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Earnhardt, Jr. Wins the NASCAR Crown Royal 400 at Richmond

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Well NASCAR fans we saw one heck of a race at Richmond Saturday night. This was typical Southern Saturday night type short track racing. I have had my doubts about NASCAR racing on Saturday nights, but if they can produce a race of this caliber during prime time, well I’m sold. Problem’s been over the past few years many of the night races have been very anti-climatic and sometimes even dull. Never words I like to use along with NASCAR. The fact that NASCAR is moving away from their racing fan base in the South and into larger markets in the North East and West and away from what made them so popular the “Stock Car,” is only a small part of some of the reasons an old fan such as me would utter the words, “anti-climatic and boring.”

I’ll Bellyache later, let’s talk racing. The race started with the caution bug with early cautions putting a couple of cars behind the wall early in the evening. Kasey Kahne in his number 9 Dodge Dealer’s Dodge Charger left the track with a bad cylinder that actually turned out to be a disconnected plugwire. This put him five laps back by lap 75 so he was in catch up mode the rest of the race. Greg Biffle in his Coast Guard number 16 Ford Fusion led the early part of the race until challenged by Kevin Harvick in his number 29 Mr. Goodwrench Chevy Monte Carlo. Harvick who won the Busch race the previous night had earlier that day signed a contract extension with Richard Childress Racing drove like a man possessed. He passed Jimmie Johnson at lap 179 placing the current series point’s leader a lap back. Johnson would eventually sneak back into twelfth place in his number 48 Lowe’s Monte Carlo. Around lap 350 local boy Denny Hamlin a Nextel rookie this year placed his number 11 Fed-Ex Chevy into the lead which surprised everyone. Hamlin had hurt himself in an off-track accident Tuesday during testing at the Lowe’s Motor, Speedway in Charlotte. He had raced the night before with fourteen stitches in his left hand caused by a cut across his finger and palm. By lap 375 the car to beat was Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in his red number 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo. He bested the rest of the class and took his first win of 2006. Earnhardt’s last win was 25 races ago at the Chicago race in 2005. Next race is Darlington, another Saturday night affair and hopefully another great race.

Now as for the bellyaching I will not bore you with what I see as NASCAR’s big problems. I consider myself an expert, don’t believe me, just ask me and let’s find out. What I don’t know I can find out. No, what I want to find out is what you the readers that look at my little post think or want to know?


Sat 05/06/06, 8:10 pm EST


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