Sunday, July 29, 2012

Brickyard 400 July 29, 2012

Before the green flag fell today, in the driver meeting, NASCAR told the drivers not to push to go past the car in the first position. The NASCAR President told the drivers that if you push this issue on the track, we will be forced to take action. When Mike Helton speaks, everyone listens.

It is a beautiful sunny day in Indy. Who will kiss the bricks? In about 5 hours we will know.

On the pole for this race is the #11 FedEx Racing machine, driven by Denny Hamlin. The crew chief of the #11 is Darian Grub. If Toyota pulls off the win today, it will be the first time that they have ever kissed the bricks.

The starting line up for the Brickyard is as follow:

1- Denny Hamlin
2- Carl Edwards
3- Joey Logano
4- Aric Almirola
5- Greg Biffle
6- Jimmie Johnson
7- Kyle Busch
8- Paul Menard
9- Jeff Gordon
10- Matt Kenseth
11-Ryan Newman
12-Juan Montoya
13-Kurt Busch
14-Regan Smith
15-Kasey Khane
16-Jamie McMurry
17-Martin Truex Jr.
18-Trevor Bayne
19-Mark Martin
20-Dale Earnhart Jr
21-Jeff Burton
22-Brad Keselowski
23- Marcos Ambrose
24-Sam Hornish Jr
25-Casey Mears
26-David Stremme
27-Kevin Harvick
28-Tony Stewart
29-Bobby Labonte
30- Travis Kvapil
31- David Gilland
32-Dave Blaney
33- Clint Bowyer
34- Scott Speed
35- Josh Wise
36- David Ragan
37- Stephen Leicht
38- Landon Cassill
39-Mike Skinner
40-Scott Riggs
41-J J Yeley
42- Ken Schrader
43- Mike Bliss

With this race 160 laps, the crew chiefs will have to be on top of their calls. If they mis calculate one call, it could cost the team the win and the chance to kiss the bricks.

The green green flag flew around 12:30 local time. (Indy is in Central time). The first lap is led by the #11 team. Top 5 are #11, #99, #48 #16 and #20. Who would be Denny, Carl, Jimmie, Greg and Joey.

The battle for the 4th place on lap 7 was between the #16 and #18. Kyle got around Greg rather easily. Kyle used what he learned in the Nationwide race the day before early in this race.

The #99 is off the pace, just lost the 3rd place to the #18 on lap 13. Carl is talking to his team about the loss of power. The team is confused as to what is going on.  "Let's figure it out. We need to get all the points we can get." The hood is up on the 99 and the pit crew is trying to diagnose what happened.  Keep you updated.

The battle for 2nd is heating up on lap #16. #48 and 18. Kyle has been told by his crew chief, Dave Rogers that he is fast. Keep it up. Kyle keeps P3 for the time being.

The #99 team tells Carl to pit so they can change the plug wires. The reason the #99 team believes he is down on power is he has a blocked cylinder. The team also tells Carl that they would rather change the plug wires under caution-- more time to work on the car. The #99 team is 2 laps down.

After the 1st round of green flag pit stops, Jimmie Johnson has the lead followed by Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch. Denny had lead the race until the pit road. The race off pit road is how Jimmie and the #48 team took the lead.

On lap 41 the caution comes out for the first time. The #93 brings it out for damage on the right front tire. Reasons to have the right front go out is for not using the fans correctly. Lucky dog is the #83 . First off the pit road is #11. #48 and #18. The #18 had a trail of black smoke as he make his way out.

On lap 47, second caution is out for Bowyer's spin. He has damage on the left. rear. The crew chief told the team to keep an eye on the spoiler-- do not get it damaged. Unknown who got the lucky dog on this caution.

Update on the 99 team. Under the first caution, the 99 team changed the plug wires. The car is now back to 100%. Carl is 4 laps down in 35th position.

The leader is Jimmie Johnson and the 48 team. He has a 2 second lead over the 2nd place car. He has had this lead since the first caution off pit road. The #2 team led one time but had to go to the pits.

With the second green flag stop cycling trough, the #2 is leading with Jimmie in second and Jeff Gordon in third. While on green flag stops, the #51 of Kurt Busch had to return to the pits because his pit crew missed a few lug nuts.

This race is now official. If NASCAR decided to end the race they could as it has gone half way. For those that are new to this sport, you take the total laps in the race divide by 2 and that will give you half way. If weather comes and the race can not be finished and they are at half way then they will decide if they should call it.

I will also explain to the new people what a caution is and how you can get back on the lead lap. Caution in NASCAR's eyes is anything that could hurt competation. This could be debris, a crash or oil on the track to name some. If you are not on the lead lap, you stay out and pit when the leaders are done on pit road. If you are the first car a lap down, you get what is called the lucky dog. This means you get a lap back and you could get back on the lead lap if you were -1 lap down. There is a wave around as well. If you decide not to pit you can go around the pace car. This sometimes gets you back on the lead lap but not always.

On lap 93 we are under caution for the #13 of Casey Mears spins and it's the wall. He is on his way to the garage.  Race off pit road is the #78 team. The lucky dog will be #83. After all the lead lap cars leave the pits, all crew chiefs tell their drivers to save them some fuel.

The 100 lap restart, #2 slipped backwards. He went from first to sixth. The new leader is the #78 team. Second is Jimmie Johnson.

The manufactures in the top 5 are chevy, chevy, toyota, chevy,toyota. The teams are the #78, the #48, the #18, the #24 and the #11 teams. Toyota has never kissed the bricks will this be the year that is broken? 54 laps we will know for sure.

Kyle Busch is now the second car on the track. He is hunting Jimmie Johnson down on lap 108. The third team-#24- is having trouble. This time water temps are at 260. Jeff Gordon has been told that when the water temp gets to 300 to let the crew chief know.

On lap 123 the #31 of Jeff Burton brought out the third yellow for having a tire going down, front right. There is tire debris all over the track now. NASCAR will send the track officials to go pick up the debris.

Pit road will be open this time by on lap 126. The first five off pit road are Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Dale Earnheart Jr. The 51 of Kurt Busch heads to the garage. The 31 team also takes Jeff Burton's car to the garage. On the pit stop Greg Biffle is the only car with two tires; everyone one else took four tires.

On lap 120. Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth were involved in this caution. Matt's car is on fire and Joey's car he's nursing back to the pits with a tire that is about to shed apart. Tough day for both the #20 and #17 teams.

The cars that were involved in this latest yellow is Joey Logano (#20), Matt Kenseth (#17), Trevor Bayne (#21) and Bobby Labante (#47). The points leader (#17) will take a huge hit in the points. Joey was battling with Trevor for 21st position on the track. Joey is taking his Dollar General car to the garage. Tough break for the team today.

The chase is on for the lead with 17 laps left in the race. The leader is Jimmie Johnson and the second place car Kyle Busch is reeling him in. This is one of the best battles building on track. Who will win? Who will kiss the bricks?

The winner of the Brickyard 400 is Jimmie Johnson and the 48 team. 18 team finished second. Third was the 16 team. 88 team finished 4th and rounding out the top 5 was 24 team.  This is the ninth time in the Brickyard history that Hendrick Motorsports is kissing the bricks.