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NASCAR - Sprint Cup - GEICO 400 Preview

From The Sports Network

 
DATE: Sunday, September 18th
SITE: Chicagoland Speedway (2001) -- Joliet, Illinois
TRACK: 1.5-mile tri-oval - 2,400 feet (Frontstretch); 1,700 feet (Backstretch)
ANNUAL: 11th
CAPACITY: 75,000
TELEVISION: ESPN
ANNOUNCERS: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
RADIO: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 2 p.m. (et)/2:16 p.m. (Green Flag)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: David Reutimann
RUNNER-UP: Carl Edwards
POLE WINNER: Jamie McMurray (Finished 5th)
LAPS: 267
MILES: 400.5
QUALIFYING RECORD: Jimmie Johnson, 2005 (188.147 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: David Reutimann, 2010 (145.138 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $6,012,504 (2010 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $321,531; 2nd Place - $242,423; 3rd Place - $218,526
 
2010 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1David Reutimann76Kasey Kahne12
2Carl Edwards117Jeff Burton14
3Jeff Gordon68Denny Hamlin17
4Clint Bowyer159Tony Stewart3
5Jamie McMurray110Paul Menard9
2010 GEICO 400 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 145.138 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 45 minutes, 34 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.727 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 4 for 21 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 10 among 7 drivers
POLE WINNER: Jamie McMurray (183.542 m.p.h.)
Past GEICO 400 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2010 -- David Reutimann (7th) -- Toyota -- 145.138 m.p.h. (race record)
2009 -- Mark Martin (14th) -- Chevrolet -- 133.810 m.p.h.
2008 -- Kyle Busch (1st) -- Toyota -- 133.996 m.p.h.
2007 -- Tony Stewart (19th) -- Chevrolet -- 134.258 m.p.h.
2006 -- Jeff Gordon (13th) -- Chevrolet -- 132.077 m.p.h.
2005 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr (25th) -- Chevrolet -- 127.638 m.p.h.
2004 -- Tony Stewart (10th) -- Chevrolet -- 129.507 m.p.h.
2003 -- Ryan Newman (14th) -- Dodge -- 134.059 m.p.h.
2002 -- Kevin Harvick (32nd) -- Chevrolet -- 136.832 m.p.h.
2001 -- Kevin Harvick (6th) -- Chevrolet -- 121.200 m.p.h.
 
NOTE: Formerly called Tropicana 400 (2001-04), USG Sheetrock 400 (2005-07),
LifeLock.com 400 (2008-10).
 
