Sunday, August 26, 2012

Denny Hamlin finds victory at Bristol Motor Speedway

Denny Hamlin at Bristol
Photo Credit: Genevieve
Denny Hamlin is the winner for the first time at Bristol Motor Speedway. This marks the 200th victory for the No. 11 car and Hamlin's 20th win. Tonight's win bumps Hamlin two spots in the championship points standings to eighth.

The IRWIN Tools Night Race started with a lot of energy and had multiple lead changes and crashes that will keep fans talking for a long time.

In the traditional driver introductions, each driver walked out to a favorite song, leaving fans pumped full of energy. This year, fans got to vote for their favorite introduction and first place went Hamlin who did "The Wobble." The win earned him $10,000 for his charity.

Jimmie Johnson drove the white No. 48 Lowes Chevrolet from 37th to a second place finish, securing his spot in the Chase. Hendrick teammate Jeff Gordon also had a solid night and finished third.

The race had 13 cautions, 11 of them caused by accidents.Coincidentally, there were also 13 lead changes.

Joey Logano was hoping for a sweep this weekend. He started in fourth and quickly took the lead.The Connecticut native would be out front four times for a total of 139 laps. He finished the night in eighth spot.

Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon at
Bristol Motor Speedway
Photo Credit: Genevieve
A noteworthy crash of the night was when David Ragan’s No. 34 spun out and the engine blew up. Kasey Kahne's No. 5 Chevrolet slipped in the spilled oil, clipped the wall, and damaged the splitter and right front tire. It cost him the lead and his team spent the majority of the race trying to fix the problems. Kahne finished ninth and Ragan finished 32nd.

Ryan Newman’s luck turned sour when he made contact with Juan Pablo Montoya and spun out. He hit the wall hard, causing severe damage to the No. 39 Outback Chevy and collecting Jeff Burton. Newman didn't finish the race, which could hurt his chances of making the Chase. Burton finished 33rd. 

Drama continued to unfold as Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart fought for the lead but collided and crashed in the wall. The damage ended Stewart's night, but not Kenseth’s. Luckily the No. 17  team was able to make repairs to keep him on track. Their effort was crucial to the team's Chase hopes because as we learned last year, every point counts. Smoke isn't one to shy away from showing his anger and threw his helmet at Kenseth’s car.  Although Kenseth led 25 laps, he finished 25th. Mathematically, Kenseth made the Chase and is now fourth in points. 

Pole sitter Mears had a successful start with a total of 26 laps led. He didn't have complications until lap 413 when he had collided with the wall in turn two. Mears finished the race 21st.  
Danica Patrick kept her No. 10 Chevrolet out of accidents until lap 436 when she made contact with Regan Smith. The incident ended Patrick's night. Although she didn't follow her boss' lead by throwing her helmet, she walked to the edge of the apron and wagged her finger as Smith passed. 

Carl Edwards got a huge boost in momentum when he led 45 laps. Edwards desperately needs a win to secure his spot in the Chase. Tonight's 22nd place finish kept him 12th in points with just two races to go before the cut off. Martn Truex Jr. also had a surge of good fortune when he took the lead for 44 laps. He finished the race in fifth and sits fifth in points. 

NASCAR heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway next weekend for the AdvoCare 500. 


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