Race: Saturday, May 3, 2014 in Talladega, AL
Title Sponsor: Aaron's
Scheduled Green Flag (approx): 3:25pm/et
Television Race Coverage: ESPN - 2:30pm/et
Announcers: Allen Bestwick, Rusty Wallace, Andy Petree
Pit Reporters: Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch
Studio: Nicole Briscoe, Ricky Craven, Brad Daugherty
Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM Satellite NASCAR Channel 90
Times are local to the Track
Wednesday, April 30th
4:00 PM NNS HAULERS ENTER (TRUCK PARKING ONLY)
Thursday, May 1st
6:00 AM NNS REGISTRATION OPENS
6:00 AM NNS GARAGE OPENS & INSPECTION BEGINS
1:00 PM NNS ROOKIE & SPOTTER MEETINGS & RANDOM DRAWING
2:00 PM-3:00 PM NNS PRACTICE
3:30 PM-5:00 PM NNS FINAL PRACTICE
5:00 PM NNS & ARCA REGISTRATION CLOSES
6:00 PM NSCS HAULERS ENTER (TRUCK PARKING ONLY)
6:30 PM ARCA & NNS GARAGE CLOSES
Friday, May 2nd
9:00 AM NNS GARAGE & REGISTRATION OPENS
5:00 PM ARCA, NNS & NSCS REGISTRATION CLOSES
5:40 PM (6:40 PM/ET) NNS QUALIFYING
7:30 PM NNS GARAGE CLOSES
Saturday, May 3rd
9:00 AM NNS GARAGE & REGISTRATION OPENS
9:00 AM NNS ACCESS TO HAULERS ONLY
9:15 AM NNS SPOTTERS MEETING (DRIVERS MEETING ROOM)
11:45 AM NNS DRIVER/CREW CHIEF MEETING (DRIVERS MEETING ROOM)
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
Sadler wins at Talladega: #11-Elliott Sadler won the Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. #60-Chris Buescher finished second followed by #7-Regan Smith, #98-David Ragan, #54-Sam Hornish, Jr., #87-Joe Nemechek, #28- JJ Yeley, ##01-Landon Cassill, #44- David Starr, #6-Trevor Bayne.
There were 7 cautions for 29 laps and 27 lead changes among 13 leaders. Complete results are on the Talladega race results page (pdf).
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Talladega Race & Points Report (pdf).(5-3-2014)
Talladega Race Fast Facts:
Elliott Sadler won the 23rd Annual Aaron's 312, his 10th victory in 239 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his first victory and seventh top-10 finish in 2014. He ends a 54-race win drought; his last win was at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 4, 2012.
This is his first victory and third top-10 finish in six races at Talladega Superspeedway.
Chris Buescher (second) posted his first career top-five finish. His previous best career finish was seventh (three times). It is his third top-10 finish in 2014.
Regan Smith (third) posted his second top-10 finish in four races at Talladega Superspeedway.
Chase Elliott # leads the point standings by 1 points over Elliott Sadler.
(NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(5-3-2014)
Driver standings following Talladega:
1) #9-Chase Elliott# 339
2) #11-Elliott Sadler, 338, -1
3) #7-Regan Smith, 336, -3
4) #6-Trevor Bayne 308, -31
5) #3-Ty Dillon# 308, -31
6) #2-Brian Scott 277, -62
7) #62-Brendan Gaughan 250, -89
8) #99-James Buescher 244, -95
9) #60- Chris Buescher # 229, -110
10) #16-Ryan Reed# 225, -114
See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(5-3-2014)
Owner Standings following Talladega are posted (pdf).(5-3-2014)
Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Talladega: (and their finish)
Caution 1: #76-Tommy Joe Martins, 14th
Caution 2: #43-Dakoda Armstrong, 18th
Caution 3: #14- Eric McClure, 17th
Caution 4: #3-Ty Dillon, 15th
Caution 5: None
Caution 6: #6-Trevor Bayne, 10th
Caution 7: #6-Trevor Bayne, 10th
Nationwide Series Takes on Talladega: The NASCAR Nationwide Series makes its only appearance of the season at the 2.66-mile Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on Saturday, May 3, and ESPN will have a live telecast of the Aaron's 312. NASCAR Countdown airs at 2:30pm/et and the green flag will fly at 3:25pm/et. All NASCAR programming on ESPN networks is available on computers, smartphones, tablets, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV via WatchESPN, accessible to fans who receive ESPN's linear networks as part of their video subscription from an affiliate provider. The race telecast also will air live in Canada on TSN2 and will air in Spanish on ESPN Deportes on May 4 at 4am/et.(ESPN)(4-28-2014)
Hornish on pole at Talladega: #54-Sam Hornish, Jr. won the Coors Light Pole for the Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway with a speed of 186.783mph. #11-Elliott Sadler will start second followed by : #20-Darrell Wallace, Jr., #16-Ryan Reed, #43-Dakoda Armstrong, #22-Ryan Blaney, #3-Ty Dillon, #60-Chris Buescher, #99-James Buescher, and #2-Brian Scott.
