Welcome to Frank Pozen's Big Bad Blog. A lot of folks have been asking me to update them about my recovery. So I thought I would start a blog primarily to do that but also to talk about other topics of interest including the wrestling business and whatever else I can think of. I plan to update this on a regular basis so check back and leave a comment if you wish.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Matt Kenseth sweeps California
Fans were still buzzing about the finish of last week's Daytona 500 when the NASCAR Nextel Cup boys pulled into California Speedway in Fontana, CA for Sunday's Auto Club 500. California is a mostly flat sweeping two mile track with a reputation for being tough on engines. The track lived up to it's reputation and we almost had another great finish but some bad luck killed that. Jeff Gordon won the pole.
Kasey Kahne's #9 UAW/Dodge Dealers Dodge led at the start. The first caution came out on lap 8 when Scott Riggs' #10 Stanley Tools Dodge hit the wall and took Jamie MacMurray & Reed Sorenson with him. Riggs & Sorenson were out of the race. The first engine failure of the race was on lap 15 for Martin Truex Jr.'s #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy. Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s #8 Budweiser Chevy came into the pits with a flat tire on lap 19. He went down a lap when David Ragan's #6 AAA Ford spun on lap 20 to bring out a caution.
The leaders who didn't pit earlier pit now and Kyle Busch's #5 Kellogg's/Carquest Chevy leads. Matt Kenseth's #17 Carhartt Ford takes the lead on lap 31. Green flag pit stops begin on lap 51. But Sterling Marlin's #14 Panasonic HDTV Chevy blows a tire and hits the wall. Most guys who have already pitted are on the tail end of the lead lap. This means that leader Matt Kenseth is in the middle of the pack. A lot of guys are hoping for a quick caution. More engine problems. Dale Earnhardt Jr. & Kasey Kahne both head to the garage.
Meanwhile Tony Stewart's #20 Home Depot Chevy & Jeff Burton's #31 Cingular Chevy trade the lead. A debris caution comes out on lap 93. Everyone pits and Matt Kenseth reclaims the lead. More engine failure. Dave Blaney's #22 Caterpillar Toyota is out and a debris caution comes out on lap 116. Then another caution on lap 122 when Earnhardt's engine blows up. Kenseth still leads. Tony Stewart takes the lead on lap 146 and Jeff Gordon's #24 Dupont Chevy moves into second.
Green flag pit stops begin on lap 159 and Matt Kenseth regains the lead on lap 164. Tony Stewart is caught speeding on pit road and that takes him out of contention for the win. More engine failure. John Andretti's #37 Camping World Dodge is out of the race. Green flag pit stops begin on lap 194. When they are finished on lap 205, Jimmie Johnson's #48 Lowe's Chevy is leading as Kenseth had a poor pit stop and dropped to second.
Everyone still has to make one final stop but if the race stays green, it looks very good for Jimmie Johnson. But everything changes with a lap 226 debris caution. Everyone makes final pit stops. Matt Kenseth regains the lead as Johnson has a poor pit stop and drops to fifth. Jeff Burton is second and Kevin Harvick's #29 Shell Pennzoil Chevy is third. Harvick is closing rapidly on Kenseth but then David Reutimann's #00 Domino's Pizza Toyota is hit from behind by Greg Biffle on lap 244. He hits the wall hard and takes Ricky Rudd & Bobby Labonte with him.
NASCAR throws the red flag. I figured we'd have a great finish between Kenseth & Harvick but just as the green flag is about to be thrown on lap 248, Harvick has a flat tire and has to pit. He finishes 17th. Jeff Gordon & Jimmie Johnson get around Jeff Burton for second & third but they have nothing for Kenseth and he wins. Very bad luck for Harvick.
Congratulations to Matt Kenseth, interim crew chief Chip Godin and car owner Jack Roush. A big top ten finish for Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers gave Toyota their very first top ten. Mark Martin leads the points. The Nextel Cup has a week off and will be in Las Vegas in two weeks. Here's the top ten and also video footage of the end of the race.