7 Robby Gordon had engine issues, was unable to start the car and withdrew from the race. Rookie 37 Timmy Hill was the lone driver who did not make the race. 16 Greg Biffle captured the Pole with a speed of 125.215 mph and 15.324 seconds around this short track. 22 A. J. Allmendinger sits next to him on the front row. Biffle finished third in the three previous races this year. No pole sitter has won this race since Rusty Wallace did it many years ago.
So, here we go! 16 Biffle chooses the outside and pulls ahead to lead. 24 Jeff Gordon and 22 race for second with 39 Ryan Newman right behind. 78 Regan Smith, 99 Carl Edwards, 2 Brad Keselowski and 43 Aric Almirola race for position. 22 drives under 24 for second. 24 and 39 race for third.
The first caution comes out during the commercial. 78, 5 Kasey Kahne and 2 were racing for position. 5 and 78 got together, 5 spins, 2 and 78 get away with some damage. 99 runs into 5, collecting 18 Kyle Busch, 9 Marcos Ambrose and 29 Kevin Harvick. 5 had thought he cleared 78, 78 got into 5 to start the mess. (Clearly, it was too soon for no give and take.) This will be the competition caution. 22 stays out to lead. Seven drivers do not make a pit stop.
They restart on lap 46. 31 Jeff Burton gets by 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 17 Matt Kenseth, 33 Brendan Gaughan and 43 race for position with 27 Paul Menard and 39 joining them. 14 Tony Stewart races side by side with 51 Kurt Busch. 55 Brian Vickers and team mate 56 Martin Truex, Jr. race for position. 55 takes the lead in traffic, on the bottom of the track when 22 is high behind a car about to be lapped.
The second caution comes out when 32 Ken Schrader had a tire going down and hits the wall hard. 36 Dave Blaney gets his lap back. 55 leads. 22 and 31 race for second with 24 right behind. 22 stays in second. 9 and 18 are back in the race after repairs, many laps down. 22, 24 and 2 race for position 2 takes the spot, 24 gets by 22. 22, 88 and 31 race for position. 17 gets by 88 for fourth. 1 Jamie McMurray drives under 22 for tenth. (22 is very loose and loosing spots.) 5 is back on the track.
2 catches leader 55. 14 moves 43 out of the way. 24 drives between two lapped cars. 15 Clint Bowyer drives under 48 Jimmie Johnson for seventh. 2 takes the lead. 24 and 55 race for second. 22 is way too loose and pits. 24 catches leader 2. 17 gets by 55 for third. 17 gets by 24 for second. 17 takes the lead as 2 pits to start Green Flag Pitting. When 55 finally makes his pit stop, 2 is back in the lead. 11 Denny Hamlin has a loose wheel and has to pit again. 31 gets by 24 for third. 99 is back on the track. 55 drives around 88.
17 catches leader 2, trying to lap 14. The third caution comes out when 30 David Stremme blows a right front tire and hits the wall. 14 Tony Stewart gets his lap back. 29 stays on the lead lap. 11 takes the wave around. 2 chooses the inside and 17 and 2 battle for the lead, touching each other. 17 takes the lead on the outside. 15 and 31 race for position with 24. 15 gets the spot. 24 and 88 race for fifth.
The fourth caution comes out during the commercial. 24 and 88 were racing side by side and get together. 24 cuts a tire and spins into the wall. They restart with 130 laps to go. 17 chooses the outside. The first eight cars stay out. 17 and 2 race for the lead. 48 and 16 race for seventh. 31 gets by 15. 17 leads but cannot pull away. 31 and 15 race each other again. 17 and 2 race for the lead. 2 takes the lead. 15 gets by 31 for third. 2 gets a little too high and thinks he has a flat tire. 48 and 16 race side by side and 16 finally takes the spot. 56 drives around 31 for sixth.
FOX has side by side commercials with racing during the second half of the race. As we go to the side by side commercial, the fifth caution comes out. FOX stays in this format. 14 and 33 get together. 88 makes a pit stop and is caught speeding. Ten cars are on the lead lap.
2 Brad Keselowski holds off 17 Matt Kenseth to win the Food City 500 race at Bristol Motor Speedway. This is his second win at this track in a row. 56 Martin Truex, Jr. finishes third, followed by 15 Clint Bowyer, 55 Brian Vickers, 31 Jeff Burton, 1 Jamie McMurray, 42 Juan Pablo Montoya, 48 Jimmie Johnson and 27 Paul Menard for the top ten finishers. 29 Kevin Harvick overcomes the early caution to finish eleventh, 39 Ryan Newman comes in twelfth, pole sitter, 16 Greg Biffle finishes thirteenth, 14 Tony Stewart finishes fourteenth and 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finishes fifteenth after his speeding penalty. There were seven different leaders. Keselowski led the most laps.
Greg Biffle stays on top in points, nine ahead of Kevin Harvick. Matt Kenseth moves up two spots into third. Martin Truex, Jr. moves up four spots into fourth while Denny Hamlin falls two spots into fifth. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. falls two spots to sixth. Tony Stewart remains in seventh. Clint Bowyer moves up six positions to eighth. Joey Logano remains in ninth. Paul Menard moves up a spot into the top ten. Jeff Burton moves up four spots into eleventh. Ryan Newman moves up a spot into twelfth while Brad Keselowski moves up eight spots into thirteenth. Carl Edwards falls eight spots after the early crash into fourteenth. Kyle Busch falls three spots into fifteenth. Mark Martin, running only a partial schedule, was not in the race and falls six spots into sixteenth. Jimmie Johnson moves up another six positions into seventeenth. Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray each move up six positions into eighteenth and nineteenth. Regan Smith falls one position for the top twenty in points.
Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I Love NASCAR racing.