Past GEICO 400 Pole Winners (Finish)
2010 -- Jamie McMurray -- 5th
2009 -- Brian Vickers -- 7th
2008 -- None -- Weather
2007 -- Casey Mears -- 5th
2006 -- Jeff Burton -- 2nd
2005 -- Jimmie Johnson -- 3rd
2004 -- Jeff Gordon -- 4th
2003 -- Tony Stewart -- 2nd
2002 -- Ryan Newman -- 5th
2001 -- Todd Bodine -- 14th
Last Race Results
RACE: Wonderful Pistachios 400 (September 10th)
SITE: Richmond International Raceway -- Richmond, Virginia
MILES: 300
LAPS: 400
WINNER: Kevin Harvick
RUNNER-UP: Carl Edwards
THIRD: Jeff Gordon
FOURTH: David Ragan
FIFTH: Kurt Busch
POLE WINNER: David Reutimann (Finished 26th)
TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 20 minutes, 12 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 89.910 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.139 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 15 for 85 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 11 among 7 drivers
LAP LEADERS: D. Reutimann - pole; J. McMurray 1-19; J. Johnson 20-57; K.
Harvick 58; M. Kenseth 59-73; K. Harvick 74-156; G. Biffle
157-162; K. Harvick 163-201; C. Edwards 202-314; K. Harvick
315-377; J. Gordon 378-384; K. Harvick 385-400.
GEICO 400 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
00 *David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL)Toyota/Tums
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/GoDaddy.com
6David Ragan (Unadilla, GA)Ford/UPS
7Robby Gordon (Orange, CA)Dodge/Speed Energy
9Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia)Ford/DeWalt
11Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Ground
13Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA)Toyota/GEICO
14Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Office Depot/Mobil 1
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/3M Filtrete
17Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Ford/Crown Royal
18Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/Wrigley
20Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Toyota/Home Depot
21Trevor Bayne (Knoxville, TN)Ford/Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire
22Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Dodge/Shell/Pennzoil
24Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/DuPont
27Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/Zecol
29Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Budweiser
30David Stremme (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/Inception Motorsports
31Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA)Chevrolet/Caterpillar
32Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR)Ford/U.S. Chrome
33Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Chevrolet/Cheerios/Hamb. Helper
34David Gilliland (Riverside, CA)Ford/TBA
35Stephen Leicht (Asheville, NC)Chevrolet/Luke & Associates
36Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH)Chevrolet/Big Red
37Josh Wise (Riverside, CA)Ford/TBA
38J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Ford/Long John Silver's
39Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/U.S. Army Medical
42Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia)Chevrolet/Target
43A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA)Ford/Best Buy
46Scott Speed (Manteca, CA)Ford/Whitney's Collision
47Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Toyota/Kleenex Cool Touch/Clorox
48Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's/Kobalt Tools
50T.J. Bell (Reno, VA)Chevrolet/Green Smoke
51Landon Cassill (Cedar Rapids, IA)Chevrolet/Phoenix Construction
55Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI)Ford/TBA
56Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/NAPA Auto Brakes
60Mike Skinner (Susanville, CA)Chevrolet/Big Red
66Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Toyota/HP Racing
71Andy Lally (Northport, NY)Ford/Interstate Moving Services
78Regan Smith (Cato, NY)Chevrolet/Furniture Row Racing
83Brian Vickers (Thomasville, NC)Toyota/Red Bull
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/TBA
88Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/Amp Energy/Nat'l Guard
95David Starr (Houston, TX)Ford/AdvoCare
99Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Ford/Aflac
 
* - defending champion.
 
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Driver200220032004200520062007200820092010
David Reutimann---------------43rd14th12thWon
Carl Edwards---------39th20th3rd32nd14th2nd
Jeff Gordon2nd4th4th33rdWon9th11th2nd3rd
Clint Bowyer------------9th10th22nd9th4th
Jamie McMurray---8th13th22nd39th38th21st22nd5th
Kasey Kahne------36th41st23rd32nd15th3rd6th
Jeff Burton39th6th33rd30th2nd7th19th37th7th
Denny Hamlin------------14th17th40th5th8th
Tony Stewart3rd2ndWon5th32ndWon5th4th9th
Paul Menard---------------42nd26th35th10th
Martin Truex Jr------------16th39th9th16th11th
Matt Kenseth14th12th12th2nd22nd2nd7th23rd13th
Mark Martin9th14th24th10th18th14th17thWon15th
Juan Pablo Montoya---------------15th18th10th16th
Kyle Busch---------24th3rd13thWon33rd17th
Brad Keselowski---------------------32nd18th
Joey Logano---------------------18th19th
Ryan Newman5thWon34th29th36th8th10th6th22nd
Dale Earnhardt Jr10th38th22ndWon5th19th16th15th23rd
Jimmie Johnson4th3rd2nd3rd6th37th2nd8th25th
Kurt Busch6th39th35th8th8th6th28th17th26th
Kevin HarvickWon17th10th19th4th4th3rd19th34th
Greg Biffle---20th20th11th11th11th4th31st35th
Brian Vickers------14th4th13th---6th7th---
 
Mover of the Week
Denny Hamlin - Started in the 28th position and finished 9th
 
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Jimmie Johnson
Darkhorse - Juan Pablo Montoya
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Tony Stewart) - Finished 7th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Greg Biffle) - Finished 13th
 
NOTES:
After failing to crack the top-10 in four previous trips at Chicagoland, David Reutimann won for the second time in his career, as he defeated Carl Edwards by 0.727 seconds last year.

Reutimann drove past Jeff Gordon for the lead with 54 laps remaining, and then after reclaiming the top spot following a late-race round of green-flag pit stops, held off Edwards in the closing laps for his first win in a Sprint Cup race that went the scheduled distance. His maiden victory in NASCAR's top circuit came at Charlotte, where the May 2009 event was cut 173 laps short of its 400-lap distance due to rain. Reutimann led 52 of the final 67 laps.

After 26 regular season races and 15 different winners, it comes down to the final 10 events of the season, as the Chase for the Sprint Cup begins this week.

Jimmie Johnson is the favorite...or is he? The five-time defending Sprint Cup champion has just one win this year, but is tied with Carl Edwards with the most top-10 finishes in 26 starts (17). His 11 top-5s are third to Kyle Busch and Edwards respectively.

Mark Martin gave his boss, Rick Hendrick, a huge birthday present in 2009, after he held off teammate Jeff Gordon in a double-file restart with two laps to go to win the LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Martin set a track record for leading the most laps at Chicagoland with 195, but gave up the lead to his other teammate, Jimmie Johnson, after a restart with less than 40 laps remaining. Denny Hamlin pushed Johnson out of position on the following restart. Hamlin and polesitter Brian Vickers then got together and slowed each other down, allowing 50-year-old Martin to pass underneath the two to reclaim the lead with 16 laps to go.

An incident involving Kyle Busch in the closing laps set up the final restart. Martin pulled away from Gordon and went on to capture his fourth of five wins that year and the 39th of his career. Martin, who now owns 40 Sprint Cup titles and Gordon also earned a $1 million bonus from race sponsor LifeLock. The Hendrick duo finished first and second in the June 14th, 2009 LifeLock 400 at Michigan, which qualified them for the bonus.

As he did on the Nationwide circuit in 2008 at Chicagoland, Kyle Busch dominated the Sprint Cup race, as he led 165 of the 267 laps en route to the 11th of his 23 career titles. Busch started on the pole and clipped Jimmie Johnson by 0.159 of a second.

Starting from the 19th position in 2007, Tony Stewart slowly moved into contention and then grabbed the lead for the first time on lap 110. After trading the top spot with several drivers, Stewart regained the advantage for the sixth and final time on lap 232 and held on the rest of the way to edge Matt Kenseth for his 30th career Sprint Cup title. Stewart, who now totals 39 career wins, led for a race-high 108 laps. Pole sitter Casey Mears led the first five laps, and finished fifth. Stewart's margin of victory was 1.727 seconds.

Chevrolet, Stewart and Kevin Harvick have dominated at Chicagoland. Chevy has won this race seven of the 10 years, while Stewart and Harvick are the only multiple champions of this race.

In 2006, Jeff Gordon knocked Matt Kenseth out of the way late in the race and captured the then USG Sheetrock 400 at the Chicagoland Speedway. The No.24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet crossed the finish line 0.461 of a second ahead of Jeff Burton. The victory was Gordon's second of the 2006 season and 75th of his Sprint Cup career. Gordon, who now stands third on the all-time list with 85 victories, reclaimed the lead with only seven laps remaining to clip pole sitter Burton. Kenseth dominated the race leading four times for a total of 112 laps, however he faded down the stretch and placed 22nd.

Dale Earnhardt Jr defeated Kenseth in 2005 by less than a second for his 16th career Sprint Cup title and the first of that season. Kenseth dominated the race, leading a whopping 176 laps, but it was Earnhardt Jr who took the lead on lap 257 and held on the rest of the way for the win. Jimmie Johnson, who started on the pole, finished third. Earnhardt Jr started from the 25th position.

The furthest a driver has come from to capture the race was 32nd in 2002 by Kevin Harvick. Harvick, along with Stewart are the only multiple winners of this race. This race has been won from the top five only once (2008) and just four times from the top-10

Although Jimmie Johnson has seven top-10 finishes in nine trips around Chicagoland, he is winless at the track (0-for-9). Chicagoland is one of just four Sprint Cup tracks that Johnson is winless at. Watkins Glen, Michigan and Homestead are the others.

The construction of Chicagoland Speedway began in August of 1999, with the first race, a Nationwide event being staged July 14, 2001. The following day, the Sprint Cup Series debuted at the track.

The next Chase race is the September 25th staging of the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Clint Bowyer won last year's race there.

09/13 18:01:41 ET

As of September 13, 2011, at 06:02 PM ET

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