NASCAR Nationwide Series
NASCAR - Nationwide - Aaron's 312 Preview

From The Sports Network

 
DATE: Saturday, May 5th
SITE: Talladega Superspeedway (1969) -- Talladega, Alabama
TRACK: 2.66-mile oval - 4,300 feet (Frontstretch); 4,000 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 143,231 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 21st
TELEVISION: ABC
ANNOUNCERS: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
RADIO: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 3:15 p.m. (et)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Kyle Busch
RUNNER-UP: Joey Logano
POLE WINNER: Elliott Sadler (Finished 5th)
LAPS: 117
MILES: 311.22
QUALIFYING RECORD: Joe Nemechek, 1997 (193.517 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Mark Martin, 1997 (168.937 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $1,180,958 (2011 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $42,345; 2nd Place - $31,650; 3rd Place - $41,093
 
2011 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1Kyle Busch226Trevor Bayne5
2Joey Logano77Justin Allgaier17
3Joe Nemechek208Dale Earnhardt Jr3
4Brad Keselowski169Reed Sorenson13
5Elliott Sadler110Aric Almirola10
2011 Aaron's 312 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 126.618 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 36 minute, 18 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: Under Caution
CAUTION FLAGS: 11 for 38 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 56 among 18 drivers
POLE WINNER: Elliott Sadler (179.558 m.p.h.)
Past Aaron's 312 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Kyle Busch (22nd) -- Toyota -- 126.618 m.p.h.
2010 -- Brad Keselowski (23rd) -- Dodge -- 157.630 m.p.h.
2009 -- David Ragan (14th) -- Ford -- 149.004 m.p.h.
2008 -- Tony Stewart (1st) -- Toyota -- 133.111 m.p.h.
2007 -- Bobby Labonte (34th) -- Chevrolet -- 133.216 m.p.h.
2006 -- Martin Truex Jr (12th) -- Chevrolet -- 149.785 m.p.h.
2005 -- Martin Truex Jr (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 122.117 m.p.h.
2004 -- Martin Truex Jr (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 136.763 m.p.h.
2003 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 141.768 m.p.h.
2002 -- Jason Keller (12th) -- Ford -- 157.691 m.p.h.
2001 -- Mike McLaughlin (14th) -- Pontiac -- 131.258 m.p.h.
2000 -- Joe Nemechek (35th) -- Chevrolet -- 153.859 m.p.h.
1999 -- Terry Labonte (16th) -- Chevrolet -- 150.793 m.p.h.
1998 -- Joe Nemechek (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 118.196 m.p.h.
1997 -- Mark Martin (23rd) -- Ford -- 168.937 m.p.h. (race record)
1996 -- Greg Sacks (7th) -- Chevrolet -- 139.438 m.p.h.
1995 -- Chad Little (7th) -- Ford -- 122.904 m.p.h.
1994 -- Ken Schrader (17th) -- Chevrolet -- 167.473 m.p.h.
1993 -- Dale Earnhardt (22nd) -- Chevrolet -- 146.801 m.p.h.
1992 -- Ernie Irvan (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 158.359 m.p.h.
 
NOTE: Previously called Fram Filter 500k (1992-94), Hummingbird 500k
(1995-96), Easy Care 500k (1997), Touchstone Energy 300 (1998-2000),
Subway 300 (2001).
 
