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The Pit Stop


May 6, 2007 3:50 PM

1-2 finish for Hendrick....

Rain delayed the start to the Crown Royal presents the Jim Stewart 400 to Sunday. The race was named after contest winner Jim Stewart. Jeff Gordon starts on the poll for the third time in row. NASCAR is letting no cars take fuel until lap 40 for a competition yellow due to the delay of the race.

Casey Mears spins out by Johnny Sauter on lap 4. Also involved in the wreck was Kurt Busch. He went one lap down early due to lug nut problems on his pit stop.

On lap 32 Jimmy Johnson was able to finally pass Jeff Gordon for the lead of the race and quickly busted out to a 1.5 second lead in just a couple of laps. He kept the lead until the competition yellow came out. Jeff Gordon beats everyone off pit road and takes the lead of the race with Tony Raines in second place.

Jamie McMurray hits the wall hard on lap 54 and then in a couple more laps the caution comes out for tire debris from his car. “The car just turned right,” said Jamie. He also stated he does not know what is wrong with the car.

By lap 70 Dale Jr. was in second place and chasing down Jeff Gordon with Jimmy Johnson in third.

At lap 103 Elliott Sadler spins out with a right front flat tire. Jeff Gordon leads all cars off pit road with Denny Hamlin in second place.

Lap 119 Johnny Sauter and Juan Pablo Montoya get together. Ryan Newman tapped Montoya. Johnny Sauter took a battery powered saw around the racetrack for one full lap.

Lap 128 and Denny Hamlin takes the lead of the race, but in a couple more laps Kevin Harvick takes the lead of the race.

At lap 142 Jeff Burton goes behind the wall with some engine problems. “Can’t win champions like this,” said Jeff. He is the first car officially out of this race and hias first DNF in 26 Richmond races.

Hamlin was finally able to retake the lead of the race on lap 164, but the gave the lead back to Kevin Harvick at lap 177. Around lap 180 Kurt Busch who had been as low as 42nd is now all the way up into the top 5. He moves into third at lap 192.

At the halfway point of the race the first green flag pit stops of the day occur. During this time Ford cars got to lead 3 laps bringing their total COT laps led so far to 4 measly laps.

Kevin Harvick is still leading the race at lap 250 while Kurt Busch moves up to second place. A couple more laps go by and the caution comes out for the J.J. Yeley car. During the pit stops Kevin Harvick leaving his pit gets into David Ragan spinning him out. This put a bunch of damage on Kevin’s right front. This left Kurt Busch in the lead of the race with back in 17th.

On lap 278 David Gilliland Crashes out. Around half of the lead lap cars including the leader Kurt Busch pit leaving Jimmy Johnson in the lead of the race while Kurt Busch falls back to ninth. The green flag drops and then Dale Jr. quickly spins out with some help from Jeff Green

With 96 laps left David Stremme and Kasey Kahne touch. Kahne smacks the wall hard, gets the car into the pits and the race stays green. At this time it is Jimmy Johnson in the lead with Jeff Gordon in second.

With 84 laps to go debris in turn one bring out another caution. Jimmy Johnson lead the cars off pit road. Dave Balney takes only 2 tires and moves up to third place.

The next debris caution for debris comes out with 64 laps to go. With 51 to go Kenny Wallace and his car stalls on the track. Jimmy Johnson still leads with Kyle Busch in second, and Jeff Gordon in third.

After the green flag dropped it did not take long before the caution comes out again as the Jeff Green help spin out Greg Biffle and gives him a good amount of damage in the rear of the car. At the time of the caution Kyle was the leader.

The green flag drops and one lap goes by and David Stremme brings out the caution with 37 laps to go.

With 29 to go Sterling Marlin taps Ward Burton spinning him around. Also involved in this wreck is Ricky Rudd, Martin Truex Jr., Dave Blaney, Tony Stewart, A.J. Allmendinger, and Juan Pablo Montoya.

With 20 laps to go it is till Kyle Busch in the lead, but gives it up with 19 to go with Jimmy Johnson. With 12 laps to go Denny Hamlin moves into third place passing Jeff Gordon.

Kyle was closing late, but could not do anything and Jimmy Johnson wins another race this season. This win is the seventh out of ten races run so far for the Hendrick camp.

“It means the world to me to win here,” said Jimmy Johnson. He stated that he dedicated the win to the people that died at Virginia Tech.

Kyle Busch stated that he thought Jimmy Johnson was going to catch him anyway.

“We just did not communicate well,” said Kevin Harvick on the pit stop where he hit David Ragan. He also stated that he does not want to throw away good cars like that. He finished the race in seventh.

In points Jeff Gordon has a 211-point lead over Jimmy Johnson. With his last place finish Jeff Burton falls to fifth place 339 points back of the leader.

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