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The Pit Stop


August 3, 2008 6:02 PM

Edwards had the best strategy on the day

Sprint Cup drivers look to put the Indy tire debacle behind them while racing 500 miles today at Pocono.  Jimmie Johnson has the poll the race, but Mother Nature came along later on in the race to have some fun.

“Good in practice,” said David Gilliland.  Clint Bowyer stated that he is looking for some big things.

The green flag drops to start the race and we only go one turn before the first caution comes out for a Kevin Harvick spin with some help from Joe Nemechek.

The next caution popped up on lap eight for a Kurt Busch spin.  Racing continued until lap 21 for a competition caution due to no practice on Saturday.

The leaders pit and Jimmie Johnson with two tires got the lead of the race.  The led to the a long green flag run that saw a pass for the lead of the race on lap 37 by Mark Martin.  Green flag racing continued and the first round of green flag pit stops occurred on lap 52.

After the pit stops finished Mar Martin kept the lead of the race.  The first debris caution of the day finally came out lap 66.  Leaders pit this time and Mark Martin had a bad pit stop shuffling him back a bunch of spots. Carl Edwards was able to lead the race off pit road with Kasey Kahne in second.

The next debris caution popped up at lap 87.  Leaders pit again and Mark Martin wound up with another bad pit stop putting him back around seventeenth.  This led to another long green flag run that saw Carl Edwards made the pass for the lead the of the race at lap 111.

With 85 laps to go some dark clouds really showed up.  Four more laps went by and a mess load of leaders came in for tires as fuel.  After pit stops ended Carl Edwards had a 1.5 second lead.

With 73 laps left the rain finally came in and caused the caution to fly out.

A whole bunch of the cars on the lead lap come in including Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson.  Dale Jr. who takes only fuel led the cars off pit road.  Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, and 20 other cars stay out playing some rain strategy.

With 69 laps left the red flag comes out to try to dry off the one section of track where it is raining.  After the cars stopped on the pit road it started to rain much harder and on more of the track surface.  After a few more minutes the rain started to stop though.

Around 30 minutes into the red flag drivers were called back to their cars to go racing again. Ten minutes later and the cars fired up, but other rain was in the area though.

The race begins again with 65 laps to go and Mark Martin was able to pass a couple of cars quickly.  So were Jimmie Johnson, Dale Jr., and Carl Edwards. Two more laps go by and the caution comes out as Joe Nemechek and Paul Menard get together.

Leaders stay out and then the rain started to fall out on the backstretch again.  A few extra caution flag laps go by and then the green flag drops with 55 laps left.  At turn three Juan Pablo Montoya and his engine blows up, but he was able to make it back to pit road.’

With 46 laps left Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, and Mark Martin pit.  This left Greg Biffle in the lead for a while, then Kurt Busch led a couple of laps.  With 39 laps left he ran out of fuel on the backstretch.

Matt Kenseth then took the lead of the race, but pitted with 37 laps to go.  This put Carl Edwards into the lead of the race again who then pits with 35 laps to go along with a whole load of other drivers.  Winding up with a penalty for a uncontrollable tire is Jeff Burton.

This put David Ragan into the lead for a couple of laps before he came into pit.  This left Jamie McMurray in the lead for only a couple of laps and he pitted finally giving the lead back to Kasey Kahne with 29 laps left with Mark Martin in second.

With 26 laps left Denny Hamlin comes in for his final stop of the day.  Four more laps go by and Greg Biffle comes in.  With 16 laps left Matt Kenseth comes in.  One more lap goes by and Kasey Kahne comes in for two tires and fuel.  Mark Martin then leads the race and comes down with only 14 laps left.

This put Carl Edwards into the lead with Tony Stewart in second around six seconds back.  With five laps left Carl was slowing it down to save fuel.

With two laps left Kyle Busch comes in and gives up his top ten position.  Carl Edwards though was able to have enough fuel left.  Cars behind him though like Jeff Gordon and Jimmi Johnson were running out of gas.

Carl Edwards said that he was arguing big time on weather to pit when the rain first came out.  He also said that his crew chief Bob Osborn is a very smart man

“My car was really really loose all day,” said Tony Stewart.  “Just proud of where we finished.”

After the end of the race Kyle Busch lost a big chunk of his lead.  He now leads Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 158 points and moving into second place is Carl Edwards only 200 points back.

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