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Monday, October 25, 2010

NASCAR: Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway

Denny Hamlin, #11 FedEx Toyota, won in Martinsville for the 3rd consecutive time, in the past 8 years only he and Jimme Johnson, #48 Lowes Chevy, has won all the races in Martinsville, 2 each season. This win puts Denny only 5 points behind points lead Jimmie Johnson in the chase, 5 time (consecutive) Sprint Cup champion.

Mark Martin, #5 Ebay/GoDaddy Chevy, finished in 2nd place after being bumped by A.J. Allmendinger, #43 Best Buy Ford, in the rear end on lap 225. On lap 248 a tire went down and he had a pit under green which put him down 2 laps. On lap 384 after a caution brought out by Kurt Busch, #2 Miller Light Dodge, and Jeff Gordon, #24 National Guard/DuPont Chevy, (I'll talk about that incident later) put Mark on the lead lap, by the lucky dog pass. By lap 424 Mark Martin was in the top 10, then by lap 476 he was in the top 5, by passing Jimmie Johnson, and then lap 496 (4 to go) he took over 2nd from Kevin Harvick but he was too far away and there wasn't enough time to catch up to Denny Hamlin for the win.

On lap 359, Jeff Burton, #31 Cat Chevy, hits his teammate Kevin Harvick, #29 Shell Chevy, during a caution, because of Sam Hornish Jr. spinning and hitting the wall. Both drivers complained about each others driving. Jeff Burton had been accused by many drivers of break checking and NASCAR went on his radio and told him to cut it out. Jeff said he wasn't doing anything and wanted a clarification. From what I could see by replays, not knowing very much about cars and break checking, he was just not laying on the gas as quickly as the cars behind him.

Before the race Richard Childress, of Richard Childress Racing, switched the crews of the #33, Clint Bowyer BB&T Chevy, and the crews of the #29 team. Kevin Harvick has had been having a hissy fit about his crew and yelling at them through the radio for bad stops. During this race his crew, with the Clint Bowyer, was in the top 5 of fastest crews during one of the caution pit stops. Misforutune hit the #33 team when Clint Bowyer spined out and hit the wall and they brought it behind the wall. Kevin Harvick records his first top 5 at Martinsville. I would say Harvick's normal crew isn't that bad but who can perform great under scrutiny from their driver. Even his nationwide crew messes up constantly, makes you think it's the driver.

Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch were both racing each other hard, but not dirtly which is not normal with Kyle Busch. During lap 448 Kyle Busch was starting to get aggressive with Jimmie Johnson trying to pass him. On lap 464 it was 'recorded' that Kyle Busch was 'very angry' with Jimmie Johnson. Kyle Busch finished 4th and Jimmie Johnson finished 5th, so obvivously Kyle was able to get around Jimmie. I'm very glad that Kyle didn't dump Jimmie like he would of normally done and his fans were probably pleading him to do. This made me sort of respect Kyle a little more, but it still isn't enough to say I respect or like or not hate him. Also supposedly Jimmie Johnson flipped off Kyle Busch during the race and Jimmie Johnson was saying he was giving Kyle plenty of room, he was being accused by Kyle of chopping him.

Joey Logano, #20 GameStop Toyota, finshed 6th. Joey had the same crew members but a different sponsor on his car. Usually the #20 car is white and orange with a Home Depot logo on the hood but this race for the first time in the longest time (maybe ever) in a sprint cup race the #20 car was black. This was Game Stop's first time sponsoring a car in a Sprint Cup series race but they are Joey's main sponsor in the nationwide series.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., #88 Amp/National Guard Chevy, finished 7th which is the 5th time this season he has finished 7th or better. 7th top 10 finish of the season. He lead for 90 laps, the most this season. Dale Earnhardt is now on a 88 race winless streak. It's always shocking when Dale Earnhardt can break the top 20. I don't see him in the Chase ever. He should do him and his fans a favor and retire. If he retires his fans will move on to another driver and it should help tv ratings and so on.

On lap 384 Jeff Gordon bumped Kurt Busch, Kurt Busch wasn't pleased at all so he dumped him. Kurt Busch finished in 16th while Jeff Gordon finished in 20th, and this ended his streak of top 10 finishes in the last 15 races at Martinsville.

Kasey Kahne, #83 Red Bull Toyota, finished in 14th. While his former team, #9 Budweiser Ford where he was released during the week from, finished in 21st with Aric Almirola behind the wheel. Kasey Kahne earlier this season said he wouldn't be returning to Richard Petty Motorsports and signed with Hendrick Motorsports for 2012 to take over the #5 car when Mark Martin's contract is up, and for the 2011 season he will drive the #82 car for Red Bull Racing since Scott Speed will be released by a performance clause in his contract. Kasey Kahne had some harsh words about RPM and with all of this it is questioning the future of the team, which makes the other teams worried if they will have a job or not.

Links:
Unofficial Race Results: Tums Fast Relief 500- NASCAR.com: http://bit.ly/bMDI58
Lap-by-Lap: Martinsville- NASCAR.com: http://bit.ly/bILede
Hamlin wins at Martinsville, cuts into points lead- NASCAR.com: http://bit.ly/dsQvSr
Busch gets back at Gordon, and not just for M'ville- NASCAR.com: http://bit.ly/dqtGhl
Forgotten Hendrick duo make noise at Martinsville- NASCAR.com: http://bit.ly/cD0EOj
Denny Hamlin captures third straight at Martinsville Speedway- ESPN: http://es.pn/cha2S0
Red Bull to field two teams in 2011,with Kasey Kahne, Brian Vickers- ESPN: http://es.pn/bdLnIa

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