- Race: 3:00pm/et, Saturday, April 16, 2011 in Talladega, AL
- Length: 117 Laps, 311.22 miles
- TV: ESPN2 - 2:00pm/et
- Radio: MRN, Sirius XM Satellite Radio
- Purse: $1,180,958
- Announcers: Marty Reid, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
- Pit Reporters: Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch
Busch wins at Talladega: #18-Kyle Busch won the Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway for his 4th win of the season. The race ended under caution after a wreck on the last lap, during the second attempt at a green-white-checker finish. #20-Joey Logano finished second, followed by #87-Joe Nemecheck (his first top 5 since March 2005), #22-Brad Keselowski, #2-Elliott Sadler, #16-Trevor Bayne, #31-Justin Allgaier, #7-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #32-Reed Sorenson, and #88-Aric Almirola. #01-Mike Wallace ran up front through much of the race and led late, but was turned on the last lap to bring out the final caution. He flipped upside down, back on his wheels, and drove the car to pit road to finish 18th.
There were 11 cautions for 38 laps and a record-setting 56 lead changes among 18 leaders. There were also 2 red flags for track clean up following accidents. The announced attendance was 67,500. Complete results are posted on the Talladega race results page.
Talladega Race Fast Facts:
Kyle Busch(i) won the 20th Annual Aaron's 312, his 47th victory in 209 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his fourth victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2011.
This is his first victory and fourth top-10 finish in eight races at Talladega Superspeedway.
Joey Logano(i) (second) posted his third top-10 finish in three races at Talladega Superspeedway. It is his fifth top-10 finish in 2011.
Joe Nemechek (third) posted his eighth top-10 finish in 17 races at Talladega Superspeedway.
Timmy Hill (14th) was the highest finishing rookie.
Jason Leffler leads the point standings by 2 points over Justin Allgaier.
Set a new NASCAR Nationwide Series record for lead changes with 56 (previous record was 36 - 04/28/2007)
Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Talladega and their finish
Caution 1: #39-Wise, 31st
Caution 2: #51-Clements, 24th
Caution 3: #87-Nemechek, 3rd
Caution 4: #40-Wimmer, 12th
Caution 5: #41-Cobb, 37th
Caution 6: none, #81--Neuenberger caused the caution
Caution 7: #81=-Neuenberger, 20th
Caution 8: #15-Hill, 14th
Caution 9: #40-Wimmer (2), 12th
Caution 10: #81-Koch, 16th
Driver standings following Talladega:
1) #38-Jason Leffler 233
2) #31-Justin Allgaier 231 -2
3) #2-Elliott Sadler228 -5
4) #6-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 225 -8
5) #32-Reed Sorenson 224 -9
6) #88-Aric Almirola 222 -11
7) #16-Trevor Bayne 221 -12
8) #11-Brian Scott 206 -27
9) #09-Kenny Wallace 184 -49
10) #87-Joe Nemechek 169 -64
Complete standings are posted on the driver standings page.(4-16-2011)
Owner Standings following Talladega are posted. The top 30 in owners points are locked in at Nashville. The changes this week are that #89-Morgan Shepherd fell out and #40-Scott Wimmer/Key Motorsports locked in. (4-16-2011)
Sadler on pole at Talladega: #2-Elliott Sadler won the Coors Light Pole for the Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway with a speed of 179.558mph. #33-Clint Bowyer will start second. The rest of the top 10: #7-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #1-Jamie McMurray, #16-Trevor Bayne, #60-Carl Edwards, #20-Joey Logano, #62-Michael Annett, #38-Jason Leffler, and #88-Aric Almirola. Did Not Qualify: none. The starting lineup is posted on the Talladega starting lineup page.(4-15-2011)
Talladega Qualifying Notes:
Elliott Sadler won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 20th Annual Aaron's 312 with a lap of 53.331 seconds, 179.558 mph.
This is his seventh pole in 137 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his first pole and fourth top-10 start in 2011.
This is his first pole in three races at Talladega Superspeedway.
Clint Bowyer(i) (second) posted his second top-10 start of 2011 and his seventh in eight races at Talladega Superspeedway.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.(i) (third) posted his fifth top-10 start at Talladega Superspeedway. It is his second in three races this season.
Blake Koch (32nd) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(4-15-2011)
Harvick paces Happy Hour: #4-Kevin Harvick was fastest during final practice at Talladega Superspeedway. His top speed was 198.044mph. #33-Clint Bowyer was second, followed by #20-Joey Logano, #18-Kyle Busch, #38-Jason Leffler, #30-James Buescher, #32-Reed Sorenson, #2-Elliott Sadler, #12-Sam Hornish, and #22-Brad Keselowski.