Fastest in the second round of qualifying was #20-Darrell Wallace, Jr.
#62-Brendan Gaughan was quickest in the opening qualifying session at 191.058mph
Did Not Qualify: #70-Derrike Cope and #58-Chad Boat. The starting lineup is posted on the Talladega starting lineup page (pdf).(5-2-2014)
Talladega Qualifying Notes:
Sam Hornish Jr won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 23rd Annual Aaron's 312 with a lap of 51.268 seconds, 186.783 mph.
This is his sixth pole in 100 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his first pole and first top-10 start in 2014. His last pole came at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2013.
This is his first pole in four races at Talladega Superspeedway.
Elliott Sadler (second) posted his sixth top-10 start of 2014 and his fifth in six races at Talladega Superspeedway.
Darrell Wallace Jr (third) posted his first top-10 start at Talladega Superspeedway. It is his first in one races this season.
Ryan Reed (fourth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
(NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(5-2-2014)
Martins fastest in happy hour: #76-Tommy Joe Martins was quickest during happy hour for the Aaron's 312 with a speed of 185.891mph. He was followed by: #4-Jeffrey Earnhardt, #42-Kyle Larson, #6-Trevor Bayne, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #39-Ryan Sieg, #2-Brian Scott, #25-John Wes Townley, #43-Dakoda Armstrong, and #40-Josh Wise. 29 drivers participated in the session. See complete results on the Talladega practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(5-1-2014)
Bayne fastest in first practice: #6-Trevor Bayne was fastest during opening practice at Talladega Superspeedway with a speed of 190.378mph. #60-Chris Buescher was second, followed by: #16-Ryan Reed, #42-Kyle Larson, #98-David Ragan, #3-Ty Dillon, #2-Brian Scott, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #11-Elliott Sadler, and #99-James Buescher. 36 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Talladega practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(5-1-2014)
Entry List:There are 42 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday's Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. A few notes:
Kasey Kahne will make his first start of the year in the JR Motorsports #5;
Blake Koch will drive the #10 for TriStar;
Darrell Wallace Jr. will be in the JGR #20;
Ryan Blaney remains in the #22 for Penske;
John Wes Townley is in the #25;
Sam Hornish, Jr. will make his first start of the year in the JGR #54.(4-28-2014)
See the complete list on the Talladega entry list page.
Tire: Goodyear Eagle Superspeedway Radials
Sprint Cup: 4 sets for practice/qualifying and 6 sets for the race;
Nationwide: 5 sets for the event
Left-side -- D-4596; Right-side -- D-4600
Left-side -- 87.99 in. (2,235 mm);
Right-side -- 88.50 in. (2,248 mm)
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 . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck teams ran at this track last October and teams in all three of NASCAR's top series ran at Daytona in February . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in 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.
Will Drafting At Talladega Be A Speed Bump For Elliott?
Although Chase Elliott has rattled off a streak of seven consecutive top-10 finishes, the NASCAR Nationwide Series points leader and Sunoco Rookie of the Year frontrunner sees his first series trip to Talladega Superspeedway for this weekend’s Aaron’s 312 as bit of a roadblock ... at least based on his performance at Daytona International Speedway.
