Friday, October 22, 2010
CONCORD, NC – Kyle Busch dominated Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 for most of the race, except where it counted the most – at the finish. Jamie McMurray surprised everyone by roaring away from Busch in the final laps of the night giving him his third win of the season. During a restart with 21 laps remaining in the race, McMurray sprinted past Busch and pulled away finishing 1.86 sec ahead of Kyle. Some have attributed McMurray’s surprise win to the new rear-spoiler rules allowing the crew chiefs some ability to control the aerodynamics of the COT. Jaime attributed his win elsewhere. “We had a really good car there. As those laps were winding down I was thinking about Daytona and why I cry and the power of prayer,” said McMurray. “Thanks to God and everything he’s blessed my family and I with.”
Denny Hamlin finished the race in 3rd place barely dodging a lap 2 wreck. The avoidance maneuver forced him into the pits to replace a set of flat-spotted tires. Hamlin was followed by Jimmie Johnson in 4th and Greg Biffle in 5th place. Chase contender Kevin Harvick finshed in 8th place. Hamlin, Johnson and Harvick stand the best chance to win the Chase. Martinsville will be an exciting race next week.
Another surprise of the evening was pole-sitter Jeff Gordon who ran strong for the first half of the race. On lap 191, Jeff’s primary battery failed and lost a lap while switching to a second battery. Though he got a free pass to the lead lap following a spin by Ambrose, Gordon struggled the rest of the night finishing 23rd and putting him 156 points behind in the Chase – nearly a race worth. Kurt Busch also experienced some bad luck spinning on lap 23 grazing the wall at turn 4 in the No 2 Dodge. Too bad for Kurt as he was hoping to sweep the Charlotte triple after winning both the All-Star Race and the Charlotte 600. There’s always next year.
In another bit of news, NASCAR has announced that beginning in 2011, Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Trucks will run E15 fuel, a blend of 15% ethanol and gasoline. The change is part of the “NASCAR Green” environmental initiative and is targeted at reducing emissions, though NASCAR has declined to say by how much. An added benefit of the fuel is a small increase in horsepower accompanied by a small loss of fuel economy. When you think about it, what is more American than burning a fuel grown in the American heartland in the All-American Sport of NASCAR.