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The Pit Stop


October 11, 2008 10:40 PM

Burton wins with pit strategy....

Rain killed another qualifying session this year giving Jimmie Johnson the poll for the Bank Of America 500.  Carl Edwards who has been doing some crazy things in the past few weeks is starting along side of him on the front row.

Jeff Gordon at the start of the race hit the wall and wound up going to the pits for some fresh tires at lap 10.  Tony Stewart at the start of the race though was moving up to the front while Jimmie Johnson was leading the race.

Tony Stewart kept moving up and had the lead of the race by lap 33.  Green flag racing continued and at lap 44 Joe Nemechek blows a tire and hit the wall.  It was getting close to green flag stops.

All the cars pit and Jimmie Johnson keeps the lead of the race.  The green flag drops and this time it is Carl Edwards with a tire problem.  He comes in for tires at lap 52.  As he starts to leave the pit A.J. Allmendinger winds up crashing his car big time.  He did not get the lucky dog pass, but Jeff Gordon did.

“I’m fine,” said A.J. Allmendinger.  “I thought the middle was open.”

The green flag drops and in a few more laps it was the cars of Mike Skinner and Ken Schrader get together to bring out the caution.

During this caution though Carl wound up with some engine problems that caused him a lengthy time on pit road that put him down 16 laps.

This led to another good green flag run that saw Tony Stewart get the lead at lap 78.  He kept the lead until the caution came flying out at lap 104 for Dale Jr. who blew a tire and then hit the wall.  “Pow,” said Dale on his tire.  He said he would have slowed down if he knew the tire was bad.

Leaders pit and Tony Stewart was able to keep his lead with Kyle Busch in second place.  Tony lost the lead quickly to Kyle after the drop of the green flag and the Tony starts to fall back in the field a bit.  The next caution comes out at alp 121 for Mike Wallace and his spin.

Leaders come in again mainly for two tire stops and fuel.   Ryan Newman stays out to keep the lead of the race.  This finally led to the longest green flag run of the day.  Ryan Newman was able to keep the lead until lap 133 and then Jimmie Johnson took it.  He did not keep it long and Brian Vickers took it.

Vickers then started to bust out into a huge lead that got up to around 9 seconds right before the first round of green flag pits stops started to occur at lap 186.  Vickers came in at lap 180 for tires and fuel.  Davaid Ragan and Regan Smith wound up with penalties for coming too fast entering pit road.

His big lead went to junk at lap 187 for debris.  Only a few cars come in for tires and fuel including Jeff Gordon.

Green flag racing did not last long and a big caution comes out as Tony Raines spins out first.  Then in the back Chad McCumbee, Travis Kvapil, and Matt Kenseth get together.

“Struggled all with the car,” said Matt Kenseth.  He also said he get run into from behind.

Leaders pit this time while martin Truex Jr. and a couple other cars stay out.  The green flag drops and Martin Truex Jr. lost the lead of the race to Jeff Gordon.  Then at lap 206 a bunch of cars got sideways a bit, but Michael Waltrip and Bobby Labonte spin out to bring out the caution.

The green flag drops and Jeff Gordon had a short battle for the lead of the race with Mark Martin.  Jeff Gordon won the battle.  At lap 234 Denny Hamlin gets sideways, hits the wall, but does not bring out the caution.

Gordon could only bust out an almost 3 second lead by the time green flag pit stops started with Jeff Gordon coming in with 84 laps left.

With 81 laps left Brian Vickers hits the wall damaging a tire ending a good day for him. With 76 laps to go David Reutimann spins out at the entrance to pit road and that did not bring out the caution.  This time it was the cars of Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch getting penalties for entering to fast onto pit road.

The caution finally comes out again with 69 left to go as Robby Gordon totally destroys a tire.  A few cars come in for tires and fuel that included Jeff Gordon.  At the drop of the green flag it was Greg Biffle in the lead and Jeff Burton in second.

Burton takes over the lead with 57 laps to go.  The next caution finally comes out with 38 laps left as Montoya cuts down a tire.

Leaders pit and Jeff Burton takes only fuel to keep the lead of the race.  Jimmie Johnson came out in second and Kasey Kahne came out in third.

The green flag drops and Jimmie goes down low to try to pass Jeff, but in a couple of laps it did not work.  Then Burton started to pull away a bit.   With 15 laps to go Kasey Kahne goes up top to pass Jimmie Johnson and takes over second place.

A few more laps go by and Jimmie Johnson almost looses it.  With fewer than ten laps left Jeff Burton winds up getting into some traffic causing Kasey to catch up.  With five laps left Jeff got rid of the lapped cars giving him the win of the race.

“We were good enough when it counted,” said Jeff Burton.

“Fun race,” said Kasey Kahne.

“Real surprised by it,” said Kurt Busch on his run tonight.  He finished the race in third.

Kyle Busch said his car was fast at the end of the race.

“Good on the short run,” said Jimmie Johnson who finished sixth.

Jeff Gordon said his car was amazing out front and was junk while back in traffic.

Jeff Burton at the end of the race is only 69 points back of Jimmie Johnson for the lead in points,

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