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NASCAR - Nationwide - Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Preview

From The Sports Network

 
DATE: Friday, April 27th
SITE: Richmond International Raceway (1946) -- Richmond, Virginia
TRACK: 0.75-mile oval - 1,290 feet (Frontstretch); 860 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 91,000 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 26th
TELEVISION: ESPN
ANNOUNCERS: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
RADIO: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 7:30 p.m. (ET)/Green Flag: 7:43 p.m. (ET)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Denny Hamlin
RUNNER-UP: Paul Menard
POLE WINNER: Carl Edwards (Finished 25th)
LAPS: 250
MILES: 187.5
QUALIFYING RECORD: Kyle Busch, 2004 (129.348 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Denny Hamlin, 2011 (108.415 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $1,030,524 (2011 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $35,500; 2nd Place - $27,250; 3rd Place - $28,593
 
2011 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1Denny Hamlin116Josh Wise17
2Paul Menard67Sam Hornish Jr2
3Justin Allgaier58Ryan Truex20
4Elliott Sadler189David Stremme19
5Brad Keselowski1010Jason Leffler16
2011 Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 108.415 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 1 hour, 44 minutes, 11 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: Under Caution
CAUTION FLAGS: 3 for 12 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 6 among 4 drivers
POLE WINNER: Carl Edwards (125.046 m.p.h.)
Past Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Denny Hamlin (11th) -- Toyota -- 108.415 m.p.h. (race record)
2010 -- Brad Keselowski (4th) -- Dodge -- 91.194 m.p.h.
2009 -- Kyle Busch (3rd) -- Toyota -- 86.672 m.p.h.
2008 -- Denny Hamlin (3rd) -- Toyota -- 96.238 m.p.h.
2007 -- Clint Bowyer (8th) -- Chevrolet -- 91.899 m.p.h.
2006 -- Kevin Harvick (10th) -- Chevrolet -- 79.068 m.p.h.
2005 -- Carl Edwards (5th) -- Ford -- 85.709 m.p.h.
2004 -- Kyle Busch (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 85.023 m.p.h.
2003 -- Kevin Harvick (15th) -- Chevrolet -- 74.652 m.p.h.
2002 -- Jason Keller (2nd) -- Ford -- 80.138 m.p.h.
2001 -- Jimmy Spencer (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 84.028 m.p.h.
2000 -- Jeff Green (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 81.023 m.p.h.
1999 -- Mark Martin (2nd) -- Ford -- 90.060 m.p.h.
1998 -- Jeff Burton (8th) -- Ford -- 95.799 m.p.h.
1997 -- Mark Martin (18th) -- Ford -- 86.450 m.p.h.
1996 -- Jeff Purvis (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 98.168 m.p.h.
1995 -- Kenny Wallace (21st) -- Ford -- 96.291 m.p.h.
1994 -- Joe Nemechek (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 91.253 m.p.h.
1993 -- Mark Martin (2nd) -- Ford -- 103.766 m.p.h.
1992 -- Harry Gant (28th) -- Buick -- 97.561 m.p.h.
1991 -- Harry Gant (11th) -- Buick -- 92.156 m.p.h.
1990 -- Michael Waltrip (1st) -- Pontiac -- 88.091 m.p.h.
1989 -- No race held -- Weather
1988 -- No race held
1987 -- No race held
1986 -- No race held
1985 -- No race held
1984 -- Sam Ard (3rd) -- Oldsmobile -- 75.084 m.p.h.
1983 -- Sam Ard (1st) -- Oldsmobile -- 73.639 m.p.h.
1982 -- Tommy Houston (15th) -- Pontiac -- 57.667 m.p.h.
 
NOTE: Formerly called Eastern 150 (1982-83), Wrangler 150 (1984), Pontiac 200
(1990-91), Hardee's 200 (1992-93), Hardee's 250 (1994-2003), Funai 250
(2004-05), Circuit City 250 (2006-07), Lipton Tea 250 (2008-09), BUBBA
Burger 250 (2010-11).
 
