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NASCAR - Nationwide - Sam's Town 300 Preview

From The Sports Network

DATE: Saturday, March 10th
SITE: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1996) -- Las Vegas, Nevada
TRACK: 1.5-mile oval - 2,275 feet (Frontstretch); 1,572 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 142,000 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 16th
ANNOUNCERS: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
RADIO: Performance Racing Network (PRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 5 p.m. (et)/Green Flag: 5:16 p.m. (et)
RUNNER-UP: Justin Allgaier
POLE WINNER: Carl Edwards (Finished 6th)
LAPS: 200
MILES: 300
QUALIFYING RECORD: Brad Keselowski, 2010 (185.427 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Jeff Burton, 2000 (135.118 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $1,289,942 (2011 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $82,020; 2nd Place - $62,443; 3rd Place - $40,525
2011 Finish
1Mark Martin56Carl Edwards1
2Justin Allgaier107Denny Hamlin9
3Brad Keselowski118Ricky Stenhouse Jr3
4Danica Patrick229Jason Leffler26
5Trevor Bayne710Kenny Wallace15
2011 Sam's Town 300 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 132.792 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 15 minutes, 33 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 1.221 seconds
CAUTION FLAGS: 6 for 27 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 11 among 6 drivers
POLE WINNER: Carl Edwards (181.824 m.p.h.)
Past Sam's Town 300 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Mark Martin (5th) -- Chevrolet -- 132.792 m.p.h.
2010 -- Kevin Harvick (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 121.924 m.p.h.
2009 -- Greg Biffle (3rd) -- Ford -- 106.713 m.p.h.
2008 -- Mark Martin (17th) -- Chevrolet -- 108.118 m.p.h.
2007 -- Jeff Burton (6th) -- Chevrolet -- 104.530 m.p.h.
2006 -- Kasey Kahne (10th) -- Dodge -- 125.158 m.p.h.
2005 -- Mark Martin (25th) -- Ford -- 122.158 m.p.h.
2004 -- Kevin Harvick (11th) -- Chevrolet -- 122.172 m.p.h.
2003 -- Joe Nemechek (29th) -- Chevrolet -- 115.582 m.p.h.
2002 -- Jeff Burton (1st) -- Ford -- 123.783 m.p.h.
2001 -- Todd Bodine (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 125.625 m.p.h.
2000 -- Jeff Burton (7th) -- Ford -- 135.118 m.p.h. (race record)
1999 -- Mark Martin (1st) -- Ford -- 134.37 m.p.h.
1998 -- Jimmy Spencer (7th) -- Chevrolet -- 114.129 m.p.h.
1997 -- Jeff Green (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 114.153 m.p.h.
NOTE: Formerly called Las Vegas 300 (1997).
Past Sam's Town 300 Pole Winners (Finish)
2011 -- Carl Edwards -- 6th
2010 -- Brad Keselowski -- 4th
2009 -- Scott Speed -- 40th
2008 -- Brian Vickers -- 36th
2007 -- Kevin Harvick -- 7th
2006 -- Matt Kenseth -- 2nd
2005 -- Carl Edwards -- 7th
2004 -- Mike Bliss -- 12th
2003 -- None -- Weather
2002 -- Jeff Burton -- 1st
2001 -- Matt Kenseth -- 34th
2000 -- Hank Parker Jr -- 31st
1999 -- Mark Martin -- 1st
1998 -- Mark Martin -- 6th
1997 -- Jeff Green -- 1st
Last Race Results
RACE: Bashas' Supermarkets 200 (March 3rd)
SITE: Phoenix International Raceway -- Avondale, Arizona
MILES: 200
LAPS: 200
WINNER: Elliott Sadler
RUNNER-UP: Brad Keselowski
THIRD: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
FOURTH: Austin Dillon
FIFTH: Kevin Harvick
POLE WINNER: Denny Hamlin (Finished 9th)
TIME OF RACE: 1 hour, 43 minutes, 10 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 116.317 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.259 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 3 for 15 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 8 among 5 drivers
