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NASCAR - Nationwide - Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Preview

From The Sports Network

DATE: Friday, September 7th
SITE: Richmond International Raceway (1953) -- Richmond, Virginia
TRACK: 0.75-mile oval - 1,290 feet (Frontstretch); 860 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 91,000 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 31st
ANNOUNCERS: Marty Reid, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
RADIO: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 7:30 p.m. (ET)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Kyle Busch (Not Defending)
RUNNER-UP: Carl Edwards
POLE WINNER: Brad Keselowski (Finished 19th)
LAPS: 250
MILES: 187.5
QUALIFYING RECORD: Kyle Busch, 2004 (129.348 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Denny Hamlin, 2011 (108.415 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $1,042,398 (2011 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $33,725; 2nd Place - $36,125; 3rd Place - $31,268
2011 Finish
1Kyle Busch36Elliott Sadler8
2Carl Edwards27Aric Almirola16
3Ricky Stenhouse Jr 68Reed Sorenson17
4Ryan Truex109Justin Allgaier22
5Kenny Wallace510Joe Nemechek15
2011 Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 90.909 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 3 minutes, 45 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.696 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 6 for 48 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 10 among 4 drivers
POLE WINNER: Brad Keselowski (123.757 m.p.h.)
Past Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Kyle Busch (3rd) -- Toyota -- 90.909 m.p.h.
2010 -- Kevin Harvick (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 98.039 m.p.h.
2009 -- Carl Edwards (39th) -- Ford -- 101.458 m.p.h.
2008 -- Carl Edwards (5th) -- Ford -- 90.787 m.p.h.
2007 -- Kyle Busch (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 93.913 m.p.h.
2006 -- Kevin Harvick (5th) -- Chevrolet -- 85.627 m.p.h.
2005 -- Kevin Harvick (8th) -- Chevrolet -- 88.634 m.p.h.
2004 -- Robby Gordon (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 86.372 m.p.h.
2003 -- Johnny Sauter (30th) -- Chevrolet -- 99.543 m.p.h.
2002 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 78.089 m.p.h.
2001 -- Jimmy Spencer (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 90.156 m.p.h.
2000 -- Jeff Burton (2nd) -- Ford -- 89.203 m.p.h.
1999 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr (20th) -- Chevrolet -- 87.754 m.p.h.
1998 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 82.067 m.p.h.
1997 -- Steve Park (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 77.774 m.p.h.
1996 -- Kenny Wallace (3rd) -- Ford -- 100.987 m.p.h.
1995 -- Dale Jarrett (6th) -- Ford -- 104.928 m.p.h. (race record)
1994 -- Kenny Wallace (6th) -- Ford -- 97.487 m.p.h.
1993 -- Mark Martin (4th) -- Ford -- 98.511 m.p.h.
1992 -- Robert Pressley (14th) -- Oldsmobile -- 95.373 m.p.h.
1991 -- Harry Gant (29th) -- Buick -- 86.719 m.p.h.
1990 -- Rick Mast (22nd) -- Buick -- 99.759 m.p.h.
1989 -- Bobby Hamilton (29th) -- Oldsmobile -- 92.071 m.p.h.
1988 -- Harry Gant (1st) -- Buick -- 89.434 m.p.h.
1987 -- Mark Martin (16th) -- Ford -- 66.180 m.p.h.
1986 -- Dale Earnhardt (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 76.174 m.p.h.
1985 -- Tommy Ellis (3rd) -- Pontiac -- 80.539 m.p.h.
1984 -- Tommy Ellis (1st) -- Pontiac -- 65.199 m.p.h.
1983 -- Morgan Shepherd (3rd) -- Oldsmobile -- 63.848 m.p.h.
1982 -- Butch Lindley (7th) -- Pontiac -- 59.894 m.p.h.
NOTE: Formerly called Harvest 150 (1982), Miller Time 150 (1983-1984), 7-
Eleven 150 (1985), Freedlander 200 (1986-1987), Commonwealth 200
(1988-1989), Autolite 250 (1990-1999), Autolite/Fram 250 (2000-2001),
Funai 250 (2002-03), Emerson Radio 250 (2004-08).
Past Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Pole Winners (Finish)
2011 -- Brad Keselowski -- 19th
2010 -- Kevin Harvick -- 1st
2009 -- Denny Hamlin -- 17th
2008 -- None -- Weather
2007 -- Kyle Busch -- 1st
2006 -- Jeff Burton -- 40th
2005 -- Mark Martin -- 4th
2004 -- Kasey Kahne -- 9th
2003 -- None -- Weather
2002 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr -- 1st
2001 -- Jeff Green -- 22nd
2000 -- Todd Bodine -- 4th
1999 -- Jeff Burton -- 35th
1998 -- Andy Santerre -- 10th
1997 -- Michael Waltrip -- 28th
1996 -- Michael Waltrip -- 38th