Past Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Pole Winners (Finish)
2011 -- Carl Edwards -- 25th
2010 -- Kyle Busch -- 4th
2009 -- Matt Kenseth -- 3rd
2008 -- Kasey Kahne -- 14th
2007 -- Denny Hamlin -- 41st
2006 -- Jason Leffler -- 24th
2005 -- Kasey Kahne -- 4th
2004 -- Kyle Busch -- 1st
2003 -- Michael Waltrip -- 4th
2002 -- None -- Weather
2001 -- Matt Kenseth -- 4th
2000 -- Jeff Green -- 1st
1999 -- Jason Keller -- 30th
1998 -- Wayne Grubb -- 4th
1997 -- None -- Weather
1996 -- Jeff Purvis -- 1st
1995 -- None -- Weather
1994 -- David Green -- 16th
1993 -- Rick Mast -- 8th
1992 -- Jeff Gordon -- 8th
1991 -- Jeff Burton -- 31st
1990 -- Michael Waltrip -- 1st
1989 -- No Race -- Weather
1988 -- No Spring Race
1987 -- No Spring Race
1986 -- No Spring Race
1985 -- No Spring Race
1984 -- Tommy Ellis -- 15th
1983 -- Sam Ard -- 1st
1982 -- Geoffrey Bodine -- 20th
Last Race Results
RACE: O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 (April 13th)
SITE: Texas Motor Speedway -- Fort Worth, Texas
MILES: 300
LAPS: 200
WINNER: Ricky Stenhouse Jr
RUNNER-UP: Paul Menard
THIRD: Kasey Kahne
FOURTH: Denny Hamlin
FIFTH: Austin Dillon
POLE WINNER: Paul Menard (Finished 2nd)
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 22 minutes, 31 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 126.301 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 1.434 seconds
CAUTION FLAGS: 5 for 33 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 14 among 7 drivers
LAP LEADERS: Menard 1-3, Stenhouse Jr 4-48, Menard 49-52, Kahne 53, Menard
54-94, Hamlin 95-103, Sadler 104-107, Menard 108-146, Hamlin
147-148, Ragan 149-150, Menard 151-163, Dillon 164-176, Stenhouse
Jr 177-194, Hamlin 195, Stenhouse Jr 196-200.
Virginia 529 College Savings 250 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/Advocare
4Steve Wallace (Charlotte, NC)Chevrolet/TBA
6Ricky Stenhouse Jr (Olive Brnch,MS)Ford/Cargill
7Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL)Chevrolet/GoDaddy.com
08Casey Roderick (Lawrenceville, GA)Ford/West Virginia Miners
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
15Blake Koch (West Palm Beach, FL)Ford/Rise Up and Register
17J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Toyota/americashadvance.com
18 *Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/Z-Line Designs
19Tayler Malsam (Seattle WA)Toyota/G-Oil
20Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Toyota/Dollar General
22Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hls, MI)Dodge/Discount Tire/SKF
23Robert Richardson Jr (McKinney, TX)Chevrolet/North Texas Pipe
24Tanner Berryhill (Bixby, OK)Chevrolet/New Gulf Resources
30James Buescher (Plano, TX)Chevrolet//Accudoc Solutions
31Justin Allgaier (Riverton, IL)Chevrolet/Brandt
33Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Fast Fixin'
36Ryan Blaney (High Point, NC)Chevrolet/Seal Wrap
38Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Chevrolet/Great Clips
39Matt Frahm (North Salem, NHFord/New Lifestyle Diet
40Erik Darnell (Beach Park, FL)Chevrolet/TBA
41Timmy Hill (Port Tobacco, MD)Ford/poynt.com
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/TBA
51Jeremy Clements (Spartanburg, SC)Chevrolet/Clements Automotive
52Kevin Lepage (Shelburne, VA)Chevrolet/Victory Precision Valves
54Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/Monster Energy
70Johanna Long (Pensacola, FL)Chevrolet/Foretravel
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/AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet
88Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA)Chevrolet/taxslayer.com
89Morgan Shepherd (Conover, NC)Chevrolet/TBA
99Travis Pastrana (Annapolis, MD)Toyota/TBA
 
* - defending champion.
 
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Driver200320042005200620072008200920102011
Denny Hamlin------13th10th41stWon------Won
Justin Allgaier------------------38th15th3rd
Elliott Sadler------2nd18th------------4th
Brad Keselowski------------35th11th4thWon5th
Sam Hornish Jr.------------43rd15th------7th
Ricky Stenhouse Jr---------------------20th21st
James Buescher---------------------12th22nd
Kevin HarvickWon3rd12thWon4th2nd5th7th---
Joey Logano------------------6th6th---
Kasey Kahne18th10th4th40th---14th---------
Danica Patrick---------------------------
Kurt Busch---------------------------
Austin Dillon---------------------------
 
Mover of the Week
David Ragan - Started in the 30th position and finished 6th
 
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Brad Keselowski
Darkhorse - Kevin Harvick
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Ricky Stenhouse Jr) - Finished 1st
Last Week's Darkhorse (Paul Menard) - Finished 2nd
 
NOTES:
Denny Hamlin returned to the winner's circle at his "home track" after capturing the 2011 running of the Richmond 250.

