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Was Hendrick Motorsports Robbed Of Their 200th Victory?

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Jeff Gordon at Martinsville

Photo by Jeremy Wilkins

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Well, I asked for some drama at Martinsville… and we got it.

I have to say that the race wasn’t all that exciting until the end. In Martinsville, short track style, we had a nail-biting finish. This is not the blog to read if you are looking for all of your stats, but I do want to offer a few.

Ryan Newman won the Goody’s Fast Relief 500, which Jeff Gordon dominated for the majority of the race. What was really interesting about the finish was the fact that this would have been Hendrick Motorsports 200th win. I really thought one of the Hendrick teams was going to win as Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson were racing hard.

Dale Jr. was not far behind, which could have put three of the Hendrick teams in the top 10. It all came to a screeching stop when David Reutimann had multiple failures, which brought out a late caution.

At the next restart, Clint Boyer made it three-wide in the first corner, which just doesn’t work at this track. This brought out another caution, and after the restart Ryan Newman won the race.

After the race, David Reutimann was interviewed and said, “I just hate that I was involved in anything that changed the complexion of the race, so I’ve got to apologize to the guys that it affected…..I know it sucks, I hate it for everybody that it affected, but I mean I can’t get out and push the thing. You know, it shut off. It’s that simple.”(NASCAR.com 04-02-2012)

Could this have ended differently? Of course. Beating, banging, and trading paint are all part of Martinsville. We got the drama we were looking for. Anything can happen and almost always does happen on a short track. Articles and radio chatter have offered thousands of opinions of what might have been. One thing is certain, Ryan Newman won his first race of the season and the 16th of his career.

Check back Tuesday for a special post with photos I took at Martinsville!

by Jeremy Wilkins

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