NASCAR - Sprint Cup - 5-Hour Energy 500 Preview

From The Sports Network

DATE: Sunday, June 12th
SITE: Pocono Raceway (1968) -- Long Pond, Pennsylvania
TRACK: 2.5-mile tri-oval - 3,740 feet (Frontstretch); 3,055 feet (Backstretch)
ANNUAL: 30th
CAPACITY: 100,000 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNOUNCERS: Adam Alexander, Wally Dallenbach, Kyle Petty
RADIO: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 1 p.m. (et)/Green Flag 1:15 p.m. (et)
RUNNER-UP: Kyle Busch
POLE WINNER: Kyle Busch (Finished 2nd)
LAPS: 200
MILES: 500
QUALIFYING RECORD: Kasey Kahne, 2004 (172.533 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Rusty Wallace, 1996 (144.892 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $4,945,083 (2010 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $212,875; 2nd Place - $220,854; 3rd Place - $163,146
2010 Finish
1Denny Hamlin56Kurt Busch4
2Kyle Busch17Jeff Burton13
3Tony Stewart68Juan Pablo Montoya7
4Kevin Harvick229Clint Bowyer2
5Jimmie Johnson2510AJ Allmendinger17
2010 5-Hour Energy 500 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 136.303 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 44 minutes, 30 seconds
CAUTION FLAGS: 8 for 27 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 14 among 7 drivers
POLE WINNER: Kyle Busch (169.485 m.p.h.)
Past 5-Hour Energy 500 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2010 -- Denny Hamlin (5th) -- Toyota -- 136.303 m.p.h.
2009 -- Tony Stewart (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 138.515 m.p.h.
2008 -- Kasey Kahne (1st) -- Dodge -- 125.209 m.p.h.
2007 -- Jeff Gordon (18th) -- Chevrolet -- 136.887 m.p.h.
2006 -- Denny Hamlin (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 131.656 m.p.h.
2005 -- Carl Edwards (29th) -- Ford -- 129.177 m.p.h.
2004 -- Jimmie Johnson (5th) -- Chevrolet -- 112.129 m.p.h.
2003 -- Tony Stewart (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 134.892 m.p.h.
2002 -- Dale Jarrett (13th) -- Ford -- 143.426 m.p.h.
2001 -- Ricky Rudd (1st) -- Ford -- 134.389 m.p.h.
2000 -- Jeremy Mayfield (22nd) -- Ford -- 139.741 m.p.h.
1999 -- Bobby Labonte (3rd) -- Pontiac -- 118.898 m.p.h.
1998 -- Jeremy Mayfield (3rd) -- Ford -- 117.809 m.p.h.
1997 -- Jeff Gordon (11th) -- Chevrolet -- 139.828 m.p.h.
1996 -- Jeff Gordon (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 139.104 m.p.h.
1995 -- Terry Labonte (27th) -- Chevrolet -- 137.720 m.p.h.
1994 -- Rusty Wallace (1st) -- Ford -- 128.801 m.p.h.
1993 -- Kyle Petty (8th) -- Pontiac -- 138.005 m.p.h.
1992 -- Alan Kulwicki (6th) -- Ford -- 144.023 m.p.h.
1991 -- Darrell Waltrip (13th) -- Chevrolet -- 122.666 m.p.h.
1990 -- Harry Gant (16th) -- Oldsmobile -- 120.600 m.p.h.
1989 -- Terry Labonte (23rd) -- Ford -- 131.320 m.p.h.
1988 -- Geoff Bodine (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 126.147 m.p.h.
1987 -- Tim Richmond (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 122.166 m.p.h.
1986 -- Tim Richmond (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 113.279 m.p.h.
1985 -- Bill Elliott (1st) -- Ford -- 138.974 m.p.h.
1984 -- Cale Yarborough (12th) -- Chevrolet -- 138.164 m.p.h.
1983 -- Bobby Allison (7th) -- Buick -- 128.636 m.p.h.
1982 -- Bobby Allison (3rd) -- Buick -- 113.579 m.p.h.
NOTE: Formerly called Van Scoy Diamond Mines 500 (1982-85), Miller High
Life 500 (1986-89), Miller Genuine Draft 500 (1990), Champion
Spark Plug 500 (1991-93), UAW-GM Teamwork 500 (1994-96), Pocono 500
(1997-2009), Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 (2010).
Past 5-Hour Energy 500 Pole Winners (Finish)
2010 -- Kyle Busch -- 2nd
2009 -- None -- Weather
2008 -- Kasey Kahne -- 1st
2007 -- Ryan Newman -- 2nd
2006 -- Denny Hamlin -- 1st
2005 -- Michael Waltrip -- 5th
2004 -- Kasey Kahne -- 14th
2003 -- Jimmie Johnson -- 12th
2002 -- Sterling Marlin -- 4th
2001 -- Ricky Rudd -- 1st
2000 -- Rusty Wallace -- 10th
1999 -- Sterling Marlin -- 4th
1998 -- Jeff Gordon -- 2nd
1997 -- Bobby Hamilton -- 39th
1996 -- Jeff Gordon -- 1st
1995 -- Ken Schrader -- 3rd
1994 -- Rusty Wallace -- 1st
1993 -- Ken Schrader -- 2nd
1992 -- Ken Schrader -- 4th
1991 -- Mark Martin -- 3rd
1990 -- Ernie Irvan -- 17th
1989 -- Rusty Wallace -- 22nd
1988 -- Alan Kulwicki -- 27th
1987 -- Terry Labonte -- 37th
1986 -- Geoffrey Bodine -- 9th
1985 -- Bill Elliott -- 1st
1984 -- Neil Bonnett -- 14th
1983 -- Darrell Waltrip -- 2nd
1982 -- Terry Labonte -- 5th
Last Race Results
RACE: STP 400 (June 5th)
SITE: Kansas Speedway -- Kansas City, Kansas
MILES: 400.5
LAPS: 267
WINNER: Brad Keselowski
RUNNER-UP: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
THIRD: Denny Hamlin
FOURTH: Jeff Gordon
FIFTH: Carl Edwards