Hamlin, who hails from nearby Chesterfield, VA, dominated the race, leading 199 of the 251 laps despite starting 11th on the grid.

Hamilton did have to hold off a hard-charging Paul Menard in a green-white- checkered finish. Hamlin held a slim lead over Menard when the race ended under caution for an incident involving Derrike Cope on the final lap.

It was Hamlin's 11th career Nationwide win. He also gave crew chief Adam Stevens his first victory in the series. Stevens took over crew chief duties for the No.20 Joe Gibbs Racing team at the start of that season.

Back in 2010, Brad Keselowski benefited from a four-tire pit stop just before a two-lap overtime finish to pull out the win for his eighth of 17 career Nationwide Series titles.

Keselowski, who had won the previous week at Talladega, dominated the race by leading 189 of 252 laps. He held a sizeable lead in the closing laps before Paul Menard cut a right-front tire and made contact with the wall to force the green-white-checkered finish. During the caution, Keselowski gave up the lead to Kyle Busch when he opted to hit pit road at the last second. Busch, Justin Allgaier and Jamie McMurray remained on the track, while the others on the lead lap also came in for a final stop. Keselowski charged from fourth to first in the final two laps for his second victory of the that season.

Kyle Busch won for the 24th time in his Nationwide Series career in 2009, as he edged Carl Edwards by less than one second. Busch, whose win total now stands at 51, led four times for a race-high 115 laps, including the final 22. Edwards led a total of 71 laps. He grabbed the lead from Busch on lap 158, but Busch came storming back in the late stages. He made several attempts to pull ahead of Edwards, but could not make the pass before a caution came for an incident involving Ken Butler on lap 219. When the race resumed on lap 228, Busch quickly darted past Edwards to reclaim the lead for good. The win came on the eve of his 24th birthday.

In 2008, Denny Hamlin led the final 12 laps, as he outraced Kevin Harvick to the finish line for his sixth career Nationwide title. Edwards, who dominated the race, leading for 126 laps, placed seventh, while pole sitter Kasey Kahne finished 14th. Hamlin, who won four times in 2008, finished 0.789 of a second ahead of Harvick.

Clint Bowyer won the fifth of his eight Nationwide titles at Richmond in May 2007. Bowyer, who started eighth, crossed the finish line 1.483 seconds ahead of Matt Kenseth. He led a total of 29 laps. Jeff Burton, who finished third, put on a dominating performance for most of the race with 136 laps led. Pole sitter Denny Hamlin led the opening 20 laps, but finished 41st.

Starting from the 10th position in 2006, Kevin Harvick, raced to victory, as he defeated Jeff Burton by less than one second. Harvick led twice during the race for 49 laps, as he won for the 20th time in his Nationwide career. He now ranks third on the all-time Nationwide wins list with 37. Pole sitter Jason Leffler, who led for a total of 66 laps, finished 24th.

When Carl Edwards won in 2005, he led just one lap, but it was the last, as he raced past Elliott Sadler in turn three of the final lap for 0.144-second victory. The win for Edwards was the second of five 2005 victories and the second of his Nationwide career. His win total now stands at 37.

The pole sitter has fared well in this race, posting wins five times. Kyle Busch was the last driver in this race to accomplish the feat back in 2004. Overall, the pole winner has gone on to win 11 of the 56 Nationwide events at Richmond. Of the 11 pole winners, Busch is the only two-time winner from the top spot (2004, 2007). The most winners (11) have come from the first and third (10) starting positions. Since 2004, a top-10 starting position has won in Richmond, except the fall 2009 event (39th position) and last year's spring race (11th).

Mark Martin and Harvick are five-time winners at RIR, followed closely by Harry Gant with four. The last four margin of victories at RIR on the Nationwide Series have been won by less than a second, with Hamlin's victory under caution. Harvick has finished out of the top-10 only twice in the last 14 Sprint Cup races at Richmond and just three times in his last 17 Nationwide starts.

The next Nationwide Series race is the May 5 Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. Kyle Busch is the defending race winner.

04/25 09:30:40 ET

As of April 25, 2012, at 09:30 AM ET