Past Aaron's 312 Pole Winners (finish)
2011 -- Elliott Sadler -- 5th
2010 -- Kevin Harvick -- 3rd
2009 -- Ryan Newman -- 2nd
2008 -- Tony Stewart -- 1st
2007 -- Brad Coleman -- 9th
2006 -- J.J. Yeley -- 34th
2005 -- Paul Menard -- 27th
2004 -- Clint Bowyer -- 22nd
2003 -- Joe Nemechek -- 2nd
2002 -- Johnny Sauter -- 33rd
2001 -- Joe Nemechek -- 39th
2000 -- None -- Weather
1999 -- Ken Schrader -- 34th
1998 -- Joe Nemechek -- 1st
1997 -- Joe Nemechek -- 41st
1996 -- Joe Nemechek -- 2nd
1995 -- Jeff Purvis -- 31st
1994 -- Jeff Purvis -- 5th
1993 -- Bill Elliott -- 5th
1992 -- Dale Earnhardt -- 4th
Last Race Results
RACE: Virginia 529 College Savings 250 (April 27th)
SITE: Richmond International Raceway -- Richmond, Virginia
MILES: 187.5
LAPS: 250
WINNER: Kurt Busch
RUNNER-UP: Denny Hamlin
THIRD: Kevin Harvick
FOURTH: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
FIFTH: Sam Hornish Jr.
POLE WINNER: Kevin Harvick (Finished 3rd)
TIME OF RACE: 1 hour, 48 minutes, 6 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 104.070 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.062 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 3 for 30 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 13 among 6 drivers
LAP LEADERS: K. Harvick - pole; D. Hamlin 1; K. Harvick 2-70; M. Shepherd
71-73; K. Harvick 74-76; K. Busch 77-79; K. Harvick 80-117; D.
Hamlin 118; K. Harvick 119-166; K. Busch 167-202; D. Hamlin
203-206; M. Annett 207-208; J. Logano 209-221;K. Busch 222-250.
Aaron's 312 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
01Mike Wallace (St. Louis, MO)Chevrolet/restaurant.com
1Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/Phoenix Construction
2Elliott Sadler (Emporia, VA)Chevrolet/One Main Financial
3Austin Dillon (Lewisville, NC)Chevrolet/Advocare
4Danny Efland (Irmo, SC)Chevrolet/TBA
5Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/Hellmann's
6Ricky Stenhouse Jr (Olive Branch,MS)Ford/Cargill/Blackwell Angus
7Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL)Chevrolet/GoDaddy.com
08Tim Andrews (Concord, NC)Ford/Randy Hill Racing
10Jeff Green (Owensboro, KY)Toyota/TBA
11Brian Scott (Boise, ID)Toyota/Dollar General
12Sam Hornish Jr. (Defiance, OH)Dodge/Alliance
14Eric McClure (Chilhowie, VA)Toyota/Hefty Reynolds Wrap
15Jeffrey Earnhardt (Mooresville, NC)Ford/fastwax.com
18Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Toyota/Game Stop
19Tayler Malsam (Seattle WA)Toyota/G-Oil
20Ryan Truex (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/Grime Boss
22Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hls, MI)Dodge/Discount Tire
23Robert Richardson Jr (McKinney, TX)Chevrolet/North Texas Pipe
24Benny Gordon (DuBois, PA)Toyota/TBA
30James Buescher (Plano, TX)Chevrolet/Accudoc
31Justin Allgaier (Riverton, IL)Chevrolet/Brandt
33Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Armour
38Brad Sweet (Grass Valley. CA)Chevrolet/Great Clips
39To Be AnnouncedFord/TBA
40Erik Darnell (Beach Park, FL)Chevrolet/TBA
41Timmy Hill (Port Tobacco, MD)Ford/poynt.com
42Josh Wise (Riverside, CA)Chevrolet/TBA
43Michael Annett (Des Moines, IA)Ford/Pilot Flying J
44Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR)Toyota/TBA
46Chase Miller (Denver, NC)Chevrolet/TBA
47Scott Speed (Manteca, CA)Chevrolet/TBA
50T.J. Bell (Reno, VA)Chevrolet/TBA
51Jeremy Clements (Spartanburg, SC)Chevrolet/Clements Automotive
52Kevin Lepage (Shelburne, VA)Chevrolet/TBA
54 *Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/Monster Energy
70Johanna Long (Pensacola, FL)Chevrolet/Foretravel
74Mike Harmon (Birmingport, AL)Chevrolet/Koma Unwind
75Blake Koch (West Palm Beach, FL)Chevrolet/TBA
81Jason Bowles (Ontario, CA)Toyota/American Majority
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet
88Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA)Chevrolet/taxslayer.com
89Morgan Shepherd (Conover, NC)Chevrolet/TBA
99Kenny Wallace (St. Louis, MO)Toyota/American Ethanol
 
* - defending champion.
 
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Driver200320042005200620072008200920102011
Kyle Busch---4th40th3rd39th16th10th34thWon
Joey Logano------------------3rd2nd2nd
Joe Nemechek2nd10th29th---------11th36th3rd
Brad Keselowski---------------23rd9thWon4th
Elliott Sadler------------------------5th
Justin Allgaier------------------32nd15th7th
Dale Earnhardt Jr.Won2nd------29th6th5th---8th
Brian Scott---------------------10th11th
Sam Hornish Jr.------------------------13th
James Buescher---------------------37th23rd
Kenny Wallace---6th35th13th---30th17th11th25th
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.---------------------29th38th
Kevin Harvick------18th2nd6th------3rd39th
Kurt Busch---------------------------
Austin Dillon---------------------------
Danica Patrick---------------------------
Ryan Truex---------------------------
 
Mover of the Week
T.J. Bell - Started in the 43rd position and finished 28th
 
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Kyle Busch
Darkhorse - Dale Earnhardt Jr
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Brad Keselowski) - Finished 16th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Kevin Harvick) - Finished 3rd
 
NOTES:
In what could be described as a wild and wacky finish, Kyle Busch took the checkered flag for the 2011 Nationwide Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. Busch won under caution over Joey Logano to claim his 47th career win in the series.

