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NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 Preview

From The Sports Network

 
DATE: Sunday, October 7th
SITE: Talladega Superspeedway (1969) -- Talladega, Alabama
TRACK: 2.66-mile oval - 4,300 feet (Frontstretch); 4,000 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 143,231 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 41st
TELEVISION: ESPN
ANNOUNCERS: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
RADIO: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 2 p.m. (ET)/Green Flag: 2:20 p.m. (ET)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Clint Bowyer
RUNNER-UP: Jeff Burton
POLE WINNER: Mark Martin (Finished 20th)
LAPS: 188
MILES: 500
QUALIFYING RECORD: Bill Elliott, 1987 (212.809 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Mark Martin, 1997 (188.354 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $5,261,714 (2011 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $260,5580; 2nd Place - $170,500; 3rd Place - $160,833
 
2011 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1Clint Bowyer36Kasey Kahne26
2Jeff Burton257Tony Stewart12
3Dave Blaney418Denny Hamlin31
4Brad Keselowski169Michael Waltrip23
5Brian Vickers3010Martin Truex Jr37
2011 Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 143.404 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 29 minutes, 14 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.018 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 9 for 37 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 72 among 26 drivers
POLE WINNER: Mark Martin (181.367)
Past Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Clint Bowyer (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 143.404 m.p.h.
2010 -- Clint Bowyer (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 163.618 m.p.h.
2009 -- Jamie McMurray (22nd) -- Ford -- 157.213 m.p.h.
2008 -- Tony Stewart (34th) -- Toyota -- 140.281 m.p.h.
2007 -- Jeff Gordon (34th) -- Chevrolet -- 143.438 m.p.h.
2006 -- Brian Vickers (9th) -- Chevrolet -- 157.602 m.p.h.
2005 -- Dale Jarrett (2nd) -- Ford -- 143.818 m.p.h.
2004 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr (10th) -- Chevrolet -- 156.929 m.p.h.
2003 -- Michael Waltrip (18th) -- Chevrolet -- 156.045 m.p.h.
2002 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr (13th) -- Chevrolet -- 183.665 m.p.h.
2001 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr (6th) -- Chevrolet -- 164.185 m.p.h.
2000 -- Dale Earnhardt (20th) -- Chevrolet -- 165.681 m.p.h.
1999 -- Dale Earnhardt (27th) -- Chevrolet -- 166.632 m.p.h.
1998 -- Dale Jarrett (3rd) -- Ford -- 159.317 m.p.h.
1997 -- Terry Labonte (6th) -- Chevrolet -- 156.601 m.p.h.
1996 -- Jeff Gordon (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 133.387 m.p.h.
1995 -- Sterling Marlin (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 173.188 m.p.h.
1994 -- Jimmy Spencer (2nd) -- Ford -- 153.217 m.p.h.
1993 -- Dale Earnhardt (11th) -- Chevrolet -- 153.858 m.p.h.
1992 -- Ernie Irvan (7th) -- Chevrolet -- 176.309 m.p.h.
1991 -- Dale Earnhardt (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 147.383 m.p.h.
1990 -- Dale Earnhardt (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 174.430 m.p.h.
1989 -- Terry Labonte (5th) -- Ford -- 157.354 m.p.h.
1988 -- Ken Schrader (7th) -- Chevrolet -- 154.505 m.p.h.
1987 -- Bill Elliott (1st) -- Ford -- 171.293 m.p.h.
1986 -- Bobby Hillin (13th) -- Buick -- 151.552 m.p.h.
1985 -- Cale Yarborough (2nd) -- Ford -- 148.772 m.p.h.
1984 -- Dale Earnhardt (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 155.485 m.p.h.
1983 -- Dale Earnhardt (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 170.611 m.p.h.
1982 -- Darrell Waltrip (2nd) -- Buick -- 168.157 m.p.h.
1981 -- Ron Bouchard (10th) -- Buick -- 156.737 m.p.h.
1980 -- Neil Bonnett (2nd) -- Mercury -- 166.894 m.p.h.
1979 -- Darrell Waltrip (8th) -- Oldsmobile -- 161.229 m.p.h.
1978 -- Lennie Pond (5th) -- Oldsmobile -- 174.700 m.p.h.
1977 -- Donnie Allison (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 162.524 m.p.h.
1976 -- Dave Marcis (1st) -- Dodge -- 157.547 m.p.h.
1975 -- Buddy Baker (2nd) -- Ford -- 130.892 m.p.h.
1974 -- Richard Petty (3rd) -- Dodge -- 148.637 m.p.h.
1973 -- Dick Brooks (24th) -- Plymouth -- 145.454 m.p.h.
1972 -- James Hylton (22nd) -- Mercury -- 148.728 m.p.h.
1971 -- Bobby Allison (2nd) -- Mercury -- 145.945 m.p.h.
1970 -- Pete Hamilton (4th) -- Plymouth -- 158.517 m.p.h.
1969 -- Richard Brickhouse (9th) -- Dodge -- 153.778 m.p.h.
 
