Saturday, October 13
Lowes Motor Speedway
Jeff Gordon (24) leads Clint Bowyer to the checkered flag to score his second win-in-a-row. The victory gives Gordon a 68-point lead over
second-place points sitter Jimmie Johnson; five races remain to settle the season...Complete race results and point standings in the Event
Stats section below...
Gordon Wins Second Straight Race, Extends Points Lead
By Reid Spencer, Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
CONCORD, N.C. (October 13, 2007) -- Jeff Gordon held off Clint Bowyer in a green-white-checkered-flag finish to win the Bank of America 500 Saturday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway -- Gordon's second straight victory, his sixth of the season and the 81st of his Nextel Cup career.
Fearful of running out of fuel, Gordon still crossed the finish line .579 seconds ahead of Bowyer in a race that went three laps beyond its posted distance of 334 laps. Gordon extended his lead in the Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup to 68 points over teammate Jimmie Johnson, who rallied from a succession of problems to finish 14th.
Kyle Busch ran third, followed by Jeff Burton and Carl Edwards, as Chase drivers claimed the top five positions.
After NASCAR red-flagged the race for 12 minutes to clean up oil on the track, Ryan Newman passed Gordon to the outside after a restart on Lap 330. Two laps later, however, Newman crashed in Turn 2 and brought out the 15th and final caution to set up the two-lap dash to the finish.
A hard crash in Turn 1 involving Juan Pablo Montoya and Scott Riggs brought out the 13th caution of the race on Lap 279. Both Bowyer and Gordon pitted for four tires and fuel, but Kyle Busch beat Gordon out of the pits to take a short-lived lead. On Lap 285, after the subsequent restart, Gordon sailed past his lame-duck Hendrick Motorsports teammate and pulled away from the rest of the field.
After Busch and Bowyer swapped the lead during a 38-lap green-flag run, NASCAR called the 14th caution of the race after Johnny Sauter spun in oil that was dropped on the track by the No. 66 Chevy of his teammate, Jeff Green.
Both Kurt Busch and Stewart had to deal with problems on pit road. On Lap 177, the No. 15 car of Paul Menard rubbed Stewart's Chevrolet as it exited his pit stall. Stewart then made hard contact with the No. 9 Dodge of Kasey Kahne, who turned in front of the two-time champion, trying to reach his own pit box.
Busch sustained damage on the right-front fender of his No. 2 Dodge after contact in the pits with the No. 01 Chevy of Mark Martin on Lap 191, but that wasn't his undoing. Busch regained a position in the top 10 until he dropped a cylinder later in the race and then was trapped a lap down after a caution flag interrupted a cycle of green-flag pit stops.
Stewart salvaged a seventh-place result, but Busch came home 26th, two laps down.
Notes: Kevin Harvick pitted twice under green with tire trouble early in the race, finished 33rd and dropped out of sight in the Chase standings. . . Denny Hamlin had to pit under the final caution with a transmission problem and couldn't get up to speed on the restart. He finished 20th and fell farther behind Gordon.
Complete race results and point standings in the Event Stats section below...
Jubilant team owner Rick Hendrick hugs Jeff Gordon in Victory Lane.
Qualifying: Thursday, October 11 (ESPN2 & TSN-alt at 8 p.m./AT)
Final Practice: Friday, October 12 (ESPN2 at 7 p.m./AT)
RaceDay: Saturday, October 13 (SPEED at 6:30 p.m./AT)
Countdown to Green: Saturday, October 13 (ABC at 8 p.m./AT)
Race: Saturday, October 13 (ABC at 8:30 p.m./AT)
*AT is one hour ahead of ET, i.e. if it's 2 p.m./AT - it's 1 p.m./ET...
Event Stats PDF files unless otherwise noted
Ryan Newman watches qualifying for Sunday's Bank of America 500 - before winning his 42nd Bud Pole Award.
