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Weekend Rac'in Report 10/12/09 : )

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Old 10-12-2009, 02:23 PM
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Thumbs up Weekend Rac'in Report 10/12/09 : )

THE BIG STORY From Valvoline
Jimmie Johnson won for the fifth time this season and took the Chase lead with victory in Sunday's Pepsi 500 at California's Auto Club Speedway. He pulled away from teammate Jeff Gordon on a late restart. Gordon was second with Juan Pablo Montoya third, Mark Martin fourth and Tony Stewart fifth. The Chase standings after four events, with California results in parenthesis: Johnson; Martin, -12 points; Montoya, -58; Stewart, -84; Gordon, -105; Kurt Busch (eighth), -121; Greg Biffle (20th), -188; Carl Edwards (sixth), -192; Denny Hamlin (37th), -219; Ryan Newman (15th), -223; Kasey Kahne (34th), -306; Brian Vickers (29th), -351.
Also: NHRA's rain-delayed Memphis winners: Jeff Arend (Funny Car), Morgan Lucas (Top Fuel), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Michael Phillips (Pro Stock Motorcycle) . . . Sprint Cup races will have earlier and uniform starting times next year. A total of 28 races will move forward compared to this year. Eastern and Central time zone races will begin at 1 p.m. West coast races will start at 3 p.m. (all times Eastern). The Daytona 500 will go at 1 p.m. . . . Robert Kubica will drive for Renault in 2010 . . . NASCAR will debut its new Nationwide Series car at next July's Daytona race . . . Parker Kligerman won the ARCA season finale at Rockingham while Justin Lofton won the championship . . . Goodyear will become the World of Outlaws' official tire supplier in 2010. All cars will be required to have Goodyear rear tires . . . Tim Shaffer won the Outlaws' New Yorker 25 at Rolling Wheels Raceway . . . John Edwards won the Atlantic series finale at Laguna Seca and the title on a tie-breaker over Jonathan Summerton.

NASCAR Sprint Cup SeriesDenny Hamlin took the pole Friday at California with a 183.870 mph lap. David Reutimann clocked No. 2 but his time was disallowed due to a shock violation. Sunday, Jimmie Johnson passed Hamlin for the lead on lap 12. David Gilliland started the No. 71 but parked it early to be available as Kyle Busch's relief driver. Juan Pablo Montoya took the lead and then, after green-flag pit stops, Johnson again was in front, then Montoya passed him. A yellow, when Jamie McMurray hit the wall, allowed Busch - feeling effects of the flu - to pit and Gilliland got in. He wound up finishing 24th. Mark Martin and then Montoya led. A yellow, when Ryan Newman had a flat tire, brought more pit stops and Martin Truex Jr. got out first after taking just two new tires. That didn't last long. With just over 80 laps to go, Stewart got a pit speeding penalty and lost a lap. With 65 laps left, there was a debris caution, and Hamlin came out the leader. Stewart got his lap back. On the restart, Hamlin tried to cut down low from the high line and clipped Montoya. Hamlin's car spun and hit the end of the pit wall. Following green-flag stops, Johnson again was the leader. There was a debris yellow. The restart came with 12 laps remaining and Kasey Kahne came off the wall and into Greg Biffle. With seven laps left, Jeff Gordon led the restart, but Johnson passed him within a lap. Then, there was a multi-car accident in turn one, involving Kahne, Marcos Ambrose, Jeff Burton, A.J. Allmendinger, Reed Sorenson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Elliott Sadler and Brian Vickers. This forced a red flag. The last restart came with three laps to go and Johnson zoomed away from Gordon and won by 1.6 seconds. He averaged 143.908 mph with eight yellows for 30 of the 250 laps.
NASCAR Nationwide SeriesWhen his Toyota's fender was damaged in an early-race tangle with Greg Biffle, Joey Logano seemed an unlikely candidate to win Saturday's Copart 300 at California. But a series of incidents with the leaders in the closing laps gave Logano the chance to take his fifth series win of the year. He finished .514 second ahead of Brian Vickers. Carl Edwards was third in the Valvoline Ford. Kyle Busch, feeling effects of the flu, got out on his first pit stop after 39 laps and Denny Hamlin took over the No. 18 Camry. Hamlin fell back to 24th but drove up to the lead. Coming off turn four on lap 141, Hamlin had Brad Keselowski underneath him and Biffle had a run up high. Hamlin and Biffle collided. On a green-white-checkered ending that extended the distance to 152 laps, Keselowski and Edwards had slow restarts, allowing Logano to speed ahead. Busch/Hamlin were credited with 31st place and Edwards moved to within 155 points. Logano averaged 122.184 mph with 10 yellows for 37 laps.
NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing SeriesSunday's Virginia Nationals ended with Brandon Bernstein, Del Worsham and Mike Edwards in the winner's circle. In Top Fuel, Bernstein ended a 51-race winless streak, dating back to Brainerd 2007. He went 3.844 seconds, 307.09 mph vs. Antron Brown's tire-smoking 9.009, 75.99 mph. Tony Schumacher leads Larry Dixon by 47 points. In Funny Car, Worsham's Toyota Solara clocked 4.091, 305.98 mph to Tim Wilkerson's 4.179, 281.13 mph in a Ford Mustang. Jack Beckman took the pole in the Valvoline/MTS Dodge Charger but lost in the first round. Robert Hight is 13 points ahead of Ashley Force Hood. In Pro Stock, Edwards' Pontiac GXP won on a holeshot over Greg Anderson's GXP. It was 6.526, 211.43 mph to 6.522, 212.03 mph. Ron Krisher qualified eighth in the Valvoline Chevrolet Cobalt and lost in the first round. Edwards has a 128-point margin over Anderson. Edwards set a national record of 6.509 seconds.