“I thought my performance at Daytona was pretty pitiful, honestly,” Elliott said about his respectable 15th-place finish in the season opener. “I didn’t feel like I did a very good job learning the draft as quickly as I needed to. So hopefully I can step up for the guys (at Talladega). The biggest thing there is just trying to stay out of trouble. It’s much easier said than done.”
His performance over the past three weeks has more than made up for his Daytona finish; however, some would be envious of the thought that a 15th-place finish was their worst result of the season. At Texas, Elliott, the son of 1988 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Bill Elliott, shocked the NASCAR world with his first series win, only to do it again the following week at Darlington. He followed up his consecutive victories with a runner-up finish last weekend at Richmond where he gave Kevin Harvick a run for his money over the final laps.
During that time span, the younger Elliott has increased his points lead over JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith from three points (after Texas) to 19. In addition, he holds a 34-point advantage over Ty Dillon in the rookie race.
Regardless of how Elliott fares this weekend at Talladega where drafting prowess always provides a decided edge over competitors, there is still enough season left in which he can bounce back if he were to stumble. And unlike NASCAR’s other two national series that return to the 2.66-mile track in October, this is the NASCAR Nationwide Series’ only visit to Alabama. The series, however, does have its annual July trip to Daytona coming up, but another top-15 finish there would leave Elliott in a good position.
Wallace And Hornish Return To Nationwide
It’s been a while since Darrell Wallace Jr. and Sam Hornish Jr. faced on-track competition in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. This weekend in the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway both drivers will have the opportunity to dust off the cobwebs and compete for the win in top-notch equipment.
Wallace ran four Nationwide races during the 2012 season, finishing in the top 10 three times. His only non-top-10 finish was a 12th at Dover in his last appearance. Despite success in his limited exposure to the series, he didn’t get the chance to compete in 2013. This weekend at the 2.66-mile superspeedway, he will drive the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, normally piloted by Matt Kenseth, who has six top 10s in the race car. In Wallace’s only national series start at Talladega - last fall in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series - he finished 17th after leading four laps.
Hornish finished runner-up in the standings to champion Austin Dillon last season while driving the No. 2 Ford for Team Penske. Unable to latch onto a team with proper funding and sponsorship in place, the Ohio native sat out the first eight races of 2014 (though he did run the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway, subbing for an ill Denny Hamlin). He returns to action at Talladega driving the No. 54 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Not only is Hornish looking to finish strong this weekend, he’s hoping to turn heads and persuade some team owners to give him a second look. In three series starts at the track, his best finish is 12th.
Don’t Judge A Driver By His Finishes
Results aren’t always what they seem. At least that’s the case for NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Chris Buescher.
Before last weekend’s race at Richmond where Buescher finished seventh, the Texas native had an average finish of 19.2 in his first six events of 2014. He failed to qualify for the season opener at Daytona.
Buescher made his first start of the season at Phoenix, finishing 15th. The following weekend he turned in a ninth-place performance. Buescher followed those up with a 16th and 14th in the next two events. In the two races prior to Richmond he ran strong but accidents in both events left him with less-than-desirable finishes - 27th at Texas and 34th at Darlington - that weren’t indicative of how well he was running.
Although he’s never made a start in a NASCAR national series race at Talladega, he has two starts in the ARCA Racing Series, finishing fifth and 17th.
NASCAR Nationwide Series Etc.
In addition to Chris Buescher, Chase Elliott and Darrell Wallace Jr., 10 other drivers will also attempt to start their first NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Talladega. They are Dakoda Armstrong, Tanner Berryhill, Ryan Blaney, Chad Boat, Matt Dibenedetto, Joey Gase, Dylan Kwasniewski, Tommy Joe Martins, Ryan Reed and Ryan Sieg. ... When Sam Hornish Jr. fills in for Kyle Busch in the No. 54 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota this weekend at Talladega it will be the first Nationwide race the Las Vegas native hasn’t started since September 14, 2013, at Kentucky Speedway. Drew Herring filled in for Busch at Kentucky, finishing sixth.
Congratulations 2015 Champ Kyle Busch
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)