Hendrick Motorsports continues its domination of the Cup Series as Casey Mears wins at LMS!!

Some of my friends find it amazing that I can sit in front of the t.v. for 3 1/2 to 4 hours every time a NASCAR Nextel Cup series race is on which is nearly every weekend as this series represents the longest sports season in the U.S. and perhaps everywhere. The season runs from mid February till mid November. The Coca-Cola 600 represents the longest race in racing's top series. 600 miles around the 24 degrees banked 1.5 mile Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord North Carolina is a test of driver's concentration, will, strategy, as well as a test of the car's themselves. Running rpm's in the 8000-9000 range every mile and a half would certainly see the family car's engine meet its end quite quickly and the engine builders of these stock cars really show their ability to build these incredible engines. Every year at this event there are those engines which let go towards the end of this endurance marathon often ending in a cloud of smoke. Today's 600 mile event lasted nearly 6 hours and yes I watched all of it. Uploading Tanakachi pics along the way made sure that I was spending my day with some productivity. LOL.

Jimmie Johnson who started in the 21st position quickly made his way through the field and after just 40 laps into the race was up to the 4th position. Jeff Gordon who started in 32nd position had made his way up to the 9th position within that same time. On lap 53 Johnson lost the tread of his tire (thank goodness for the inner liner which at some tracks they don't use) and slowed causing the field to back up resulting in a huge multi car pileup. Johnson sustained minor damage and his car's performance wasn't hurt.

Jeff Gordon was taken out early in the race when Tony Raines got loose and ran Gordon into the wall which then sent him sliding into the infield and then back across the track where he collected Allmendinger who collided with Gordon with such impact that it lifted his car off of the ground. Sorry about my low quality pics below. 😛 This was really a scary hit and I was relieved to see him get out of the car okay afterwards. All of the safety equipment that NASCAR mandates are really the best innovations in the sport making the races safer for drivers as well as fans in the stands. After the death of Dale Sr. in February 2001 many additions to help restrain the driver in the cockpit at times of impact were introduced into the sport.

That's the back of Gordons car above on the left (his spoiler is yellow) as he's turned backwards and lifted into the air by the impact of Allmendinger's car after he slid back onto the track giving Allmendinger nowhere to go. 😦

By lap 181 Johnson was up to 3rd position smelling the lead! On lap 186 Johnson took the lead for the first time! Late in the race the class of the field was clearly Johnson, Kenseth, Stewart, and Dale Jr. as they held the top 4 positions. A late pit mishap involving the jack being dropped too soon and a loose lug nut caused Johnson to lose 9 positions on pit road going from leading the race all the way back to the 10th spot. Tony Stewart than took over the lead with just 59 laps to go. Johnson was awesome and worked his way back all the way up to the 4th spot before fuel mileage became a factor for him as well as many other drivers. During the final pit stop a couple cars at the back of the lead cars came back into the pits to top off with fuel giving them an edge. While most of the field was unable to make it the rest of the way with the fuel that they had there were some that felt that they could make it. An amazing thing then unfolded as the laps wound down and most of the lead cars began to pit under green for a second or 2 seconds of fuel to make it to the finish. A few cars stayed out and gambled on having enough fuel to make it to the end. With no caution at this point that gamble paid off huge for some race teams! The top 5 finishers were some of the most unlikely to be in those positions at the end of the race.

1. Casey Mears 2. J.J. Yaley 3. Kyle Petty 4. Reed Sorenson 5. Brian Vickers.

Mears who drives for Hendrick Motorsports along with team mates Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Kyle Busch was 34th in the points prior to the race and had never won a Cup race. This was Kyle Petty's best finish in years. Seeing Petty up there in the top 5 really made me smile! Brian Vickers' car looked like it had raced at Bristol Motor Speedway instead of LMS as it was all beaten up. Quite a sight seeing his car in it's condition finish in the 5th spot! After having to pit for fuel under green Johnson finished in the 10th spot while Gordon came away with yet another DNF at LMS ending up in the 41st spot. This marks his 5th DNF I think, in a row at LMS but with his huge points lead in the standings he's still in first place while Johnson remains in 2nd place 132 points behind Gordon.

Congratulations to Casey Mears on his first well deserved win in the Cup series! Did I mention that he drives for Hendrick Motorsports too. Even with Gordon suffering a wreck not of his own making and Johnson suffering a pit road mishap, another Hendrick Motorsports team mate comes through and makes it to victory lane! Hendrick Motorsports continues its domination! What a season it's been so far. 🙂

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About MorningBerryz

Lover and free spirit who's interests in Japanese culture and the like are insatiable. I am of pure Japanese/Okinawan descent, love my cats, sleep and am a bit naughty at times :).
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