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The Pit Stop


November 10, 2008 1:07 AM

Jimmie almost clinches it.

Jimmie Johnson was looking to close out Carl Edwards on route to his third championship in a row at the Checker O'Reilly Parts 500 at Phoenix.

"Very, very good race car," said Jimmie Johnson.  Carl Edwards said today that he wants to do better than Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle.  "Great Miller Light Dodge," said Kurt Busch.  

At the drop of the green flag Jamie McMurray was able to get the lead of the race and keep it from Jimmie Johnson.  He kept the lead until the caution came out on lap 20 for the spinning cars of Elliott Sadler and Sam Hornish Jr.

This caution brought in the leaders and Kurt Busch with a two tire stop won the race off pit road.  Green flag racing then lasted until lap 31 as Brian Vickers wound up breaking a car part and crashing hard into the wall.  "I don't know," said Brian and what happened.  "Something came loose."  Also at this time Martin Truex Jr. and his day was done. "Ran out of water," said Martin.

The green flag drops on lap 37 and it took almost one lap before the caution came out again.  This time it was rain and Jimmie Johnson almost had the lead of the race at this time.  Cars circled around the track and then the red flag came out on lap 43.  The red flag lasted around 20 minutes and cars went out on the track.

This time we got a long green flag run that finally saw Jimmie Johnson get the lead of the race on 81 from Kurt Busch.  Green flag pit stops started to occur around lap 100.  Jimmie kept the lead of the race after the pit stops ended and Carl Edwards was only up to tenth.

Green flag racing continued until a debris caution finally came out at lap 141.  By this time only 20 cars were left on the lead lap.  The leaders pit and Jimmie kept the lead of the race.  During this next long green flag run Jeff Gordon and car went to junk and Carl Edwards was slowly moving up the field.

Around lap 195 Jimmie was putting more cars a lap down.  The debris caution finally came out on lap 211.  This brought the leaders back in for tires and fuel with Jamie McMurray getting the lead of pit road with Jimmie Johnson back in second.

The green flag drops and Jimmie quickly passed Jamey for the lead of the race.  Another long green flag run continues with Carl Edwards stuck in seventh place.  With 51 laps left though another debris caution comes out.

This brought in all the leaders with Jimmie Johnson coming out first with Carl Edwards picking up three spots on pit road and coming out in fourth. The green flag drops, a few laps go by and Jeff Gordon winds up smoking big time.  "I'm not really sure," said Jeff Gordon on the problem with his car.  He said he was having a good run today.

Three more laps go by and the caution comes out with 40 laps left as Casey Mears spins out with some help from Juan Pablo Montoya.  Also getting involved was Scott Riggs, Marcos Ambrose, David Gilliland, and Scott Speed.  The back of Gilliland's car wound up on the top of Scott's car.  This brought out the second green flag today.

"Wild ride," said David Gilliand.

Around 18 minutes of red flag time and the race starts again.  Some cars in the back of the lead lap come in for tires and fuel.  When we got back to green flag racing it did not last long and it was Reed Sorenson crashing out.  This brought in some more cars on the lead lap, but Jimmie still stayed out.

Green flag racing only went for a few laps and then another debris caution occurred.  A few cars in the back of the lead lap come in for tires.  Jimmie got another good restart. Then Robby Gordon, Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart get together with seven laps left.

This brought out green/white checker finish.  Kurt Busch in second got a great restart, but could not pass Jimmie at all as Jimmie wins his seventh race of the race.  A.J. Allmendinger wound up crashing out at the start/finish line With Juan Pablo Montoya and a whole host of other cars.

"This thing was awesome all day," said Jimmie Johnson.

We had a great run," said Carl Edwards.  He said that it was "still possible" but "not probable" to win the championship.

"We were pretty good," said Kurt Busch.  He also said to watch Jimmie Johnson and what he doing.

"Really fast at the start," said Jamie McMurray.  He also said that the car got a little tight as the race went on.

Jimmie is only going to have to finish 36th or better to win the championship next week.  Carl Edwards is 141 points back and the last driver left other than Jimmie that can win the championship.

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