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NASCAR - Sprint Cup - AdvoCare 500 Preview

From The Sports Network

 
DATE: Sunday, September 2nd
SITE: Atlanta Motor Speedway (1960) -- Hampton, Georgia
TRACK: 1.54-mile oval - 2,332 feet (Frontstretch); 1,800 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 99,000 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 53rd
TELEVISION: ESPN
ANNOUNCERS: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
RADIO: Performance Racing Network (PRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 7:30 p.m. (ET)/Green Flag: 7:46 p.m. (ET)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Jeff Gordon
RUNNER-UP: Jimmie Johnson
POLE WINNER: Kasey Kahne (Finished 34th)
LAPS: 325
MILES: 500.5
QUALIFYING RECORD: Geoffrey Bodine, 1997 (197.478 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Bobby Labonte, 1997 (159.904 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $6,058,035 (2011 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $329,786; 2nd Place - $253,761; 3rd Place - $216,208
 
2011 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1Jeff Gordon56Brad Keselowski6
2Jimmie Johnson177Kevin Harvick21
3Tony Stewart208Denny Hamlin13
4Kurt Busch109Matt Kenseth6
5Carl Edwards710A.J. Allmendinger11
2011 AdvoCare 500 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 124.623 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 4 hours, 0 minutes, 58 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.598 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 9 for 64 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 35 among 14 drivers
POLE WINNER: Kasey Kahne (186.196 m.p.h.)
Past AdvoCare 500 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Jeff Gordon (5th) -- Chevrolet -- 124.623 m.p.h.
2010 -- Tony Stewart (5th) -- Chevrolet -- 129.041 m.p.h.
2009 -- Kasey Kahne (2nd) -- Dodge -- 134.033 m.p.h.
2008 -- Carl Edwards (4th) -- Ford -- 134.272 m.p.h.
2007 -- Jimmie Johnson (6th) -- Chevrolet -- 135.260 m.p.h.
2006 -- Tony Stewart (11th) -- Chevrolet -- 143.421 m.p.h.
2005 -- Carl Edwards (2nd) -- Ford -- 146.834 m.p.h.
2004 -- Jimmie Johnson (8th) -- Chevrolet -- 145.847 m.p.h.
2003 -- Jeff Gordon (19th) -- Chevrolet -- 127.769 m.p.h.
2002 -- Kurt Busch (8th) -- Ford -- 127.519 m.p.h.
2001 -- Bobby Labonte (39th) -- Pontiac -- 151.756 m.p.h.
2000 -- Jerry Nadeau (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 141.296 m.p.h.
1999 -- Bobby Labonte (37th) -- Pontiac -- 137.932 m.p.h.
1998 -- Jeff Gordon (21st) -- Chevrolet -- 114.915 m.p.h.
1997 -- Bobby Labonte (21st) -- Pontiac -- 159.904 m.p.h.
1996 -- Bobby Labonte (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 134.661 m.p.h.
1995 -- Dale Earnhardt (11th) -- Chevrolet -- 163.633 m.p.h.
1994 -- Mark Martin (5th) -- Ford -- 148.982 m.p.h.
1993 -- Rusty Wallace (20th) -- Pontiac -- 125.221 m.p.h.
1992 -- Bill Elliott (11th) -- Ford -- 133.322 m.p.h.
1991 -- Mark Martin (4th) -- Ford -- 137.968 m.p.h.
1990 -- Morgan Shepherd (20th) -- Ford -- 140.911 m.p.h.
1989 -- Dale Earnhardt (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 140.229 m.p.h.
1988 -- Rusty Wallace (1st) -- Pontiac -- 129.024 m.p.h.
1987 -- Bill Elliott (1st) -- Ford -- 139.047 m.p.h.
1986 -- Dale Earnhardt (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 152.523 m.p.h.
1985 -- Bill Elliott (3rd) -- Ford -- 139.597 m.p.h.
1984 -- Dale Earnhardt (10th) -- Chevrolet -- (134.610 m.p.h.
1983 -- Neil Bonnett (15th) -- Chevrolet -- 137.643 m.p.h.
1982 -- Bobby Allison (9th) -- Buick -- 130.884 m.p.h.
1981 -- Neil Bonnett (5th) -- Ford -- 130.391 m.p.h.
1980 -- Cale Yarborough (12th) -- Chevrolet -- 131.190 m.p.h.
1979 -- Neil Bonnett (4th) -- Mercury -- 137.643 m.p.h.
1978 -- Donnie Allison (13th) -- Chevrolet -- 124.312 m.p.h.
1977 -- Darrell Waltrip (8th) -- Chevrolet -- 110.052 m.p.h.
1976 -- Dave Marcis (2nd) -- Dodge -- 127.396 m.p.h.
1975 -- Buddy Baker (3rd) -- Ford -- 130.900 m.p.h.
1974 -- Richard Petty (2nd) -- Dodge -- 131.651 m.p.h.
1973 -- David Pearson (5th) -- Mercury -- 130.211 m.p.h.
1972 -- Bobby Allison (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 131.295 m.p.h.
1971 -- Richard Petty (3rd) -- Plymouth -- 120.061 m.p.h.
1970 -- Richard Petty (6th) -- Plymouth -- 142.712 m.p.h.
1969 -- LeeRoy Yarborough (2nd) -- Ford -- 133.001 m.p.h.
1968 -- LeeRoy Yarborough (5th) -- Mercury -- 127.068 m.p.h.
1967 -- Dick Hutcherson (8th) -- Ford -- 132.286 m.p.h.
1966 -- Richard Petty (5th) -- Plymouth -- 130.244 m.p.h.
1965 -- Marvin Panch (2nd) -- Ford -- 110.120 m.p.h.
1964 -- Ned Jarrett (17th) -- Ford -- 112.535 m.p.h.
1963 -- Junior Johnson (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 121.139 m.p.h.
1962 -- Rex White (5th) -- Chevrolet -- 124.896 m.p.h.
1961 -- David Pearson (5th) -- Pontiac -- 125.230 m.p.h.
1960 -- Bobby Johns (5th) -- Pontiac -- 134.596 m.p.h.
 