NOTE: Formerly called Talladega 500 (1969-1987), Talladega Diehard 500
(1988), Diehard 500 (1989-1997), Winston 500 (1998-2000), EA Sports
Thunder 500 (2002), EA Sports 500 (2001, 03-04), UAW-Ford 500 (2005-07),
Amp Energy 500 (2008-10).
 
Past Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 Pole Winners (Finish)
2011 -- Mark Martin -- 20th
2010 -- Juan Pablo Montoya -- 3rd
2009 -- None -- Weather
2008 -- Travis Kvapil -- 27th
2007 -- Michael Waltrip -- 25th
2006 -- David Gilliland -- 15th
2005 -- Elliott Sadler -- 34th
2004 -- Joe Nemechek -- 7th
2003 -- Elliott Sadler -- 30th
2002 -- None -- Weather
2001 -- Stacy Compton -- 11th
2000 -- Joe Nemechek -- 3rd
1999 -- Joe Nemechek -- 30th
1998 -- Ken Schrader -- 24th
1997 -- Ernie Irvan -- 5th
1996 -- Jeremy Mayfield -- 16th
1995 -- Sterling Marlin -- 1st
1994 -- Dale Earnhardt -- 34th
1993 -- Bill Elliott -- 11th
1992 -- Sterling Marlin -- 2nd
1991 -- Sterling Marlin -- 5th
1990 -- Dale Earnhardt -- 1st
1989 -- Mark Martin -- 3rd
1988 -- Darrell Waltrip -- 33rd
1987 -- Bill Elliott -- 1st
1986 -- Bill Elliott -- 27th
1985 -- Bill Elliott -- 4th
1984 -- Cale Yarborough -- 6th
1983 -- Cale Yarborough -- 24th
1982 -- Geoffrey Bodine -- 15th
1981 -- Harry Gant -- 4th
1980 -- Buddy Baker -- 32nd
1979 -- Neil Bonnett -- 34th
1978 -- Cale Yarborough -- 4th
1977 -- Benny Parsons -- 24th
1976 -- Dave Marcis -- 1st
1975 -- Dave Marcis -- 4th
1974 -- David Pearson -- 2nd
1973 -- Bobby Allison -- 29th
1972 -- Bobby Isaac -- 42nd
1971 -- Donnie Allison -- 41st
1970 -- Bobby Isaac -- 2nd
1969 -- Bobby Isaac -- 4th
Last Race Results
RACE: AAA 400 (September 30th)
SITE: Dover International Speedway -- Dover, Delaware
MILES: 400
LAPS: 400
WINNER: Brad Keselowski
RUNNER-UP: Jeff Gordon
THIRD: Mark Martin
FOURTH: Jimmie Johnson
FIFTH: Carl Edwards
POLE WINNER: Denny Hamlin (Finished 8th)
TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 11 minutes, 53 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 125.076 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 1.078 seconds
CAUTION FLAGS: 5 for 28 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 11 among 6 drivers
LAP LEADERS: D. Hamlin 1-34; Kyle Busch 35-145; J. Gordon 146; C. Bowyer 147;
B. Keselowski 148-151; Kyle Busch 152-180; D. Hamlin 181-184;
Kyle Busch 185-311; J. Johnson 312-354; Kyle Busch 355-389; D.
Hamlin 390; B. Keselowski 391-400.
Good Sam Roadside Assistance 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
10David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL)Chevrolet/T-Mone 6
11Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Freight
13Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA)Ford/Geico
14Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Mobil 1/Office Depot
15 *Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Toyota/5-Hour Energy
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/3M
17Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Ford/Nat'l Breast Cancer Found.
18Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/M&M's
20Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Toyota/Home Depot
21Trevor Bayne (Knoxville, TN)Ford/Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire
22Sam Hornish Jr. (Defiance, OH)Dodge/SKF
23Robert Richardson Jr. (McKinney, TX)Toyota/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/Certain Teed
29Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Budweiser
30David Stremme (South Bend, IN)Toyota/Inception Motorsports
31Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA)Chevrolet/Caterpillar
32Terry Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Ford/C&J Energy
33Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA)Chevrolet/littlejoesautos.com
34David Ragan (Unadilla, GA)Ford/MDP/8-Hour Alert
36Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH)Chevrolet/Golden Corral
37J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Ford/TBA
38David Gilliland (Riverside, CA)Ford/Peanut Patch Boiled Peanuts
39Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/U.S. Army
42Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia)Chevrolet/Target/Gillette
43Aric Almirola (Tampa, FL)Ford/Gwaltney Foods
47Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Toyota/Scott/Kingsford
48Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's
51Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/Phoenix Construction
55Michael Waltrip (Owensboro, KY)Toyota/Aaron's Dream Machine
56Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts
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
93Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI)Toyota/Burger King
97Timmy Hill (Port Tobacco, MD)Toyota/TBA
98Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Ford/K-Love/Curb Records
99Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Ford/Subway
 
