- Race: 7:30pm/et, Friday, May 6, 2011 in Darlington, SC
- Length: 147 Laps, 200.8 miles
- TV: ESPN2 - 7:00pm/et
- Radio: MRN, Sirius XM Satellite Radio
- Purse: $921,763
- Announcers: Vince Welch, Dale Jarrett, Tim Brewer
- Pit Reporters: Dave Burns, Mike Massaro and Vince Welch
Busch wins at Darlington: #18-Kyle Busch won the Royal Purple 200 at Darlington Raceway. It his 5th win of the season and the 48th Nationwide win of his career. He is now one win behind Mark Martin's record of 49 series wins. #20-Denny Hamlin finished second, followed by #2-Elliott Sadler, #31-Justin Allgaier, #66-Steve Wallace, #33-Clint Bowyer, #38-Kasey Kahne, #32-Reed Sorenson, #30-Jason Leffler, and #6-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. There were 5 cautions for 28 laps and 11 lead changes among 5 leaders. The announced attendance was 21,000. Complete results are posted on the Darlington race results page.(5-6-2011)
Darlington Race Fast Facts:
Kyle Busch(i) won the 29th Annual Royal Purple 200, his 48th victory in 211 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his fifth victory and seventh top-10 finish in 2011.
This is his first victory and fourth top-10 finish in eight races at Darlington Raceway.
Denny Hamlin(i) (second) posted his sixth top-10 finish in six races at Darlington Raceway. It is his third top-10 finish in 2011.
Elliott Sadler (third) posted his third top-10 finish in eight races at Darlington Raceway.
Blake Koch (18th) was the highest finishing rookie.
Justin Allgaier leads the point standings by 5 points over Elliott Sadler.
Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Darlington and their finish
Caution 1: #15-Hill, 19th
Caution 2: #23-Riggs, 13th
Caution 3:#23-Riggs (2), 13th
Caution 4: #81-Koch, 18th
Caution 5: #16-Buescher, 17th
Driver standings following Darlington:
1) #31-Justin Allgaier 346
2) #2-Elliott Sadler 341 -5
3) #30-Jason Leffler 331 -15
4) #30-Reed Sorenson 328 -18
5) #6-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 322 -24
6) #88-Aric Almirola 304 -42
7) #09-Kenny Wallace 280 -66
8) #11-Brian Scott 272 -74
9) #16-Trevor Bayne 260 -86
10) #66-Steve Wallace 0 254 -92
Complete standings are posted on the driver standings page.
Owner Standings following Darlington are posted. The top 30 in owners points are locked in at Dover.The #23 R3 Motorsports team moved back into the Top 30 and the #14 Tri-Star / McClure team fell out.(5-6-2011)
Qualifying rained out; Busch on pole at Darlington: #18-Kyle Busch will start from the pole for tonight's Royal Purple 200 at Darlington Raceway after rain cancelled qualifying. The lineup was set by practice speeds from Friday morning. #33-Clint Bowyer will start second, followed by: #60-Carl Edwards, #38-Kasey Kahne, #32-Reed Sorenson, #2-Elliott Sadler, #66-Steve Wallace, #6-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., #88-Aric Almirola, and #22-Brad Keselowski. Did Not Qualify: none. The starting lineup is posted on the Darlington starting lineup page.(5-6-2011)
Busch fastest in happy hour: #18-Kyle Busch was quickest during happy hour at Darlington Raceway with a speed of 173.003mph. He was followed by: #33-Clint Bowyer, #60-Carl Edwards, #38-Kasey Kahne, #32-Reed Sorenson, #2-Elliott Sadler, #66-Steve Wallace, #6-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., #88-Aric Almirola, and #22-Brad Keselowski. Complete results are posted on the Darlington practice results page.(5-6-2011)
Entry List:There are 40 cars on the preliminary entry list for Friday's Royal Purple 200 at Darlington Raceway. Some notes:
Jennifer Jo Cobb is entered in her #13;
Trevor Bayne is listed as the driver of the #16 but it is not known if he will be back in the car this week;
Denny Hamlin is back in the JGR #20;
Scott Riggs will drive the R3 Motorsports #23;
Danny Efland will drive the Go Green #39;
Kevin Lepage returns to the Jimmy Means #52.(5-2-2011)
UPDATE: John Jackson and the #72 team have been added.(5-3-2011)
UPDATE 2: Chris Buescher will drive in place of Trevor Bayne.(5-5-2011)
UPDATE 3: David Green will drive the #49 for Jay Robinson. There are 43 cars at the track.(5-6-2011)
See the complete list on the Darlington entry list page.