NOTE: Formerly called Atlanta 500 (1960), Dixie 400 and 500 (1961-79), Atlanta
Journal 500 (1980-90), Hardee's 500 (1991), Hooters 500 (1992-94), NAPA
500 (1995-2002), Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 (2003-06), Pep Boys Auto 500
(2007-09), Emory Healthcare 500 (2010). Race changed from 400 to 500
miles (1967).
 
Past AdvoCare 500 Pole Winners (Finish)
2011 -- Kasey Kahne -- 34th
2010 -- Denny Hamlin -- 43rd
2009 -- Martin Truex Jr -- 26th
2008 -- None -- Weather
2007 -- Greg Biffle -- 22nd
2006 -- None -- Weather
2005 -- Ryan Newman -- 23rd
2004 -- Ryan Newman -- 17th
2003 -- Ryan Newman -- 29th
2002 -- None -- Weather
2001 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr -- 7th
2000 -- Jeff Gordon -- 4th
1999 -- Kevin Lepage -- 17th
1998 -- Kenny Irwin Jr -- 16th
1997 -- Geoffrey Bodine -- 33rd
1996 -- Bobby Labonte -- 1st
1995 -- Darrell Waltrip -- 16th
1994 -- Greg Sacks -- 39th
1993 -- Harry Gant -- 28th
1992 -- Rick Mast -- 28th
1991 -- Bill Elliott -- 3rd
1990 -- Rusty Wallace -- 9th
1989 -- Alan Kulwicki -- 13th
1988 -- Rusty Wallace -- 1st
1987 -- Bill Elliott -- 1st
1986 -- Bill Elliott -- 3rd
1985 -- Harry Gant -- 8th
1984 -- Bill Elliott -- 2nd
1983 -- Tim Richmond -- 29th
1982 -- Morgan Shepherd -- 25th
1981 -- Harry Gant -- 20th
1980 -- Bobby Allison -- 38th
1979 -- Buddy Baker -- 39th
1978 -- Cale Yarborough -- 8th
1977 -- Sam Sommers -- 28th
1976 -- Buddy Baker -- 5th
1975 -- Dave Marcis -- 2nd
1974 -- Cale Yarborough -- 14th
1973 -- Richard Petty -- 33rd
1972 -- David Pearson -- 3rd
1971 -- Buddy Baker -- 25th
1970 -- Fred Lorenzen -- 22nd
1969 -- Cale Yarborough -- 7th
1968 -- Buddy Baker -- 36th
1967 -- Darel Dieringer -- 18th
1966 -- Curtis Turner -- 24th
1965 -- Fred Lorenzen -- 23rd
1964 -- Junior Johnson -- 27th
1963 -- Marvin Panch -- 3rd
1962 -- Fireball Roberts -- 10th
1961 -- Fireball Roberts -- 3rd
1960 -- Fireball Roberts -- 34th
Last Race Results
RACE: IRWIN Tools Night Race (August 25th)
SITE: Bristol Motor Speedway -- Bristol, Tennessee
MILES: 266.5
LAPS: 500
WINNER: Denny Hamlin
RUNNER-UP: Jimmie Johnson
THIRD: Jeff Gordon
FOURTH: Brian Vickers
FIFTH: Marcos Ambrose
POLE WINNER: Casey Mears (Finished 21st)
TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 9 minutes, 27 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 84.402 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 1.103 seconds
CAUTION FLAGS: 13 for 87 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 22 among 13 drivers
LAP LEADERS: C. Mears 1-26; J. Logano 27-84; D. Hamlin 85; J. Logano 86-107;
K. Kahne 108-149; J. Logano 150-192; D. Earnhardt Jr. 193-205; D.
Hamlin 206-226; G. Biffle 227-253; M. Kenseth 254-272; J. Johnson
273-324; D. Hamlin 325; M. Kenseth 326-331; T. Stewart 332; J.
Logano 333-348; M. Ambrose 349; G. Biffle 350-363; M. Truex Jr.
364-407; D. Hamlin 408-415; C. Edwards 416-443; B. Vickers 444;
C. Edwards 445-461; D. Hamlin 462-500.
AdvoCare 500 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
1Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO)Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops
2Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI)Dodge/Miller Lite
5Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Chevrolet/hendrickcars.com
9Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia)Ford/DeWalt
10Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL)Chevrolet/GoDaddy.com
11Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/Sports Clips
13Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA)Ford/Geico
14Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Mobil 1/Office Depot
15Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Toyota/5-Hour Energy
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/3M/Manheim Auctions
17Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Ford/Roush Fenway Racing
18Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/Wrigley
19Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR)Ford/Plinker Tactical
20Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Toyota/Home Depot
21Trevor Bayne (Knoxville, TN)Ford/Good Sam/Camping World
22Sam Hornish Jr. (Defiance, OH)Dodge/Shell/Pennzoil
23Scott Riggs (Bahama, NC)Chevrolet/North Texas Pipe
24 *Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/DuPont
26Josh Wise (Riverside, CA)Ford/MDS Transport
27Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/Quaker State
29Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Rheem
30David Stremme (South Bend, IN)Toyota/Inception Motorsports
31Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA)Chevrolet/Caterpillar
32Ken Schrader (Fenton, MO)Ford/TBA
33Stephen Leicht (Asheville, NC)Chevrolet/littlejoesautos.com
34David Ragan (Unadilla, GA)Ford/Glory Foods
36Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH)Chevrolet/Tommy Baldwin Racing
37J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Chevrolet/TBA
38David Gilliland (Riverside, CA)Ford/House Autry
39Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/U.S. Army
42Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia)Chevrolet/Target
43Aric Almirola (Tampa, FL)Ford/AdvoCare
47Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Toyota/Kingsford
48Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's/Kobalt Tools
49Jason Leffler (Long Beach, CA)Toyota/America Israel Racing
51Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/hendrickcars.com
55Mark Martin (Batesville, AR)Toyota/Aaron's Dream Machine
56Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/NAPA Shocks and Struts
78Regan Smith (Cato, NY)Chevrolet/Furniture Row
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/Jordan Truck Sales
98Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Ford/Phil Parsons Racing
99Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Ford/Subway
 
