The Pit Stop

May 17, 2009 4:20 AM

Tony Gets his first of the year.

Sprint Cup drivers are in Charlotte to lay it all down on the line for no points, but an over 1 million cash prize to the winner.

The showdown which the first race of the night is a two-segment race where they are both 20 laps segments. In the second segment only the green flag laps count. The top two drivers move one to the main event and the one driver that has been voted in by the fans.

Restarts are double file tonight.

Qualifying for the first race of the night, Sprint Showdown, was rained out putting the drivers in the field based on the number they drew to qualify for the qualifying segment.  The 35 car field is one of the biggest ever.

"Hopefully we can keep out car in one piece," said Martin Truex Jr.

The first race of the night starts and Tony Raines brought out the first caution of the night as he spins out on lap 3.  

The green flag dropped on lap seven with David Stremme out in the lead.  On the next lap it was Brian Vickers and Joey Logano hitting each other.  This caused a tire rub on the car of Brian Vickers.  The caution finally came out around lap 13 as the tire blew bringing out a debris caution.  

The green flag drops again at lap 17 and David Stremme leads all the way to end of the first segment with Sam Hornish Jr. in second.  Mainly the cars in the back of the field come in for tires and fuel.

At the drop of the green flag for the second segment it was Martin Truex Jr. trying to get second place, bit it did not work.  Four laps later and it was Sam Hornish Jr. fighting for the lead of the race again.

With 15 laps left Elliott Sadler hits the wall to bring out the caution.  The green flag drops and Sam Hornish Jr. powered his way to the lead of the race. Then it was Jamie McMurray took over the second place spot.

Passing cars left and right and moving up at this time the field is Joey Logano.  With five laps left Sam had a 2 second plus lead over Jamie.   Sam cruised on from their to win the race.

"We had a good car all weekend," said Donnie Wingo who is the crew chief for the Jamie McMurray car.

Sam Hornish Jr. said that he does not like to race his way in like this.

Jamie McMurray said that his viewing was pretty bad in the car.

For the All-Star Race Jimmie Johnson has the poll for this race.  Getting the fan vote and a second chance to win the race is rookie Joey Logano.

Kurt Busch said that he qualified well.  Kevin Harvick stated that his car was not good at all in practice.   

The rules for the main event have changed this year.  The first segment is fifty laps with a four tire stop at lap 26.  Then the next two segments are twenty laps affairs with the final segment of the night being a 10 lap shootout for all the cash.  We also have a 10-minute break before the final segment of the night.  The final segment has only green flag laps count.

The green flag drops and Jimmie Johnson got a quick lead and then extended it to over seconds by lap 10.  Moving up to the front in the first 20 laps were Tony Stewart and Joey Logano.

During the green flag pit stop on lap 26 Jimmie Johnson was able to keep the lead of the race.  Kyle Busch though missed his pit stall and had to back up.  Jimmie Johnson continued to keep the lead of the race throughout the first segment while Kurt Busch and Jeff Gordon were battling for second place, but catching up to Jimmie Johnson.  On the final lap of the first segment though Jimmy Johnson only won the segment by almost a car length.  

The caution came out and all the cars come down for tires and fuel.  Some of the cars only take two tires.  Kyle Busch won the race off pit road with Matt Kenseth coming out in second.

During the second segment Mark Martin was able to move up the field while Jimmie Johnson was stunk in third place.  At the end of the segment Matt Kesneth tried to pass Kyle for the lead, but could not do it.

The leaders did not pit during this time.  Jimmie Johnson did though and came out twelfth.

The green flag drops again and Jimmie Johnson winds up smacking the wall.  Then Sam Hornish Jr. looses it hitting Greg Biffle bringing out the caution.  This brought in a few cars down pit road for service.

Greg Biffle stated that the Sam Hornish Jr. car was a little too loose.

The green flag drops at lap 76 and Mark Martin looses it, goes high, and does not loose     to many spots.  At lap 81 Kyle Busch slows down for a couple of seconds and it was Jeff Gordon getting the lead of the race.  At lap 84 it was Mark Martin hitting the wall again.  On the next lap it was Matt Kenseth right behind Kyle for second.   

Jeff cruised on for the win of the third segment while Jimmie Johnson finished the segment in fifth.

After a 10 minute break the cars went out on the race track again.  The green flag drops and it was Jimmie Johnson spinning out to bring out the caution.  The green flag drops again Kyle Busch makes it three wide to take the lead of the race.  Then on the next lap it was Jeff Gordon getting side by side of Kyle for the lead of the race.

Then Ryan Newman got super fast and wound up taking it three wide. Some bumping occurs with Jeff Gordon on the bottom and then it was Jeff Gordon spinning out and hitting the wall.

"That is a bunch of guys racing really really hard," said Jeff Gordon.  He also stated it was great night before that point.

The green flag drops again Kyle Busch got another great restart.  Matt Kenseth one lap later was able to get side by side with Kyle for the lead of the race.  With six laps left Matt Kenseth took the lead of the race.

On the next lap Tony Stewart moved into second place and then the caution flag came out for debris. This caution did bring in a couple cars down to pit road.

This time it was Matt Kenseth getting the good restart.  Then in one lap Tony Stewart was side by side for the lead.  Those two broke away from the field.   With two laps left Tony Stewart took the lead of the race and pulled way to take the million buck plus prize.

 "Its awesome," said Tony Stewart.  He stated this race is for Gene Haas and Joe Custer.

"We just got it too tight," said Matt Kenseth.  "Just could not hold him(Tony Stewart) off."

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