Saturday, May 16, 2009

NASCAR All-Star race LiveBLOG!

11:06 p.m. - Tony Stewart gets a nose on Kenseth and takes the lead. What a victory this would be for Stewart and his new race team. Stewart takes the checkered flag and wins the All-Star Challenge. I must say, I really liked that final 10-lap segment. A lot more racing, and crashing. Overall, boring race, but the last 10 laps definitely made up for it. Well, this concludes the LiveBLOG. Thanks for reading.

11:01 p.m. -
Kenseth takes the lead from Busch as the No. 18 fades to the back. Kenseth has been hanging around the front all night, but finally makes a serious challenge for the win with just a few laps left.

10:44 p.m. -
Green flag drops (again) and Busch goes three-wide (again) to take the lead. But Gordon is fighting back to the line. Now Ryan Newman joins the fray and bump drafts Busch into Jeff Gordon. Wow! Newman is leading and Gordon is into the wall.

10:39 p.m. -
It's go time for $1 million! Kyle Busch goes three-wide on the outside and Jimmie Johnson spins in the middle of the pack! No cars hit Johnson, though, and he's able to continue. Matt Kenseth isn't very happy with Busch and bumps him coming to the yellow flag. Since cautions flags don't count, they'll restart with 10 laps to go.

10:27 p.m. -
Everyone pits for four tires and has plenty of time to make adjustments on their cars during the 10-minute intermission. A quick flip to FSN Pittsburgh shows the Pirates are beating the Colorado Rockies 6-4 in the 6th inning. Let's Go Bucs!

10:19 p.m. -
Gordon blows by Busch with 18 to go for the first green flag lead change of the night. Riveting... The No. 24 checks out and wins the third segment. We're moving onto the 10-lap elimination spectacular.

10:11 p.m. - Hornish loses control at the start of the third segment and wipes out Greg Biffle. The Biff is finished and the only car out of the race. On the restart, Mark Martin bobbles and nearly takes out the field, but he collects it just in time and continues. Kyle Busch leads Gordon and Kenseth. DW makes a comment that you don't want to do anything dumb until the last lap, but I argue that this IS THE TIME to go for it in order to be in position for the final segment.

10:01 p.m. -
Matt Kenseth is pushing Kyle Busch for the lead as the second segment winds down, but the No. 18 is too strong. More pit stops to come, and will Busch and Kenseth do two tires again? Rut roh... they do neither and forgo pit stops while Johnson fades way back in the back after taking four tires again.

9:52 p.m. -
With yellow flag pit stops complete, Kyle Busch leads after taking two tires. Johnson was punted to fifth for the second segment, but I don't expect him to hang out there long. But as the run continues, Kyle Busch is checking out. I guess clean air is more important than tires. Tony Stewart takes Joey Logano to school by dipping to the grass and passing the No. 20.

9:46 p.m. -
We're halfway and reached the 50-lap intermission. Let's hope the final three segments are more competitive than the first. Johnson checked out as Gordon and Kurt Busch waged the best battle on the track. For some reason, Johnson slowed down so he wouldn't pass a struggling Ryan Newman. Nearly cost him as Busch made a run for the lead, but couldn't pass. Maybe they need to invert the field and force Johnson to weave through the entire field. He definitely has the car to do it.

9:33 p.m. -
The mandatory green flag pit stops are underway, and that's about the most exciting thing we've seen all night. It's feeding time at the zoo and Johnson lights up the brakes before hitting pit road. Kurt Busch nearly rear-ends Johnson as they race out with Jeff Gordon. The top-3 are back on the track in just about the same position as before the stops. Kyle Busch blew through his pit box and it cost him serious time.

9:19p.m. -
We're going racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway for the 25th All-Star race. The field is strung out single-file by Lap 5, while Kyle Busch is on the move. DW is commenting that Dale Jr. has lost the handling on his No. 88. What does that say about this struggling team when his car is junk 8 laps in? Meanwhile, Jimmie Johnson is pulling away, as expected.

9:01 p.m. -
Team owner Joe Gibbs says a nice grace at the dinner table before Jessie James, a proud Sprint phone customer, performs the national anthem. I'm also a proud Sprint customer, so I wonder if I can sing it next year.

8:51 p.m. -
It seems that Greg Biffle's crew just pissed off everyone in the crowd by hosing them down with CokeZero. And the Blue Deuce boys follow that up by spraying beers all over the place. I'm sure the 8-year-olds will love smelling like beer for the rest of the race. Slick move, fellas. And the fan vote goes to... (drum roll, please) ...Ric Flair? Actually, rookie Joey Logano and the No. 20 team get the charity vote and will be racing in the All-Star event.

8:36 p.m. - Pre-race festivities finally begin. It's pretty cool they introduce the driver along with the team members. Not many opportunities to showcase the guys behind the scenes. Can't wait to see what crazy stunts some of these guys pull this year. Wow, that cover band is really rocking out. It looks like the drummer is about to lose his mind.

8:17 p.m. -
Hornish pulls out the victory and McMurray finishes a distant second. But it's good enough for both drivers to advance to the All-Star race. Special congrats to Hornish's crew chief, Travis Geisler, who is a Western Pennsylvania native. Now we wait to see which driver the fans vote in to the big race.

8:04 p.m. -
It's the NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Challenge tonight and we'll be live bloggin' here at "Jonesin' for Speed" blog. Right now, David Stremme and Sam Hornish Jr. - the Penske red-headed step children - are battling for the win in the Showdown qualifying race. Does Martin Truex or Jamie McMurray have anything for them?

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