NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Sylvania 300 Preview

From The Sports Network

DATE: Sunday, September 25th
SITE: New Hampshire Motor Speedway (1990) -- Loudon, New Hampshire
TRACK: 1.058-mile oval - 1,500 feet (Frontstretch); 1,500 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 95,491 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 15th
ANNOUNCERS: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
RADIO: Performance Racing Network (PRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 2 p.m. (et)/2:15 p.m. (et) Green Flag
RUNNER-UP: Denny Hamlin
POLE WINNER: Brad Keselowski (Finished 18th)
LAPS: 300
MILES: 317.4
QUALIFYING RECORD: Brad Keselowski, 2010 (133.572 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Jeff Burton, 1997 (117.134 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $5,256,417 (2010 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $248,250; 2nd Place - $178,550; 3rd Place - $169,954
2010 Finish
1Clint Bowyer26Jeff Gordon17
2Denny Hamlin227David Reutimann7
3Jamie McMurray48Ryan Newman24
4Dale Earnhardt Jr329Kyle Busch9
5Kevin Harvick2710Sam Hornish Jr15
2010 Sylvania 300 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 106.769 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 58 minutes, 22 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.477 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 8 for 34 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 21 among 8 drivers
POLE WINNER: Brad Keselowski (133.572 m.p.h.)
Past Sylvania 300 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2010 -- Clint Bowyer (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 106.769 m.p.h.
2009 -- Mark Martin (14th) -- Chevrolet -- 100.753 m.p.h.
2008 -- Greg Biffle (9th) -- Ford -- 105.468 m.p.h.
2007 -- Clint Bowyer (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 110.475 m.p.h.
2006 -- Kevin Harvick (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 102.195 m.p.h.
2005 -- Ryan Newman (13th) -- Dodge -- 95.891 m.p.h.
2004 -- Kurt Busch (7th) -- Ford -- 109.753 m.p.h.
2003 -- Jimmie Johnson (8th) -- Chevrolet -- 106.580 m.p.h.
2002 -- Ryan Newman (1st) -- Ford -- 105.081 m.p.h.
2001 -- Robby Gordon (31st) -- Chevrolet -- 103.594 m.p.h.
2000 -- Jeff Burton (2nd) -- Ford -- 102.003 m.p.h.
1999 -- Joe Nemechek (11th) -- Chevrolet -- 100.673 m.p.h.
1998 -- Jeff Gordon (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 112.078 m.p.h. (race record)
1997 -- Jeff Gordon (13th) -- Chevrolet -- 100.364 m.p.h.
NOTE: Formerly called Farm Aid on CMT 300 (1998), Dura Lube 300 (1999-2000),
New Hampshire 300 (2001-02).
Past Sylvania 300 Pole Winners (Finish)
2010 -- Brad Keselowski -- 18th
2009 -- Juan Pablo Montoya -- 3rd
2008 -- Kyle Busch -- 34th
2007 -- Clint Bowyer -- 1st
2006 -- Kevin Harvick -- 1st
2005 -- Tony Stewart -- 2nd
2004 -- None -- Weather
2003 -- Ryan Newman -- 9th
2002 -- Ryan Newman -- 1st
2001 -- Jeff Gordon -- 15th
2000 -- Bobby Labonte -- 2nd
1999 -- Rusty Wallace -- 6th
1998 -- Jeff Gordon -- 1st
1997 -- Ken Schrader -- 37th
Last Race Results
RACE: GEICO 400 (September 19th)
SITE: Chicagoland Speedway -- Joliet, Illinois
MILES: 400.5
LAPS: 267
WINNER: Tony Stewart
RUNNER-UP: Kevin Harvick
THIRD: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
FOURTH: Carl Edwards
FIFTH: Brad Keselowski
POLE WINNER: Matt Kenseth (Finished 21st)
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 47 minutes, 41 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 143.306 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.941 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 6 for 25 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 22 among 10 drivers
LAP LEADERS: M. Kenseth 1-32; J. Yeley 33; Kyle Busch 34-40; Kurt Busch
41-103; C. Edwards 104-115; J. Johnson 116; R. Newman 117-118; C.
Edwards 119-145; Kurt Busch 146; R. Newman 147-162; J. Johnson
163-164; B. Keselowski 165-168; J. Johnson 169-204; T. Stewart
205; M. Kenseth 206-208; T. Stewart 209-214; M. Truex Jr.
215-217; M. Kenseth 218; M. Truex Jr. 219-227; M. Kenseth
228-237; T. Stewart 238-250; M. Truex Jr. 251-252; T. Stewart
Sylvania 300 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
00David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL)Toyota/Aaron's Dream Machine
1Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO)Chevrolet/Axe Cool Metal
2Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI)Dodge/Miller Lite
4Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Toyota/Red Bull
5Mark Martin (Batesville, AR)Chevrolet/
6David Ragan (Unadilla, GA)Ford/UPS
7Robby Gordon (Orange, CA)Dodge/Speed Energy
9Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia)Ford/DeWalt
11Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Ground
13Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA)Toyota/GEICO
14Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Office Depot/Mobil 1
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/
17Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Ford/Affliction Clothing
18Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/M&M's
20Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Toyota/Home Depot
22Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Dodge/Shell/Pennzoil
24Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/DuPont
27Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/Sylvania
29Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Budweiser
30David Stremme (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/Inception Motorsports
31Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA)Chevrolet/Caterpillar
32Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR)Ford/Street King
33 *Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Chevrolet/Cheerios/Hamb. Helper
34David Gilliland (Riverside, CA)Ford/TBA
35Steve Park (East Northport, NY)Chevrolet/"Ole Blue" Tribute
36Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH)Chevrolet/Golden Corral
37Josh Wise (Riverside, CA)Toyota/TBA
38J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Ford/Long John Silver's
39Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/Haas Automation
42Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia)Chevrolet/Degree
43A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA)Ford/Best Buy
46Scott Speed (Manteca, CA)Ford/Red Line Oil
47Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Toyota/Bush's Beans/Kingsford
48Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's
50T.J. Bell (Reno, VA)Chevrolet/Green Smoke
51Landon Cassill (Cedar Rapids, IA)Chevrolet/Phoenix Construction
55Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI)Ford/TBA
56Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/NAPA Auto Brakes
60Mike Skinner (Susanville, CA)Chevrolet/Big Red
66Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Toyota/HP Racing
71Andy Lally (Northport, NY)Ford/Interstate Moving Services
78Regan Smith (Cato, NY)Chevrolet/Furniture Row Racing
83Brian Vickers (Thomasville, NC)Toyota/Red Bull
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/TBA
88Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/Diet Mountain Dew
99Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Ford/Scott's Winterguard
* - Defending champion
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Clint Bowyer------------24thWon12th10thWon
Denny Hamlin------------4th15th9th2nd2nd
Jamie McMurray---10th5th12th29th11th39th18th3rd
Dale Earnhardt Jr11th5th3rd5th13th16th5th35th4th
Kevin Harvick33rd13th10th10thWon17th10th32nd5th
Jeff Gordon14th19th7th14th3rd2nd14th15th6th
David Reutimann---------------26th15th12th7th
Ryan NewmanWon9th33rdWon12th9th36th7th8th
Kyle Busch---------27th38th4th34th5th9th
Carl Edwards------20th19th18th12th3rd17th11th
Kurt Busch2nd15thWon35th19th25th6th6th13th
Kasey Kahne------4th38th16th20th11th38th14th
Jeff Burton20th42nd15th9th7th18th4th16th15th
Juan Pablo Montoya---------------23rd17th3rd16th
Greg Biffle27th43rd28th4th14th13thWon9th17th
Brad Keselowski------------------------18th
Martin Truex Jr------------22nd5th7th19th20th
Matt Kenseth10th7th2nd3rd10th7th40th23rd23rd
Tony Stewart3rd20th39th2nd2nd3rd8th14th24th
Jimmie Johnson9thWon11th8th39th6th2nd4th25th
Paul Menard---------------24th21st34th28th
Mark Martin16th38th13th7th11th------Won29th
Joey Logano------------------32nd21st35th
Brian Vickers------22nd13th5th43rd35th11th---
Mover of the Week
Kevin Harvick - Started in the 30th position and finished 2nd
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Carl Edwards
Darkhorse - Clint Bowyer
Last Week's Pick to Win (Jimmie Johnson) - Finished 10th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Juan Pablo Montoya) - Finished 14th
Race one is in the books, as the Chase for the Sprint Cup began last Monday in Illinois. Kevin Harvick holds down the top spot, but it was Tony Stewart who prevailed at Chicagoland Speedway for his 40th career Sprint Cup title.

Last year, New Hampshire Motor Speedway was the first event in the Chase. Clint Bowyer opened the 10-race classic by winning for the first time in 88 races.

Bowyer had the dominant car throughout the race but ran second to Tony Stewart in the late going before Stewart ran out of fuel with less than two laps to go. Bowyer took over the top spot for good and held off a hard-charging Denny Hamlin by 0.48 seconds for his third career Sprint Cup Series win but his first since May 2008 at Richmond.

Three days following the New Hampshire race, NASCAR handed down stiff penalties to Bowyer's team after their winning car was found to be illegal during a more thorough post-race inspection conducted at NASCAR's Research and Development center in Concord, NC. Bowyer and team owner Richard Childress were each penalized with a 150-point loss, while crew chief Shane Wilson received a six-race suspension, a $150,000 fine and probation until the end of the year. Car chief Chad Haney also received suspension for the same length of time, as well as probation for the remainder of the year. Wilson's fine was later reduced to $100,000.

Only one driver in the eight-year history of the Chase for the Sprint Cup has won the first playoff race and then capture the championship - Kurt Busch in 2004. On the other end of the spectrum, a bad start doesn't always mean a championship deathblow. Jimmie Johnson finished 25th in last year's Chase- opener, only to eventually win his fifth consecutive title. In 2006, he opened up the Chase with a 39th-place finish. Denny Hamlin finished 31st at Chicagoland, the worst of the Chase contenders.

Food for thought. In four of the previous seven years, the eventual championship Chase winner finished in the top-five of race two - and Johnson won each of the last two.

In 2009, Mark Martin won at New Hampshire for the first time, as he capitalized on pit strategies and then held off the field in three late-race restarts for his fifth victory of that season. Martin last pitted under green with 58 laps remaining in the 300-lap race. He fell one lap behind, but the remainder of the field had to make their final stops shortly after, allowing Martin to reclaim the lead with 28 laps to go. An incident involving A.J. Allmendinger set up a three-lap shootout to the finish. After the restart, Martin and Juan Pablo Montoya were in a fierce side-by-side battle for the lead. Martin pulled ahead of Montoya with less than two laps to go. Allmendinger spun again on the final lap, which ended the race under caution. The victory was the 40th and most recent of his career.

Starting ninth in the 2008 race, Greg Biffle reclaimed the lead on lap 289 and held on the rest of the way to record his 13th career Sprint Cup title. Biffle clipped Jimmie Johnson by 0.505 of a second. Johnson led four times for a race-high 96 laps. Pole sitter Kyle Busch led the opening three laps, but placed 34th. Biffle has since added three wins to his total.

Clint Bowyer started on the pole and dominated this race in 2007, as he led for 222 laps en route to his first career Sprint Cup title. Bowyer led the first 37 laps and the final 49, as he defeated Jeff Gordon by over six seconds. In all, Bowyer led on six separate occasions, as he captured the first-place prize of $259,175 in just his 64th career Sprint Cup start.

In 2006, Kevin Harvick captured the first race of the Chase, as he outran Tony Stewart by less than a second for his fourth win in 2006 and the ninth of his Sprint Cup career. Harvick, who's victory total now stands at 18, dominated the race, leading seven times for a race-high 196 laps after starting on the pole. Harvick reclaimed the lead on lap 217 of the 300-lap race from Dave Blaney and held on for victory. Stewart made the biggest move of the race after starting 32nd on the grid.

Ryan Newman made a late-race pass and captured the 2005 Sylvania 300 at the New Hampshire International Speedway, in the first round of the 10-race "Chase for the Sprint Cup." The No.12 Penske Racing Dodge crossed the finish line 0.292 seconds ahead of pole sitter Tony Stewart, as he recorded his 12th of 15 career Sprint Cup titles. Newman led three times for a total of 66 laps, while Stewart led for a race-high 173 laps, including the first 74.

THIS AND THAT FROM NHMS: Groundbreaking for New Hampshire International Speedway, as New Hampshire Motor Speedway was originally named, was August. 13, 1989. It was the first superspeedway to be constructed in the United States since 1969. There have been 33 Sprint Cup races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway; one a year from 1993 through 1996 and two per year since. Four drivers have competed in all 33 races: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Joe Nemechek. Jimmie Johnson (2003) and Kurt Busch (2004) are the only drivers that have posted season sweeps. They are also the only back-to-back winners. The pole sitter has captured this race four times, including two of the past five years.

The next Chase race is the October 2 AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway. Jimmie Johnson is the defending race winner.

09/20 17:40:21 ET

As of September 20, 2011, at 05:40 PM ET