- Race: 2:30pm/et, Saturday, May 28, 2011 in Concord, NC
- Length: 200 Laps, 300 miles
- TV: ABC - 2:00pm/et
- Radio: PRN, Sirius XM Satellite Radio
- Purse: $1,013,918
- Announcers: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
- Pit Reporters: Dave Burns, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake
Kenseth wins at Charlotte: #16-Matt Kenseth, filling in for Trevor Bayne, won the Top Gear 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in his first Nationwide race of 2011. It is his 26th Nationwide Series win. #60-Carl Edwards finished second, followed by #18-Kyle Busch, #6-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., #32-Reed Sorenson, #22-Brad Keselowski, #66-Steve Wallace, #11-Brian Scott, #88-Aric Almirola, and #2-Elliott Sadler. There were 5 cautions for 25 laps and 17 lead changes among 8 leaders. The announced attendance was 45,000. Complete results are posted on the Charlotte race results page.(5-28-2011)
Charlotte Race Fast Facts:
Matt Kenseth(i) won the 30th Annual Top Gear 300 , his 26th victory in 248 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in 2011.
This is his third victory and 11th top-10 finish in 20 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Carl Edwards(i) (second) posted his seventh top-10 finish in 13 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It is his ninth top-10 finish in 2011.
Kyle Busch(i) (third) posted his 13th top-10 finish in 16 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Timmy Hill (23rd) was the highest finishing rookie.
Elliott Sadler leads the point standings by 1 points over Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Driver standings following Charlotte:
1) #2- Elliott Sadler 452
2) #6-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 451 -1
3) #32-Reed Sorenson 450 -2
4) #31-Justin Allgaier 430 -22
5) #88-Aric Almirola 401 -51
6) #38-Jason Leffler 398 -54
7) #09-Kenny Wallace 379 -73
8) #66-Steve Wallace 352 -100
9) #11-Brian Scott 339 -113
10) #7-Josh Wise 316 -136
Complete standings are posted on the driver standings page.(5-28-2011)
Owner Standings following Charlotte are posted. The top 30 in owners points are locked in at Chigaco. There were no changes after Charlotte.(5-28-2011)
Stenhouse, Jr. on pole at Charlotte: #6-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. won the Coors Light Pole for the Top Gear 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway with a speed of 186.994mph. #33-Kevin Harvick will start second. The rest of the top 10: #16-Matt Kenseth, #18-Kyle Busch, #60-Carl Edwards, #32-Reed Sorenson, #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #88-Aric Almirola, #30-Kasey Kahne, #2-Elliott Sadler. Did Not Qualify: #46-Chase Miller & #40-Charles Lewandoski. The starting lineup is posted on the Charlotte starting lineup page.(5-28-2011)
Charlotte Qualifying Notes:
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 30th Annual Top Gear 300 with a lap of 28.878 seconds, 186.994 mph.
This is his third pole in 52 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his second pole and 10th top-10 start in 2011.
This is his first pole in four races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Kevin Harvick(i) (second) posted his fifth top-10 start of 2011 and his 12th in 20 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Matt Kenseth(i) (third) posted his 14th top-10 start at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It is his first in one races this season.
Blake Koch (27th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(5-28-2011)
Stenhouse fastest in happy hour: #6-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. was quickest during happy hour at Charlotte Motor Speedway with a speed of 181.873mph. He was followed by #33-Kevin Harvick, #16-Matt Kenseth, #18-Kyle Busch, #30-Kasey Kahne, #88-Aric Almirola, #11-Brian Scott, #38-Jason Leffler, #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., and #99-Cole Whitt. Complete results are posted on the Charlotte practice results page.(5-26-2011)
Leffler fastest in first practice: #38-Jason Leffler was fastest during opening practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway with a speed of 178.536mph. #6-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. was second, followed by: #18-Kyle Busch, #30-Kasey Kahne, #60-Carl Edwards, #33-Kevin Harvick, #32-Reed Sorenson, #16-Matt Kenseth, #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., and #99-Cole Whitt.
Complete results are posted on the Charlotte practice results page.(5-26-2011)
Entry List:There are 46 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday's Top Gear 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Some notes:
Kelly Bires will be in the #04 for Go Green Racing;
Trevor Bayne is back on the entry list and is expected to race;
Scott Wimmer is listed as driver of the Key Motorsports #40;
Tim Andrews is listed as driver of both the Key Motorsports #46 and the 2nd Chance #79;
David Green will be in the Jay Robinson #49;
Kevin Lepage returns to the Means Motorsports #52;
John Jason and the #72 team return;
Kimi Raikkonen will drive the #87 for NEMCO and Joe Nemechek will drive the #97.
UPDATE: Charles Lewandoski tweeted that he will drive the #40 again this week.(5-23-2011)
UPDATE 2: Tim Andrews has been removed as driver of the #46. He will apparently be in the #79. Jeffrey Earnhardt will be in the Rick Ware #41 and Carl Long moves tot he #75.(5-24-2011)
UPDATE 3: Matt Kenseth will drive the #16 in place of Trevor Bayne.(5-25-2011)
UPDATE 4: The #68 team withdrew so they are 45 cars at the track.(5-26-2011)
See the complete list on the Charlotte entry list page.
Nationwide Series Live from Charlotte on ABC:
The NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend and ABC will have a live telecast of the Top Gear 300 on Saturday, May 28. NASCAR Countdown airs at 2 p.m. ET with the race's green flag at 2:46 p.m. Also from Charlotte, ESPN2 airs coverage of NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying on Saturday at 10 a.m.
Allen Bestwick will call the action with analysis by Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Reports from Tim Brewer will air from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, while pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake. NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio will be hosted by Nicole Briscoe with analysis by Rusty Wallace and Ricky Craven. The studio team will interact with the booth during the telecast of the race.(ESPN)(5-23-2011)
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
Nationwide: 6 sets for weekend
Left-side -- D-4428; Right-side -- D-4430
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: