RealClearSports
Advertisement

The Pit Stop


May 25, 2009 11:46 PM

David Reutimann finally wins the race.

Rain for the first time ever caused the Coca-Cola 600 race to be run on a Monday.  Ryan Newman won the poll for this special event.  Rain though wound up being a factor in this race.

The race got underway on time today and at lap three it was Kyle Busch taking the lead of the race from Ryan Newman.  At lap 7 though rain decided to come back to the track to bring out the caution.

The green flag came back though at lap 12.  It was not long and Kevin Harvick and Sam Hornish Jr. get together with Harvick getting the worst of it.  At lap 16 though he brought out the caution for his bad tire.  He was able to stay on the lead lap though.

At lap 42 the completion yellow came out which saved people in the back from getting lapped.  This is the first time all drivers could wind up putting fuel in the car.  Jimmie Johnson taking only two tires won the race off pit road.

Those two tires did not help Jimmie that much and he lost the lead to Kyle Busch on lap 48 and quickly fell back to sixth place in a few laps.

The rain though came back at lap 71.  This brought in almost all the cars down pit road for service.  Robby Gordon stays out to lead the race, a couple other cars stay out as well.  At lap 73 all the cars had to head to pit road for the red flag.  Rain though quickly stopped and drying the track off begun.

After 50 minutes of red flag time the cars finally got back on the race track.  Jimmie Johnson and his car had a little trouble starting.  At the drop of the green flag on lap 80 Kyle Busch was the leader.

This led to the longest green flag run of the day with Kyle Busch in the lead of the race until lap 120 as Brian Vickers was able to pass Kyle Busch on the outside for the lead of the race.

Around lap 129 it was the first round of green flag pit stops of the race.  During this round of pit stops David Gilliland got a penalty for entering pit road too fast.  After pit stops were over Kyle Busch got the lead of the race.

Brian Vickers though was a faster car and was right behind Kyle again at lap 142.  Three more laps go by and Brian was back in the lead again.  At lap 157 it was Juan Pablo Montoya passing Kyle Busch for second.

At lap 165, around 3PM, we get a first time ever red flag just so that that even NASCAR can hold a moment of silence for veterans that are serving in the United States.  At the cars were stopped by the start finish line.

This brought in cars for tires and fuel.  Kyle Busch won the race off pit road with Kasey Kahne out in second place.  After pit stops were over the rain though came back into the area again and extended the caution flag time.

At lap 177 the cars were brought back down pit road for another red flag for rain.  This time the rain was not coming down hard at all.  This red flag period lasted around 20 minutes before the cars went back on the racetrack.  

The green flag drops again at lap 180.  Lap 193 saw Kurt Busch come down pit road to replace a bad wheel.  At the very end of the 3PM hour the race finally made it the halfway point.

At this point of the race Kyle Busch was leading Jimmie Johnson by 1.5 seconds.  
Nine more laps go by and Kasey Kahne passes Jimmie Johnson for second place. Jimmie then slowly starts to fall back through the field again.

At lap 221 the race came back again to bring out the caution.  This caution came out with around five to eight laps before green flag pit stops were to occur.

This one brought in the cars on the lead lap except for David Reutimann and a couple other cars.  Carl Edwards won the race off pit road with a two-tire stop.  At lap 228 it was red flag number 4 though as rain continued to fall of the track.

After a whopping two plus long hours of a rain delay, Almost 6:30: PM,  NASCAR finally called the race for David Reutiman.  This win marks the first win since Martin Truex Jr. at Dover a few years ago where a driver won his first race as a rain shortened event.  This win also marks the first win since Ryan Newman around six years ago won his first Sprint Cup race ever at the Coca Cola 600.

This is also the shortest Coca Cola 600 ever run.

"It feels really good," said David Reutimann.  He also said that he thanks Darrell Waltrip for giving him his first shot.

Robby Gordon stated that he was happy with a third place finish.  That is his best finish in years.

After the end of the race Jeff Gordon was leading Tony Stewart by 44 points.

A Member Of