* - Two-time defending champion.
 
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Driver200320042005200620072008200920102011
Clint Bowyer---------35th11th5th12thWonWon
Jeff Burton32nd13th35th27th43rd4th5th41st2nd
Brad Keselowski------------------8th10th4th
Kasey Kahne---27th13th2nd16th36th2nd26th6th
Tony Stewart3rd6th2nd22nd8thWon35th31st7th
Denny Hamlin---------21st4th39th38th9th8th
Michael WaltripWon25th42nd14th25th19th7th28th9th
Martin Truex Jr------28th5th42nd41st31st6th10th
Carl Edwards---42nd5th9th14th29th14th17th11th
Paul Menard---------34th38th2nd13th13th12th
Greg Biffle24th28th27th41st23rd24th4th19th14th
Matt Kenseth33rd14th3rd4th26th26th24th16th18th
Marcos Ambrose------------------34th34th19th
Juan Pablo Montoya------------15th25th19th3rd23rd
Joey Logano------------------3rd5th24th
Dale Earnhardt Jr2ndWon40th23rd40th28th11th39th25th
Jimmie Johnson34th37th31st24th2nd9th6th7th26th
Jeff Gordon5th19th37th36thWon38th20th8th27th
Jamie McMurray16th17th12th37th37th32ndWon36th29th
Regan Smith---------------18th39th12th30th
Kevin Harvick7th2nd10th6th20th20th21st2nd32nd
Kyle Busch------33rd11th36th15th15th25th33rd
Kurt Busch6th5th8th3rd7th21st30th30th36th
Ryan Newman4th16th4th13th5th43rd36th23rd38th
 
Mover of the Week
Mark Martin - Started in the 26th position and finished 3rd
 
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Brad Keselowski
Darkhorse - Dave Blaney
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Jimmie Johnson) - Finished 4th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Ryan Newman) - Finished 21st
 
NOTES:
Dale Earnhardt couldn't do it. Even Dale Earnhardt Jr. failed to do it. So what are the chances of Clint Bowyer doing it?

Of course, we're talking about a three-peat at Talladega in the fall.

Bowyer has captured the last two Chase races at Talladega Superspeedway, and with four straight top-10 finishes in the Sprint Cup Race, he's poised as ever for the trifecta.

Only 16 points separate the top three drivers after four races in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, as Brad Keselowski leads Jimmie Johnson by five points and Denny Hamlin is third (16 behind). Seven of this year's 12 Chase qualifiers (Bowyer, Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon) have each won at Talladega.

Two-time defending Talladega champion Bowyer is fourth on the points list, just 25 markers behind. Last season, Bowyer joined the Earnhardt family as the only back-to-back winners of this race.

Dale Earnhardt won back-to-back fall races at Talladega three times (1983-84, 1990-91, 1999-2000), while son Dale Jr. captured this race in 2001-02.

