Smith wins a Crazy Day at Dega!By Bryan Nolen
Regan Smith won the Aaron’s 312 which was a unbelievable race that include rain, darkness, wrecks and replays! Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch and Justin Allgaier rounded out the top 5. NASCAR originally had Kahne win but the caution came out before the checkers waved making the #7 Tax Slayer Chevy the winner.
The race went green after a long delay that started about 4:15 Central time. Travis Pastrana led the field to the green for the first career time in his short career. Danica Patrick caused the first caution on lap 19 when her #34 Turner Scott Motorsports Toyota got turned by Kyle Larson and sent her in to the wall and the wet grass. she got damage to her splitter and tried to go back out but could not maintain speed to contend for a win and went to the garage. Austin Dillon was slowing before the caution and fell a lap down. He went on pit road and he had a spark plug issue but they fixed it.
The second caution waved when the #32 of Larson left rear tire exploded and basically half of his car was destroyed because of the tire. The No. 79 of Jeffery Earnhardt also spun during the Larson incident but he was able to drive away and head to pit road. Dillon was about to get the free pass but Mike Wallace got lapped right before the caution so he got the lucky dog.
At half way, we have had 25 lead changes with Kahne and Logano leading most of the way. Pastrana and Trevor Bayne as well as Sam Hornish Jr and Smith were up there and will be in contention for the win. Elliott Sadler had some engine troubles with 49 to go as he radioed to his CC that “temperature is getting hotter and hotter, we need to check for water or something. Blowing oil everywhere, inside the car.”
The third caution waved when the No. 43 of Reed Sorenson got turned by the #2 of Brian Scott and collected the No, 60 of Pastrana. Pastrana was just driving and was a innocent bystander. Sorenson got his back wheels airborne but did not flip. Pastrana took a really hard hit after getting hit by Sorenson from the turn 3 wall. Both were okay but both were done for the day. Pastrana told ESPN that “Everything kind of happened really fast” and “me and Trevor should have still been sitting in the back.” He was really dejected but will learn from this for the future.
4th yellow waved when the No. 00 of Blake Koch smacked the wall on the backstretch. He was drafting with Allgaier and Allgaier turned down and Koch was there.
On lap 94, the big one happened. Johanna Long blocked Sam Hornish Jr into getting a spot on the high side and Hornish and Eric McClure got together. Mike Harmon, Scott, Nelson Piquet Jr, Bobby Gerhart, Long, Hornish Jr, Dexter Stacey, Robert Richardson Jr, Bayne, Tim Andrews and Ty Dillon were all involved. There is also rain coming with darkness coming soon. NASCAR announced that they will cut the race by 10 laps so they can finish this before darkness.
Yellow waved once again with two laps to go because of the No. 54 of Joey Coulter got turned by Allgaier and smacked the front stretch wall. He got out and was fine but NASCAR said this was be the only GWC they would have. And boy, what a GWC it was!