Nationwide Series Live in Prime Time from Darlington:
ESPN2 continues its coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series with a live, prime time telecast of the 200-mile race at historic Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on Friday, May 6. NASCAR Countdown airs at 7 p.m. ET with the race's green flag at 7:45 p.m. Also from Darlington on Friday, ESPN2 will air NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying at 3:30 p.m.
Marty Reid will call the action with analysis by Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, while pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Mike Massaro and Vince Welch. NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio will be hosted by Allen Bestwick with analysis by Wallace and Brad Daugherty, a team owner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. The studio team will interact with the booth during the telecast of the race.(5-2-2011)
Nationwide Series Track Schedule
Times listed are local to the track (Eastern Time).
Thursday, May 5th
11:00 AM NNS HAULERS ENTER
12:30 PM NNS REGISTRATION OPENS
1:00 PM NNS GARAGE OPENS
5:00 PM NNS REGISTRATION CLOSES
6:00 PM NNS GARAGE CLOSES
8:30 PM NSCS HAULERS ENTER
Friday, May 6th
7:00 AM NNS GARAGE & REGISTRATION OPENS
7:30 AM NNS ROOKIE & SPOTTER MEETINGS & RANDOM DRAWING
8:30 AM 11:00 AM NNS FINAL PRACTICE
3:35 PM NNS QUALIFYING ( TWO LAPS, ALL POSITIONS)
4:45 PM NNS DRIVER/CREW CHIEF MEETING (TENT )
7:00 PM NNS DRIVER INTRODUCTION
7:30 PM NNS RACE (147 LAPS, 200.8 MILES)
8:00 PM NNS REGISTRATION CLOSES
NASCAR News & Notes
Wise Making Strides For JR Motorsports
Sharing a ride with Danica Patrick doesn’t leave much room in the spotlight, but since her departure, Josh Wise has made the most of his opportunity driving for car owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. For the first time in his series career, he is in the top 10 in the driver standings; 89 points behind standings leader Justin Allgaier. Wise’s sixth-place finish last Friday night at Richmond was his second consecutive top-10 result, another career first.
Wise, a 28-year-old from Riverside, Calif., has been a journeyman of sorts, driving for nine different teams since his series debut in 2007 – four in 2010 alone. Consistency fits Wise well. Wise has five top-10 finishes in his 55-race career – the last four of those have come in JRM equipment, three in the No. 7.
Wise is coming off his two best Driver Ratings of the season, posting an 89.1 at Nashville and an 86.1 at Richmond. In his lone start at Darlington, last season, he finished 34th driving for Charles Shoffner in the No. 61 Ford.
Sadler Climbs Back Into Championship Contention
The preseason NASCAR Media Poll predicted Elliott Sadler to win the championship in 2011, but a slow start to the season deflated much of the momentum behind the forecast. After a 38th-place finish at Daytona, Sadler was mired in 27th in the standings, 35 points back from the standings leader.
Now nine races into the season, the thought of “Sadler as champion” doesn’t look so farfetched. Sadler is currently second in the standings, six points behind Justin Allgaier. He has a season-to-date Driver Rating of (93.3) and an Average Running Position of (11.8). Since the season opener, Sadler has methodically worked his way back into contention, posting five top fives, including a fourth-place finish last weekend at Richmond.
Sadler has not competed at Darlington in the NASCAR Nationwide Series since 1999, when he started fourth and finished 24th. He has made seven series starts at the historic 1.366-mile speedway posting one top five, two top 10s and a pole (1997).