In what turned out to be another frantic finish last season, Bowyer made a winning pass on his Richard Childress Racing teammate Jeff Burton on the final lap to take the race.

Both Bowyer and Burton were hooked up in a two-car tandem for most of the 500- mile race at Talladega. Regan Smith's hard crash into the outside wall during the closing laps set up a two-lap sprint to the finish. After the final restart, Bowyer and Burton quickly pulled away from the field.

As the two RCR drivers came out of the last turn on the final lap, Bowyer dove underneath Burton to take the lead. He crossed the finish line 0.018 seconds ahead of Burton for his fifth Sprint Cup Series title.

Bowyer, who owns two titles this year, raced to victory in 2010, as he edged Kevin Harvick for the lead just before NASCAR displayed the caution flag on the final lap for a five-car accident on the frontstretch. A.J. Allmendinger's car got airborne and flipped upside down on the track before it rolled back over.

After the 500-mile race ended under caution, it took NASCAR several minutes to determine a winner. Officials reviewed replays and then credited Bowyer with the victory. Bowyer's two wins are part of a five straight top-10 placing at Talladega.

Jamie McMurray took the checkered flag for the 2009 running of this race, as he defeated Kasey Kahne to snap an 86-race winless streak in the Series. McMurray crossed the finish line in the lead when the caution flag was displayed for a multi-car crash that featured Mark Martin's car flipping on the track during a green-white-checkered finish. McMurray scored his third career Cup victory, but his first since July 2007 at Daytona.

When Tony Stewart won in 2008, it was his 33rd career Sprint Cup title, as he defeated Paul Menard by 0.052 of a second. Stewart, who started 34th, led four times for a race-high 24 laps, including the final 17. The race featured 64 lead changes among 28 drivers. Pole sitter Travis Kvapil led for 10 laps, but finished 27th.

Jeff Gordon started in the 34th position in 2007 and led just one lap, but it was the final one, as he defeated Jimmie Johnson by less than a second. The win was a milestone for Gordon, as he captured his 80th career Cup title, only the sixth driver to reach that mark. Gordon has added six titles since then and stands alone in third place on the series' all-time win list.

In 2006, Brian Vickers recorded his first career Sprint Cup title, as he crossed the finish line under caution ahead of Kasey Kahne. In front of an estimated crowd of 160,000, Vickers claimed the lead down the final backstretch. Jimmie Johnson ducked to the bottom, but Vickers gave him a little shot from behind and Johnson spun into Dale Earnhardt Jr, sending both off the track. Vickers led on five separate occasions for 17 laps, while Earnhardt Jr led seven times for a race-high 37 laps.

In 2005, Dale Jarrett came out of nowhere to capture his 32nd and final Sprint Cup title, as he clipped Tony Stewart for the checkered flag. Jarrett, who led for just one lap early in the race, overtook Matt Kenseth on the final lap for his only win of that season. Stewart led 11 times for 65 laps, while Kenseth led seven times for 23 laps and finished third.

Chevrolet has won this race in 17 of the last 22 years. Dodge has struggled here, last winning in 1976, as legend Dave Marcis won the Talladega 500. Overall, Dodges have won only two of the previous 39 fall races at Talladega, Marcis in 1976 and Richard Petty in 1974.

In 39 career starts at Talladega, Jeff Gordon has six wins and 18 top-10s with an average finish of 16.769, while Earnhardt Jr has five victories in 25 starts with a 14.800 average.

This race has been won from the pole position four times, the most recent in 1995 by Sterling Marlin. Overall, the pole sitter has won 13 of the 86 races at Talladega. The furthest back a winner has started at Talladega was when Jeff Gordon won the DieHard 500 in April of 2000, as he started from the 36th position. Stewart (2008) and Gordon (2007) own the record for winning the fall race from the furthest starting spot, 34th. Since the inception of electronic scoring in 1993, every race that has ended under green has had a margin of victory under half a second. 62 of the 86 races at Talladega have been won from a top-10 starting position.

Actor Kevin James will serve as the Grand Marshal.

The Chase for the Sprint Cup championship moves on to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Oct. 13 Bank of America 500. Matt Kenseth won last year's race there.

10/02 15:12:49 ET

As of October 2, 2012, at 03:13 PM ET

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