September 30th, 2012
ONE MAIN FINANCIAL 200
Written by Rick A. Talford
DOVER, DELEWARE – The Nationwide Series ran their 28th race of the season at the “Monster Mile”. 200 laps would be run for the scheduled race. Youngster Darrell Wallace Jr. (20) got the Pole position for the race, in only his fourth start at age eighteen. Justin Allgaier (31) would start second. A group of thirteen drivers were scheduled to do “Double Duty” this weekend. In the Opening Ceremonies, Major Barry Ingram provided the invocation. Gina Zavalis sang the National Anthem, while a Boeing C-17 flew over the track. At nearly the perfect time, A Bald Eagle also flew over the raceway. The Grand Marshal was Mary McDowell, and the In-Race reporter was another eighteen year old, Ryan Truex (99). In other racing news this week, on Friday, The “Dean of Motorsports,” Chris Economaki passed away, after many years in commentating and reporting all forms of Motorsports. A “Competition Caution” was also scheduled for lap 45, due to overnight rain.
The race began with Justin Allgaier (31) taking the lead on the first lap. Pole Sitter Darrell Wallace Jr. never led a lap, and finished thirteenth. Joey Lagono (18) would then take an early lead in the race. The first caution, was the scheduled “competition caution” on lap 46. Kasey Kahne (38) led a few laps during the caution. On the restart, Lagono re-took the lead. On lap 116, the second caution came out for Jeremy Clements (51) hitting the wall.
During the next section of green flag racing, second place became a bad spot to be racing in. Justin Allgaier was in second, when a broken track bar would send him to the pits under green. Sam Hornish Jr. (12) would be the next racer in second place with issues. He had a tire failure send him to the pits. The third caution came out for Tim Andrews (39) on lap 176, when his engine failed on track. The race would then run to the end, with Lagono dominating the day and taking the checkered flag.
The rest of the top ten were: Paul Menard (33), Michael Annett (43), Elliott Sadler (2), Kyle Busch (54), Cole Whitt (88), Brian Scott (11), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (6), Kasey Kahne (38) and Austin Dillon (3). Danica Patrick would finish on the lead lap in sixteenth.
The points leader is Elliott Sadler, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (-9), Austin Dillon (-25), Sam Hornish Jr. (-60)
The next race is at Charlotte in two weeks (Oct. 12), on a Friday night at 7 PM EST on ESPN.
In other sporting news: Reds pitcher Homer Bailey pitched a No-Hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates, in Pittsburgh. Nelson Piquet Jr. won the Truck Series race this weekend in Vegas also.
DOVER, DELEWARE – The Cup Series ran their third “Chase” race of the Championship run. Drivers would have to race 400 laps around the one mile, high banked monster. Denny Hamlin (11) won the Pole Sitter position, with Clint Bowyer (15) starting beside him on the front row. Dan Schafer provided the invocation. LoneStar sang the National Anthem, while four F-16’s flew over the raceway. Brian Dawkins was the Grand Marshal. Danica Patrick (10) would start this race in thirty-eighth spot.
Denny Hamlin started the race on the pole, and took off right from the start. His teammate Kyle Busch (18) would take over the lead on lap 35. Busch was easily the fastest car on the track for most of the race, before needing to stop for fuel near the end. He would finish one lap down, in seventh spot. Busch would then leave the raceway without speaking to the media, once again. He led 302 of the 400 laps.
The first caution came out on lap 70 for debris off the car of JJ Yeley (36). His tire blew out, and tore the right fender off the race car. When this caution flew, green flag pit stops had already been happening. This caught a majority of the field one lap down. Only seven cars were left on the lead lap. The second and third cautions were also for debris. (laps 179 & 246). After the third caution, there were eight cars on the lead lap.
The fourth caution flew, when Matt Kenseth (17) had a track bar break on lap 308. Kenseth was running in the fourteenth spot at the time. The re-start had Jimmie Johnson (48) out in front of Kyle Busch. Before one lap could be completed, Kenseth spun out and hit the inner wall. That brought out the fifth and final caution of the race. There would only be ten cars on the lead lap at this point. On lap 354, Busch would re-take the lead, but with eleven laps left, he had to stop for fuel. His teammate Hamlin would also have to stop. This dropped both drivers off the lead lap. A handful of drivers did not have to stop for fuel, as they went to the end. Brad Keselowski (2) saved fuel early enough in the run, to go to the finish. Keselowski won his second race in three. This was his fifth win of the season, tying Hamlin for the most. He beat Jeff Gordon (24) and Mark Martin (55) to the checkered flag.
The rest of the top ten were: Jimmie Johnson (48), Carl Edwards (99), Martin Truex Jr. (56), Kyle Busch (18) (-1 lap), Denny Hamlin (11), Clint Bowyer (15) and Joey Lagono (20). Other notables were: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) in eleventh, Kevin Harvick (29) in thirteenth, Kasey Kahne (5) in fifteenth, Greg Biffle (16) in sixteenth, Tony Stewart (14) in twentieth and Matt Kenseth (17) in thirty-fifth. Danica Patrick (10_ would start in thirty-eighth and finished seven laps down, in twenty-eighth.
The points now are: Leader – Keselowski, Johnson (-5), Hamlin (-16), Bowyer (-25), Stewart & Kahne (-32), Earnhardt Jr. (-39), Truex Jr. (-42), Harvick (-46), Gordon (-48), Biffle (-51) and Kenseth (-72)
The next race is Sunday at 1 PM EST at Talladega Superspeedway on ESPN.