1995 -- Randy LaJoie -- 9th
1994 -- Jason Keller -- 36th
1993 -- Chuck Brown -- 14th
1992 -- Todd Bodine -- 7th
1991 -- Bobby Labonte -- 16th
1990 -- Michael Waltrip -- 3rd
1989 -- Tommy Ellis -- 2nd
1988 -- Harry Gant -- 1st
1987 -- Larry Pearson -- 10th
1986 -- Brett Bodine -- 19th
1985 -- Jimmy Hensley -- 8th
1984 -- Tommy Ellis -- 1st
1983 -- Tommy Ellis -- 2nd
1982 -- Tommy Ellis -- 15th
Last Race Results
RACE: NRA American Warrior 300 (Sep. 1)
SITE: Atlanta Motor Speedway -- Hampton, Georgia
MILES: 300.3
LAPS: 195
WINNER: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
RUNNER-UP: Brad Keselowski
THIRD: Kevin Harvick
FOURTH: Elliott Sadler
FIFTH: Justin Allgaier
POLE WINNER: Kyle Busch (Finished 7th)
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 32 minutes, 51 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 117.880 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.157 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 8 for 43 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 9 among 6 drivers
LAP LEADERS: K. Busch 1-2; R. Stenhouse Jr. 3-17; K. Harvick 18-49; S. Hornish
Jr. 50; K. Harvick 51-120; T. Pastrana 121-126; K. Harvick
127-170; J. Allgaier 171-183; K. Harvick 184-194; R. Stenhouse
Jr. 195.
Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
01Mike Wallace (St. Louis, MO)Chevrolet/TBA
2Elliott Sadler (Emporia, VA)Chevrolet/One Main Financial
3Austin Dillon (Lewisville, NC)Chevrolet/AdvoCare
4Jeremy Clements (Spartanburg, SC)Chevrolet/TBA
6Ricky Stenhouse Jr (Olive Brnch,MS)Ford/Roush Fenway Racing
7Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL)Chevrolet/
08Paulie Harraka (Fair Lawn, NJ)Ford/Randy Hill Racing
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
15Carl Long (Roxboro, NC)Chevrolet/Rick Ware Racing
17Tanner Berryhill (Bixby, OK)Toyota/Race City Steel
18Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/Sports Clips
19Tayler Malsam (Seattle WA)Toyota/G-Oil
20Darrell Wallace Jr. (Concord, NC)Toyota/Dollar General
22Ryan Blaney (High Point, NC)Dodge/Snap-On
23Robert Richardson Jr (McKinney, TX)Chevrolet/North Texas Pipe
24Derek White (Kahnawake, QB, Canada)Toyota/TBA
30James Buescher (Plano, TX)Chevrolet/ABF
31Justin Allgaier (Riverton, IL)Chevrolet/Brandt
33Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Armour
38Brad Sweet (Grass Valley. CA)Chevrolet/Great Clips
39Dexter Stacey (Kahnawake, Canada)Ford/Mattie's Place
40Erik Darnell (Beach Park, FL)Chevrolet/TBA
41Timmy Hill (Port Tobacco, MD)Ford/TBA
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/The Motorsports Group
47Stephen Leicht (Asheville, NC)Chevrolet/Curtis Key Plumbing
50David Starr (Houston, TX)Chevrolet/TBA
51Ty Dillon (Lewisville, NC)Chevrolet/Wesco
52Joey Gase (Cedar Rapids, IA)Chevrolet/TBA
54Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/Monster Energy
60Travis Pastrana (Annapolis, MD)Ford/Ford EcoBoost
70Johanna Long (Pensacola, FL)Chevrolet/Foretravel
71Matt Carter (Denver, NC)Chevrolet/Rick Ware Racing
74Mike Harmon (Birmingport, AL)Chevrolet/Koma Unwind
75Scott Riggs (Bahama, NC)Chevrolet/Rick Ware Racing
81Jason Bowles (Ontario, CA)Toyota/American Majority
86Kevin Lepage (Shelbourne, VT)Ford/Qello Corp.
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet
88Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA)Chevrolet/Spy Optic
89Morgan Shepherd (Conover, NC)Chevrolet/TBA
99Ryan Truex (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/TBA
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr---------------------4th3rd
Ryan Truex---------------------26th4th
Elliott Sadler------6th------19th---13th6th
Justin Allgaier------------------8th12th9th
Danica Patrick------------------------18th
Kevin Harvick2nd7thWonWon24th8th2ndWon20th
Denny Hamlin------34th6th7th4th17th6th---
Austin Dillon---------------26th---------
Kurt Busch---------------------------
Sam Hornish Jr---------------------------
Ryan Blaney---------------------------
Mover of the Week
Tayler Malsam - Started in the 38th position and finished 18th
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Darkhorse - Ryan Blaney
Last Week's Pick to Win (Ricky Stenhouse Jr) - Finished 1st
Last Week's Darkhorse (Jason Bowles) - Finished 16th
With just nine races remaining on the Nationwide Series docket, Elliott Sadler owns a slim 12-point advantage over last week's winner, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

