FEDERATED AUTO PARTS 300 – NASHVILLE SUPERSPEEDWAY
Nationwide Series Race #20 of 34 for the 2011 season
Nationwide Series Track Schedule
Times listed are local to the track (Central Time).
Friday, July 22nd
8:00 AM NNS HAULERS ENTER
9:00 AM NNS REGISTRATION OPENS
9:30 AM NNS GARAGE OPENS
1:30 PM NNS ROOKIE & SPOTTER MEETINGS & RANDOM DRAWING
2:30 PM-4:00 PM NNS PRACTICE
5:30 PM-6:30 PM NNS FINAL PRACTICE
6:00 PM NNS REGISTRATION CLOSES
8:30 PM NNS GARAGE CLOSES
Saturday, July 23rd
10:00 AM NNS GARAGE & REGISTRATION OPENS
2:35 PM (3:35 PM/ET) NNS QUALIFYING (TWO LAPS, ALL POSITIONS)
3:50 PM NNS GRID CARS ON PIT ROAD
4:30 PM NNS DRIVER/CREW CHIEF MEETING
6:00 PM NNS DRIVER INTRODUCTION
6:30 PM (7:30 PM/ET) NNS RACE (225 LAPS, 300 MILES)
7:00 PM NNS REGISTRATION CLOSES
NASCAR News & Notes
Annett, Viers Finding Stride At The Right Time
Michael Annett joined Rusty Wallace Racing at the beginning of the season and started a new chapter in his career. An accident-plagued season-opener relegated him to a 39th-place finish, which set the stage for a slow start. Over the first 12 races of the season his average finish was 21.0. But in late May, his team owner, Rusty Wallace, made a crew chief change, bringing Rick Viers to lead the 62 team. What has transpired has been one of the biggest turnarounds of the season thus far.
Since Viers took over, Annett, 25, has posted five top-10 finishes, and the last four have come in succession, including his season best sixth upon his return to Daytona in July. He’s also moved into the top 10 in the standings and is currently ninth.
“Michael is a talented driver, and I really believe in him,” Viers said. “I’ve been providing him with as much experience and knowledge as I can, and things have just clicked. We’ve got strong communication as a team, and I think these solid finishes have really given Michael and the whole team the confidence that they needed. We’ve learned a lot in the last several races, and we feel really good about the season ahead. This is just the momentum this team needed.”
Viers has a knack with young drivers. He served as Trevor Bayne’s crew chief once he joined Roush Fenway Racing last year and also had worked with Clint Bowyer as he started his transition from the NASCAR Nationwide Series to NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Title Picture As Unclear As Ever
With 15 races remaining in the season, the championship is still up for grabs. Three drivers still have a viable shot at making a run for this championship, Elliott Sadler, the current points leader, is seven points ahead of second-place Reed Sorenson and 18 points ahead of third place Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Over the last six races, the points lead has been exchanged between Sadler and Sorenson twice and except for Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s one-time lead during that stretch, the top spot has belonged either to Sadler or Sorenson. So far this season, each driver has led the standings five times.
Sorenson’s first NASCAR national series victory came at Nashville in 2005. He was eighth in April while Sadler was 13th in that race, his first time at the track. Sorenson does have the best pre-race Driver Rating of the championship contenders with a 108.2.
Stenhouse continues to work his way back into contention for the championship. He finished fourth last Saturday at New Hampshire posting a series leading 14 top-10 finishes, the best finisher among series driver championship contenders. Stenhouse finished fifth earlier this season at Nashville, once again making him the highest-finishing driver championship contender.
Herring’s Near-Death Tale Puts Racing In Perspective
Drew Herring, who will drive the No. 18 Toyota at Nashville this weekend, knows he’s fortunate to be able to race in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for Joe Gibbs Racing. However, Herring also knows that there is more to life than just getting to race; like getting to live it. Herring is still pursuing his racing dreams despite nearly losing his life in a hunting accident when he was just 17 years old. Herring and a number of friends were out raccoon hunting when a wild raccoon, scared by another hunter’s shot, came out of a tree right on top of Herring and several of his friends. As everyone tried to scrabble out of the way of the wild animal, Herring and a friend ran into each other and lost their balance, falling to the ground. When they hit the ground, his friend’s .22-calibur discharged, shooting Herring through the side. The bullet hit Herring’s stomach, colon and pancreas. Fortunately, after spending nine days in the hospital, Herring made a full recovery. Now, he’s back on track to go after his passion, racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, while celebrating life each and every day.
The Garage Area Will Have That Local Tennessee Flair
NASCAR Nationwide Series flagman Kevin Moss is from Mt. Juliet as is Stewart Cooper, crew chief for the No. 30 Turner Motorsports’ Chevrolet of driver Mikey Kile. Stewart Cooper’s passion for racing, honed in his hometown of Mt. Juliet, was the springboard that helped him land crew chief opportunities in each of NASCAR’s national series. He attributes his success to his personal mentor and former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion, Bobby Hamilton, a legend in the Nashville area. Cooper and his buddies started a small-scale racing operation from Hamilton’s Mt. Juliet shop as teenagers. Now, he calls the shots for several Turner Motorsports drivers in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Sam Bass Gibson Guitar Is Big Highlight For Drivers This Weekend
One of the most coveted trophies amongst drivers in all of NASCAR’s national series is the custom Sam Bass Gibson Les Paul guitar trophy that is awarded to the winner at Nashville Superspeedway. But getting that trophy can be trickier than usual as Mike Kelley, crew chief for Ricky Stenhouse explains, “The track’s concrete so it throws a lot of little things at you,” Kelley said. “Brakes are important there but you’ve got to have a good enough aero-balance because it’s high speed. There’d be nothing better than to go back there and come out of there with a win and get Ricky (Stenhouse) one of those guitars.”
NASCAR Nationwide Series Etc. – Nashville
Possible upcoming milestones this week at Nashville: Elliott Sadler will make his 150th series start, Tim Andrews will attempt to make his 25th series start and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will look to post his 25th series career top-10 finish.
Goodyear Tire Notes
Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials (Nationwide)
Number of Tires: Nationwide: Left-side — 625, Right-side — 625
Set limits: Nationwide: 7 sets for the weekend
Tire Codes: Left-side — D-4392; Right-side — D-4408
Tire Circumference: Left-side — 87.1 in.; Right-side — 88.4 in.
Technical Inspection Inflation:
Left Front — 26 psi; Left Rear — 26 psi;
Right Front — 40 psi; Right Rear — 38 psi
Minimum Recommended Inflation:
Left Front — 20 psi; Left Rear — 18 psi;
Right Front — 36 psi; Right Rear — 34 psi
Notes: Teams in both NASCAR series in action at Nashville this weekend will run the same tire codes, though the Nationwide tires will be branded “Goodyear Eagle,” while the Camping World Truck tires will be branded “Goodyear Wrangler” . . . teams in both of these series have already run this exact combination of left- and right-side tires at Nashville in April . . . Nationwide and Camping World Truck teams are very familiar with both of these Goodyear tire codes . . . in addition to Nashville, these teams have run this left-side tire code (D-4392) at Chicagoland (Nationwide only), Darlington (both series) and Texas (both series); and this right-side tire code (D-4408) at Bristol (Nationwide only), California (Nationwide only) and Kansas (Camping World Truck only) earlier this season . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Nashville . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.