- Ryan Newman won the Bud Pole for the Bank of America 500 with a lap of 28.512 seconds, 189.394
- This is his 42nd Bud Pole in 219 career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races.
- This is his fifth Bud Pole and 14th top-10 start in 2007.
- This is Newman’s seventh Bud Pole and 12th top-10 start in 13 races at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
- Jimmie Johnson posted the second-fastest qualifying time with a lap of 28.573 seconds, 188.990 mph.
This is his series-leading 21st top-10 start in 2007.
- Bobby Labonte (third) posted his eighth top-10 start in 2007 and his best since he started third at Bristol
in August 2006.
- Scott Riggs (14th) was the fastest of the drivers required to make the field on time.
- Paul Menard (17th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
- Drivers that failed to qualify include: Dale Jarrett, Joe Nemechek, Brian Vickers, Sam Hornish Jr., Carl Long and Kirk Shelmerdine.
- See the complete starting lineup in the Event Stats section below...
Green Flag Fast Facts
The Race: Bank of America 500
The Place: Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
The Date: Saturday, Oct. 13
The Track: 1.5-mile oval
The Distance: 501 miles, 334 laps
The Purse: $5,185,096
2006 Polesitter: Scott Riggs
2006 Winner: Kasey Kahne
Pre-Race On-Track Schedule (ET): Thursday—Practice, 3-4:30 p.m. Qualifying, 7:10 p.m.; Friday—Practice, 3-3:50 p.m. and 6:20-7:20 p.m.
Season To-Date Results & Point Standings: click here
Keys to Winning...
Green Flag Notes...
- A good handling car is crucial. The team that can keep their car fine-tuned throughout the race will have a good opportunity to come out on top.
- Thursday and Friday’s practice sessions will be very important. Crew chiefs will need to develop their strategy based upon tire wear and other adjustments they’ll need to make and adapt accordingly during the course of the race. Making the right adjustments at the right time can mean less stress over pit-stop variables.
- As the halfway point approaches in the 2007 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup approaches, several drivers’ championship hopes are slipping away. One of those would be Jeff Burton (No. 31 AT&T Mobility Chevrolet), in 12th and last place this week, 336 points behind Jeff Gordon. A comeback is highly unlikely considering that deficit but nonetheless, Burton shouldn’t be dismissed going into Saturday night’s event. He has two LMS victories and 12 top 10s in 27 starts. Expect Burton to hang tough no matter what happens. “Obviously, last weekend’s finish wrapped up our championship hopes but we will keep fighting,” he said. “We’ll continue to go to the last few races with the same approach we have had all year. All that we can do as a team is our very best and if we do that, the points will add up. We have to focus on what we are doing and do a good job. If we do that, then we’ll be able to battle back and move up in the standings.”
- Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet) has dropped to 154 points back of the lead, into fourth place, but don’t forget how he did down the stretch last year when he was outside the Chase field. Two of Stewart’s five victories in 2006 came in the season’s last five weeks – at Atlanta and Texas.
- This past weekend at Talladega Superspeedway was a good one for Toyota. Victories in both the ARCA RE/MAX Series event and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race … a Bud Pole Award for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event ... and finally, a third-place finish in that premier event, on Sunday, by Dave Blaney. That tied Blaney’s career-best effort in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. But it also inched the No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota team into the top 35 of the car owner point standings, ensuring the Bill Davis-owned entry a berth in this week’s race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
The top 35 teams in owner points get automatic starting spots each week. Other teams must qualify based on qualifying speeds. So for this week, the No. 22 is in. But the pressure remains; the 36th-place team, the Glen Wood-owned No. 21 Ore-Ida Ford, is only 51 points behind the No. 22 and only 54 behind the No. 45 Tire Kingdom Dodge team of owner-driver Kyle Petty.
- Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge) continues to lead the Raybestos Rookie of the Year point standings over David Ragan (No. 6 AAA Ford).
Montoya’s solid 15th-place run at Talladega boosted his lead to 15 points (225-210).
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