NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Sylvania 300 Preview

From The Sports Network

DATE: Sunday, September 23rd
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: 16th
ANNOUNCERS: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
RADIO: Performance Racing Network (PRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 2 p.m. (ET)/Green Flag: 2:15 p.m. (ET)
RUNNER-UP: Brad Keselowski
POLE WINNER: Ryan Newman (Finished 25th)
LAPS: 300
MILES: 317.4
QUALIFYING RECORD: Ryan Newman, 2011 (135.232 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Jeff Burton, 1997 (117.134 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $5,202,458 (2011 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $254,083; 2nd Place - $186,383; 3rd Place - $148,675
2011 Finish
1Tony Stewart206Matt Kenseth27
2Brad Keselowski167David Ragan6
3Greg Biffle48Carl Edwards23
4Jeff Gordon79Juan Pablo Montoya31
5Brian Vickers310Regan Smith17
2011 Sylvania 300 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 116.679 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 43 minutes, 13 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 7.225 seconds
CAUTION FLAGS: 3 for 14 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 19 among 15 drivers
POLE WINNER: Ryan Newman (135.002 m.p.h.)
Past Sylvania 300 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Tony Stewart (20th) -- Chevrolet -- 116.679 m.p.h.
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.
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)
2011 -- Ryan Newman -- 25th
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 16th)
SITE: Chicagoland Speedway -- Joliet, Illinois
MILES: 400.5
LAPS: 267
WINNER: Brad Keselowski
RUNNER-UP: Jimmie Johnson
THIRD: Kasey Kahne
FOURTH: Kyle Busch
FIFTH: Ryan Newman
POLE WINNER: Jimmie Johnson (Finished 2nd)
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 47 minutes, 37 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 143.363 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 3.171 seconds
CAUTION FLAGS: 4 for 23 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 16 among 9 drivers
LAP LEADERS: J. Johnson - pole; A. Almirola 1-3; J. Johnson 4-45; B.
Keselowski 46; M. Kenseth 47-48; J. Johnson 49-102; B. Keselowski
103-150; J. Johnson 151-189; D. Ragan 190-191; J. Johnson
192-228; B. Keselowski 229; D. Hamlin 230; T. Stewart 231-233; C.
Bowyer 234-239; J. McMurray 240; D. Ragan 241; B. Keselowski
Sylvania 300 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
1Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO)Chevrolet/Lift Master
2Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI)Dodge/Miller Lite
5Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Chevrolet/Farmers Insurance
9Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia)Ford/Stanley
10David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL)Chevrolet/Tommy Baldwin Racing
11Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Freight
13Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA)Ford/Geico
14 *Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Mobil 1/Office Depot
15Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Toyota/5-Hour Energy
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/3M/GE Appliances
17Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Ford/Zest
18Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/M&M's
19Jeff Green (Owensboro, KY)Toyota/Plinker Tactical
20Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Toyota/Home Depot
22Sam Hornish Jr. (Defiance, OH)Dodge/Shell/Pennzoil
23Scott Riggs (Bahama, NC)Chevrolet/North Texas Pipe
24Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/Drive to End Hunger
26Josh Wise (Riverside, CA)Ford/MDS Transport
27Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/Sylvania
29Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Budweiser
30David Stremme (South Bend, IN)Toyota/Inception Motorsports
31Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA)Chevrolet/Wheaties
32Mike Olsen (North Haverhill, NH)Ford/North Country Ford
33Stephen Leicht (Asheville, NC)Chevrolet/
34David Ragan (Unadilla, GA)Ford/Shriner's Hospital
36Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH)Chevrolet/Tommy Baldwin Racing
37J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Chevrolet/TBA
38David Gilliland (Riverside, CA)Ford/Taco Bell
39Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/Aspen Dental
42Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia)Chevrolet/Energizer
43Aric Almirola (Tampa, FL)Ford/Trim Fit
47Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Toyota/Bush's Beans
48Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's
49Jason Leffler (Long Beach, CA)Toyota/TBA
51Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/Phoenix Construction
55Brian Vickers (Thomasville, NC)Toyota/Freightliner/Jet Edge
56Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts
78Regan Smith (Cato, NY)Chevrolet/Furniture Row
79Kelly Bires (Mauston, WI)Ford/BBI/Bestway
83Landon Cassill (Cedar Rapids, IA)Toyota/Burger King
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/AM FM Energy Wood&Pellet
88Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/Diet Mt. Dew/Nat Guard
91Reed Sorenson (Peachtree City, GA)Toyota/Plinker Tactical
93Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI)Toyota/Burger King
95Scott Speed (Manteca, CA)Ford/JTS
98Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Ford/Phil Parsons Racing
99Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Ford/Aflac
* - Defending champion
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Tony Stewart20th39th2nd2nd3rd8th14th24thWon
Brad Keselowski---------------------18th2nd
Greg Biffle43rd28th4th14th13thWon9th17th3rd
Jeff Gordon19th7th14th3rd2nd14th15th6th4th
Matt Kenseth7th2nd3rd10th7th40th23rd23rd6th
Carl Edwards---20th19th18th12th3rd17th11th8th
Kyle Busch------27th38th4th34th5th9th11th
Kevin Harvick13th10th10thWon17th10th32nd5th12th
Joey Logano---------------32nd21st35th14th
Kasey Kahne---4th38th16th20th11th38th14th15th
Martin Truex Jr---------22nd5th7th19th20th16th
Dale Earnhardt Jr5th3rd5th13th16th5th35th4th17th
Jimmie JohnsonWon11th8th39th6th2nd4th25th18th
Paul Menard------------24th21st34th28th20th
Ryan Newman9th33rdWon12th9th36th7th8th25th
Clint Bowyer---------24thWon12th10thWon26th
Denny Hamlin---------4th15th9th2nd2nd29th
Marcos Ambrose------------------20th30th30th
Mover of the Week
Tony Stewart - Started in the 29th position and finished 6th
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Greg Biffle
Darkhorse - Carl Edwards
Last Week's Pick to Win (Jeff Gordon) - Finished 35th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Kyle Busch) - Finished 4th
One down and nine to go, as the Chase for the Sprint Cup began last week at Chicagoland Speedway. Brad Keselowski captured the Chase opener as he beat Jimmie Johnson by 3.17 seconds for his fourth win of the season and eighth of his career.

For the second consecutive season, New Hampshire will be the second stop in the Chase. Last year, Tony Stewart opened the Chase with back-to-back wins in Chicago and New Hampshire, as he went on to capture the title for the third time.

In a reversal of the 2010 finish in the Chase race at New Hampshire, Stewart took the lead with two laps remaining when Clint Bowyer ran out of fuel. Stewart led just the last two laps to make it back-to-back wins in the first two 2011 playoff races.

Back in 2010, Bowyer had the dominant car throughout the race but ran second to 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.

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 five 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 35 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 35 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 six years. Denny Hamlin (8.4) and Jimmie Johnson (9.9) are the only two active drivers with an average finish at NHMS in the top 10. Jeff Gordon has led the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series laps all-time at New Hampshire at 1,309.

The September 30 AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway is the next race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Kurt Busch won last year's race there.

09/18 14:36:30 ET

As of September 18, 2012, at 02:36 PM ET
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