Joe Gibbs Racing Reestablishing Series Dominance
Last weekend at Richmond, Joe Gibbs Racing swept both NASCAR national series races and built a wave of momentum to ride into Darlington this weekend. Joe Gibbs Racing has set themselves apart from the field this season winning five of the first nine races of the season – Kyle Busch (four), Denny Hamlin (one). In doing so, Joe Gibbs and the No. 20 Toyota have opened a hefty 30-point lead over Kevin Harvick Inc.’s No. 33 Chevrolet team, putting themselves on course to win their fourth consecutive owner title.
This weekend Hamlin returns to where it all began. Hamlin made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Darlington in 2004, driving the No. 18 car starting 27th and finishing eighth.
When it comes to Darlington, Hamlin excels. He is the defending winner and has won three of the last five series races there, all from the pole.
Hamlin leads the series in four key statistical categories: Driver Rating (129.0), Average Running Position (4.6), Average Finish (3.6) and Percentage of Laps Led (38.8%).
He comes off a dominating performance at Richmond where he won in his only series start this season. A shocking did not qualify (DNQ) in 2008 is the only hole in Hamlin’s Darlington career.
Competition Corner: Darlington
• 50 NASCAR Nationwide Series races held at the 1.366-mile raceway producing 26 different pole winners and 25 different winners.
• Mark Martin leads the series in wins (eight) and poles (eight) at Darlington Raceway. Denny Hamlin leads the series in wins (three) and poles (three) at Darlington among drivers entered this weekend.
• Five of the last six races ending under green at Darlington had a margin of victory less than one second.
• Ford leads all manufacturers in series wins (16) at Darlington.
NNS Etc. – Darlington Raceway
Scott Riggs will be in the No. 23 R3 Motorsports Chevrolet this week. The team is six points out of the 30th spot in the owner points and could use a veteran boost to climb back among the automatic qualifiers. Another veteran, David Stremme, finished eighth at Richmond in his second race with ML Motorsports, the second-best finish for the Indiana-based team since its debut in 2006. … Darlington will celebrate its 25th anniversary of the “Bring-A-Kid” program on Friday. Over 150,000 youths have watched NASCAR racing at the track thanks to the initiative started by Tommy and Linda DeWitt in 1987. They’ll be honored during pre-race ceremonies. … When the NASCAR Nationwide Series practice begins Friday, May 6 at 8:30 a.m., it marks the first time the NASCAR Nationwide Series new car has hit the pavement at Darlington Raceway. … Kenny Wallace (497 series starts) is just three races shy of joining Jason Keller as the only two drivers to reach 500 series starts.
Goodyear Tire Notes
Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials
Number of Tires:
Nationwide: Left-side -- 525, Right-side -- 525
Nationwide: 6 sets for the weekend
Tire Codes: Left-side -- D-4392; Right-side -- D-4430
Tire Circumference: Left-side -- 87.1 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 -- 22 psi; Left Rear -- 20 psi;
Right Front -- 52 psi; Right Rear -- 48 psi
Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Darlington this weekend . . . this is also the same combination of left- and right-side tires that NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams ran at Darlington earlier this year . . .
while Cup and Nationwide teams have run this left-side tire code
(D-4392) in the past, this is the first time they have run this right-side code (D-4430) . . . these teams ran this left-side tire at Texas (twice), Chicagoland and Homestead in 2010; and at Texas again and Nashville (Nationwide only) in 2011 . . . in addition, Cup and Nationwide teams will run this right-side tire later this month at Charlotte . . . this tire combination was first tested at Charlotte last October . . . Goodyear then held a confirmation test at Darlington this March 15 . . . drivers participating in that confirmation test were Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman . . . compared to what was run at Darlington last season, this tire set-up features softer compounds on both sides, while this left-side tire features a slight construction change to bring it into line with what is run at other speedways . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Darlington . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.
Additional Darlington Nationwide Race Info: