The Pit Stop

July 27, 2008 5:05 PM

Competition cautions a plenty at the brickyard.

Sprint Cup drivers made it to the Brickyard for the Allstate 400.  The weather was hot today and the action was non-existent today.   Jimmie Johnson had the poll for the race with Mark Martin sitting along side of him on the front row.

“Going to be smart those first few segments,” said Jimmie Johnson.  Juan Pablo Montoya said that it is “not that much different” than driving other cars at this place.

Tires, being a major concern today, forced NASCAR to throw out a competition yellow at lap 10.  It also caused them to through out more competition yellows when necessary and also brought in the tires for the race next week at Pocono if the wind up using too many tires.

The first caution of the day came out on lap 4 as Michael Waltrip spins out and winds up damaging Paul Menard.  This moved the competition yellow to lap 14.  Some cars including Dale Jr. come in and pit for fresh tires.

“We were in full conservation mode,” said Kurt Busch. “I just made a mistake out there.

Green flag racing then occurs until lap 14 and then Kurt Busch spins out taking out Kevin Harvick with him.  Almost all the cars on the lead lap pit excluding Dale Jr. and he takes over the lead of the race.

During this time Dale Jr. was running in the lead and then on lap 26 he had tire problems and pitted early.  Jeff Gordon was able to take the lead of the race at the time.  At lap 29 Mark Martin and Juan Pablo Montoya has tire problems.  The second competition yellow is out at lap 30.

Leaders pit and Kyle Busch leads the race off pit road.  The green flag racing continued until lap 47 as Matt Kenseth and his right rear tires explodes causing massive damage to that side of the car.

“Pretty disappointing,” said Matt Kenseth. He stated that he could see the damage by looking in his mirrors.

Kyle Busch kept the lead off pit road with A.J. Allmendinger coming out second.  Green flag racing only continued until lap 65 for another competition yellow.  Jimmie Johnson was able to get the lead of race at lap 62.

The next competition yellow came out on lap 82.  During this green flag run Jimmie Johnson was able to lead the race and on lap 74 Brian Vickers came in for engine problems.  Martin Truex Jr. came in one lap early for tires. Carl Edwards was able to lead the cars off pit road.

His lead did not last long and Jimmie Johnson was able to get the lead of the race again and green flag racing occurred until yet another completion yellow came out at lap 97.  Getting the lead off pit road this time was Elliott Sadler.

The green flag dropped and then Jeff Burton quickly takes the lead of the race and then the caution comes out for Brian Vickers and his car that blows up.

The green flag drops with 48 laps left.  Jeff Gordon marched his quickly up to fifth in a couple laps.  With 45 laps left Jimmie Johnson was able to get the lead of the race again.

NASCAR again throws out the competition yellow with 39 laps left.  They also have handed out to each team an extra set of right side tires.

Denny Hamlin this time got lead off pit road with Jimmie Johnson in second.  The green flag drops with 33 laps left.  Jeff Gordon again was able move back up to the front until another competition yellow came out with 22 laps to go.

With a whole lot more tire strategy going on Denny Hamlin come out in the lead and Jimmie Johnson was all the way back in ninth that took four tires.    During this brief run to the next competition yellow Jimmy Johnson and Jeff Gordon were able to pass a few cars.

During the final pit stop of the day Jimmie Johnson got the best of them all took the lead of the race with Carl Edwards coming out in second. The green flag drops with seven laps left and nothing really happened up front as Jimmie Johnson was able to win his second race at the brickyard.

“Pretty crazy day,” day said Chad Knauss who is the crew chief for Jimmie Johnson.

“I knew what we were setting up for,” said Jimmie Johnson on the last caution.  He said that Carl put a lot of pressure on him.

“Long day,” said Carl Edwards.  “Second place is not what we came for.”

“We got close at the end,” Said Elliott Sadler who finished in fourth.

After the end of the race Kyle Busch leaves with a big lead.  He leads Dale Jr. by 253 points and Jeff Burton by 271 points.

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