POLE WINNER: Kurt Busch (Finished 9th)
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 55 minutes, 10 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 137.184 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 2.813 seconds
CAUTION FLAGS: 5 for 22 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 17 among 9 drivers
LAP LEADERS: Kurt Busch - pole; J. Montoya 1; Kyle Busch 2-8; J. Montoya 9-17;
Kurt Busch 18-45; L. Cassill 46; C. Mears 47; Kurt Busch 48-83;
C. Edwards 84-112; Kyle Busch 113-116; D. Hamlin 117-140; T.
Stewart 141-153; D. Hamlin 154-159; Kurt Busch 160-204; T.
Stewart 205-211; D. Hamlin 212-215; Kurt Busch 216-258; B.
Keselowski 259-267.
5-Hour Energy 500 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
00David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL)Toyota/Aaron's Dream Machine
1Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO)Chevrolet/McDonald's
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/Stanley
11 *Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Ground
13Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA)Toyota/GEICO
14Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Office Depot/Mobil One
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/3M
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
29Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Okuma
31Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA)Chevrolet/Caterpillar
32Terry Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Ford/U.S. Chrome
33Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Chevrolet/Cheerios/Hamb. Helper
34David Gilliland (Riverside, CA)Ford/Taco Bell
36Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH)Chevrolet/Golden Corral
37Tony Raines (LaPorte, IN)Ford/TBA
38Sam Hornish Jr (Defiance, OH)Ford/Long John Silver's
39Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/Haas Automation
42Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia)Chevrolet/Target
43A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA)Ford/Richard Petty Motorsports
46J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Chevrolet/Red Line Oil
47Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Toyota/Clorox/Kleenex
48Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's
50T.J. Bell (Reno, VA)Toyota/Green Smoke
51Landon Cassill (Cedar Rapids, IA)Chevrolet/Security Benefits
56Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts
60Mike Skinner (Susanville, CA)Toyota/Big Red
66Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Toyota/HP Racing
71Andy Lally (Northport, NY)Ford/TRG Motorsports
78Regan Smith (Cato, NY)Chevrolet/Furniture Row Racing
81Scott Riggs (Bahama, NC)Chevrolet/Whitney's Collision
83Brian Vickers (Thomasville, NC)Toyota/Red Bull
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/NEMCO Motorsports
88Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/Amp Energy/Nat'l Guard
99Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Ford/Kellogg's
* - defending champion.
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Denny Hamlin------------Won6th3rd38thWon
Kyle Busch---------4th22nd8th43rd22nd2nd
Tony Stewart7thWon27th29th3rd5th35thWon3rd
Kevin Harvick39th25th20th8th13th11th13th24th4th
Jimmie Johnson3rd12thWon6th10th42nd6th7th5th
Kurt Busch40th36th5th22nd2nd16th8th37th6th
Jeff Burton6th14th24th19th9th13th5th9th7th
Juan Pablo Montoya---------------20th38th8th8th
Clint Bowyer------------21st10th39th12th9th
Carl Edwards---------Won25th14th9th2nd12th
Joey Logano---------------------23rd13th
Ryan Newman32nd5th30th34th11th2nd18th5th14th
David Reutimann---------------38th19th3rd15th
Paul Menard---------------28th25th29th16th
Matt Kenseth35th3rd21st32nd5th9th7th16th17th
Dale Earnhardt Jr12th4th6th33rd14th12th4th27th19th
Brad Keselowski------------------------21st
Martin Truex Jr.------------24th3rd17th18th25th
Kasey Kahne------14th27th7th22ndWon15th27th
Greg Biffle---20th11th30th6th30th15th11th28th
Mark Martin2nd2nd36th7th17th7th10th19th29th
Jeff Gordon5th13th4th9th34thWon14th4th32nd
Jamie McMurray---32nd9th10th18th29th20th13th36th
Brian Vickers------13th2nd4th35th2nd21st---
Mover of the Week
Dale Earnhardt Jr - Started in the 28th position and finished 2nd
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Tony Stewart
Darkhorse - Jeff Gordon
Last Week's Pick to Win (Carl Edwards) - Finished 5th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Dale Earnhardt Jr) - Finished 2nd
Currently 11th on the points list, Denny Hamlin seeks to regain his winning ways this week at Pocono Raceway. Hamlin, an eight-time winner last year, has yet to taste victory in 2011, with just two top-10's in 13 starts.

