THE STORYLINES FROM RICHMOND:
1. Virgina native Denny Hamlin wins the Nationwide race on Saturday.
2. Denny Hamlin leads 381 laps in the Sprint Cup race Saturday Night.
3. Dale Jr. leads late in the race to possibly end his 71 race win drought.
4. “The Las Vegas Weasel” crashes Jr. after a restart.
5. Clint Bowyer slips past the wreckage to win the race.
Denny Hamlin grew up in Chesterfield, VA, which is about 40 miles outside of Richmond, VA. In fact, as little as about 4 years ago Denny Hamlin was a spectator watching this very race being ran!!! So here we are at a track that Denny calls his “hometown track” four years later watching this young man race in the Nationwide series on Friday night.
Even though this series is the “junior varsity or the AAA series of NASCAR”, the thought of excelling/wining in front of friends and family is every competitors dream. As we all know, those dreams don’t always come to fruition. Well, Friday night Denny did fulfill that dream!!! He ran up front in the top ten all evening long. As the checkerd flag fell Hamlin was there leading the pack to it. What a great night for local homegrown driver! He had just won a big race in front of friends and family, as well as millions on TV.
So Denny Hamlin returns to the track Saturady night for, what would turn out to be the begining of possibly a “fairly tale comes true” story!!! Denny Hamlin wins the pole positon after qualifying on Friday. So now he has already won the Nationwide Series race on Friday night, he is on the pole for the Cup race and leading “the 43 best best race care drivers in the world” down to take the green flag to start the race at Richmond. He has to be feeling proud, excited, and somewhat nervous at at once! The green flag drops and Denny Hamlin launchesout to a lead that lasted for 381 of the first 382 laps!! He was THE dominate car of the race. But a problem arises that cost him the lead. He develops a slow leak in the right front tire and his pace has to slow. The quandary is do you pit now or hope for a yellow flag? Well, Denny caused his own yellow flag and NASCAR didn’t like that so he was penalized 2 laps!! His fulfillment of a sweep of both races in front of the hometown crowd quickly diminished.
With Denny Hamlin out of the picture, that opened up the door for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who had been running third for quite a while. When the race restarted, Dale Jr. was leading the pack and looked to be on his way to breaking his 71 race winless streak!!! The crowd of approximately 112,000 people were on their feet cheering wildly. In years gone by, there would be a sea fo RED in the stands(red is the color of Jr’s former sponsor BUD). But these days the sea is green and blue (green is for AMP and blue is for The National Guard his current sponsors).So the sea of green and blue was going crazy!! It looks like the question of just when is JR going to win again was about to be answered!!! It was after all, Richmond two years ago that he last visited the winners circle!! All is good!!!
BUT WAIT……….the number 18, better know as “THE LAS VEGAS WEASEL” is in his rear view mirror!!! Jr. must know that he is destined to be put in the fence by THE WEASEL!! Kyle is fast, Kyle is aggressive, but Kyle isn’t a very smart driver! “THE LAS VEGAS WEASEL” will NEVER settle for second place! As Kyle has already demonstrated, he will at all cost, do whatever it takes to win……crash or no crash!!!!! HOWEVER his move on Jr. only parked Jr. in the wall, Kyle still finished second!!! I hope that Kyle had a ton of security because there were some very angry fans!! In fact it is a good thing that this reporter wasn’t on hand, ’cause I was looking for the can opener so that I could open up that can of you know what!!!!! Mr. Busch must not forget that there are some faster tracks coming up on the schedule!!!! I believe that there is a saying that goes something like this. “WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND”!!!
When the smoke had settled after Kyle stuck Jr. in the wall, Clint Bowyer had slipped past the wreckage to take the lead and win the race.
I invite your questions, comments, insights, and/or opposing views!!!
Check out the results, the scores are tabulated!!