Thursday, November 1, 2007

Atlanta Race


This past weekend's race in Atlanta was very good. There was a lot of racing going on.

Pre-Race Activities

Greg Biffle won the pole on Friday, with Kasey Kahne starting 4th. John Schneider (Bo Duke) sang the national anthem. Jeff Gordon gave the command from his car. Richard Petty waved the green flag. It was pretty funny when his baseball cap fell off. I didn't think I would ever see that happen to him! It was a good thing that wasn't his cowboy hat.

The Race

Greg Biffle led the first lap, but on lap 2, Kurt Busch took the lead away. Kasey Kahne started dropping to the back at the beginning. Tony Stewart was very strong. He started 30th, but by lap 33, he was in the 12th position. Juan Pablo Montoya had a lot of problems. He caused 2 of the first 3 cautions by blowing out right front tires.
Caution came out for the 4th time on lap 65. This was a horrible wreck. It all started when David Gilliland spun and started moving to the bottom of the race track. Mark Martin followed another car by going on the bottom of the race track and unfortunately he didn't get by quick enough, and that sent the both of them spinning...hard. David Gilliland hit Mark Martin in the right front area of the car. Fortunately both of the drivers were okay. NASCAR brought out the red flag in order for them to clean up the track.
When they restarted, the DEI cars (Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Martin Truex Jr.) were real strong. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was in the top 5 and Martin Truex Jr. led alot of laps. Tony Stewart started having problems, putting him laps down. Dale Jr. had a flat tire going down, which put him a lap down, but he then made it all the way back up to eighth. On lap 202, Tony Stewart was in 35th place, 5 laps down. Joe Nemecheck cut a tire which brought out another caution. When all the leaders pitted Kasey Kahne won the race off pit road. He only led a lap, but, hey, a lap is a lap.
Ryan Newman set the record of cautions at Atlanta Motor Speedway by bringing out caution #11 when he blew an engine. All the teams started worrying about fuel and whether they should pit or not. Johnny Sauter brought out the next caution, which was a relief for many of the teams. Denny Hamlin stayed out. Kyle Busch took 4 tires, but the jack man didn't get the car up high enough for the front tire changer to get the tire off. That automatically put him out of contention for the win. Kasey Kahne took 4 tires and fuel, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. took two tires. Since Jimmie Johnson had his pit near the end of pit road, they could see how many tires the other teams were taking so they decided to take two. That put him in 2nd behind Denny Hamlin. All of a sudden when the green flag waves, Denny Hamlin doesn't get going and that is when all the wrecking started. All of the cars started speeding up, but there was no where to go. A lot of the cars got by, but unfortunately Martin Truex Jr. got the worst of it. He had been running good all day, and for this to happen to him was so sad. He rear-ended Denny Hamlin, which put him out of the race. All the other cars started going on the top side of the track and the bottom of the track because Denny Hamlin stayed in the Middle. Kyle Busch spun in the same incident.
This caution put Jimmie Johnson in 1st. He led them down to the Green-White Checkered. On the last lap, when Dale Jr. was running 3rd, his wheel came off, and he hit the wall hard. He collected Jamie McMurray on the way, who was running 5th. The race ended there. The one time he is running in the top-5 without blowing an engine, and he crashes. Jimmie Johnson won...whoop di do. Big Surprise there!
As for Kasey Kahne, he took 4 tires on one of the pit stops, but because of all the cautions, he never got to use them, so he finished 9th. He was extremely happy after the race. After the race he said, " I'm happy. It was fun to drive a car like that again. You could drive it sideways if you wanted." It sounds like he had a good time. When you are happy, you produce great results, so maybe this is a sign of things to come!
They were only supposed to run 325 laps, they ran 329, and had a record 14 cautions.


Come on lets get real, unless both Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon get lost and don't show up for the last 3 races, Clint Bowyer is out of it. Jimmie and Jeff are running great. Clint Bowyer is 111 points behind Jeff Gordon. Don't get me wrong, Clint is an amazing driver and has done very well, but I believe it is between the top two Hendrick guys. They have been on top of the COT this whole year. But there is that saying that all good things must come to an end, so who knows.

Jeff is leading Jimmie by 9 points. With this close of a lead, Homestead will be so exciting. I read an interesting fact that supports this: The points for Jeff Gordon in the last 3 races are 511. The points for Jimmie Johnson in the last 3 races are 511. That is pretty scary.

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