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NASCAR - Nationwide - O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 Preview

From The Sports Network

DATE: Friday, April 13th
SITE: Texas Motor Speedway (1997) -- Fort Worth, Texas
TRACK: 1.5-mile oval - 2,250 feet (Frontstretch); 1,330 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 191,122 (122,377 - Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 16th
ANNOUNCERS: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
RADIO: Performance Racing Network (PRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 8:30 p.m. (ET)/Green Flag: 8:46 p.m. (ET)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Carl Edwards (Not Defending)
RUNNER-UP: Brad Keselowski
POLE WINNER: Carl Edwards (Finished 1st)
LAPS: 200
MILES: 300
QUALIFYING RECORD: Jeff Green, 2002 (193.493 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Kyle Busch, 2008 (151.707 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $1,272,384 (2011 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $70,175; 2nd Place - $46,525; 3rd Place - $38,975
2011 Finish
1Carl Edwards16Justin Allgaier11
2Brad Keselowski27Reed Sorenson12
3Paul Menard58Ricky Stenhouse Jr4
4Joey Logano79David Reutimann14
5Elliott Sadler310Brian Scott13
2011 O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 147.884 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 1 minute, 43 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.482 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 3 for 15 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 7 among 5 drivers
POLE WINNER: Carl Edwards (178.938 m.p.h.)
Past O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Carl Edwards (1st) -- Ford -- 147.884 m.p.h
2010 -- Kyle Busch (3rd) -- Toyota -- 140.753 m.p.h.
2009 -- Kyle Busch (1st) -- Toyota -- 144.096 m.p.h.
2008 -- Kyle Busch (31st) -- Toyota -- 151.707 m.p.h. (race record)
2007 -- Matt Kenseth (10th) -- Ford -- 126.671 m.p.h.
2006 -- Kurt Busch (7th) -- Dodge -- 129.984 m.p.h.
2005 -- Kasey Kahne (25th) Dodge -- 126.746 m.p.h.
2004 -- Matt Kenseth (15th) -- Ford -- 115.482 m.p.h.
2003 -- Joe Nemechek (7th) -- Chevrolet -- 117.891 m.p.h.
2002 -- Jeff Purvis (13th) -- Chevrolet -- 102.136 m.p.h.
2001 -- Kevin Harvick (7th) -- Chevrolet -- 126.212 m.p.h.
2000 -- Mark Martin (2nd) -- Ford -- 108.130 m.p.h.
1999 -- Mark Martin (2nd) -- Ford -- 127.417 m.p.h.
1998 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr (16th) -- Chevrolet -- 120.174 m.p.h.
1997 -- Mark Martin (20th) -- Ford -- 122.993 m.p.h.
NOTE: Formerly called Coca-Cola 300 (1997-1999), Albertson's 300 (2000),
Jani-King 300 (2001).
Past O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 Pole Winners (finish)
2011 -- Carl Ewards -- Won
2010 -- Joey Logano -- 2nd
2009 -- Kyle Busch -- Won
2008 -- None -- Weather
2007 -- David Ragan -- 5th
2006 -- Denny Hamlin -- 10th
2005 -- Shane Hmiel -- 10th
2004 -- Kyle Busch -- 2nd
2003 -- Jason Keller -- 18th
2002 -- Jeff Green -- 5th
2001 -- Matt Kenseth -- 5th
2000 -- Jason Leffler -- 22nd
1999 -- Dave Blaney -- 8th
1998 -- Elliott Sadler -- 2nd
1997 -- Jeff Green -- 15th
Last Race Results
RACE: Royal Purple 300 (March 24th)
SITE: Auto Club Speedway -- Fontana, California
MILES: 300
LAPS: 150
WINNER: Joey Logano
RUNNER-UP: Ricky Stenhouse Jr
THIRD: Brad Keselowski
FOURTH: Brian Scott
FIFTH: Austin Dillon
POLE WINNER: Joey Logano (Finished 1st)
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 6 minutes, 28 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 142.330 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 1.066 seconds
CAUTION FLAGS: 4 for 18 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 15 among 7 drivers
LAP LEADERS: J. Logano 1-26; B. Keselowski 27-59; J. Logano 60-62; E. Sadler
63-64; J. Logano 65-68; J. Allgaier 69; J. Logano 70-77; J.
Allgaier 78; J. Logano 79-101; R. Stenhouse Jr. 102; J. Logano
103-111; K. Busch 112-124; B. Keselowski 125-128; J. Logano
129-135; T. Bayne 136-138; J. Logano 139-150.
O'Reilly Auto Parts 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/iWorld
5Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/Degree
6Ricky Stenhouse Jr (Olive Brnch,MS)Ford/Pure Michigan
7Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL)Chevrolet/
08To Be AnnouncedFord/Randy Hill Racing
09To Be AnnouncedToyota/TBA
10Jeff Green (Owensboro, KY)Toyota/TBA
11Brian Scott (Boise, ID)Toyota/Dollar General
12Sam Hornish Jr. (Defiance, OH)Dodge/Wurth
14Eric McClure (Chilhowie, VA)Toyota/Hefty/Reynolds Wrap
15Timmy Hill (Port Tobacco, MD)Ford/
18Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/Sport Clips
19Tayler Malsam (Seattle WA)Toyota/G-Oil
20Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Toyota/Game Stop
22Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hls, MI)Dodge/Discount Tire
23Robert Richardson Jr (McKinney, TX)Chevrolet/Tia Rosa/Embassy Suites
24Benny Gordon (DuBois, PA)Chevrolet/Samuel Metal/Dillon Man.
27David Ragan (Unadilla, GA)Ford/Mercury
30Steve Arpin (Fort Frances, Canada)Chevrolet/Mike's on the Rocks
31Justin Allgaier (Riverton, IL)Chevrolet/Brandt
33Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards
38Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Chevrolet/Great Clips
39To Be AnnouncedFord/Fenton Motors
40Erik Darnell (Beach Park, FL)Chevrolet/TBA
41Blake Koch (West Palm Beach, FL)Ford/TBA
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/Gulf Coast Software
51Jeremy Clements (Spartanburg, SC)Chevrolet/Clements Automotive
52Tim Schendel (Sparta, WI)Chevrolet/Metro Ministries
54Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/Monster Energy
70Johanna Long (Pensacola, FL)Chevrolet/Foretravel
72John Jackson (Ellenton, FL)Toyota/Crash Claims R US
74To Be AnnouncedChevrolet/Koma Unwind
75Scott Riggs (Bahama, NC)Chevrolet/Rick Ware Racing
81Jason Bowles (Ontario, CA)Toyota/American Majority
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/SWM International Inc.
88Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA)Chevrolet/
89Morgan Shepherd (Conover, NC)Chevrolet/TBA
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Brad Keselowski------------43rd15th3rd4th2nd
Paul Menard---14th18th7th9th---5th10th3rd
Joey Logano------------------12th2nd4th
Elliott Sadler------5th---------------5th
Justin Allgaier------------------10th11th6th
Ricky Stenhouse Jr---------------------29th8th
Brian Scott---------------------15th10th
Kasey Kahne9th32ndWon11th28th21st------11th
Sam Hornish Jr---------------19th------16th
Denny Hamlin------14th10th2nd------------
Kurt Busch---------Won8th------------
Danica Patrick---------------------------
Austin Dillon---------------------------
Mover of the Week
Rob. Richardson Jr - Started in the 35th position and finished 21st
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Darkhorse - Paul Menard
Last Week's Pick to Win (Kyle Busch) - Finished 8th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Danica Patrick) - Finished 35th
The Nationwide Series returns after a two-week hiatus in the Lone Star state for the 16th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 and the first night race of the season.

