Sunday, October 21, 2007

NASCAR: Martinsville Results

Carl Edwards said it best in a prerace interview...
I know it probably won't happen, but it would be nice if Jimmie and Jeff quit sharing notes, started to hate each other and wrecked each other on the racetrack. It would really help the rest of us out.
The Chase for the Nextel Cup Championship is now the Jeff & Jimmie Show. Jimmie Johnson passed Jeff Gordon with 44 laps to go, then held off Gordon and Ryan Newman through numerous cautions and restarts to claim victory in the Subway 500. Johnson's victory is his third in a row at Martinsville, and snaps Gordon's two-race Nextel Cup winning streak. Johnson gained on Gordon with the win, but the other Chase drivers moved even further back in the standings. (Standings)

Newman, who is not in the Chase, finished second. Chasers Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth round out the top 5. (Results)

It was a typical Martinsville race. Bumping and grinding and banging. A lot of twisted sheet metal. There were a track-record twenty cautions. The twentieth, on lap 496, set up a green-white-checkered finish, a two-lap shootout for the win. Johnson and Newman were racing hard for the finish and almost plowed into David Ragan, who had spun out in the middle of a turn. NASCAR threw the yellow flag, ending the race there under caution.

In other news, Bruton Smith, founder of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., and owner of numerous NASCAR tracks, is contemplating shutting down his marquee track, Lowe's Motor Speedway, in a rift with local lawmakers. Smith wanted to add a state-of-the-art drag strip to the facility, but was blocked by local officials. After bringing millions of dollars into the local economy, Smith was feeling decidedly unappreciated and threatened to close down the facility and build another close by. At first, he was thought to just be posturing to get his way, but he now says, "I'm 90 percent we will move." Lowe's is due for renovations that are estimated at $150 million. For about twice that amount, Smith can build his dream track. City and county officials, even the governor, are now bending over backwards to try to keep LMS right where it is. (The latest)

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