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The Pit Stop


March 29, 2009 11:02 PM

Jimmie bumps his way to the win.

The Sprint Cup drivers had a good day to go racing as they drive 500 laps on their second short track in a row.  Rain plagued the area for most of the week and caused the first cancellation of qualifying for the year.  This put Jeff Gordon on the poll due to points.

Jeff Gordon said that his car was strong today.

The green flag dropped and Jeff Gordon took the lead and kept it through the first caution at lap 21 for Michael Waltrip who spun out.  Jeff Gordon kept leading the race through the second caution which was the competition caution at lap 42.  Only a couple cars stayed out leaving Scott Speed in the lead of the race.

Scott Speed kept the lead until lap 57 and then lost it to Jeff Gordon.  Then the third caution came out at lap 70 as Kyle Busch spins out which also cause Scott Speed to spin out.

Some cars pit and Matt Kenseth wins up with a penalty for a tire that got away.  He got a lap down and never did get it back.

Lap 91 saw the first caution of the day from Robby Gordon as he spins out due to a flat tire.  Jeff Gordon stayed out to keep the lead of the race.

At lap 104 it was Denny Hamlin finally taking second place from Kurt Busch.  Then at lap 138 it was David Ragan and Robby Gordon bring out the caution.  Denny Hamlin at this time almost had the lead of the race.

The leaders pit this time and Jeff Gordon was able to keep the lead of the race.  At lap 157 it was Denny Hamlin finally getti9ng to lead his first laps of the race.  At lap 171 Tony Stewart was able to get to second place from Jeff Gordon.

Starting at lap 185 it was tire problems galore for cars in the back of the field.  Elliott Sadler started it.  Then at lap 198 it was Aric Almirola time again, lap 202 was David Gilliland time, lap 205 was Kyle Busch time.  The caution finally came out on lap 254 as Aric Almirola and Scott Speed With tire problems could not get to pit road.

All the leaders pitted and Denny Hamlin won the race off pit road.  Carl Edwards dropped out of the top ten due to lug nut problems.  Problems got worse for Carl at lap 280 as a David Reutimann hit cuts one of his tires.  It put him two laps down around 31st position.

Around lap 330 it was a new battle for the lead of the race while Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon, and Clint Boyer are all fighting lapped cars.  At lap 350 it was Jimmy Johnson getting second place from Jeff Gordon.

At lap 352 the caution finally comes out for debris on the racetrack.  The leaders come in and Denny Hamlin kept the lead of the race off pit road.

The next caution came out at lap 367 for Robby Gordon again for another one of his spins. The leaders though stay out.

With 100 laps left it was Denny Hamlin in the lead with Jeff Gordon in second and Jimmie Johnson in third.  With 80 laps left Jimmie Johnson got second place again from Jeff Gordon.

Five laps later Jeff Gordon fell back to fifth.  Then the caution came out in another two laps for Jeremy Mayfield who hit the wall and could not get his lap back.

All the leaders decided to come in.  Jimmie Johnson was finally able to get his first lead of the day beating Denny Hamlin who came out in second.  The green flag dropped and the top four cars were able to get away while the other cars in the top ten had to deal with the lapped traffic.

With 54 laps left Aric Almirola spins out to bring out the caution.  At the drop of the green flag Denny Hamlin shot out like a rocket to get the lead of the race.

With 39 laps to go Jeff Gordon moved passed Clint Boyer into fourth place.  Five more laps go by and the caution comes out fro David Reutimann who spun out, hit the wall, and could not get started fast enough to leave the race in green flag mode.

The grebe flag dropped and the caution quickly came out as Bobby Labonte and Martin Truex Jr. get together.  With 23 laps to go the green flag dropped and Denny got another good restart.   With 16 laps left Jimmie Johnson pushed Denny out of the lead of the race.  This gave Jimmie a quick half second lead.  He was then able to drive on to win the race.

Jimmie Johnson said we did not have the best car at the start.  He also said it was fun day.  

"We came up short," said Denny Hamlin.

Jeff Gordon said that his limited practice time on Friday hut him as they tightened the car up too much.  He did say he was good in clean air.

Tony Stewart said he was just too far back.

In points Jeff Gordon has increased his lead to 89 points over Clint Boyer who now is second place.

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