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The Pit Stop


October 28, 2007 5:22 PM

Chase gets really tight again.

The chasers made there next stop in Atlanta for the Pep Boys Auto 500. A total of 325 laps on a nice fall Sunday day for racing.

During the first 100 laps of the race the caution came out twice for Juan Pablo Montoya and tire problems that he had. The caution on lap 64 helped bring out the red flag as David Gilliland spins out. Trying to avoid David was Mark Martin who had nowhere to go and smashes hard into David. “I should have missed him,” said Mark Martin. “I tried to get under him.”

Leading most of the 100 was chaser Kurt Busch. Also in the top five during that time was chaser Martin Truex Jr.

During the next 100 laps chaser Tony Stewart and his car went from bad to worse. He made a couple of green flag pit stops putting him a five laps down. Chaser Jeff Gordon was having some handling problems during this time period was back around 20th in the field. Kurt Busch was battling back from a bad pit stop to get back to the lead while Martin Truex Jr. leading the race. Cautions in that time period came out for David Stremme, Jeremy Mayfield and Bobby Labonte.

In the next 75 laps Jeff Gordon was making his move up the field and made it up to around 13th spot. Kurt Busch wound up with another bad pit stop, but was able to get back to the front of the field again.

With 50 laps to go it was Martin Truex Jr. in the lead with Kurt Busch in second and Kyle Busch in third. Five laps go by and Kyle is the leader of the race. Matt Kenseth started to make a move and with 32 laps left he was in second place. With 20 laps left it is Kyle Busch in the lead with Matt Kenseth in second and Martin Truex Jr. in third. Cars at this point of time are getting low on fuel and many will have to make a pit stop late for a splash of fuel if it stays green.

With 10 laps left Matt Kenseth was right behind Kyle Busch for the lead of the race. With seven laps to go the caution comes out as Johnny Sauter and his tire blows up. The leaders all come in for four tires and some fuel. Kyle Busch has a bad pit stop; Dale Jr. and Jimmy Johnson take on two tires to get track position. Denny Hamlin stays out to take the lead of the race.

As the cars get the green flag Denny Hamlin does not get going due to fuel problems. This causes a big mess behind him where Martin Truex Jr, smashes into the back of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch spins out. Jeff Burton with nowhere to go his Jamie McMurray. This brought out the green/white checker flags.

Jimmy Johnson got a great restart, but into turn one Dale Jr. looses a tire big time and smashes hard into Jamie McMurray. This gives Jimmy the win of the race and his 8th win of the season so far.

“I got a great restart,” said Jimmy Johnson. He also stated that he felt good with a bunch of cars behind him with two tires.

Carl Edwards stated that his car was a not a second place car.

Jeff Gordon stated that is was not a good day for us, the he struggled in the middle of the race, and on the long run he was tight.

In points Jimmy closes the gap big time to Jeff. Jimmy is now only 9 points back of Jeff for the championship lead. Clint Bowyer the gap slightly for him, but is still 111 points back.

The thirteen cautions on the day are a race record beating out the November 1993 race.

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