NASCAR NATION: Carfax 400 at Michigan International Raceway

16 08 2009

Michigan is a track that is well known for races that are determined by fuel mileage (the Spring race was won by Mark Martin after first Jimmie Johnson and then Greg Biffle ran out of fuel on the very last lap). And this race was no exception. For the third week in a row, there was a rain delay for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race. When the caution was thrown at lap 9 for rain, I thought, “Oh great! This will be the 3rd week in a row that I have to rearrange my schedule on Monday to watch the race. I got work to do, man!” Fortunately, there was only a 19 minute delay because, thankfully, the rain gods let up quickly and only left a light sprinkling on the track. Then we were back in business.

After adding even more laps lead to his already impressive tally this year (over 1000+ laps lead in the season for the 3rd or 4th time in his career), Jimmie Johnson took a gamble on fuel by not pitting at the last caution. In fact, most of the leaders decided to gamble with their fuel strategies by not pitting. Dale Earnhardt Jr ended up coming in for four tires and fuel with 42 laps to go, guaranteeing him a finish under his own power. This gave him just what he needed to start storming up the ranks when the drivers made their final restart. While the drivers in front of him were trying to save as much fuel as possible to make it to the end, Jr didn’t have to worry and passed car after car on each successive lap. Unfortunately, history repeated itself when, just like the spring race in Michigan, Jimmie Johnson ran out of fuel with only two laps to go. His lead at lap 198 turned into a dismal 33rd place finish after a prolonged splash and not-so dash to get to the end. Brian Vickers ended up almost coasting across the finish to take the checkered flag, his first win in three years and only the second win of his career. He was so low on fuel that he wasn’t able to do a burnout AND go get the checkered flag (a traditional finish for NASCAR). Jeff Gordon took 2nd and Dale Jr ended up with a very nice 3rd place finish. This put Jeff back in second in the overall points lead, with Jimmie dropping to third.

The next NASCAR Sprint Cup race will be held on Saturday, August 22 at 6:30 EST on ESPN at Bristol Motor Speedway. There are only three more races left before the chase for the cup is on. For you football fans, the cup chase is like our playoff season. See you there!

Brian Vickers wins the NASCAR Sprint Cup Carfax 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2009.

Top 5 Finish at Carfax 400 at Michigan International Speedway:

1. Brian Vickers #83
2. Jeff Gordon #24
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr #88
4. Carl Edwards #99
5. Sam Hornish Jr #77

Heather ChavezSecond Self Virtual Assistance: When There Isn’t Enough of You to Go Around!

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