The session was extended by 15 minutes so all drivers had a chance to get on track after many were delayed going through tech. #38-Jason Leffler spun during practice. The team will repair the car.
Complete results are posted on the Talladega practice results page.(4-14-2011)
Almirola fastest in first practice: #88-Aric Almirola was fastest during opening practice at Talladega Superspeedway with a speed of 194.725mph. He was followed by: #99-Michael Waltrip., #7-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #6-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., #60-Carl Edwards, #16-Tervor Bayne, #11-Brian Scott, #09-Kenny Wallace, #20-Joey Logano, and #38-Jason Leffler.
Just 25 drivers practiced during the session. Complete results are posted on the Talladega practice results page.(4-14-2011)
Entry List:There are 46 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday's Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. Some notes:
Neither Rensi team is entered;
Jamie McMurray will drive the #1 for Phoenix Racing;
Danny Efland makes his 2011 debut in his #07;
Tim George will be in the RCR #21;
The Jimmy Means #52 is TBA;
Blake Koch will be in a second MacDonald Motorsports car #82;
Michael Waltrip will drive the #99.(4-11-2011)
UPDATE: Danny Efland has withdrawn the #07 and he will drive the Jimmy Means #52.(4-13-2011)
UPDATE 2: #49-Dennis Setzer and #55-Brett Rowe have withdrawn. There are 43 cars at the track.(4-14-2011)
See the complete list on the Talladega entry list page.
Nationwide Series Takes on Talladega: ESPN2 continues its coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series with a live telecast of the Aarons 312 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, NASCAR's largest track, on Saturday, April 16. NASCAR Countdown airs at 2 p.m. ET with the race's green flag at 3:19 p.m.
Marty Reid will call the action with analysis by Dale Jarrett, the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, and two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree. Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, while pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch.
NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio will be hosted by Allen Bestwick with analysis by Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty. The studio team will interact with the booth during the telecast of the race.(ESPN)(4-11-2011)
Nationwide Series Track Schedule
Times listed are local to the track (Central Time).
Wednesday, April 13th
4:00 PM NNS HAULERS ENTER (TRUCK PARKING ONLY)
Thursday, April 14th
6:30 AM ARCA & NNS REGISTRATION OPENS
7:00 AM ARCA & NNS GARAGE OPENS
2:00 PM NNS ROOKIE & SPOTTER MEETINGS & RANDOM DRAWING
3:00 PM-3:45 PM NNS PRACTICE
4:00 PM-4:50 PM NNS FINAL PRACTICE
5:00 PM NNS REGISTRATION CLOSES
Friday, April 15th
6:00 AM NNS GARAGE & REGISTRATION OPENS
11:10 AM (12:10 PM/ET) NNS QUALIFYING (TWO LAPS, ALL POSITIONS)
2:00 PM NNS GARAGE & REGISTRATION CLOSES
Saturday, April 16th
9:00 AM NNS GARAGE & REGISTRATION OPENS
9:00 AM NNS ACCESS TO HAULERS ONLY
9:30 AM NNS SPOTTERS MEETING
10:00 AM NNS DRIVER/CREW CHIEF MEETING (NASCAR Nationwide Series, GARAGE Area)
1:30 PM NNS DRIVER INTRODUCTION
2:00 PM (3:00 PM/ET) NNS RACE (117 LAPS, 311.22 MILES)
2:30 PM NNS REGISTRATION CLOSES
NASCAR News & Notes
Biggest Superspeedway On The Schedule Attracts Biggest Names In NASCAR
The who’s who of NASCAR will be gracing the high-banks of Talladega Superspeedway for Saturday’s Aaron’s 312. Some of the biggest names in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will join the familiar faces of the NASCAR Nationwide Series regulars. Below is the star-studded double-duty list and some quick highlights:
• Two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion and series car owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. has made seven starts at Talladega posting one win (2003), three top fives and five top 10s. He is ranked seventh in the pre-race Driver Rating with 94.5.
• Past NASCAR Nationwide Series champions Joe Nemechek (1992), Kevin Harvick (2001, ‘06), Carl Edwards (2007), Clint Bowyer (2008), Kyle Busch (2009) and Brad Keselowski (2010). Keselowski is the defending race winner. Nemechek, who made his 900th NASCAR national series start last weekend at Texas, leads all series active drivers at Talladega in wins with two (1998, 2000) and poles with five (1996, ’97,’98, 2001,’02).
• Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray (2010) and two-time Daytona 500 winner (2001, ‘03) and series car owner Michael Waltrip return to the series.
• Joe Gibbs Racing driver Joey Logano has the highest-ranked (second) NASCAR Pre-Race Loop Data Driver Rating heading into Talladega this weekend with (113.5). He has made two starts at Talladega finishing second last season and third in 2009.
Driver Spotlights: Brian Scott and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s newest addition Brian Scott and Roush Fenway Racing’s comeback king Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are both heading to Talladega with momentum from their early success this season.
Finding room in the spotlight with a teammate as dominate in the NASCAR Nationwide Series as Kyle Busch can be difficult, but Brian Scott has done it. He is eighth in the points after the first six races of the season just 45 points behind Stenhouse, the series standings leader. Scott has posted two top-10 finishes this season at Phoenix and last weekend at Texas.
Scott made his Talladega debut last season starting 17th and finishing 10th, just ahead of Busch in 11th.
Roush Fenway Racing swept Texas last weekend in both NASCAR national series, and this weekend the series driver standings leader, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is looking to capitalize on the momentum. Stenhouse is tied with his teammate Carl Edwards for the series lead with five top-10 finishes this season. Stenhouse is the highest ranked series regular in season-to-date Driver Rating (108.4) and only third overall behind Kyle Busch (128.2) and Carl Edwards (117.5).
Stenhouse leads the standings by 14 points over Turner Motorsports’ Jason Leffler. Stenhouse is looking to rebound from last season’s Talladega debut, when he started third but finished 29th.
NNS Competition Corner
After the first six races here are some competition highlights:
• All four manufacturers have now won in the new car. Dodge and Chevrolet each had two wins among the new car’s four races last year. Toyota claimed its first new car win this year at Phoenix courtesy of Kyle Busch, and Ford scored its first new car victory with Carl Edwards’ victory at Texas last weekend.
• Four different winners in the first six races: Kyle Busch (three wins), Tony Stewart, Mark Martin, and Carl Edwards (each has one).
• Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is the fourth different driver standings leader joining Landon Cassill, Reed Sorenson and Jason Leffler.
• Three perfect driver rating performances this season: Kyle Busch (150.0) at Phoenix and Bristol; Carl Edwards (150.0) at Texas.
Below are some bullets highlighting the action scheduled for this weekend at Talladega:
• The NASCAR Nationwide Series new car makes race debut at Talladega, but this won’t be its first time on the track. The new car tested at Talladega in October 2009.
• There have been 19 series races at Talladega Superspeedway with 13 different pole winners led by Joe Nemechek (five), and 16 different race winners led by two-time series champion Martin Truex Jr. (three). Nemechek leads all active drivers this weekend with two victories.
NNS Etc. – Talladega Superspeedway
Travis Pastrana turned his first laps in a NASCAR Nationwide Series car this week at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va. for his co-owned team Pastrana Waltrip Racing. Click this here to listen to an interview with Pastrana at the event. … Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 car became the fourth new leader in the owner standings this past weekend, overtaking the No. 18 Toyota, which dropped to seventh in the standings. The No. 20 team holds the standings lead by one point ahead of the Roush Fenway Racing No. 60 car and the Kevin Harvick Inc. No. 33 car. Both have 224 points this season.
Goodyear Tire Notes
NationwideSeries -- Race No. 7 – Aaron's 312 Talladega Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval) – Talladega, Ala.
Fast Facts for April 15-17, 2011
Tire: Goodyear Eagle Superspeedway Radials
Number of Tires: Nationwide: Left-side -- 475, Right-side -- 475
Set limits: Nationwide: 5 sets for weekend
Left-side -- D-4138; Right-side -- D-4412
Left-side -- 87.9 in.; Right-side -- 88.4 in.
Technical Inspection Inflation:
Left Front -- 30 psi; Left Rear -- 30 psi;
Right Front -- 55 psi; Right Rear -- 50 psi
Minimum Recommended Inflation:
Left Front -- 27 psi; Left Rear -- 27 psi;
Right Front -- 50 psi; Right Rear -- 50 psi
Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Talladega this weekend . . . NASCAR teams have run this left-side tire code (D-4138) at Talladega since 2009, but it is paired with a relatively new right-side code . . . teams ran this exact combination of left- and right-side tires at Daytona earlier this season . . . they also ran this right-side tire code (D-4412) at Las Vegas a couple weeks later . . . this tire set-up was tested extensively in preparation for the 2011 season, beginning at Talladega (August 2010) and twice at Daytona (December 2010 and January 2011) . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Talladega .
. . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.
Additional Talladega Nationwide Race Info: