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The Pit Stop


April 15, 2007 5:08 PM

The single winner streak is over at Texas as Burton wins.

Coming into the Samsung 500 today 12 different winners have won at the Texas Motor Speedway. Main drivers still yet to win at this racetrack were Jeff Gordon and Jimmy Johnson.

Qualifying for poll for the first time year was washed out due to rain leaving a bunch of Toyota cars including Michael Waltrip out of the race today. This left Jeff Gordon as the winner of the poll due to owner points.

At the end of the first lap the caution flew out as David Ragan and J.J. Yeley get together. Casey Mears hits Ricky Rudd and sends him into the grass and then goes over the top of the David Regan car. Other cars getting damage in this wreck was Ryan Newman and Johnny Sauter. Yeley said that getting taken out on the first lap was ridiculous.

After the drop of the green flag it led to a nice green flag run with Jeff Gordon in the lead of the race.

The second caution of the day came out on lap 44 for Mike Bliss. Jeff Gordon still leads the race at the drop of the green flag. This led to a long green flag run that also led to the first green flag pit stop of the day. After the green flag pit stops cycled through Gordon was still in the lead and grew his lead up four seconds until the caution came out on lap 116 for debris. During this green flag period Jimmy Johnson was stuck in second place.

The green flag drops and it did not take long before Dale Earnhardt Jr. took over second place. Gordon bumped up his lead to around 1.4 seconds and then Dale started to real Gordon in. Around 144 laps in and he was right behind Gordon for the lead of the race.

Finally on lap 156 he took the lead of the race for good and quickly busted open a 1 second plus lead.

At the half waypoint in the race another round of green flag pit stops occurred. Green flag racing continued with Dale in the lead until a debris caution came out on lap 211. By the end of the green flag run Gordon fell back to fourth.

The next caution came out on lap 239 when Tony Stewart spins out with a battle from Juan Pablo Montoya. Trying to avoid the wreck was Jimmy Johnson, but winds up hitting Tony. Jimmy Johnson in the garage stated that the he went low but it just did not work out.

Stewart would also be apart of the next caution on lap 254. Also involved in this wreck was Dale Earnhardt Jr and Kyle Busch. Dale was able to continue on while only getting mostly rear bumper damage.

At this point of time Kurt Busch took over the lead of the race by staying out and not pitting. Sitting in second place at this time was Mark Martin. During this green flag run Jeff Gordon was starting to make his move and cut into the lead that Kurt Busch had. Gordon moved into the lead on lap 292 while Kurt Busch pits and then one lap later the caution came out for debris.

By this time it was all over for Dale’s car and he parks for the rest of the race. “We had a great race car,” said Dale. He also stated that one day it is going to be his time to celebrate.

Getting the lucky dog pass was the very luck Kurt Busch who wound having to restart the race in 14th spot. Getting the lead of the race after pit stops was Jeff Gordon.

The green flag drops and Matt Kenseth quickly takes over second place from Mark Martin and Gordon started to pull away from the field. After a few laps go by Kenseth was starting to reel in Gordon and was able to pull the pass off on the outside of Gordon with 17 laps to go.

A couple more laps go by and Jeff Burton pulls into second place. With three laps left Burton and Kenseth were side by side. Kenseth had the speed off the top of the track, but could not hold on the final lap as Burton was finally able to get the final pass of the day and the win of the race.

Jeff Burton who is the first second-time winner of the race was also the first race winner back in 1997. He led only the final lap of the race.

“Really good on long runs,” said Burton who won the race. He also said that Matt is a hell of a driver.

Matt Kenseth who finished in second stated it was painful to lose the race on the last lap and that he just could not get the job done in the end.

Mark Martin who finished in third place said that would have liked to have won this race for the soldiers. He also stated that the closer the car was to the front of the field the faster the car was.

“I don’t want to give races away,” said Gordon who finished in fourth. “We should have won this race.”

After the end of the race Gordon’s lead in the points shrinks to 8 points over Jeff Burton. Moving back into the chase is Mark Martin who is 11th place in the points.

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