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NASCAR - Nationwide - NAPA Auto Parts 200 Preview

From The Sports Network

 
DATE: Saturday, August 18th
SITE: Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (1978) -- Montreal, Quebec, Canada
TRACK: 2.710-mile, 14-turn road course
ANNUAL: 6th
TELEVISION: ESPN
ANNOUNCERS: Marty Reid, Ricky Craven
RADIO: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 2:30 p.m. (ET)/Green Flag: 2:48 p.m. (ET)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Marcos Ambrose (Not Defending)
RUNNER-UP: Alex Tagliani
POLE WINNER: Jacques Villeneuve (Finished 27th)
LAPS: 74
MILES: 200.466
QUALIFYING RECORD: Marcos Ambrose, 2010 (97.079 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Marcos Ambrose, 2011 (70.025 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $1,496,068 (2011 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $87,550; 2nd Place - $54,975; 3rd Place - $47,743
 
2011 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1Marcos Ambrose96Scott Speed4
2Alex Tagliani27Carl Edwards14
3Michael McDowell58Justin Allgaier10
4Steve Wallace79Jason Leffler3
5J.R. Fitzpatrick2110Elliott Sadler16
2011 NAPA Auto Parts 200 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 70.025 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 51 minutes, 46 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 1.112 seconds
CAUTION FLAGS: 6 for 17 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 10 among 7 drivers
POLE WINNER: Jacques Villeneuve (95.800 m.p.h.)
Past NAPA Auto Parts 200 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Marcos Ambrose (9th) -- Ford -- 70.025 m.p.h. (race record)
2010 -- Boris Said (5th) -- Ford -- 63.349 m.p.h.
2009 -- Carl Edwards (2nd) -- Ford -- 53.869 m.p.h.
2008 -- Ron Fellows (6th) -- Chevrolet -- 50.149 m.p.h.
2007 -- Kevin Harvick (30th) -- Chevrolet -- 64.671 m.p.h.
Past NAPA Auto Parts 200 Pole Winners (Finish)
2011 -- Jacques Villeneuve -- 27th
2010 -- Marcos Ambrose -- 33rd
2009 -- Marcos Ambrose -- 2nd
2008 -- Scott Pruett -- 22nd
2007 -- Patrick Carpentier -- 2nd
Last Race Results
RACE: Zippo 200 at the Glen (August 13th)
SITE: Watkins Glen International -- Watkins Glen, New York
MILES: 200.9
LAPS: 82
WINNER: Carl Edwards
RUNNER-UP: Brad Keselowski
THIRD: Sam Hornish Jr
FOURTH: Ricky Stenhouse Jr
FIFTH: Ron Fellows
POLE WINNER: Sam Hornish Jr (Finished 3rd)
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 12 minutes, 19 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 91.100 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 1.130 seconds
CAUTION FLAGS: 5 for 15 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 13 among 9 drivers
LAP LEADERS: S. Hornish Jr. 1-11; B. Keselowski 12-19; S. Hornish Jr. 20-23;
A. Kennedy 24-28; B. Keselowski 29-50; K. Busch 51; R. Truex
52-53; M. Paludo 54-57; J. Allgaier 58; J. Clements 59; B.
Keselowski 60-72; C. Edwards 73-75; B. Keselowski 76; C. Edwards
77-82.
NAPA Auto Parts 200 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
01Mike Wallace (St. Louis, MO)Chevrolet/TBA
2Elliott Sadler (Emporia, VA)Chevrolet/One Main Financial
3Austin Dillon (Lewisville, NC)Chevrolet/Advocare
4Daryl Harr (St. Albert, Canada)Chevrolet/TBA
5Ron Fellows (Mississauga, Ontario)Chevrolet/Canadian Tire
6Ricky Stenhouse Jr (Olive Brnch,MS)Ford/Roush Fenway Racing
7Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL)Chevrolet/GoDaddy.com
08Louis-Philippe Dumoulin (Canada)Ford/Randy Hill Racing
10Jeff Green (Owensboro, KY)Toyota/TBA
11Brian Scott (Boise, ID)Toyota/Dollar General
12Sam Hornish Jr. (Defiance, OH)Dodge/Alliance Truck Parts
14Eric McClure (Chilhowie, VA)Toyota/Hefty/Reynolds Wrap
15Chris Cook (Phoenix, AZ)Chevrolet/Rick Ware Racing
18Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Toyota/FedEx
19Tayler Malsam (Seattle WA)Toyota/G-Oil/Noah's Light Foundation
22Jacques Villeneuve (Quebec, Canada)Dodge/Discount Tire
23Dexter Stacey (Kahnawake, Canada)Chevrolet/North Texas Pipe
24Derek White (Kahnawake, QB, Canada)Toyota/Boutique Fashion Broker
26John Young (Discovery Bay, CA)Dodge/Eklekt Technologies Group
27To Be AnnouncedFord/TBA
30Alex Tagliani (Lachenaie, Canada)Chevrolet/Oasis/Sennheider
31Justin Allgaier (Riverton, IL)Chevrolet/Brandt
33Brendan Gaughan (Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/South Point Casino
38Brad Sweet (Grass Valley. CA)Chevrolet/Great Clips
39To Be AnnouncedChevrolet/TBA
40Erik Darnell (Beach Park, FL)Chevrolet/TBA
41Timmy Hill (Port Tobacco, MD)Chevrolet/Rick Ware Racing
42Blake Koch (West Palm Beach, FL)Chevrolet/TBA
43Michael Annett (Des Moines, IA)Ford/Pilot Flying J
44Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR)Toyota/TBA
46Chase Miller (Denver, NC)Chevrolet/The Motorsports Group
47Matt DiBenedetto (Grass Valley, CA)Chevrolet/Curtis Key Plumbing
51Jeremy Clements (Spartanburg, SC)Chevrolet/Clements Automotive
52To Be AnnouncedChevrolet/TBA
53Eric Curran (Holyoke, MA)Dodge/TBA
54Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/Monster Energy
59Kyle Kelley (Huntington Beach, CA)Chevrolet/Jamison Eng./upr.com
60Billy Johnson (Torrance, CA)Ford/Roush Fenway Racing
70Tony Raines (LaPorte, IN)Chevrolet/TBA
75Kenny Habul (Etobicoke, Canada)Toyota/Sun Energy 1 Racing
81Jason Bowles (Ontario, CA)Toyota/American Majority
87Alex Kennedy (Aztec, NM)Toyota/Global Barter Corp.
88Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA)Chevrolet/taxslayer.com
97Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/TBA
99To Be AnnouncedToyota/NAPA Auto Parts
 
