TOP GEAR 300 - CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Nationwide Series Race #13 of 34 for the 2011 season


Last Race - Iowa
Next Race - Chicago


Race Details
Race Information


Race Rundown
Nationwide Series Track Schedule

Times listed are local to the track (Eastern Time).

Wednesday, May 25th
1:00 PM NNS HAULERS ENTER (TRUCK PARKING ONLY)
Thursday, May 26th
7:30 AM NNS REGISTRATION OPENS
8:00 AM NNS GARAGE OPENS
1:00 PM NNS ROOKIE & SPOTTER MEETINGS & RANDOM DRAWING
2:00 PM-3:20 PM NNS PRACTICE
5:10 PM-6:30 PM NNS FINAL PRACTICE

7:00 PM NNS REGISTRATION CLOSES
8:30 PM NNS GARAGE CLOSES
Friday, May 27th
NO TRACK ACTIVITY SCHEDULED FOR FRIDAY
Saturday, May 28th
6:00 AM NNS GARAGE & REGISTRATION OPENS
10:10 AM NNS QUALIFYING (TWO LAPS, ALL POSITIONS)
12:30 PM NNS DRIVER / CREW CHIEF MEETING (MEDIA CENTER)
2:00 PM NNS DRIVER INTRODUCTIONS
2:30 PM NNS RACE (200 LAPS, 300 MILES)
3:00 PM NNS REGISTRATION CLOSES



NASCAR News & Notes
Stenhouse Jr. Making A Name For Himself In The Series
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. took the checkered flag last weekend at Iowa Speedway in his 51st NASCAR Nationwide Series start, and made himself one of the hottest new stars in the series.
With his win at Iowa, Stenhouse became the first series championship contender this season to post a win. He is ranked third in the 2011 season-to-date Driver Rating with 107.3, which is 44.5 points better than his 2010 Driver Rating (62.8) after 12 races.
The win moved Stenhouse to third in the standings, eight points behind the standings leader Elliott Sadler and one point behind second-place Reed Sorenson.
Stenhouse’s past two seasons resemble the plot of a sports movie classic. Coming off of a dire start to the 2010 season, Stenhouse salvaged his career by posting consistent finishes and winning Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors. This season, he has built on the momentum to not only contend for a championship but stay in the top-five in the standings all season, including leading the driver standings for two weeks. In addition to Stenhouse’s win, he has tallied four top fives and a series leading nine top 10s.
Heading to Charlotte, Stenhouse has made three starts posting a best finish of 14th last fall. 

Raikkonen and Whitt Saddle Up For Charlotte
Former F1 champion, Kimi Raikkonen, and Cole Whitt, the first rookie in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history to lead the standings, are scheduled to start in Saturday’s Top Gear 300.
Raikkonen made his NASCAR national series debut last weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, finishing 15th. This weekend he is entered under the NEMCO Motorsports banner.
“Ever since I have stopped doing Formula 1, my interest had turned to many different motorsports,” Raikkonen said. “I want to try different things. So I had time to come and see how it is and learn, and try, and get better. I am interested to see how it feels and how the racing is in NASCAR,” Raikkonen said. To hear Raikkonen’s media availability click this link .
Raikkonen joins numerous open-wheel stars who have used the series as a NASCAR springboard over the past few years. Names such as Juan Pablo Montoya, Sam Hornish Jr., Danica Patrick, Max Papis, Adrian Fernandez and Alex Tagliani have made NASCAR Nationwide Series starts.
Also Whitt, 19, is entered in the No. 99 Toyota for Pastrana-Waltrip Racing. He made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Phoenix last fall, finishing 15th, then placed 17th in the season finale at Homestead-Miami.
Whitt is progressing up the NASCAR ladder, having finished fourth in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East points last year. Whitt is coming off a third-place finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race there last Friday.

Sadler, Sorenson Heat Up Driver Championship
The NASCAR Nationwide Series heads to the teams’ and drivers’ proverbial backyard, Charlotte Motor Speedway, this weekend and just in time, because the driver standings are heating up. There have been six different standing leaders this season and currently the top five are separated by 43 points.
Kevin Harvick Inc.’s Elliott Sadler continues to sit in the top spot after Iowa, seven points ahead of Turner Motorsports’ driver Reed Sorenson, and eight points ahead of Roush Fenway Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. This is the second week in a row Sadler has been atop the standings. Sadler posted his series leading seventh top-five finish at Iowa last weekend.
Right on Sadler’s heels is Reed Sorenson, whose consistency this season has also reaped rewards. Sorenson has posted four top-five and eight top-10 finishes in the first 12 races of the season.
At Charlotte, Sadler and Sorenson have pre-race Driver Ratings of 81.4 and 75.3, respectively.
The owner championship also continues to stay close with Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 and 18 teams holding the top two spots respectively, only 24 points separate the two teams. With Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 60 team in third, 27 points behind the owner standings leader, followed by Turner Motorsport’s No. 32 team in fourth, 31 points behind the standings leader.

NNS Etc. – Charlotte
Kyle Busch with 48 series victories will continue his quest for the series all-time wins record (49) this weekend, the record is currently held by Mark Martin. Busch heads to Charlotte where he has made 15 series starts posting 6 wins, 10 top fives and 12 top 10s. He also leads the series in the pre-race Driver Rating with 121.3. … Kevin Harvick can tie Tommy Houston’s NASCAR Nationwide Series record for career top 10s, with 198, this weekend. … On Wednesday, May 25, NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers will join NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR K&N Pro Series drivers for two events. First the “NASCAR Stars of Today and Tomorrow” autograph session will be held from 10-11 a.m. in the Great Hall in the NASCAR Hall of Fame followed by the “NASCAR Fan’s Choice Challenge” driver-fan event from 6-8 p.m. at the NASCAR SpeedPark at Concord Mills Mall.

Goodyear Tire Notes

 

Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials

 

Number of Tires:
Nationwide: Left-side -- 525, Right-side -- 525

 

Set limits:
Nationwide: 6 sets for weekend

 

Tire Codes:
Left-side -- D-4428; Right-side -- D-4430

 

Tire Circumference:
Left-side -- 87.3 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 -- 30 psi; Left Rear -- 30 psi;
Right Front -- 54 psi; Right Rear -- 50 psi

 

Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Charlotte this weekend . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Sprint Cup teams ran in the Sprint Showdown and All-Star races at Charlotte last weekend . . . both Cup and Nationwide teams also ran this right-side tire code (D-4430) at Darlington earlier this month . . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear tire test at Charlotte last fall . . . drivers participating in that test were Kurt Busch, Juan Pablo Montoya and Martin Truex . . . compared to what was run at Charlotte last season, this tire set-up features softer compounds on both the left and right side, which will give the cars more grip . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Charlotte . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.

 

Additional Charlotte Nationwide Race Info:

Jayski's Nationwide Series Silly Season Site at ESPN.com
Jayski's Cup News Page
Jayski's Silly Season Site Main Page

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