* - Defending champion
 
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Driver200320042005200620072008200920102011
Jeff GordonWon34th2nd6th7th9th8th13thWon
Jimmie Johnson3rdWon16th2ndWon2nd36th3rd2nd
Tony Stewart2nd9th9thWon30th17th11thWon3rd
Kurt Busch8th42nd36th14th8th6th38th6th4th
Carl Edwards---3rdWon7th2ndWon37th2nd5th
Brad Keselowski---------------------25th6th
Kevin Harvick20th35th22nd31st15th13th2nd33rd7th
Denny Hamlin------19th8th24th3rd6th43rd8th
Matt Kenseth11th41st5th4th4th4th12th11th9th
A.J. Allmendinger------------16th14th20th18th10th
Greg Biffle34th10th7th5th22nd10th10th36th12th
Jeff Burton23rd6th8th13th5th18th34th4th13th
Martin Truex Jr---37th40th37th31st15th26th12th14th
Juan Pablo Montoya------------34th40th3rd9th15th
Jamie McMurray15th8th6th40th26th7th28th15th16th
Mark Martin39th2nd3rd36th43rd22nd5th21st17th
Paul Menard------------27th31st15th35th18th
Dale Earnhardt Jr6th33rd4th3rd25th11th17th22nd19th
Ryan Newman29th17th23rd30th37th16th9th8th20th
Marcos Ambrose---------------29th23rd10th21st
Kyle Busch---43rd12th27th20th5th13th5th23rd
Joey Logano------------------22nd27th24th
David Reutimann---------------28th4th16th31st
Kasey Kahne---5th35th38th9th33rdWon32nd34th
Clint Bowyer---------25th6th20th29th7th36th
 
Mover of the Week
Jimmie Johnson - Started in the 37th position and finished 2nd
 
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Carl Edwards
Darkhorse - Kasey Kahne
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Dale Earnhardt Jr) - Finished 12th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Paul Menard) - Finished 10th
 
NOTES:
With two races to go before the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, the top-10 drivers in points are beginning to solidify their spots in the playoffs.

