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The Pit Stop


October 5, 2008 5:40 PM

Two massive wrecks in wild race at Talladega.

Travis Kvapil took his first ever Sprint Cup poll for the Amp Energy 500. Sitting along side of him was Casey Mears.  Winding going to back of the field was Jimmie Johnson as the team took a last minute look at his car.  Also going to the back was Dale Jr. who wound going to a backup car and having to change engines.

“Exceptional fast,” said Casey Mears on his car.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. said that his back up car is just fine.

At the drop of the green Jimmie Johnson wound up loosing the draft.  Travis Kvapil though was able to lead the first few laps before the lead started to change many time.  Jimmie Johnson would up getting lapped on lap 25.  Green flag racing continues until lap 34 for a debris caution.  Right at the caution though Robby Gordon wound up getting lapped giving him the luck dog pass.

The green flag drops and more wild green flag racing occurred until a debris caution comes out on lap 46.  This allowed Jimmie Johnson to get his lap back.  Around this time Ryan Newman and his engine was toast.  “Broke something in the valve train,” said Ryan.

After the green flag dropped it was only a few more laps before the caution came out again on lap 54 as David Reutimann blows a tires.  Jeff Gordon tries to avoid David, but could not do it and crashes his car.  Jimmie Johnson wound up with a broken splitter brace to this caution. “Tried to avoid him,” said Jeff Gordon.

During the round of pit stops Kurt Busch wound up with his car hood up checking spark plugs.  He later went behind the wall to fix his car.

The next caution was the big and unavoidable mega wreck as Brian Vickers this time blows a tire in a big wad of three-wide cars and then causes the cars of David Gilliland, Martin Truex Jr., Tony Raines, Terry Labonte, Kasey Kahne, Mike Skinner, Aric Almirola, and Jamie McMurray to get involved behind him.  This brought out a 17-minute red flag.

Brian Vickers said it was a “bomb explosion” on the right front tire. “Like a shot fun going off,” said Truex Jr. on Vickers tire.  “My car’s hammered,” said Kasey Kahne.  He said he saw smoke.   “I’m fine,” said David Gilliland.  “Disappointed.”

The leaders pit and Dale Jr. took the lead off pit road.  At the drop of the green flag it was not long and at lap 75 David Ragan and Juan Pablo Montoya got together.  Juan wound up going below the yellow line, but did not cause a caution and was able to keep his third place spot.

At lap 81 the next tire blows up as Mike Wallace shreds a tire.  The debris wound smacking the car that Michael Waltrip was driving causing some damage.

Lap 99 saw the next caution as the leader of the race Denny Hamlin blows a tire and then goes into wall really hard.  Denny had to go the local hospital for further evaluation.

This finally led to another long green flag run.  During this time Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick had some time leading some laps. David Reutimman wound up taking his car behind the wall.

The next caution finally came out on lap 140 as Jeff Gordon and his engine finally gave up. At the time of the caution it was really close to cars having to make the first green flag pit stop of the day.  During pit stops Carl Edwards wound up spinning out at the exit of pit road.

Most of the cars on the lead lap though came back in for a splash of fuel to try to not have to come in again.  The green flag dropped with Kyle Busch in the lead and David Ragan in second.

With 34 laps left Dale Jr. was to get the lead of the race again.   Then next lap was Jeff Burton leading the lap.  With 29 laps left Dale Jr. Pushed David Ragan into the lead of the race.  A couple laps go by and Dale Jr. was the leader.  With 24 laps left Michael Waltip got the lead of the race and then the caution comes out as Kevin Harvick spins out.

Kevin almost caused a big wreck, but somehow had no damage to his car.  A number of cars on the lead lap pit for tires and fuel.  This left Juan Pablo Montoya in the lead with Casey Mears in second place.

The green flag drops and it was single file racing up front for the first few laps.  Then it started to get messy.  With 14 laps left the second mega red flag caution occurs.  Carl Edwards gets into Greg Biffle ending the day for many drivers.

This one also included Kevin Harvick, Travis Kvapil, Juan Pablo Montoya, Reed Sorenson, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Michael Waltrip, and Dave Blaney.

“My fault,” said Carl Edwards.  He said he was pusshing Greg Biffle a bit hard. “I don’t really know what happened,” said Greg Biffle.  Kevin Harvick said that Carl tore up most of the field. “I didn’t see it,” said Matt Kenseth.

The red flag lasted around 11 minutes and then the cars started up again.  Tony Stewart was in the lead of the race with Joe Nemechek in second.  At the drop of the green flag Elliott Sadler took over the second place spot and gave Tony a good push, but it did not last long.  It started to get two wide up front, but behind Tony Stewart.

Then with four laps left Jamie McMurray spins out to bring out the caution.  Regan Smith was in second place at the time of the caution.

That caution brought out the green/white checkered finish.  It went single file racing until the final part of the last lap. Regan Smith wound up going below the yellow line to make a pass on Tony Stewart that NASCAR threw out giving Tony Stewart the win of the race. It is his first win at Talladega.  The race wound up with 28 different leaders which is a new all time record for any track.

“I wanted to win here for so long,” said Tony Stewart.

“I got forced down there,” said Regan Smith.  “Second sucks.”  He said that he should be doing burnouts.

“Very cool day for DEI,” said Paul Menard.

The end of the race caused a massive shift in the points as Jimmie Johnson takes a 68-point lead over Carl Edwards.  With the win Tony Stewart was able to move up four spots to seventh.

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