NASCAR »

Slice of history for Gordon at delayed Atlanta

"When I dropped down onto the apron it started to wheel-hop a little bit and it ended up breaking the driveshaft," said Gilliland. "I've never done that, but I guess there's a first time for everything.

Gilliland was quickly attended to; more concerning was the sudden thickening of that mist, and sure enough word came through that it was officially raining. It didn't last long: on lap 185 they were good to go, and Kenseth dived down the inside of Edwards to retake the lead, with Gordon overtaking Harvick for fourth ahead of Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson. But just as Edwards was lining up a new move to go to the front on lap 200, the yellows were out again - and once more for rain.

With the weather radars looking relatively innocuous, practically everyone took the opportunity to come in for a round of pit stops. Everyone, that is, except for JJ Yeley and Landon Cassill, who took a cheeky gamble that the weather might be worse than it looked and that they may even end up with a hugely unlikely triumph if the race happened to be called as it stood. "I hope it rains really hard right now," said Yeley's crew chief Jay Guy over the team radio to his driver in the #38.

And just for a moment it looked as though they could actually be onto something: the conditions worsened, and finally the red flags came out and the cars recalled to pit road to allow the jet dryers to go to work. Then inevitably - and dashing Yeley and Cassill's hopes - the weather cleared up and the track was quickly dried as the winds picked up to help out, and 25 minutes after the original stoppage the drivers were back in their cars and ready to resume racing. Yeley and Cassill sheepishly came into pit lane for their delayed stops and rejoined at the back of the lead lap, but it had been a worthy try.

Racing resumed; and two laps later, the rain picked up again and the yellows were back out, race leader Kenseth almost getting caught out and crashing during those brief two green flag laps. But this was to prove the rain's last hurrah: the conditions soon cleared, and this time they would stay that was long enough to get the whole of the race in without further weather delays.

Which is not the same thing as saying that there were no more cautions. The eighth yellow came as early as lap 241 when Juan Montoya clipped the back of Clint Bowyer's car and sent the #33 smashing into the wall. Montoya's view was that Bowyer had moved up on front of him and initiated the contact, Montoya suggesting that Bowyer was thinking that - as a still-viable Chase contender, perhaps - he should have right of way over the Colombian. Montoya didn't see it the same way, held his ground, and the wreck unfolded from there.

"I was still there," Montoya said. "I don't know if [his spotter] told him he was clear or he looked in his mirror and thought he was clear. He came up."

"You can't race around a jackass; you just can't," Bowyer fumed as he waited for his car to be repaired in the garage, gesturing ironically at the #42 from the sidelines as the cars went around on track. "He dive-bombs the restarts, and before you know it, he's in the way up there ... I'm just tired of it." He added: "We're racing for the Chase, and he's racing for nothing. Everyone in the garage area fights him."

"I think when he looks at the video, he'll think differently," said an unrepentant Montoya, later tweeting: "I heard that Bowyer wasn't too happy. I guess next time he'll give me a little room."

Martin Truex Jr. took the lead at the restart after opting for a two-tyre pit stop, but he was easy prey for Jimmie Johnson who leapt to the front on lap 248. Then there was another quick full course caution, this time triggered by Regan Smith, who had been punted into the inside backstraightaway wall by an uncharacteristic shove from Mark Martin.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Bobby Labonte, driver of the #47 Bush`s Baked Beans Toyota, loses control of his car during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sept. 6 in Hampton, Ga. [Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]
A view of race action during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sept. 6 in Hampton, Ga. [Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, comes to the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sept. 6 in Hampton, Ga. [Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, celebrates with champagne and crew chief Tony Gibson in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, wins, causing his crew to celebrate Sunday, April 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, races to victory Sunday, April 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory with a burn-out Sunday, April 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory Sunday, April 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
A detail view of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series logo as rain falls prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 25, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
People walk on pit road as rain falls prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 25, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position Friday, April 24, 2015 for Saturday evening`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Harvick is the points leader in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, qualifies for third position Friday, April 24, 2015 for Saturday evening`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Busch is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, finishes in sixth place and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Wix Chevrolet SS, finishes in fifth place and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, finishes in seventh place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.