NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Sylvania 300 Preview
The Sports Network
Date: Sunday, September 25th
Start Time: 2 p.m. (et)/2:15 p.m. (et) Green Flag
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)
Total purse: $5,256,417 (2010 figures)
Payouts: 1st Place - $248,250; 2nd Place - $178,550; 3rd Place - $169,954
On TV: ESPN
Announcers: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
On Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
Race record: Jeff Burton, 1997 (117.134 m.p.h.)
Qualifying record: Brad Keselowski, 2010 (133.572 m.p.h.)
Defending champion: Clint Bowyer
Runner up: Denny Hamlin
Pole winner: Brad Keselowski (133.572 m.p.h.)
1. Clint Bowyer (Start: 2)
2. Denny Hamlin (22)
3. Jamie McMurray (4)
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr (32)
5. Kevin Harvick (27)
6. Jeff Gordon (17)
7. David Reutimann (7)
8. Ryan Newman (24)
9. Kyle Busch (9)
10. Sam Hornish Jr (15)
Average speed: 106.769 m.p.h.
Time of race: 2 hours, 58 minutes, 22 seconds
Margin of victory: 0.477 second
Caution flags: 8 for 34 laps
Lead changes: 21 among 8 drivers
2010 Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 106.769 m.p.h.
2009 Mark Martin, Chevrolet, 100.753 m.p.h.
2008 Greg Biffle, Ford, 105.468 m.p.h.
2007 Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 110.475 m.p.h.
2006 Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 102.195 m.p.h.
2005 Ryan Newman, Dodge, 95.891 m.p.h.
2004 Kurt Busch, Ford, 109.753 m.p.h.
2003 Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 106.580 m.p.h.
2002 Ryan Newman, Ford, 105.081 m.p.h.
2001 Robby Gordon, Chevrolet, 103.594 m.p.h.
2000 Jeff Burton, Ford, 102.003 m.p.h.
1999 Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, 100.673 m.p.h.
1998 Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 112.078 m.p.h. (race record)
1997 Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 100.364 m.p.h.
Race: GEICO 400 (September 19th)
Site: Chicagoland Speedway -- Joliet, Illinois
Finish line order: Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski
Time of Race: 2 hours, 47 minutes, 41 seconds
Average speed: 143.306 m.p.h.
Margin of victory: 0.941 second
Caution flags: 6 for 25 laps
Lead changes: 22 among 10 drivers
Lap leaders: M. Kenseth 1-32; J. Yeley 33; Kyle Busch 34-40; Kurt BuschM. Kenseth 1-32; J. Yeley 33; Kyle Busch 34-40; Kurt Busch41-103; C. Edwards 104-115; J. Johnson 116; R. Newman 117-118; C.Edwards 119-145; Kurt Busch 146; R. Newman 147-162; J. Johnson163-164; B. Keselowski 165-168; J. Johnson 169-204; T. Stewart205; M. Kenseth 206-208; T. Stewart 209-214; M. Truex Jr.215-217; M. Kenseth 218; M. Truex Jr. 219-227; M. Kenseth228-237; T. Stewart 238-250; M. Truex Jr. 251-252; T. Stewart253-267.
