Welcome Gabbers and others. How you all doing after the a weekend of excessive St Patricks day celebration. Hope your head doesn't hurt too much. No NASCAR history lesson or fluff piece today. The call of a sunny 70 degree day pulled me away from the computer. I am not prepared.
So any way, there was Bristol in the day light on Sunday. Full of lots of surprises. Not just for me but there were a few drivers struggling and caught up in other peoples messes. Roush-Fenway driver Greg Biffle got the pole. So that was good for my Yahoo Fantasy league. My Knight of the Mobile1 qualified 23rd. Not a good thing at Bristol but Tony is a seasoned veteran and I had all confidence he'd make his way up to the front. Due to rain during the night NASCAR scheduled a competition caution for lap 50. That means you can go in the pits for tires or adjustments but NO FUEL.
The race started and all was well till lap 24. Kasey Kahne passed Regan Smith for position and his spotter said clear so he moved up the track and thought he'd be in front of Regan but.....he wasn't quite clear. Regan bumped into Kahne's rear fender and our first pile up occurred. Keselowski managed to slip through even though he was right there but it took out Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Marcos Ambrose and Carl Edwards. Kevin was the least damaged of all. He made 9 pit stops to repair the front end and stayed on the lead lap. Edwards, Busch, Kahne and Ambrose needed extensive front end work. They were out but returned many laps down. Regan Smith cut down a tire but no damage.
Lap 42 it was decided would be the competition caution.
Lap 47 was the restart. AJ Allmendinger had come out of the pits first and maintained his lead followed by Martin Truex Jr, Brian Vickers, Jeff Burton, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Tony Stewart has moved up to 22nd. Jimmie Johnson has moved to 17th.
Lap 70 AJ is still in the lead. with Truex Jr, Vickers, Burton and Dale Jr still in 2-3-4-5.
Lap 88 Kyle is now crawling back into his car to return to the track.
Lap 96 Vickers takes the lead from Allmendinger.
Lap 115 CAUTION. Ken Schrader is riding the wall. The bead has melted on his tire and caused him to lose the air and control of his car.
Lap 122 we restart with Vickers, Allmendinger, Gordon, Burton and Dale Jr as your top 5.
Lap 155 Kahne returns to the track.
Lap 175 Kahne is 130 laps down, Kyle is 72 laps down, Ambrose is back in and 107 laps down but Edwards is still out.
Lap 200 Edwards is now back on track. Keselowski is battling Vickers for the lead. Allmendinger is complaining of a wicked loose car. Says he's wrecking.
Lap 235 Allmendinger comes to pit road for service. Top 5 is Keselowski, Gordon, Kenseth, Vickers and....you guessed it folks...Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Around lap 250 green flag pit stops begin. Denny Hamlin has a bad one. His pit crew drops the car on top of a tire they took off. Under green at Bristol, this is a catastrophe. To make things worse he must go back in because his right front tire is loose. Double catastrophe. No luck of the Irish here. Hamlin is pissed and ranting on the radio at his crew. He's now 2 laps down and 25th. OUCH!!!!!
Lap 278 Your top 5 is Keselowski, Kenseth, Gordon, Burton and AGAIN!!!!...Dale Earnhardt Jr.Johnson has moved up to 8th, Stewart to 12th and Harvick despite the front end damage on lap 24 is in 14th AND the lead lap. There are only 17 cars on the lead lap at this point.
Lap 324 Stewart looses a lap as Keselowski finally gets by him after a very vigorous fight.
Lap 340 CAUTION David Stremme is in the wall. The luck of the Irish is with Stewart. He gets his Lucky Dog Pass to the lead lap.Lap 346 is restart and Keselowski is in first and Kenseth beside him in the double file restart. The replay shows that Kenseth beat Keselowski to the line which is a no-no but nothing is said. Race goes on with Kenseth and Keselowski fighting hard. About lap 350 or so Keselowski lets Kenseth have the lead.
Lap 359 CAUTION Gordon loses the air in his tire after him and Dale Jr get together and he backs into the wall. Jrs tail pipes flattened Gordon's tire. Ryan Newman gets the Lucky Dog Pass to the lead lap. Lap 371 is restart. Your top 5 Kenseth, Keselowski, Bowyer, Burton and Dale Jr. How long can this last?
With 120 to go Gordon is off, Kyle is 75 laps down, Ambrose 109 laps down, Kahne 133 laps down and Edwaeds 252 laps down. Keselowski is still battling hard to get the lead from Kenseth.
With 98 to go Keselowski takes the lead but he's complaining he may have a flat tire. His spotter says he drove a little higher on the track once and may have picked up some marbles. Keep driving. ( marbles are bits of tire rubber that are on the track )
With 75 to go your top 5 is Keselowski, Kenseth, Bowyer, Vickers and Burton. All drivers are being told to conserve fuel in case it goes green to the end.
With 35 to go Gordon has come back on to the track and there are only 14 on the lead lap.
Lap 478 CAUTION Tony Stewart bounces off the wall when Brendan Gaughan hits him from behind. Rear damage but not bad enough to end his day. During pit stops Dale Jr is sited for TOO FAST ON PIT ROAD. He's now 15th but on the lead lap. Keselowski is discussing which lane to choose on the restart. Being first he has that choice. He chooses the top to restart.
With 18 to go Keselowski takes the lead again on the restart with Kenseth in hot pursuit.
With 10 to go your top 5 is Keselowski, Kenseth, Truex Jr, Bowyer and Vickers . That's all 3 of Micheal Waltrip Racing's drivers in the top 5!!!!!!
Keselowski wins the race and takes the lead lap points too. He led a total of 231 laps.
Your top 15 finishers and only lead lap cars were...Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex Jr, Clint Bowyer, Brian Vickers, Jeff Burton, Jamie McMurray, Juan Montoya, Jimmie Johnson and Paul Menard, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Greg Biffle, Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Was an action pack race and like I said it was a Shamrock Shake for a few drivers. Recovery this early in the season is definitely possible. No worries for Edwards, Ky Busch or Hamlin yet. All 3 are still in the top 15 in the point standings. Regan Smith is 19th so MIA should be proud of her man. Next week I will try to have a nice story to write along with my race recap. Till then enjoy the NCAA bracket fun, the Manning sweepstakes and for some of us some really awesome unexpected weather. Thanks for stopping by, take care and.....
Have an awesome day......