With 56 lead changes among 18 drivers, Busch led for only four laps, on four separate occasions, but it was lap 124 -- the final one -- that counted most.

After being involved in a 21-car accident late in the race, Busch thought his day at Talladega was over. Busch sustained very minimal damage to his Toyota during the lap 88 incident. The scheduled 117-lap race was extended with two green-white-checkered finishes.

Mike Wallace held the lead for the final restart, but Trevor Bayne grabbed the top position just before the field crossed the line to complete the second-to- last lap.

Busch propelled to the lead on the final lap when his drafting partner and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Logano bumped him to the front. Busch remained the leader when the race ended under caution for a crash involving Wallace.

After getting bumped from behind and then clipping Jason Leffler, Wallace's car went airborne and then flipped several times on the backstretch. Wallace managed to drive the car back to pit road.

It took NASCAR officials several minutes to declare Busch as the winner.

In 2010, Brad Keselowski capped off the NASCAR doubleheader at Talladega Speedway by winning the rain-delayed Aaron's 312 Nationwide Series race in a wild ending.

During a two-lap overtime finish, Kevin Harvick and Jamie McMurray raced for the win, as they did in the Sprint Cup Series at Talladega earlier in the day. McMurray, though, got loose and triggered a 10-car accident heading into the final turn of the last lap. Dennis Setzer's car went airborne and crashed into the safety fence before it engulfed into flames while sliding down the track. Setzer was not injured.

Keselowski grabbed the lead just before the caution flag was displayed to end the race three laps past its scheduled 117-lap distance. He won a Nationwide race at Talladega for the first time one year after claiming his first Sprint Cup victory here.

David Ragan took advantage of Ryan Newman's block of Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the last turn of the final lap and then slipped past the two drivers just before crossing the finish line first to win the 2009 running of the Aaron's 312. It was Ragan's first victory in a NASCAR national touring series race. The No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford driver recorded his first Nationwide win in his 85th start, despite leading only the final lap. Newman, who started on the pole, finished second in his first Nationwide restrictor-plate race, driving the No.33 Chevrolet for Kevin Harvick Inc.

In one of the most exciting finishes at Talladega, Tony Stewart clipped David Stremme by less than a second for his third win in 2008. Stewart, who started on the pole, battled several drivers, including Dale Earnhardt Jr, but in the end, he posted his fifth career Nationwide title, as he won by 0.302 of a second.

Bobby Labonte led for only two laps, the 58th and the last, but it was good enough for his 10th career Nationwide Series victory in 2007, as he clipped Tony Stewart by less than a second. The win was his first since winning at Darlington in March of 1998. With 36 lead changes among 20 drivers, Casey Mears was the most productive, leading nine times for 52 laps. Mears placed third, while pole sitter Brad Coleman, who led the first 14 laps, ended up ninth.

In 2006, Martin Truex Jr made it three in a row, as he captured the Aaron's 312 edging Kevin Harvick by less than a second. Truex reclaimed the lead on lap 99 and held on the rest of the way for his 13th career Nationwide Series title. Truex, who started in the 12th position, led the race on seven occasions for 36 laps, as he crossed the finish line 0.086 of a second ahead of Harvick. Pole sitter J.J. Yeley failed to finish the race, as he placed 34th. With the win, Truex became the first and only three-time winner of this race.

The pole sitter has captured this race just twice in the 20-year history, when Joe Nemechek won back in 1998 and Stewart in 2008. Nemechek, who raced at Talladega 14 times, is a five-time pole sitter in this race and a two-time champion.

Chevrolet, despite being the series' all-time winner (12) at Talladega. hasn't won at there since 2007. Ford last won in 2009.

Danica Patrick and Johanna Long will compete in a Nationwide race at Talladega for the first time this weekend. Patrick won the pole for the most recent restrictor-plate event in February at Daytona International Speedway. Long, who hails from nearby Pensacola, FL, finished 16th in the Camping World Series event at this track last October.

The next Nationwide Series race is the May 11 VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway. Kyle Busch won last year's race there.

05/01 16:11:04 ET

As of May 1, 2012, at 04:11 PM ET

Powered by The Sports Network.

Sports Plus - Ruidoso News