The top-nine positions are almost locked in, but spots 10-12 are up for grabs, as the series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend.

Tony Stewart is currently ranked 10th in the standings, just 16 points ahead of 11th-place Kasey Kahne, while 12th-place Carl Edwards is on the bubble, 34 points behind Stewart.

The current top-three drivers in points -- Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- clinched their spots in the Chase last Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway.

One year ago, Gordon overcame a vibration issue late in the race and then held off a furious challenge from his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jimmie Johnson, during the closing laps to win the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta -- a race delayed two days due to Tropical Storm Lee.

Gordon claimed his 85th career victory, which placed him in sole possession of third on the Cup Series' all-time race winners list. Richard Petty holds the record with 200 wins, followed by David Pearson with 105.

With less than 50 laps remaining, Gordon told crew chief Alan Gustafson over the team radio that he was experiencing a bad vibration, probably due to a loose wheel. When Gordon made his final pit with 41 laps to go, his team made adjustments to the car, which put him into the lead for good after a cycle of stops under green concluded with 38 laps left.

Johnson chased down Gordon with 10 laps remaining and ran side-by-side with him for the lead at one point, but Johnson's car got loose several times during the last four laps. Gordon crossed the finish line 0.6 seconds ahead of Johnson for his third win of that season.

Following a win in 2006, Tony Stewart responded with three lackluster performances in Atlanta, placing outside the top-10 in all three races. That all changed in 2010, as he snapped a 31-race winless streak in the Sprint Cup Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Stewart led 176 of 325 laps, but the three-time NASCAR Cup champion had to pass Carl Edwards for the lead just after a restart with 25 laps remaining.

The eighth and final caution occurred on lap 303. Then defending champion Kasey Kahne made contact with Kurt Busch after he was hit from behind by Ryan Newman. Kahne cut a tire and shredded debris on the track. After the final restart with 18 laps to go, Stewart quickly pulled away and then held off Edwards by 1.3 seconds.

Never a serious contender in Atlanta, Kasey Kahne raced to victory in 2009, as he defeated Kevin Harvick for his 11th and last Sprint Cup title. Kahne started second on the grid and led for the first time on lap 39. Battling with Harvick throughout the race, Kahne reclaimed the lead for the sixth and last time on lap 315 and held on for a 1.766 seconds victory. Pole sitter Martin Truex Jr led three times for a race-high 68 laps, but faded to 26th. 37 of the 43 entrants finished the race, with 21 on the final lap.

Prior to 2009, Carl Edwards had dominated this race, just as Jimmie Johnson has done previously. Edwards defeated Johnson by over two seconds in 2008, winning this race for the second time in four years. In eight trips around the Atlanta track, Edwards has two wins, two seconds, a third, fifth, seventh and a 37th-place finish. In 2008, Edwards reclaimed the lead with 26 laps remaining to post a 2.684 seconds victory. Edwards led six times for 98 laps, while Johnson, who started on the pole, led twice for 28. Matt Kenseth, who finished fourth, led five times for a race-high 128 laps.

In 2007, Johnson captured this race for the second time in four years, as he held off Edwards for his eighth win of the 2007 season and the 31st of his Sprint Cup career. Johnson, a three-time winner this year, owns 58 titles.

Edwards crossed the finish line 2.712 seconds ahead of Jeff Gordon for his third win of 2005. Edwards, who led several times during the race, reclaimed the lead on lap 290 of the 325-lap event and held on the rest of the way for the third of his 19 career Sprint Cup titles. Pole sitter Ryan Newman finished 23rd while Dale Earnhardt Jr, who led for a race-high 142 laps placed fourth.

Originally called Atlanta International Raceway, the track was a 1.5-mile paved speedway, holding its first Sprint Cup race on July 31, 1960. AMS has been re-configured twice, once in 1970 to 1.522 and again in 1997 to its present length of 1.54 miles. There have been 104 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Atlanta Speedway, two races per year except 1961, which had three.

The pole sitter has only won this race three times, the last coming in 1996 when Bobby Labonte turned the trick. Over the years, the pole winner has won 14 times in Atlanta. Labonte won the 2001 fall race from the 39th starting position, the deepest in the field a race winner has started. Labonte is a six-time winner in Atlanta, the most of all active drivers. The top five starting positions have won 60 of the 104 races, while the top-10 spots have captured 82.

Two drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at Atlanta: Carl Edwards (3/20/2005) and Kevin Harvick (3/11/2001).

The 2012 Sprint Cup Series "regular season" concludes on Sept. 8 with the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Kevin Harvick is the defending race winner.

08/28 11:45:36 ET

As of August 28, 2012, at 11:45 AM ET

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