450 Words: New OrleansTuesday, March 17, 2009 | 3:28 PM
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In a flash, the gate dropped and the racers went careening into the first turn. Stewart’s pick proved to be the better one as he controlled the turn, with Reed tucked right in behind. Of course, there was still the 800 on the right of James, but he could start in row four and still be a player in the first turn. Stewart’s plan worked perfectly except for one problem: because he was now tight to the second turn, he could not jump the first double. He would have to roll, double and roll the last one before the third turn. However, his nemesis Reed, who just might have thought about this exact scenario being played out, was now on the outside of James and able to double/double the section and would control the next turn. This was it, something had to happen right here.
With that triple behind him, James still managed to stay somewhat inside in the third turn and that was it. The battle for the lead, and the race, was over. Moments like these are what great races are all about.