October 22nd, 2012
KANSAS LOTTERY 300
Written by Rick A. Talford
KANSAS CITY, KANSAS – The Nationwide Series ran their 30th of 33 races in Kansas this weekend. The Speedway was re-surfaces after their race in the spring. This makes the track much smoother and faster. During qualifying, the top fourteen cars broke the track record. The drivers only found one issue with the track, being the entrance to pit road. The change between track and pit road is severe enough, that the cars hit their splitters hard. A Pakistan driver enters this weekend for his very first race in the series. Nur Ali will be driving the 41 car. The race was scheduled to run 200 laps for 300 miles. The Pole-sitter is Joey Lagono (18), with Austin Dillon (3) starting second. In the Pre-Race, R.D. Fowler provided the invocation. Amber Manley sang the National Anthem, while two T-45’s flew over the Speedway. The Grand Marshal was NFL great, Len Dawson.
The race ran only thirteen green laps, before the first caution flew on lap fourteen. Brian Scott (11) spun out on track. The second caution was on lap 31, for Scott Saunders (108) spinning out, and backing into the wall. The third caution was for Brian Scott again spinning out on lap 40. Dexter Stacey (39) then spun out on lap 48 for a caution. The fifth caution flew for Brian Scott once again, spinning out and hitting the wall on lap 57. On lap 69, Nur Ali (41) had a spin on track. On lap 109, Johanna Long (70) spun out and crashed, after a tire failed.
The race then had a caution on lap 129 for debris. On lap 138, Derek White (124) hit the wall, and pan-caked the entire right side of his race car. Another debris came out on lap 161. The eleventh caution came out on lap 171 for Mike Bliss (19), when he slid through the infield. The twelfth and final caution came out on lap 197, when Hal Martin (44) and Scott Lagasse Jr. (8) crashed together. A record twelve cautions flew during the race, for fifty laps. The race would have to be concluded under the Green-White-Checkered rules.
On lap 205, the final restart came, with a few cars running out of fuel right away. On the final lap, Leader Kyle Busch (54) would also run out of fuel, handing the win over to Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (6). This was his sixth win of the year. The loss for Busch, makes his victory-less season continue. He is trying to get a win before the end of the season, to keep his streak of a win every year going. Austin Dillon (3) finished the race in second, giving Chevrolet the Manufacturers Championship for the fifteenth straight year.
The rest of the top ten were: Joey Lagono (18), Elliott Sadler (2), Cole Whitt (88), Kyle Busch (54), Justin Allgaier (31), Michael Annett (43), Sam Hornish Jr. (12) and Danica Patrick (7). This was Patrick’s third top ten this season. Paul Menard (33) led the most laps with 110, but ran out of fuel on the final restart.
The points standing tightened up more, with Elliott Sadler leading over Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by six points.. Austin Dillon is twenty-six points back, with three races left of the season. The next race is November 3 at Texas.
HOLLYWOOD CASINO 400
KANSAS CITY, KANSAS – The Cup Series came to Kansas to run their sixth race of the Chase. The new pavement provided a fast pace in qualifying. Every car in the race, broke the record that was set back in 2005. Kasey Kahne (55) took the Pole at 192 mph, with Mark Martin (55) starting second. Speeds into turn one hit 207 mph during qualifying. The top forty cars were all within one second as well. Dale Earnhardt Jr. would not be in this race, again due to the concussion he received during testing at this very track a month ago. During the Pre-race ceremonies, Cole Cochran provided the Invocation. The 1 ID Band from Fort Riley played the National Anthem, while two A-10’s flew over the Speedway. The Grand Marshal was Rob Riggle. The race was scheduled to run 267 laps. Danica Patrick is also running in this race, starting at the rear of the field.
