April 7th, 2013
“STP Gas Booster 500”
MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA – The sixth race of the season was run at the Martinsville Speedway. This Half-mile track will have 500 laps to complete the 236 miles it is scheduled to run. 7-time Martinsville winner, Jimmie Johnson was able to take the Pole Position. Marcus Ambrose started second. Mark Martin will drive the JGR # 11 car, for injured driver Denny Hamlin.
Hamlin claimed that Lagono intentionally wrecked him at California two weeks ago, in retaliation for bumping him at Bristol. Hamlin did tag Lagono a few times in the California race, so it is not believed that Bristol was on Lagono’s mind when they were racing for a win at California. They were racing back to the checkered flag when the two cars got side by side and Lagono’s car shot up the track into the outside wall, and Hamlin’s car slid down the track into the inside wall. Hamlin states he does not blame Lagono for the injury, but he blames him for not letting it go. Hamlin hit the inside wall where there is no safer barrier yet. Denny intentionally wrecked Lagono at Bristol. Hamlin does state that he will be a thorn in Lagono’s side when he gets back on track. This shows that he is unwilling to let it go, as he accuses Lagono of not doing.
Tony Stewart also went after Lagono after the race, for blocking him on the last re-start. Stewart called Lagono a rich kid that doesn’t care. Stewart claimed Lagono ran him into the infield, (which he did not do) and stated he was going to bust his ass for blocking him. Lagono was the race leader at the restart that Stewart tried going low and around Lagono with only two laps remaining. Lagono did what every driver usually does when trying to protect the lead.
Stewart’s teammate Ryan Newman, called Lagono chicken shit. Lagono spoke about the issue at Bristol, and said that lets you know how the other drivers are going to drive around you. Rules of engagement change on the last lap, and drivers all know that, Darrell Waltrip replied. Waltrip added, if you come to this track looking for revenge, you are going to get in trouble real fast.
Opening Ceremonies began with Jonathan Falwell provided the Invocation. Virginia Military Glee Club sang the National Anthem. The Grand Marshals for the weekend were Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. The In-Race reporter is Clint Bowyer.
Marcus Ambrose (9) led at the first lap. In the early laps the race was being run on the bottom side of the track. Only one lane was being used to go forward. The cars stuck on the outside fell back numerous spots due to the lack of grip.
On lap 16, Danica Patrick (10) spun out. Ken Schrader (32) pinched her down and into the curb, causing her to spin. She could have stayed in it and spun him out as well, but you could tell she hit the brakes so she would not take him with her. Danica had to start last due to an engine change, and she was moving forward each lap. A good number of cars hit pit road on the first caution. The first 27 cars did not pit.
On lap 70, Scott Speed (95) stopped on the front stretch. 28 cars were on the lead lap when this caution came out. It was stated by the commentators that the drivers get eleven sets of tires for the 500 laps at this track. This would allow them to put fresh tires on the race cars every 50 laps without an issue.
On lap 97, Juan Pablo Montoya (42) had a tire failure after contact with another car on track. He went into the pits while the race stayed green. After the first 100 laps, Jimmie Johnson (48), Jeff Gordon (24) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) were in the top four spots. Teammate Kasey Kahne (5) was in seventh.
On lap 170, a grill from a Ford fell off on track. All the leaders made a stop in the pits. The grill came off the Ricky Stenhouse Jr.(17) car. At this point, Jimmie Johnson had led 162 laps. Casey Mears (13) was caught speeding on entry of pit road.
On lap 180, Clint Bowyer (15),Martin Truex Jr. (56), Joey Lagono (22), Mark Martin (11), Brian Vickers (55), Marcus Ambrose (9), Jeff Burton (31), Dale Earnhardt Jr.(88), Travis Kvapil (93), Jamie McMurray were all involved and received some form of damage on the restart. All three Michael Waltrip Race Cars were damaged in this incident.
Near the halfway mark, David Reutimann (83) spun out to bring out another caution. He was spun out by Regan Smith (51).
On lap 246, Carl Edwards (99) had a tire failure and spun out. Carl got pinned between Bobby Labonte (47) and Marcus Ambrose (9) and his rear tire was cut down. During the pit stop, Mark Martin (11) had one issue after another. He went to leave the pit box and the front tire was not yet on. He then was penalized for pitting outside the box. The crew chief only put on two tires on the last stop, and that sent Martin from the front of the pack to the rear fairly quick as he was far from able to keep up with all the cars that got four tires. He tried, but the car was not connected to the track well enough. Martin lost a second lap.
On the restart Kurt Busch (78) had a front tire go and he did not get off track. Busch claimed the 22 (Lagono) did it to them. Busch went three wide a few times, so it could have happened at any point and time.
On lap 280, the seventh caution came for Martin Truex Jr.(56) spinning out by himself. He went straight to the garage and parked it.
On lap 292, Kurt Busch was spun out after making contact with David Gilliland (38). It appeared that Busch tried to cut off Gilliland and he was unable to get down before the corner. The top fifteen stayed on track, and there were 25 cars that were still on the lead lap.
Near lap 360, Ryan Newman (39) had a tire failure that brought out the ninth caution. He stopped on the race track. He stopped deliberately and he was given a three lap penalty for it.
Jimmie Johnson led the most laps I the race easily.
On lap 448, the tenth caution came out for Brian Vickers (55) spinning out. Eighteen cars were on the lead lap, and the nineteenth car of Paul Menard (27) will get back on the lead lap. Hendrick cars were first thru third at this point just like late last year.
On lap 465, another caution flew for Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88), getting spun out when Danica Patrick (10) was run into by Brian Vickers, sending her into the side of Earnhardt. Due to the circumstances, Vickers received the lucky dog and got back on the lead lap. NASCAR should not have allowed that, due to he caused the caution.
On lap 485, Kurt Busch had a fire start under the hood. He was able to get the fire extinguished as he was getting out of the race car. A red flag was thrown with 13 laps remaining.
The top eleven cars stayed out and the rest of the lead cars pitted for another four fresh tires. Hendrick starts at the final restart in first, third and fifth. The finished the race having three of the top four spots. Jimmie Johnson (48) was able to hold of Clint Bowyer (15) for the 62nd victory of his career and the eighth at this track. Johnson led a career high 346 laps.
The rest of the top ten were: Jeff Gordon (24), Kasey Kahne (5), Kyle Busch (18), Brad Keselowski (2), Jamie McMurray (1), Marcus Ambrose (9), Greg Biffle (16) and Mark Martin (11). Danica Patrick (10) finished twelfth even though she was run into 3 times by Brian Vickers throughout the race. He ran into to get her out of shape to pass her each time. It was intentional and she did a great job to keep her car together to finish one of the toughest tracks on the circuit. This was Hendrick’s 212th Victory.
Jimmie Johnson re-took the Points lead with this victory.
The next race is at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday Night at 7 PM on Fox.