Today NASCAR drivers took to the track in order to set the rest of the field for the Daytona 500 in the Gatorade Twin 150's. The weather is great and the action was nothing but hot.
Big name drivers in the first race include Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Tony Stewart, and Jeff Gordon.
For the first race Jamie McMurray, Michael Waltrip, and Casey Mears had to go to the back of the field. At the drop of the green flag it was Bill Elliott who did make a move for the lead of the race. At lap 2 though it was Kurt Busch helping bring out the first caution as his car was spinning out.
After the green flag dropped again it was not long and then Jimmie Johnson took the lead of the race with Martin Truex Jr. and Bill Elliott still in the top five. At lap 11 it was Martin Truex Jr. getting the lead of the race again as he made the pass on the backstretch.
Then in a few laps it really got to single file racing with Martin Truex Jr. in first, Jeff Gordon in second and Tony Stewart in third. The major battle up front during this time is for ninth place between Paul Menard and Bill Elliott. By lap 24 it was Kurt Busch all the way back into the top 10.
At lap 25 it was Mike Skinner bringing out the caution for his car that was stopped out on the racetrack. During this caution time Bill Elliott blew his transmission and all the cars came in for tires and fuel. Leading the race off pit road was Martin Truex Jr. with Jeff Gordon coming out in second place.
"The car was driving well," said Bill Elliott.
The green flag drops at lap 31 and Matt Kenseth was the only driver in the top 10 to really make a move up the field as he moved up a couple spots to fourth. With 25 laps to go nothing really changed up top. At lap 38 though it was Jeff Gordon finally taking the lead of the race with Tony Stewart in second.
Things stayed the same up top and the then the third caution came out on lap 48 as Martin Truex Jr. spins out, but was able to continue on in the race. Four cars stay out this time putting Jamie McMurray in the lead of the race with Brad Keselowski in second. Paul Menard was the first car to come off pit road in fifth.
The green flag drops and it was not long before the caution came out again. Casey Mears spins out and collects Michael Waltrip and John Andretti. Later on after the wreck occurred David Ragan gets involved. John said that he did not know what happened
At the Time of the caution Jeff Gordon was able to get to second and Jimmie Johnson was able to get to third. After the green flag dropped Jeff Gordon had the lead for a while and then it was Tony Stewart getting the lead of the race while Joey Logano made a big move to second. Jeff was able to keep the lead of the race and win the first dual.
"Great way to get 2009 started," said Jeff Gordon. "Pretty cool deal." He also said that with ten to go and the caution came out that it is anybody's race to win.
"The car really drove well," said Scott Riggs who raced his way into the Daytona 500 for Tommy Baldwin Racing.
"Pretty excited," said Tony Stewart who finished second. He stated that this was the best handling car he has had at Dayton.
"It was a good race for us," said Jimmie Johnson. "For the most part I saw people using their heads."
"Our car is awesome," said Aric Almirola. He stated that he could not get anyone to go with me. He finished in fifth.
Joey Logano said that he needed to be on the top.
For the second race of the day top drivers included Mark Martin, Dale Jr., Carl Edwards, and Ryan Newman.
At the drop of the green for the second race it was Dale Earnhardt Jr. making a move to take the lead of the race. In a couple laps later Mark Martin was able to get the lead of the race again. It did not last long and Dale was back leading the race.
Around lap 13 it was Ryan Newman and Boris Said making contact. Ryan Newman went to the pit road while Boris stayed out. Then on the next lap it was tire problems for Boris bringing out the first caution of this race. "Bitter disappointment," said Boris. He said that he should have come in right away.
This caution brought in all the cars down pit road. Kyle Busch was the first car to come off pit road with Mark Martin coming out in second.
At lap 17 it was the green flag dropping again and Mark was moving to the lead of the race again. This led to a long green flag run where Mark Martin was still leading the race with 20 laps to with Kyle Busch stuck in second.
At lap 44 Dale Earnhardt Jr. winds up with a tire problems sending him to the pit road for two fresh tires. Then in a couple laps it was Mark Martin and Brian Vickers coming in for tires.
With Mark and his problem Denny Hamlin took the lead of the race. At lap 48 Ryan Newman winds up smacking the wall hard with some help from David Reutimann.
"I'm fine," said Ryan Newman.
This caution brought in most of the cars on the lead lap.
Staying out to keep the lead is Mark Martin and Brian Vickers who is in second. The green flag drops with 8 laps left. Kyle Busch was able to make a move to second place.
With five laps left Denny Hamlin pushes Kyle Busch into the lead of the race and Mark gets shuffled in third. At the final lap Mark Martin made a bold move to get second place and then took Kyle Busch to the wall in an attempt to win the race, but could not do it to give Kyle the win of the race.
Jeremy Mayfield and A.J. Allmendinger got transfer sports in this race.
Kyle Busch stated that he car was good and then we have a chance to make a move late he had to take it.
It is going to be the best year of my life said Mark Martin.
"Emotional day," said Jeremy Mayfield. He stated that he car was loose at the start of the race.
It was a struggle in the first half of the race said A.J. Allmendinger.