With his victory, Stenhouse cut into Sadler's lead by seven points. Over the past 10 races, Stenhouse has posted nine top-10 finishes.

Last season, Kyle Busch clipped Carl Edwards by 0.7 seconds to record his 51st career and last Nationwide title.

Edwards dominated most of the race with 160 laps led, but during the last round of pit stops with 35 laps remaining, Busch came out of pits first and took the lead for good, while Edwards exited fourth after a slow stop. Edwards made a hard-charging effort in the closing laps, but Busch held him off at the finish.

Kevin Harvick became a five-time winner on the Nationwide Circuit at this track in 2010, as he outraced Brad Keselowski to the finish line. Despite the close finish, Harvick dominated the race, leading 170 of the 250 laps, as he passed Keselowski for the top position with 53 laps remaining. After a late- race caution for an incident involving Clint Bowyer and Brian Scott, Harvick came out of the pits first, but Ryan Newman stayed on the track and inherited the lead.

Just after the final restart with 40 laps to go, Harvick quickly moved around Newman and reclaimed the top spot. Keselowski chased down Harvick in the closing laps when he got stuck in lap traffic. Keselowski then made several attempts to pass him, but came up 0.256 seconds short of pulling off the victory. It was Harvick's third win of that season and the 37th of his career. Harvick also tied Mark Martin for the most Nationwide victories at Richmond with five. In addition, last year's race set a new event record for most cars running at the finish with 39.

Carl Edwards became the fourth driver in history to win this race in back-to-back seasons, as he raced to victory in 2009. Edwards defeated Harvick by 1.170 seconds for his 24th career Nationwide Series title. Pole sitter Denny Hamlin led three times for a race-high 101 laps, but faded down the stretch and placed 17th.

Domination was the word in 2007, as pole sitter Kyle Busch led for 227 of the 252 laps, as he recorded his ninth career Nationwide Series victory. Busch led the first 27 laps and the final 93, in all he was the front runner four times during the race, defeating Carl Edwards by 0.868 of a second. With the win, Busch became the first pole sitter to take the checkered flag since Dale Earnhardt Jr in 2002.

Back in 2006, Kevin Harvick became the first back-to-back winner of this race since Earnhardt Jr in 1998-99, as he crossed the finish line 0.925 of a second ahead of Greg Biffle. The win, his sixth of the 2006 season and 23rd of his Nationwide career, was a dominating one, as he led five times for a race-high 154 laps. Pole sitter Jeff Burton failed to finish the race due to brake problems and placed 40th. Burton led three times for a total of 39 laps.

In 2005, Harvick clipped Paul Menard by less than a second for his 16th career Nationwide title and third of that season. Harvick, who started eighth on the grid, reclaimed the lead on lap 215 and held on the rest of the way in front of a crowd of 70,000. Harvick led for a total of 149 laps while Menard led for 66. Pole sitter Mark Martin, who led for 10 laps, finished fourth.

Richmond International Raceway had been a flat, one-half mile track since it was built in 1946, but the old speedway was changed in 1988 when a major makeover took place. Richmond was lengthened to its current three-quarter mile distance with new 14 degree turns and the original oval shape was transformed into a tri-oval.

Earnhardt Jr and Harvick are the only three-time winners of this race, while Tommy Ellis was a four-time pole sitter in the fall. In all, the pole sitter has won 11 times in 57 races at Richmond on this circuit. Harvick is the last person starting from the first position to win this race.

The next Nationwide Series race is the Sep. 15 Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. Brad Keselowski won last year's race there.

09/04 16:55:30 ET

As of September 4, 2012, at 04:55 PM ET

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