#00 David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL) Toyota/Aaron's Dream Machine
#1 Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO) Chevrolet/Axe Cool Metal
#2 Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI) Dodge/Miller Lite
#4 Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA) Toyota/Red Bull
#5 Mark Martin (Batesville, AR) Chevrolet/GoDaddy.com
#6 David Ragan (Unadilla, GA) Ford/UPS
#7 Robby Gordon (Orange, CA) Dodge/Speed Energy
#9 Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia) Ford/DeWalt
#11 Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA) Toyota/FedEx Ground
#13 Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA) Toyota/GEICO
#14 Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN) Chevrolet/Office Depot/Mobil 1
#16 Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA) Ford/ford40mph.com
#17 Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI) Ford/Affliction Clothing
#18 Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV) Toyota/M&M's
#20 Joey Logano (Middletown, CT) Toyota/Home Depot
#22 Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV) Dodge/Shell/Pennzoil
#24 Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA) Chevrolet/DuPont
#27 Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI) Chevrolet/Menards/Sylvania
#29 Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA) Chevrolet/Budweiser
#30 David Stremme (South Bend, IN) Chevrolet/Inception Motorsports
#31 Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA) Chevrolet/Caterpillar
#32 Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR) Ford/Street King
#33 * Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS) Chevrolet/Cheerios/Hamb. Helper
#34 David Gilliland (Riverside, CA) Ford/TBA
#35 Steve Park (East Northport, NY) Chevrolet/"Ole Blue" Tribute
#36 Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH) Chevrolet/Golden Corral
#37 Josh Wise (Riverside, CA) Toyota/TBA
#38 J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ) Ford/Long John Silver's
#39 Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN) Chevrolet/Haas Automation
#42 Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia) Chevrolet/Degree
#43 A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA) Ford/Best Buy
#46 Scott Speed (Manteca, CA) Ford/Red Line Oil
#47 Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX) Toyota/Bush's Beans/Kingsford
#48 Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA) Chevrolet/Lowe's
#50 T.J. Bell (Reno, VA) Chevrolet/Green Smoke
#51 Landon Cassill (Cedar Rapids, IA) Chevrolet/Phoenix Construction
#55 Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI) Ford/TBA
#56 Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ) Toyota/NAPA Auto Brakes
#60 Mike Skinner (Susanville, CA) Chevrolet/Big Red
#66 Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ) Toyota/HP Racing
#71 Andy Lally (Northport, NY) Ford/Interstate Moving Services
#78 Regan Smith (Cato, NY) Chevrolet/Furniture Row Racing
#83 Brian Vickers (Thomasville, NC) Toyota/Red Bull
#87 Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL) Toyota/TBA
#88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC) Chevrolet/Diet Mountain Dew
#99 Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO) Ford/Scott's Winterguard
Name 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Clint Bowyer 24th Won 12th 10th Won
Denny Hamlin 4th 15th 9th 2nd 2nd
Jamie McMurray 10th 5th 12th 29th 11th 39th 18th 3rd
Dale Earnhardt Jr 11th 5th 3rd 5th 13th 16th 5th 35th 4th
Kevin Harvick 33rd 13th 10th 10th Won 17th 10th 32nd 5th
Jeff Gordon 14th 19th 7th 14th 3rd 2nd 14th 15th 6th
David Reutimann 26th 15th 12th 7th
Ryan Newman Won 9th 33rd Won 12th 9th 36th 7th 8th
Kyle Busch 27th 38th 4th 34th 5th 9th
Carl Edwards 20th 19th 18th 12th 3rd 17th 11th
Kurt Busch 2nd 15th Won 35th 19th 25th 6th 6th 13th
Kasey Kahne 4th 38th 16th 20th 11th 38th 14th
Jeff Burton 20th 42nd 15th 9th 7th 18th 4th 16th 15th
Juan Pablo Montoya 23rd 17th 3rd 16th
Greg Biffle 27th 43rd 28th 4th 14th 13th Won 9th 17th
Brad Keselowski 18th
Martin Truex Jr 22nd 5th 7th 19th 20th
Matt Kenseth 10th 7th 2nd 3rd 10th 7th 40th 23rd 23rd
Tony Stewart 3rd 20th 39th 2nd 2nd 3rd 8th 14th 24th
Jimmie Johnson 9th Won 11th 8th 39th 6th 2nd 4th 25th
Paul Menard 24th 21st 34th 28th
Mark Martin 16th 38th 13th 7th 11th Won 29th
Joey Logano 32nd 21st 35th
Brian Vickers 22nd 13th 5th 43rd 35th 11th
Race one is in the books, as the Chase for the Sprint Cup began last Monday in Illinois. Kevin Harvick holds down the top spot, but it was Tony Stewart who prevailed at Chicagoland Speedway for his 40th career Sprint Cup title.
Last year, New Hampshire Motor Speedway was the first event in the Chase. Clint Bowyer opened the 10-race classic by winning for the first time in 88 races.
Bowyer had the dominant car throughout the race but ran second to Tony 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.
Only one driver in the eight-year history of the Chase for the Sprint Cup has won the first playoff race and then capture the championship - Kurt Busch in 2004. On the other end of the spectrum, a bad start doesn't always mean a championship deathblow. Jimmie Johnson finished 25th in last year's Chase- opener, only to eventually win his fifth consecutive title. In 2006, he opened up the Chase with a 39th-place finish. Denny Hamlin finished 31st at Chicagoland, the worst of the Chase contenders.
Food for thought. In four of the previous seven years, the eventual championship Chase winner finished in the top-five of race two - and Johnson won each of the last two.
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 three 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 33 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 33 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 five years.
The next Chase race is the October 2 AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway. Jimmie Johnson is the defending race winner.
Read more: NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Sylvania 300 Preview - Sprint Cup - MiamiHerald.com