RealClearSports
Advertisement

The Pit Stop


May 31, 2009 11:01 PM

Four tires wins it for Jimmie.

Sprint Cup drivers are at Dover today for the Autism Speaks 400.  Fresh off his victory in Charlotte, David Rutimann picked off the poll the race.

NASCAR is going to throw out a competition yellow around lap 30 today as heavy rain wiped the track clean of rubber.

The start of the race was wild.  David Reuitmann led the first lap then Juan Pablo Montoya got David loose to help cause some three wide racing with Greg Biffle.  Juan took the lead for a couple laps than at lap 6 David was back in the lead of the race.

Then it was Reed Sorenson getting hot and at lap 29 was able to get the lead of the race.  Two more laps go by and the competition yellow comes out. During the first set of pit stops Elliott Sadler took two tires to lead the race with Greg Biffle coming out in second.

After the green flag dropped Greg quickly took the lead of the race.  He kept the lead and on lap 44 it was Tony Raines blowing a tire big time.  This time cars in the top ten stay out.

After the green flag dropped it was a long green flag run that saw Jimmie Johnson get the lead of the race on lap 50.  Jimmie kept on the leading the race and then green flag pit stops started to occur on lap 109.  During the green stops Bobby Labonte had to come down pit road again for speeding.  At lap 116 it was Jimmie Johnson coming into pit leaving Carl Edwards as the leader of the race.

On the next lap though the caution finally comes out for debris left out on the race track due to John Andretti smacking into the wall.  This left a bunch a cars on the tail end of the lead lap.  Jimmie Johnson though was able to stay on the lead lap though.

At the drop of the green flag Carl Edwards moving into the lead for a couple laps before Jimmie took it back.  Racing continued until lap 164 and then Juan Pablo Montoya blows a tire to bring out the caution.  Getting back on the lead lap was David Reutimann.

The leaders pit and it was Jimmie Johnson in the lead with Denny Hamlin in second.  This was another long green flag run where Jimmie Johnson was able to put Jeff Gordon two laps down.  At lap 231 it was Denny Hamlin blowing a tire and then smacking the wall really hard.   "Tire just blew out," said Denny Hamlin.  He also stated that it was a pretty hard hit.

Jimmie Johnson won the race off pit road again with Mark Martin in second.  After the green flag dropped Mark was able to lead the race briefly.  Tony Stewart though started to fall back.  The next caution though popped out at lap 276 for debris.  

This time after pit stops Matt Kenseth was able to win the race off pit road.  Matt could only lead a couple laps and then Jimmie Johnson took it back.  Then at lap 286 it was David Stremme getting loose.  He then wound up taking out Robby Gordon and Paul Menard.

This brought down a few cars down pit road including Dale Jr. and David Reutimann.

By lap 300 it was Greg Biffle finally getting back into the top five.  Biffle continued to move up the field and in another 25 laps was up to third, but was still down around 9 seconds to the leader Jimmie Johnson.

His lead went to junk with 69 laps left though for debris.  Jimmie Johnson was able to keep the lead of the race while Greg Biffle was able to come out in second.

At the drop of the green flag it was Greg Biffle slowly dropping back through the field.  With 56 laps left it was Kyle Busch having to make a pit stop to replace a bad tire. With under fifth laps left Kurt Busch in second started to get hot and chase down Jimmie.

With 37 laps left it was another debris caution.  This brought in the leaders and with tire a two-tire strategy Greg Biffle comes out first with Tony Stewart in second.  Jimmie got out ninth.

The green flag drops and it was David Stremme winding up spinning out his car with some help from Mark Martin.  Having to spin out to avoid David Stremme was David Reutimann, but he did not get any damage on his car.   
 
This time we got a clean restart and Greg Biffle quickly busted out to a good lead.  Jimmie though was moving up the field was third with 21 laps to go.  Jimmie at the time was around 2.7 seconds back of Greg Biffle.

With 15 laps left Jimmie was under 2 seconds back of the Greg.  With 11 laps left he was just under one second to Greg.

With nine laps left Tony Stewart passed Greg Biffle for the lead of the race.  At this time Jimmie was right behind Greg and Tony.

With seven laps left Jimmie was going up high and down low to try to pass Tony.  Tony was able to keep the lead until the end of lap 397 when Jimmie on the outside finally got the better of Tony to take the lead of the race and the win.

"Great race car," said Jimmie.  "This was a very special car."  He also said that it was a challenge to pass all those cars for the lead.

"The fastest car won the race," said Tony Stewart.  He also stated that he took two tires for track position and that was what he needed.

"The car ran pretty good all day," said Greg Biffle. He did say that his car got loose while in the lead.

Dale Jr. who finished in 12th said that he had some pretty good moments with the car in the middle of the race.

 The second place finish by Tony put him into the lead of the points standings by 46 over Jeff Gordon. 

A Member Of