September 29th, 2013
“5 Hr Energy 200 Benefitting Living Beyond Breast Cancer”
DOVER, DELEWARE- The Nationwide Series is getting closer to the season finale in Homestead. A 200 lap race was scheduled for the “Monster Mile” Penske teammates once again took the front row for the race, as Joey Lagono (22) took the Pole, and Sam Hornish Jr. (12) started beside him.
In Opening Ceremonies Captain Joshua Rumsey, from the Dover Air Force Base provided the Invocation. Kristin Moore sang the National Anthem and a group of 5 Hour Energy Representatives gave the command to start engines, as the Grand Marshall’s.
The first caution flew on lap 25, when Brian Scott (2) spun out in turn two. Scott was running in twelfth spot when he spun. A second caution flew just after the restart on lap 36, when Donnie Neuenberger (23) spun and hit the inside wall. He took his car behind the wall immediately.
Under the first two cautions, everyone made pit stops, except Kyle Busch (54). This would be his downfall of the race, after leading 89 laps on the day.
At lap 100, Joey Lagono (22) was leading rookie Kyle Larsen (32). The rest of the top ten were: Harvick (33), Smith (7), Sadler (11), Bayne (6), Vickers (20), Dillon (3), Bless (19) and Sweet (5).
During green flag pit stops on lap 120, Championship Points Leader Hornish Jr. was tagged with speeding on pit road. He was forced to make a drive through penalty, which dropped him two laps down. Austin Dillon (30 was able to close up the points separation from 15 to only 4 by races end.
On lap 141, Lagono retook the lead and never looked back again. He was able to extend his lead easily throughout the later laps in the race. By lap 145, only nine cars remained on the lead lap.
On lap 163, Brad Teague (70) was black flagged for speeds too slow. He would get parked for not being up to speed.
On lap 175, Kyle Busch (54) was forced to make his final stop, when no one else required a late stop. He fell nearly two laps down, into fourteenth position. By lap 180, there were only five cars remaining on the lead lap, with Lagono being out front by nearly eleven seconds.
Lagono was able to easily run the final laps, without anyone near him. Only the rookie Kyle Larsen was within a half lap of him. The remaining two car’s that were still on the lead lap, were just ahead of race leader Lagono on the final few laps. This was Lagono’s fourth consecutive victory at Dover. A record that has never been reached before is NASCAR history. The final 160 laps were run green in Dover, being the longest green flag run of the season also. This was the eleventh victory by the Penske (22) Team this season. Four different drivers have won the races for the team, which is also a record set. Lagono also led the most laps, leading 105/200. The 22 team gained more points today over the 54 team in the Owner’s Championship as well.
While ending the race, the In-field Medical Center sent an Ambulance out to a local hospital with a member of the Morgan Shephard team, was injured late in the race. The Ambulance drove out onto the race track to exit the infield area.
The rest of the top ten were: Kevin Harvick (33), Brian Vickers (20) on the lead lap, (one lap down) Elliott Sadler (11), Austin Dillon (3), Parker Kligerman (77), Kyle Busch (54), Trevor Bayne (6) and Mike Bliss (19).
The Championship Points are now: Hornish Jr. (12), Dillon (3) (-4), Sadler (11) (-42), Smith (7) (-43), and Vickers (20) (-47). With five to go, it really looks like a two man race to the Title.
NOTE- Maturing Driver Kyle Busch left the race track without speaking to any media once again. This continues to be his response to not winning, so I really do NOT see the maturing happening what so ever.
The next race will be at Kansas on Saturday at 3:30 PM EST on ESPN.
DOVER, DELEWARE- The Sprint Cup Series also had their race in Dover, with six races remaining after the completion of this race. In news this week, Ryan Newman has signed with RCR for next season, and Quicken Loans will continue to be his sponsor with the new team. 5 Hour Energy will remain with MWR after seeing NAPA leaving the team. The In-Race Reporter for the race will be Carl Edwards (99). Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) took the Pole Position for this race in a record breaking fashion. His lap of 22.243 at 161.849 mph was good enough to beat Championship Points Leader Matt Kenseth’s run of 22.249. Seven cars broke the track record, as Kenseth attempts to win a record third straight to start the Chase for the Title.
In Opening Ceremonies Pastor Dan Schaefer provided the Invocation. Thompson Square sang the National Anthem, and Dianne Remy was the Grand Marshall from AAA Executive VP of Products.
The race ran green for the first 36 laps, then, a spring rubber fell off a car to bring out the first caution. Dale Earnhardt’s car was the fastest on track for the first eighty laps. During a green flag stop, Jr. slid past the entry of pit road, and lost seven spots after getting back around and making his stop. He was able to raise his car back towards the front of the field.
A second caution flew for another spring rubber being on a race track. Jr. was able to get up to fourth spot, and restarted there. Jimmie Johnson (48) was able to take the lead after Jr. was so strong in the start. Johnson became the car to beat for the day.
On lap 230, Brad Keselowski (2) brought out the third caution, when his car began to lose oil. He would go to the garage.
Near lap 314, Earnhardt Jr. was making his green flag stop, when Mark Martin (14) was also making a stop, and slowed Earnhardt a great deal. Jr. lost about five seconds to the leader due to the pit road entry issues.
On lap 370, A third caution for spring rubbers flew. This was the fourth and final caution of the race. As the field went back to green, Carl Edwards (99) took his car to the garage after having a rear hub break.
Jimmie Johnson was able to outrace Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the Record “eighth” victory at Dover for Johnson. Jr. told a reporter after the race, “2nd place might as well been tenth place to me”. Jr. fell just short after having the car to beat early. A mistake entering the pit road, then a second issue on another pit stop with a slower car on entry took away what should have been a Victory for the 88 team. Jr. was plenty disappointed after the missed opportunity.
The rest of the top ten were: Joey Lagono (22), Jeff Gordon (24), Kyle Busch (18), Kevin Harvick (29), Matt Kenseth (20), Ryan Newman (39), Greg Biffle (16) and Clint Bowyer (15).
The next race will be on Sunday at Kansas on ESPN at 1 PM EST.
The points have closed slightly, with Jimmie Johnson taking second place away from Busch, behind Kenseth by eight points. Busch lost another point, falling to third place, twelve points back. Carl Edwards (99) fell from fourth to eleventh in the point standing after a broken hub ended his day early. Harvick sits in fourth place thirty-nine points back, tied with Jeff Gordon.
NOTE- Kurt Busch’s (78) team made a change in this race as for their pit crew. The RCR team (2) pit crew did all his stops for the race. The team did not have a good day, falling multiple laps down early.