The first caution came out on lap 32, for Casey Mears (13). A tire failure sent his car into the outside wall hard. He would have to take his car to the garage for repairs. During the caution, only seven teams took four tires, while the rest of the field took only two. The second caution flew, when Kyle Busch (18) broke loose in turn four and slid through the infield. Only nine laps were run since the last yellow flag. Busch was running in the second position. The third caution came on lap 71, when AJ Almandinger (51) had a tire blow, and he hit the wall. His day was ended with the crash. During the pit stops, Tony Stewart (14) received a penalty for taking equipment out of the box, as his team left the wrench connected to his car. Greg Biffle (16) was penalized for speeding on exit of pit road. Another caution flew on lap 83, when Stewart ran into Jeff Burton (31) in the rear corner. This sent Burton into the wall.
As the leader, Jimmie Johnson (48) began the green flag stops on lap 119. On lap 122, the leader Aric Almirola (43) lost grip and ran up and into the wall. Almirola was the fastest car on track, and led the most laps to this point. Jimmie Johnson went from leading the race, back to twenty-first spot. On lap 136, Johnson spun out, and backed it into the wall. He would stay on the lead lap, after stopping multiple times under the yellow. On lap 143, Bobby Labonte (47) was spun out by the (38), for the seventh caution of the day. Lap 155, Danica Patrick (10) and Landon Cassill (83) wrecked. It appeared that Patrick was just passed, and Cassill checked up a little more than Patrick realized, as she got into him and spun out. She hit the outside wall with plenty of force. In the interview in the garage, Patrick stated “Cassill ran into her on the front-stretch for no reason other than to say she was in the way.” She added “I have to stand up for herself.”
Caution number nine fell on lap 165, when Tony Stewart spun out on track. On lap 169, Marcus Ambrose (9) ran up on Joey Lagono (20) too fast. After making contact with his car, Ambrose broke loose and slid up into Trevor Bayne (21). Ambrose would end up in the wall. During thee restart, Almirola would spin out going for the lead. No caution was thrown for his spin. Matt Kenseth (17) also hit the wall, as he was watching the spinout in front of his car. Caution eleven came out on lap 174, after Greg Biffle (16) slid into the wall after losing grip. Biffle was running in the third spot. The twelfth caution came out on lap 181, when Ryan Newman (39) got into the back of Kyle Busch. This started a chain reaction, as Busch backed up into the wall and wrecked. Kurt Busch (78) got into the back of Sam Hornish Jr. (22), and both received damage. Every car in this incident, went to the garage or trailer. Seven of the cautions to this point, have included the top ten cars.
In the interview by his hauler, Kyle Busch told the reporter “Newman can expect another wreck yet this year!” The thirteenth caution came on lap 213, when Almirola had a throttle stick as he entered turn four. He crashed very hard, while up in flames. Denny Hamlin (11) and Mark Martin (55) had just finished making green flag stops, so they will fall to the rear of the field. Caution fourteen came when Sam Hornish Jr. ran up and into the wall, after a tire failure occurred on lap 234. The fourteen cautions was a record for the track, and the season to this point. There were thirteen cautions at Bristol earlier in the season.
Matt Kenseth (17) would take the lead, and not look back. Martin Truex Jr. (56) would finish in second. The rest of the top ten were: Paul Menard (27), Kasey Kahne (5), Tony Stewart (14), Clint Bowyer (15), Regan Smith (88), Brad Keselowski (2), Jimmie Johnson (48) and Jeff Gordon (24). Other notables in the “Chase”: Kevin Harvick (29) in eleventh, Denny Hamlin (11) in thirteenth and Greg Biffle (16) finished in twenty-seventh.
The points standings are now: Keselowski – leader, Johnson (-7), Hamlin (-20), Bowyer (-25), Kahne (-30), Truex Jr. (-43), Stewart (-47), Gordon (-51), Kenseth (-55), Harvick (-59), Biffle (-62) and Earnhardt Jr. (-122) (note- Earnhardt has missed the past two races, but is expected back next weekend at Martinsville)
The next race will be next Sunday at Martinsville on ESPN at 2 EST.