March 23rd, 2013
“Royal Purple 300”
Fontana, California – The Nationwide Series ran this week’s race out in California. Kyle Busch (54) won the Pole Position and he is also the In-Race Reporter. Elliott Sadler (11) started second. “The cars are coming along well”, the drivers are stating. The Chevy Camaro, Ford Mustang and Toyota Camry are all strong so far this season. Joe Gibbs Racing has won the last eight straight races at this track. The Toyota Manufacturing Headquarters are located near the Fontana Track. Gibbs Toyota’s are starting in the top three spot. The race was scheduled for 150 laps, equaling 300 miles. The race track is located approximately 60 miles east of Los Angeles.
The Opening Ceremonies began with Jeff Hamilton providing the Invocation. Cody Karey sang the “National Anthem” and Daymond John was the Grand Marshal.
Elliott Sadler was able to get the lead on lap one and led the early laps. While leading the race, Sadler had an ignition problem start. He saw a puff of smoke come from the ignition box, just as the engine stalled out. He was able to get down on the lower side of the track, as he changed to the second ignition box. He was able to get back up to speed, as he fell back to fourth.
The first caution came out on lap 33, when Regan Smith (7) had a tire failure near the exit of pit road. The caution was for debris as his tire came apart before he got back to pit lane.
On the re-start at lap 39, the cars fanned out five wide into turn one. Just a few laps went by when Paulie Harraka (79) had a fire start under the car. The second caution flew on lap 45. Harraka was able to pull the car off track, as the safety crew was able to get to the car and extinguish the fire fairly quick.
On lap 54, one of Joe Gibbs drivers began having smoke inside the car. The temperature of the car had risen to 290 degrees. Brian Vickers (20) had to take the car behind the wall for the crew to look it over. He would not return to the race.
Another caution for debris came out on lap 95. Jason White (00) spun out and tore up his splitter as he slid through the grassy infield. This was the fourth caution, and it came out with 39 laps remaining. Brad Keselowski (22) was the only car to not make a pit stop during the caution.
With 28 laps remaining, Brad Sweet (5) was tagged by Brian Scott (2). He slid sideways and kept control of the car as he slid down the track. No caution was thrown for the incident. This did drop Sweet off the lead lap.
Kyle Busch (54) was able to hold off Sam Hornish Jr. (12) for the ninth straight win for Joe Gibbs Racing at the California Track. Hornish Jr. remains the points leader after the finishing second this week.
The rest of the top ten were: Regan Smith (7), Parker Kligerman (77), Austin Dillon (3), Kyle Larson (32), Elliot Sadler (11), Brian Scott (2), Trevor Bayne (6) and Swindell (98)
The next race will be on Friday night at 8 PM EST on April 12 in Texas on ESPN.