LAP LEADERS: D. Hamlin 1-4; T. Bayne 5-8; D. Hamlin 9-52; K. Harvick 53-105;
D. Hamlin 106-110; K. Harvick 111-164; D. Hamlin 165-167; B.
Keselowski 168-174; E. Sadler 175-200.
Sam's Town 300 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
01Mike Wallace (St. Louis, MO)Chevrolet/G&K Services
2Elliott Sadler (Emporia, VA)Chevrolet/One Main Financial
3Austin Dillon (Lewisville, NC)Chevrolet/American Ethanol
4Danny Efland (Irmo, SC)Chevrolet/Danny Efland Racing
6Ricky Stenhouse Jr (Olive Brnch,MS)Ford/Roush Fenway Racing
7Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL)Chevrolet/
08Tim Andrews (Concord, NC)Ford/TBA
09Kenny Wallace (St. Louis, MO)Toyota/TBA
10Jeff Green (Owensboro, KY)Toyota/TBA
11Brian Scott (Boise, ID)Toyota/Dollar General
12Sam Hornish Jr. (Defiance, OH)Dodge/Alliance Truck Parts
13Jennifer Jo Cobb (Kansas City, KS)Dodge/Glen Lerner
14Eric McClure (Chilhowie, VA)Toyota/Hefty Reynolds Wrap
18 *Mark Martin (Batesville, AR)Toyota/Interstate
19Tayler Malsam (Seattle WA)Toyota/G-Oil
22Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hls, MI)Dodge/Discount Tire
23Robert Richardson Jr (McKinney, TX)Chevrolet/North Texas Pipe
24Benny Gordon (DuBois, PA)Toyota/Revita Anti-Aging/VSI
27To Be AnnouncedFord/GCMI
28J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Chevrolet/TBA
30James Buescher (Plano, TX)Chevrolet/TBA
31Justin Allgaier (Riverton, IL)Chevrolet/Brandt
33Brendan Gaughan (Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/South Point Casino
38Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Chevrolet/Great Clips
39Joey Gase (Cedar Rapids, IA)Ford/Go Green Racing
40Erik Darnell (Beach Park, FL)Chevrolet/TBA
41Blake Koch (West Palm Beach, FL)Ford/
42Josh Wise (Riverside, CA)Chevrolet/TBA
43Michael Annett (Des Moines, IA)Ford/Pilot Flying J
44Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR)Toyota/TBA
46Chase Miller (Denver, NC)Chevrolet/TBA
47Scott Speed (Manteca, CA)Chevrolet/TBA
50T.J. Bell (Reno, VA)Chevrolet/Turbine Powered Tech.
51Jeremy Clements (Spartanburg, SC)Chevrolet/Clements Automotive
52Tim Schendel (Sparta, WI)Chevrolet/All Sports Tailgating
54Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/Monster Energy
60Trevor Bayne (Knoxville, TN)Ford/Roush Fenway Racing
70Johanna Long (Pensacola, FL)Chevrolet/Foretravel
74Mike Harmon (Birmingport, AL)Chevrolet/American Heroes
81Jason Bowles (Ontario, CA)Dodge/American Majority
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet
88Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA)Chevrolet/
89Morgan Shepherd (Conover, NC)Chevrolet/Victory in Jesus Racing
* - defending champion.
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Mark Martin------Won------Won------Won
Justin Allgaier------------------8th7th2nd
Brad Keselowski------------34th23rd27th4th3rd
Danica Patrick---------------------36th4th
Trevor Bayne---------------------6th5th
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.---------------------30th8th
Elliott Sadler------14th---------------12th
Kyle Busch---15th11th19th2nd31st39th16th30th
Kasey Kahne11th2nd20thWon28th------------
Brendan Gaughan------------------7th13th---
James Buescher---------------------10th---
Sam Hornish Jr.---------------------------
Austin Dillon---------------------------
Mover of the Week
James Buescher - Started in the 25th position and finished 12th
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Trevor Bayne
Darkhorse - Mark Martin
Last Week's Pick to Win (Kyle Busch) - Finished 11th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Josh Wise) - Finished 40th
It took three years, but Mark Martin finally gained win number 49, as she raced to victory last season in Las Vegas.