Last season, Carl Edwards gave the Ford Mustang its first victory in Nationwide Series competition by taking the 2011 running of this race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Edwards started on the pole and led 169 of 200 laps, but had to hold off a hard-charging Brad Keselowski in the closing laps for his first Nationwide win of the season and the 30th of his career.

Although not racing this week on the Nationwide circuit, Kyle Busch has enjoyed remarkable success at TMS, winning three consecutive races in the spring prior to Edwards' victory last year.

In 2010, Busch once again dominated the race, leading for 153 of the 200 laps, including the final 24 as he defeated Joey Logano by 0.688 of a second for his 33rd Nationwide Series title. Delayed by rain for two days, Busch gave a five-star performance for his fifth consecutive Nationwide Series victory at Texas. Busch, who swept both Nationwide events here during the 2008 and '09 seasons, joined Dale Earnhardt and Jack Ingram as the only drivers in the series to win five in a row at the same track. Busch's win total now stands at 51.

Back in 2009, Busch put on another dominating performance, as he set a new track record after leading 178 of 200 laps. He also became the first driver to win from the pole in 17 Nationwide races at Texas.

Busch started an explosion of victories in 2008, as he recorded the first of 10 2008 wins. Starting from the 31st position on the grid, Busch took the lead for the first time on lap 57 and then again on the 71st. After Clint Bowyer took over on the 93rd, Busch regained the advantage through the 153rd lap, as Jeff Burton and then Jamie McMurray traded the lead. On lap 158, Busch was back on top to stay and held on the rest of the way to edge Burton by 1.041 seconds.

Matt Kenseth led only nine laps, but it was the final nine, as he posted his 23rd career Nationwide Series title, clipping Denny Hamlin by less than a second in 2007. Busch dominated the race, leading three times for 113 laps, but faded and finished 7th.

Kurt Busch, starting for the first time in the Nationwide Series in 2006, clipped Greg Biffle by less than a second to become just the fifth driver to accomplish that feat. The other four were: Dale Earnhardt (1982), Joe Ruttman (1982), Ricky Rudd (1983) and Terry Labonte (1985). Pole sitter Denny Hamlin led the first 20 laps and traded positions with Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth through lap 93 when Jeff Burton took over. Burton led for the next 43 laps, however Busch claimed the lead on lap 137 and held on for a 0.266 of a second victory.

In 2005, Kasey Kahne posted his second career Nationwide Series win, as he edged Greg Biffle by less than half a second. Kahne started from the 25th position, the worst starting spot by a winner of this race. Pole sitter Shane Hmiel finished 10th after leading just 20 laps. Kahne, who led the final seven laps, led for a total of 47 laps, while Biffle led for 32. Kahne first made his way to the front of the pack on Lap 53 and remained there for 40 laps. He led again on Lap 194 for the remaining six laps. The lead changed hands a record 17 times among 10 drivers with Kahne picking up the 10-point bonus for most laps led.

With his win in 2010, Busch joined Mark Martin as the only three-time winner of this race. Martin won the race back in 1997, 1999 and 2000. Busch and Edwards are the only pole sitters to win this race.

Nationwide points leader Elliott Sadler is off to a torrid start, posting two wins and five top-10 finishes in the first five starts. Sadler leads Ricky Stenhouse Jr by 18 points. Sadler has nine top-10 finishes in his 27 starts in all three series at TMS.

The next Nationwide Series race is the April 27 Richmond 250 at Richmond International Raceway. Denny Hamlin is the defending race winner.

04/10 12:50:53 ET

As of April 10, 2012, at 12:51 PM ET