IndyCar SeriesIn his first year back in the IRL after an adventure in NASCAR, Dario Franchitti won Saturday's season-ending Firestone 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and the championship. Franchitti started on the pole and raced side-by-side with teammate Scott Dixon in the opening laps. He then fell back to third, behind title rivals Dixon and Ryan Briscoe, going to a fuel-saving strategy that allowed him to make one less stop than Dixon and Briscoe. It worked as the race went caution free for 200 laps. Franchitti went to the lead with five laps to go, as Dixon and Briscoe pitted for fuel, and he finished 4.7 seconds ahead of Briscoe. The three championship contenders qualified 1-2-3 and they were one lap clear of the field. Franchitti averaged 201.420 mph. He wound up 11 points ahead of Dixon, followed by Briscoe. It was the second fastest race in League history and the first without a yellow.
American Le Mans SeriesGil de Ferran concluded his driving career with a victory while David Brabham and Scott Sharp ended the season with the P1 championship in Saturday's four-hour Monterey Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Simon Pagenaud drove the Acura first, from the pole, turning it over to de Ferran. He was challenged strongly by the P2 Acura of Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz, which came up just .662 second short after 168 laps. Fernandez and Diaz already had clinched the class title and that team is now disbanding due to lack of sponsorship. Brabham and Sharp were third overall in their Acura. In GT2, Patrick Long and Jorg Bergmeister won and clinched the class championship in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, the 100th class victory for Porsche. Sharp will own a GT2 class team in 2010, fielding a Ferrari.

Rolex Sports Car SeriesWhen J.C. France was indefinitely suspended after a DUI arrest in Daytona Beach, 61-year-old sports car legend Hurley Haywood was called on to team with Joao Barbosa in the Brumos Porsche in Saturday's season finale at Homestead. Barbosa passed Scott Pruett with 28 minutes to go in the two-hour, 30-minute run, which was lap 84 of 100. He won over Pruett under caution due to a late-race multi-car accident. Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney won the Daytona Prototype championship by six points over Pruett and Memo Rojas with a fourth-place finish after starting their Pontiac-Riley on the pole. Haywood and Barbosa averaged 90.766 mph. In GT, Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards won in a Pontiac GXP.R while Leh Keen and Dirk Werner clinched the championship with a third-place finish. A 12-race 2010 schedule was announced, with Indianapolis not on it, despite a recent tire test. Daytona, January 30, is the opener with Utah's Miller Motorsports Park the finale on Sept. 12.
Valvoline Winner Last WeekendDel Worsham, NHRA Funny Car class, Virginia.
Racer of the WeekGil de Ferran. Just as he did when he retired from IndyCars in 2003, de Ferran won the pole and the ALMS race at Laguna Seca to end his driving career.

Yes, He REALLY Said ThatDenny Hamlin, on his hopes for a Chase championship. "The winds have slowed down a little bit. It's no longer a hurricane, it's just a tropical storm right now."

This WeekendThe Chase rolls on Saturday night in Charlotte, with Friday night Nationwide racing. Formula One shines in Brazil.
 
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