Reed Sorenson has to the poll for the All State 400 at the Brickyard. He is the youngest ever person to at the Brickyard to have this honor. His teammate Juan Pablo Montoya is also on the front row.
“Pretty good race car,” said Reed Sorenson. Casey Mears stated that the NASCAR race is a “little more technical” than an open wheel race.
“I just want to fit it,” said Mark Martin on the merger. Dale Jr. stated it is the best shot I have on winning the race. Jeff Gordon stated that he is “not concerned about it” on his 21st place starting position.
A competition yellow was to fly out on lap 15, but on lap 14 Jeff Green spun out for caution one on the day. The first 14 laps had Reed Sorenson in the lead.
The green flag drops and Dale Jr. made a pass for the lead on Tony Stewart. Then it was not long and the next caution was out for Ryan Newman spinning out.
Dale kept the lead and then on lap 36 knocked his front valence in. A few more laps goes by and the cars of Kasey Kahne and Tony Raines crash together. “I was tight,” said Kasey. Martin Truex Jr. picked up a one-lap penalty for not following paddle rules off pit road.
After the green flag dropped it did not take long before a big wreck happened on lap 45. Too many cars were into one turn and all hell broke loose. Jimmy Johnson, Jamie McMurray, Ricky Rudd, Bill Elliott, Robby Gordon, Carl Edwards, and Scott Riggs all involved. Jimmy had multiple pit stops to try to fix his car. “I tried to catch it and then it hooked,” said Jamie.
The green flag dropped and the caution quickly came out as Elliott Sadler, Scott Riggs, Casey Mears, and Johnny Sauter were involved in a wreck.
The green flag drops again on lap 60 and the caution quickly flew again as Jimmy Johnson blows a tire and smacks in the corner hard. A massive amount of flames came out the back of the car. “I’m okay,” said Jimmy. “Brace came off car.” He also stated it was the first time flames came into his car.
The next two cautions on lap 76 and 90 were for debris. The caution on lap 76 saved Kyle Busch who stayed out and was close to making a green flag stop.
With 50 laps to go Tony Stewart was able to pass Kevin Harvick for the lead of the race. Green flag stops occurred for the first time with 37 laps to go. Denny Hamlin with 32 laps to go had some massive problems getting his car restarted.
With 25 laps to go Tony Stewart had a 3.5 second lead over Kevin Harvick, but it went away as Dale Jr. and his engine blew up. Some cars pit when pit lane is open, but Dale Jr’s car has fully stopped on pit road and not in his pit box. “We broke the pulley off the front end,” Dale Jr. “We had a good car today.”
With 20 laps to go the green flag drops and Kevin Harvick quickly took the lead of the race over Tony Stewart. With 13 laps to go Tony Stewart took his first real shot for the lead, but could not get the job done.
With 10 laps to go Tony got a second shot at Kevin and was able to get to get the pass done, but it was not easy as some beating and banging occurred to get it. With 9 laps left Juan Pablo Montoya in third was only 1.5 seconds behind Tony. In a couple of laps Tony had a one second plus lead. With five laps left Montoya was right behind Harvick for second and got the pass for second place with four laps to go.
By that time it was too late for anyone to really catch Tony as he takes his second NASCAR race from the Brickyard. After the race Kevin Harvick bumped into the side of Tony’s car giving him on ticket to the oval office.
“I’m so proud of everybody,” said Tony’s crew chief Greg Zippadelli.
“Got a good run off of one and went by,” said Tony. He also stated that this win is for all the fans in the stands.
Montoya stated that a second place finish was awesome. When asked on how close he was to winning a race on an over he said he was close and that ”we have to be the fastest car like Tony was.”
“Tony was tough to beat,” said Jeff Gordon. “We had an awesome car.” He did also state though that his car was not good in traffic. He finished in third.
Kyle Busch who finished in fourth stated he thought he had something for Tony.
Reed Sorenson who finished ion fifth stated he finished about where he should have.
In points Jeff Gordon extended his lead over Denny Hamlin who is in second place to 371 points. In the race for the last spot in the chase even a poor day for Dale Jr. who finished in 34th is still the last driver in the chase. He is 13 points ahead of Kurt Busch who is 13th.