Last season, Hamlin held off Tony Stewart and teammate Kyle Busch in a pair of late-race restarts and then survived a wild finish to win at Pocono.

Just before Hamlin crossed the line to take the white flag for the final lap, Kevin Harvick bumped Joey Logano and put Logano into a spin that set up a green-white-checkered finish. Hamlin pulled away on the final restart, while Busch moved around Stewart to take the second spot with one lap remaining.

A nine-car pileup occurred on the final lap when Kasey Kahne was shoved down the track and into the grass. Kahne shot up the track and then slammed hard into the wall, as his car spun around on the track. Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and Greg Biffle were among those drivers caught up in the incident.

The 204-lap race ended under caution, with Hamlin picking up his fourth win in nine starts at Pocono. Hamlin is the last driver to win both races in one season, when he captured the Pocono double in 2006.

Tony Stewart scored his first victory as both driver and owner in the Sprint Cup Series after charging from the rear of the field and gambling on fuel in the late-stages to win the 2009 race. Stewart earned the pole since qualifying at Pocono was canceled due to rain, but had to start last in a backup car after wrecking in the next day's practice. He beat Carl Edwards out of the pits by a little more than a car length and then captured the lead with 37 laps remaining. "Smoke" drove the final 102.5 miles without refueling his No.14 Chevrolet to become the first driver/owner to win a Cup race since Ricky Rudd did it in September 1998 at Martinsville.

Stewart collected his 34th career victory and won at Pocono for the second time, with his first victory come here in June 2003. The two-time Cup Series champion also became the fourth driver to start from the back of the field and win that year. He joined Matt Kenseth (Daytona), Kyle Busch (Las Vegas) and Brad Keselowski (Talladega).

Pole sitter Kasey Kahne reclaimed the lead on lap 185 and held on the rest of the way to defeat Brian Vickers by 3.702 seconds for his ninth career Sprint Cup title in 2008. Kahne led five times for a race-high 69 laps.

In 2007, Jeff Gordon captured the rain-shortened Pocono 500 for his 79th career Sprint Cup title. Gordon, who started 18th on the grid, reclaimed the lead on lap 98 and held the advantage through the 106th and final lap, as the race was called due to inclement weather. Pole sitter Ryan Newman finished second under caution for his first top-10 finish at this race since 2003. Gordon, who's win total now stands at 81, is sixth on the current Sprint Cup points race.

Gordon is a three-time winner of this race and the last repeat champion (1996-97). Overall, Gordon has four wins, two poles, 16 top-five and 25 top-10 finishes in 36 career starts at Pocono. He has led for 918 laps with an average finish of 10.528.

Hamlin recorded the first of two back-to-back wins at Pocono with a 1.328 seconds victory over Kurt Busch in 2006. Hamlin, who later doubled in July, led six times for a race-high 83 laps. Hamlin started on the pole, leading for the first 21 laps and reclaimed the lead for the last time on lap 177 of the 200- lap race. The win, his first career title, came in front of an estimated crowd of 100,000. Hamlin has eight top-10's and four wins in 10 career starts at PR.

Chevrolet has won this race 13 times, Ford nine, Pontiac and Buick twice and Oldsmobile, Dodge and Toyota once. Seven races have been won from the pole, including two of the last four years.

This and That from Pocono: Opened in 1968 as a .75-mile track, Pocono Raceway held the first race on the 2.5-mile oval in 1971. The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was in 1974. Just one race was held from 1974 through 1981, and two a year since then. There have been 66 Sprint Cup races at Pocono Raceway since the first race there in 1974, when Buddy Baker won the first pole at Pocono. There have been 36 different pole winners at Pocono. Only 16 drivers have more than one Pole there. The pole has been swept just three times: Bill Elliott (1985), Ken Schrader (1993), Denny Hamlin (2006). The pole sitter has won 13 of the 66 past races at Pocono. The furthest starting position by a race winner was 29th. The top-10 starting positions have won 47 of the 66 races (71.2%).

There are four current race tracks the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series runs on that Mark Martin has not won a Sprint Cup race at, plus Martin ran five races at Nashville and four races at Riverside and didn't win: Pocono, Daytona, Indianapolis and Homestead. Martin is 0-for-48 with six finishes of 2nd at Pocono Raceway. Martin is attempting to become the eighth driver to win 50 poles, a mark he's been battling since the beginning of 2010. Martin has recorded three poles at Pocono.

The next Sprint Cup Series race is the June 19 Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway, as Denny Hamlin defends his title.

06/07 20:36:30 ET

As of June 7, 2011, at 08:36 PM ET
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