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The Pit Stop


October 24, 2010 5:08 PM

Hamlin Closes Gap With Win

Denny Hamlin Martinsville 2010.jpg The Sprint Cup drivers are back in Martinsville for the final short track race of the season. Denny Hamlin, looking to make a move on Jimmie Johnson for the lead in points, is on the poll for the Sunday event.

The race started out with Denny Hamlin leading laps. Then Marcos Ambrose was able to get under Denny for the lead on lap 11. Denny Started to drop back and the green flag racing went on. They first caution popped out for Travis Kvapil and his tire problem. This brought in the leaders with Ryan Neman leading the race off pit road.

After the green flag dropped Ryan Newman led a bunch of laps as Jeff Burton got hot and took the lead at lap 82. The second caution comes out at Elliott Sadler slows big time. NASCAR did not like that he intentionally brought out the green flag so he got a two lap penalty. This brought in the leaders and Jeff Burton won the race off pit road.

Then the cautions then started to pile up in a hurray. At lap 119 it was Jimmie Johnson and Marcos Ambrose getting together to bring out the caution. Lap 132 saw a Ken Schrader spin. Then at lap 170 Martin Truex Jr. slowed big time. This caution though brought in all the leaders with Jeff Burton leading the race off pit road. After the green flag dropped we get another short green flag run.

At lap 184 Sam Hornish Jr. and Scott Speed starting banging against each other big time. Then on the next lap Sam got mad enough that a hit into Scott Speed wound up sending Regan Smith into the wall for the caution. Another short green flag run and this time on lap 193 Clint Boyer spins out. At lap 210 it was a Paul Menard spin that did bring in a bunch of cars down pit road for service.

After the green flag dropped on lap 223 it was as short green flag run and Mark Martin crashes. This caution thought finally brought in the leaders which left Jeff Gordon in the lead of the race. The green flag drops and again the caution had to come out on lap 234 for David Reutimann who crashed. After the green flag drops this time we get into some good green flag racing with Jeff Gordon leading laps. Dale Earnhardt Jr. though gets hot and takes the lead at lap 285. The caution though comes out on lap 287 for J.J. Yeley who just can't get down to pit road. This brought in the leaders with Dale Earnhardt Jr. winning the race off pit road.

As Dale was leading more laps somehow the caution did not come out for the lap 305 incident with Marcos Ambrose getting loose and smacking into Sam Hornish Jr. while Robby Gordon also wound up with a flat tire, but somehow made it to pit road. The caution finally comes out on lap 348 for Greg Biffle that has a tire go down. This brought down the leaders and Dale was still able to keep the lead of the race.

The green flag drops and it was short green flag run time as Sam Hornish Jr. spins out at lap 359. The green flag drops and Dale quickly gets the race lead as Kevin Harvick starts to get hot and chase him down. Then at lap 378 Kevin took the lead of the race. The next caution comes out on lap 384 for Kurt Busch who winds up taking out Jeff Gordon. This caution brought in the leaders with Kevin Harvick leading the race off pit road. Ken Schrader was the loan car to stay out to lead the race.

At the drop of the green flag Ken Schrader wound up being like a pinball and got dropped back ultra quickly. He wound up with a tire rub for his messed up strategy. At lap 398 though it was caution time for Tony Raines that spins out.

This led to long green flag run where Kevin Harvick started out leading laps. Jeff Burton got hot and started to chase down Kevin. Denny Hamlin though got even hotter and passed Jeff with 44 laps left. Denny then was able to catch up to catch up to Kevin with 32 laps left. With 29 laps left Denny was able to get the lead of the race. Jimmie Johnson though was getting a bit slower and started to fall back. With 20 laps left Jimmie was in sixth.

Mark Martin though was getting super hot at this time, passed a few more cars, and moved into third place with 14 laps left. With 10 laps left Tony Stewart gets a problem with his car, but makes it to pit road. With four laps left Mark was up to second as he passed Kevin Harvick. Denny finished off the final laps and the victory.

For most of the whole race Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, And Kevin Harvick wound up being being right next to each other in the standings with solid battles by all of them for ever single position they were fighting for.

"Just a great run by this race team," said Denny Hamlin. He stated that the key to the race win the final pit stop that got him into third place.

Kevin Harvick stated that the guys on pit road were awesome today.

"Gosh that was so much fun," said Mark Martin. What an incredible race car.

"It was a good day," said Jimmie Johnson. Jimmie leaves Martinsville with only a six point lead over Denny Hamlin. 62 points back is Kevin Harvick.

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