For the third race in four weeks NASCAR is starting race one day late. The first Monday race this year is the Autism Speaks 400 presented by Visa. Ryan Newman is the poll sitter for the race today. A competition yellow is going to come out around lap 25 and again around lap 65 for a tire check. Around 25% of the people stayed the extra day to see the race.
Ryan Newman leads the race until the competition yellow comes out. Kasey Kahne only takes on two tires and takes the lead of the race.
Kahne leads the race until lap 56 when Newman gets the lead again. He keeps the lead until the second competition yellow.
During this long green flag run Newman leads the race until Carl Edwards gets the lead at lap 109. A moving up the Martin Truex Jr. takes the lead of the race around lap 130
Lap 136 sees the third caution of the day as Kyle Busch taps the wall in turn 4. Leaders pit and Martin Truex Jr. keeps the lead of the race.
At the drop of the green flag Ryan Newman quickly takes the lead of the race, but looses it again to Martin Truex Jr. at lap 158. By lap 200 Martin has busted open a 4 plus second lead over Carl Edwards. Around lap 216 and green flag pit stops occur.
Green flag racing continues with Martin in the lead and Carl Edwards in second place until lap 270 for a Kurt Busch crash with some help from Tony Stewart. Leaders pit and Ryan Newman leads the race of pit road again.
“Pit road was just me stopping there to make a point and only making the situation worse,” said Kyle Busch on stopping next to Tony Stewart’s car on pit road. “We just didn’t finish again by a guy not giving an inch.” For his actions Kurt got parked for the rest of the race.
On lap 295 Martin Truex Jr. takes the lead again and breaks out to another 2 plus second lead.
On lap 328 Ward Burton hits the wall to bring out the next caution on the day. Leaders pit and Newman wins the lead off pit road again. New would keep the lead until lap 347 when Martin Truex Jr. takes the leader of the race. With 43 laps to go David Gilliland spins out taking Ricky Rudd with him.
Still leading the race with 40 laps to go is Martin Truex Jr. with Ryan Newman in second. With 33 laps to go Jimmy Johnson passes Ryan for second spot.
With 30 laps left Martin Truex Jr. leads Jimmy Johnson by around 2 seconds. With 20 laps to go Martin still leads, but Jimmy Johnson blows a tire and comes into pit road. He continues with the lead increasing to over 4 seconds again on his way to his first NEXTEL cup win ever.
“I don’t know what to say,” said Martin Truex Jr.. “Couldn’t come at a better racetrack for us.”
In points Jeff Gordon leads Jimmy Johnson by 152 points for the points lead. Getting back into the top 12 with his sixth place finish is Mark Martin who is also running a part time schedule.