NASCAR Nationwide Series
NASCAR - Nationwide - VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 Preview

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DATE: Friday, May 11th
SITE: Darlington Speedway (1950) -- Darlington, South Carolina
TRACK: 1.366-mile oval - 1,229 feet (Frontstretch); 1,229 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 60,000 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 30th
ANNOUNCERS: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
RADIO: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 7:15 p.m. (ET)/Green Flag: 7:30 p.m. (ET)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Kyle Busch (Not Defending)
RUNNER-UP: Denny Hamlin
POLE WINNER: Kyle Busch (Finished 1st)
LAPS: 147
MILES: 200.8
QUALIFYING RECORD: Carl Edwards, 2008 (176.994 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Michael Waltrip, 1992 (138.140 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $921,763 (2011 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $35,525; 2nd Place - $24,250; 3rd Place - $28,768
2011 Finish
1Kyle Busch16Clint Bowyer2
2Denny Hamlin167Kasey Kahne4
3Elliott Sadler68Reed Sorenson5
4Justin Allgaier129Jason Leffler11
5Steve Wallace710Ricky Stenhouse Jr8
2011 VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 119.364 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 1 hour, 40 minutes, 56 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 3.677 seconds
CAUTION FLAGS: 5 for 28 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 11 among 5 drivers
POLE WINNER: Kyle Busch (2011 Owner Points)
Past VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Kyle Busch (1st) -- Toyota -- 119.364 m.p.h.
2010 -- Denny Hamlin (1st) -- Toyota -- 103.122 m.p.h.
2009 -- Matt Kenseth (6th) -- Ford -- 116.596 m.p.h.
2008 -- Tony Stewart (3rd) -- Toyota -- 107.139 m.p.h.
2007 -- Denny Hamlin (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 92.370 m.p.h.
2006 -- Denny Hamlin (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 106.999 m.p.h.
2005 -- Matt Kenseth (24th) -- Ford -- 116.238 m.p.h.
2004 -- Greg Biffle (4th) -- Ford -- 120.141 m.p.h.
2003 -- Todd Bodine (13th) -- Chevrolet -- 124.550 m.p.h.
2002 -- Jeff Burton (1st) -- Ford -- 124.153 m.p.h.
2001 -- Jeff Green (13th) -- Ford -- 128.742 m.p.h.
2000 -- Mark Martin (1st) -- Ford --113.519 m.p.h.
1999 -- Matt Kenseth (9th) -- Chevrolet -- 121.945 m.p.h.
1998 -- Bobby Labonte (9th) -- Pontiac -- 100.443 m.p.h.
1997 -- Randy Lajoie (11th) -- Chevrolet -- 115.569 m.p.h.
1996 -- Mark Martin (2nd) -- Ford -- 120.763 m.p.h.
1995 -- Larry Pearson (36th) -- Chevrolet -- 108.087 m.p.h.
1994 -- Mark Martin (1st) -- Ford -- 117.965 m.p.h.
1993 -- Robert Pressley (7th) -- Chevrolet -- 109.197 m.p.h.
1992 -- Robert Pressley (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 130.982 m.p.h.
1991 -- Dale Jarrett (6th) -- Pontiac -- 115.551 m.p.h.
1990 -- Harry Gant (3rd) -- Buick -- 129.689 m.p.h.
1989 -- Geoffrey Bodine (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 118.681 m.p.h.
1988 -- Geoffrey Bodine (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 115.514 m.p.h.
1987 -- Dale Earnhardt (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 137.850 m.p.h.
1986 -- Darrell Waltrip (5th) -- Pontiac --123.423 m.p.h.
1985 -- Jack Ingram (11th) -- Pontiac -- 108.460 m.p.h.
1984 -- Ron Bouchard (1st) -- Pontiac -- 97.992 m.p.h.
1983 -- No Spring Race
1982 -- Geoffrey Bodine (3rd) -- Pontiac -- 129.018 m.p.h.
NOTE: Formerly called TranSouth 200 (1982), Dixie Cup 200 (1984-86), Country
Squire 200 (1987-89), Pontiac 200 (1990-91), Mark III Vans 200
(1992-95), Dura Lube 200 (1996), Diamond Hill 200 (1997), Diamond Hill
300 (1998-99), SunCom 200 (2000-01), Too Tough to Tame 200 (2002), 200 (2003), Diamond Hill 200 (2004-06), Diamond
Hill Plywood 200 (2007-09), Royal Purple 200 (2010-11).
Past VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 Pole Winners (Finish)
2011 -- None -- Weather
2010 -- Denny Hamlin -- 1st
2009 -- None -- Weather
2008 -- Carl Edwards -- 43rd
2007 -- Denny Hamlin -- 1st
2006 -- Denny Hamlin -- 1st
2005 -- Jimmie Johnson -- 23rd
2004 -- Kyle Busch -- 17th
2003 -- None -- Weather
2002 -- Jeff Burton -- 1st
2001 -- Ryan Newman -- 17th
2000 -- Mark Martin -- 1st
1999 -- Mark Martin -- 39th
1998 -- Jeff Burton -- 11th
1997 -- Elliott Sadler -- 29th
1996 -- Jeff Green -- 11th
1995 -- Tim Fedewa -- 23rd
1994 -- Mark Martin -- 1st
1993 -- None -- Weather
1992 -- Mark Martin -- 32nd
1991 -- Jimmy Hensley -- 6th
1990 -- Kenny Wallace -- 8th
1989 -- Geoffrey Bodine -- 1st
1988 -- Geoffrey Bodine -- 1st
1987 -- Geoffrey Bodine -- 2nd
1986 -- Tim Richmond -- 27th
1985 -- Dale Earnhardt -- 29th
1984 -- Ron Bouchard -- 1st
1983 -- No Spring Race
1982 -- Harry Gant -- 14th
Last Race Results
RACE: Aaron's 312 (May 5th)
SITE: Talladega Superspeedway -- Talladega, Alabama
MILES: 324.52
LAPS: 122
WINNER: Joey Logano
RUNNER-UP: Kyle Busch
THIRD: Ricky Stenhouse Jr
FOURTH: Cole Whitt
FIFTH: Dale Earnhardt Jr
POLE WINNER: Elliott Sadler (Finished 10th)
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 22 minutes, 54 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 136.258 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.034 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 7 for 27 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 37 among 18 drivers
LAP LEADERS: E. Sadler 1-4; K. Harvick 5; A. Dillon 6-7; J. Buescher 8-13; Kurt
Busch 14; J. Logano 15; E. Sadler 16-17; Kyle Busch 18; J.
Buescher 19-21; R. Stenhouse Jr. 22; T. Andrews 23; Kyle Busch
24-25; D. Earnhardt Jr. 26; J. Logano 27-30; D. Earnhardt Jr.
31-34; J. Logano 35-41; M. Bliss 42-43; J. Logano 44-46; D.
Earnhardt Jr. 47-51; J. Nemechek 52; M. Wallace 53; D. Earnhardt
Jr. 54-63; K. Harvick 64-65; A. Dillon 66-67; C. Whitt 68-70; K.
Wallace 71; D. Earnhardt Jr. 72; E. Sadler 73-74; R. Truex 75; D.
Earnhardt Jr. 76-77; D. Patrick 78; D. Earnhardt Jr. 79-80; K.
Harvick 81-82; S. Hornish Jr. 83-84; K. Harvick 85-87; J. Logano
88; Kyle Busch 89-121; J. Logano 122.
VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
01Mike Wallace (St. Louis, MO)Chevrolet/
2Elliott Sadler (Emporia, VA)Chevrolet/One Main Financial
3Austin Dillon (Lewisville, NC)Chevrolet/Advocare
4Danny Efland (Irmo, SC)Ford/EMS Speak
6Ricky Stenhouse Jr (Olive Brnch,MS)Ford/Cargill Beef
7Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL)Chevrolet/
08Matt Frahm (North Salem, NH)Ford/Maui Jim/New Life Diets
10Jeff Green (Owensboro, KY)Toyota/TBA
11Brian Scott (Boise, ID)Toyota/Dollar General
12Sam Hornish Jr. (Defiance, OH)Dodge/Alliance Truck Parts
14Eric McClure (Chilhowie, VA)Toyota/Hefty/Reynolds Wrap
15Blake Koch (West Palm Beach, FL)Ford/Rick Ware Racing
18Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/Sports Clips
19Tayler Malsam (Seattle WA)Toyota/G-Oil
20Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Toyota/Dollar General
22Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hls, MI)Dodge/Snap-On
23Jamie Dick (Albuquerque, NM)Chevrolet/Viva Auto Group
24Casey Roderick (Lawrenceville, GA)Chevrolet/TBA
30James Buescher (Plano, TX)Chevrolet//Accudoc Solutions
31Justin Allgaier (Riverton, IL)Chevrolet/Brandt
33Brendan Gaughan (Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/South Point Casino
36Ryan Blaney (High Point, NC)Chevrolet/Seal Wrap
38Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Chevrolet/Great Clips
39Josh Richards (Shinnston, WV)Ford/NSW Kids
40Erik Darnell (Beach Park, FL)Chevrolet/
41Timmy Hill (Port Tobacco, MD)Ford/
42Josh Wise (Riverside, CA)Chevrolet/Curtis Key Plumbing
43Michael Annett (Des Moines, IA)Ford/Pilot Flying J
44Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR)Toyota/TBA
46Chase Miller (Denver, NC)Chevrolet/Curtis Key Plumbing
47Scott Speed (Manteca, CA)Chevrolet/Curtis Key Plumbing
50T.J. Bell (Reno, VA)Chevrolet/TBA
51Jeremy Clements (Spartanburg, SC)Chevrolet/Clements Automotive
52Kevin Lepage (Shelburne, VA)Chevrolet/TBA
54Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/Monster Energy
70David Green (Owensboro, KY)Chevrolet/TBA
74Mike Harmon (Birmingport, AL)Chevrolet/Koma Unwind
75Scott Riggs (Bahama, NC)Chevrolet/Rick Ware Racing
81Jason Bowles (Ontario, CA)Toyota/American Majority
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet
88Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA)Chevrolet/
89Morgan Shepherd (Conover, NC)Chevrolet/TBA
99Travis Pastrana (Annapolis, MD)Toyota/Boost Mobile
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Denny Hamlin------7thWonWon------Won2nd
Elliott Sadler------------------------3rd
Justin Allgaier------------------5th17th4th
Kasey Kahne8th11th34th11th---------4th9th
Ricky Stenhouse Jr---------------------37th10th
Brad Keselowski------------36th15th11th7th27th
Jeff Green------28th---------23rd---34th
Joey Logano------------------12th------
Kurt Busch---------------------------
Austin Dillon---------------------------
Danica Patrick---------------------------
Mover of the Week
Dale Earnhardt Jr - Started 33rd on the grid and finished 5th
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Elliott Sadler
Darkhorse - Jeff Green
Last Week's Pick to Win (Kyle Busch) - Finished 2nd
Last Week's Darkhorse (Dale Earnhardt Jr) - Finished 5th
It certainly didn't come easy, but it was a win nonetheless, as Kyle Busch raced to victory last year at Darlington Raceway.

Busch, who was awarded the pole due to rain, overcame an early-race encounter with the wall and then survived a multi-car crash just after the halfway point to win his first Nationwide event at this tricky 1.366-mile track.

He scraped the wall but suffered no significant damage to his car while battling fellow Sprint Cup Series regular Kasey Kahne for the lead on lap 17. Busch narrowly escaped from being caught up in an eight-car accident just after a restart on lap 95. He passed Nationwide regular Elliott Sadler for the lead with 24 laps remaining and then easily beat his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Denny Hamlin, at the finish by 3.7 seconds.

The victory, just a few days after his 26th birthday, was the 48th of his all- time leading 51 career Nationwide titles. Busch will not be defending his title this week. He will be overseeing brother Kurt in the No. 54 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota.

In 2010, Denny Hamlin held off Busch in a series of late-race restarts to win at Darlington. Both Hamlin and Busch opted not to pit during a round of stops under caution with less than 35 laps remaining. The final caution for an incident involving Matt Kenseth, the defending race winner, set up a five-lap shootout to the finish. Busch made an attempt to pass Hamlin after the final restart, but could not pull off the move, as he finished 0.625 seconds behind Hamlin.

Hamlin started on the pole and led 111 of 147 laps en route to his third win in the last five Nationwide races at Darlington. He won here consecutively from 2006-07. Hamlin also gave crew chief Kevin Kidd his first win in the series.

Hamlin has enjoyed great success at Darlington, posting a total of four NASCAR wins, two runner-up finishes and 11 top-10s in 12 starts.

Just hours after capturing the pole for the Southern 500, Matt Kenseth won the 2009 race after a surprising turn of events in the final laps at Darlington Raceway. Kyle Busch led 143 laps and appeared to be on his way to a third consecutive NASCAR national touring race, but Busch suffered a flat right-rear tire after he ran over debris from a wreck involving Joe Nemechek and Scott Lagasse Jr, which set up a green-white-checkered finish. Busch had to pit during the caution, handing the lead over to Kenseth. Just after the final restart, Morgan Shepherd spun and slammed the wall, ending the race under caution.

The win for Kenseth, who led for only four laps, was the third at Darlington on the Nationwide circuit and the 25th of his career.

In 2008, Tony Stewart raced to victory, as he defeated Clint Bowyer by less than a second for his sixth career Nationwide Series title. Stewart dominated most of the race, as he led 90 of the 149 laps. The No.20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota crossed the finish line 0.814 of a second ahead of Bowyer. It was the fourth straight win for the No.20 car (with three different drivers) and the sixth in a row for JGR in the series.

With his win in 2007, Denny Hamlin became the first driver since Robert Pressley in 1992-93 to successfully defend his title. For the second consecutive year, Hamlin started on the pole and led five times for 79 laps, as he defeated Mark Martin by just over one second for his third Nationwide title. Hamlin reclaimed the lead on the 96th lap and held on for the win.

In 2006, pole sitter Hamlin scored his second career Nationwide Series title, as he edged Matt Kenseth by less than a second. Hamlin reclaimed the lead for the third time on lap 116 and held on the rest of the way. Hamlin led for a total of 38 laps, while Kenseth led for a race-high 50 laps.

Starting in the 24th position in 2005, Kenseth charged to victory at the then Diamond Hill Plywood 200, defeating Kenny Wallace by less than a second. Kenseth, who led for 50 laps, recorded his 18th career Nationwide title and the first of that season.

The pole sitter or the number one starting position has captured this race 10 times, including the four of the last six seasons, by Hamlin and Kyle Busch. Mark Martin, an eight-time winner at Darlington, has captured this race three times. Jeff Burton and Harry Gant rank second with four wins each at Darlington. In the 51 Nationwide races at Darlington, the driver starting in the first position has won 12 times and the second position nine.

The next Nationwide Series race is the May 20 Pioneer Hi-Bred 250 at Iowa Speedway. Ricky Stenhouse Jr is the defending race winner.

05/08 16:12:00 ET

As of May 8, 2012, at 04:12 PM ET

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