Martin stretched his fuel long enough and then benefited from Brad Keselowski's last-lap mishap to win the 2011 staging of the Sam's Town 300. It was the fourth time Martin has won at Las Vegas. His last victory in Nationwide came at this track in 2008. In addition, he became the first four-time winner of this race, surpassing Jeff Burton.

Danica Patrick will be in the field again this week. Last year, Patrick overcame a two-lap deficit in the early-going to finish fourth, which set a NASCAR record for the highest finishing female in a national touring race. Sara Christian held the record when she finished fifth in a NASCAR Cup Series race in 1949 at Heidelberg, PA.

Martin will be driving the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, while Kyle Busch, a Las Vegas native, who made that car famous, will drive the No. 54 for Kyle Busch Motorsports. In eight previous Nationwide attempts, Busch has never won on his home track. Martin, who held the all-time series lead in wins, saw Busch surpass the NASCAR legend last year in total titles with 51.

Kevin Harvick overcame two pit road blunders to win the 2010 running of the Sam's Town 300 Nationwide Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Harvick led the most laps with 82, but lengthy pit stops early and midway through the 300- mile race shuffled him back in the field. After charging his way to the front, Harvick passed Denny Hamlin and reclaimed the lead for good with 25 laps remaining. Harvick picked up his second Vegas win and 35th career title.

In 2009, Greg Biffle, after three top-five finishes in four years, captured the checkered flag, as he outraced Carl Edwards to the finish line by 0.391 of a second. Biffle, who started third, led twice for a race-high 86 laps, en route to the 19th of 20 career Nationwide Series titles. Pole sitter Scott Speed failed to finish the race due to an accident and placed 40th.

With just seven laps remaining in the 2008 race, Mark Martin took the lead for good, as he outraced Biffle to the finish line for his record-extending 48th career Nationwide Series victory. Starting from the 17th position, Martin led on three separate occasions for a race-high 81 laps en route to a 0.586-second margin of victory. Pole sitter Brian Vickers, who led for eight laps, failed to finish due to an accident and placed 36th. The win enabled Martin to join Jeff Burton as the only three-time winners of this race. Martin also captured the checkered flag in 1999 and 2005 events. His last Nationwide win had come at Las Vegas in '05.

In 2007, Burton became the first three-time winner of this race, as he edged Kyle Busch by less than one second for his 23rd career Nationwide win. Burton and Busch battled for the lead during the final 43 laps, but Burton overtook Busch on the final lap in front of an estimated crowd of 110,000. Pole sitter Kevin Harvick finished seventh after leading for 19 laps. Busch, who started 20th, led for a race-high 81 laps, while Burton, who owns 27 wins led for 37. Burton's margin of victory of 0.101 of a second is the closest in event history.

Kasey Kahne registered his fourth career Nationwide Series title in 2006, as he crossed the finish line 0.316 of a second ahead of pole sitter Matt Kenseth. Kahne reclaimed the lead on lap 178 of the 206-lap event, and held on the rest of the way in front of an estimated crowd of 100,000. Kahne led on three separate occasions for a total of 52 laps, while Kenseth led twice for 60 laps. Third-place finisher Kevin Harvick was the lap-leader for the race with 81. Kenseth dominated the race early, as he led for the first 59 laps; however, Kahne and Harvick exchanged the lead throughout the remainder of the race.

The inaugural race at Las Vegas in 1997 was the first Nationwide event to be held west of the Mississippi river. Joe Nemechek won the 2003 race at Las Vegas from the 29th starting position, which is the furthest a driver has started and won there. The pole sitter has captured this race three times, last coming in 2002 when Burton accomplished the feat. 11 of the 15 previous races have been won from a top-10 starting position.

The Nationwide Series continues on March 17 with the Ford EcoBoost 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch won last year's race there.

03/08 15:45:29 ET

As of March 8, 2012, at 03:45 PM ET