Leading Contenders (Finish the last five years)
Driver20072008200920102011
Alex Tagliani------26th---2nd
Michael McDowell------11th37th3rd
Justin Allgaier------36th9th8th
Elliott Sadler------------10th
Ron Fellows3rdWon35th30th11th
Michael Annett------18th25th18th
Danica Patrick------------24th
Ricky Stenhouse Jr---------24th26th
Jacques Villeneuve---16th4th3rd27th
Kyle Busch---------------
Austin Dillon---------------
 
Mover of the Week
Kenny Habul - Started in the 34th position and finished 20th
 
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Elliott Sadler
Darkhorse - Ron Fellows
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Brad Keselowski) - Finished 2nd
Last Week's Darkhorse (Ryan Truex) - Finished 15th
 
NOTES:
The Nationwide Series travels north of the border to Montreal for its only stop in Canada for the NAPA Auto Parts 200.

Just five days after claiming his first Sprint Cup Series victory at Watkins Glen International last year, Marcos Ambrose continued his winning ways in NASCAR by taking the Nationwide Series race at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve road course.

Ambrose's win at Montreal did not come easy. The 34-year-old Australian had to start from the rear of the field since he missed Friday's qualifying session at the 2.71-mile, 14-turn course. He then survived a collision with pole sitter and Canadian Jacques Villeneuve that nearly took him out of the race shortly after the halfway point.

Ambrose passed Alex Tagliani, also from Canada, and took the lead for the first time just after a restart with 10 laps remaining. He then held off Tagliani at the finish by 1.1 seconds for his fourth career Nationwide win. His first three victories in the series came at Watkins Glen from 2008-10.

The 2010 race ended in thrilling fashion, as Boris Said passed Robby Gordon for the lead during a green-white-checkered finish. Max Papis then challenged Said for the win during the final two laps, but he edged Papis at the finish line by only 0.012 seconds, making it the fifth closest margin of victory in series history. Said captured his first win in his 22nd Nationwide start.

In the past, rain had been a huge factor at the 2.710-mile, 14-turn Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

In 2009, Ambrose led the field when a shower moved over the area with 16 laps remaining. NASCAR instructed teams to pit, giving them five minutes to change to rain tires and install a windshield wiper if needed. NASCAR's decision to continue the race on a wet track surface led to numerous spins that forced several late-race cautions, including one for a two-lap overtime finish. Ambrose pulled away on the final restart, but Edwards chased him down before the Aussie slid on the final turn of the last lap. Edwards made the pass and then claimed his third Nationwide victory of the season and his first on a road course.

Ambrose had led the most laps in the first three races at Montreal, but victory had eluded him here until last season. He lost the 2008 race after being penalized for speeding on pit road late in the race. Canadian Ron Fellows went on to win the rain-shortened race. Fellows battled wet track conditions and capitalized on an early-race pit strategy to score his fourth career Nationwide victory. All four of his wins have come on road courses.

Kevin Harvick won the inaugural NAPA Auto Parts 200 back in 2007. Harvick took the checkered flag in wild fashion after Robby Gordon spun out the race leader. The race would come down to the rookie Ambrose and one of NASCAR's best off- road and road course racers, Gordon. On the restart with four laps to go, Ambrose got a great jump on Gordon. But Fellows and Pruett didn't make it through turn two and they spun around blocking the track and forcing a caution flag. Meanwhile, Ambrose had spun Gordon out after the caution flags were displayed

NASCAR determined that Gordon should restart in 14th place, but Gordon refused to move from behind Ambrose. NASCAR should have red-flagged the race at that point to force Gordon to move, but instead began the race with Gordon right behind the leader. Gordon, of course, took out his frustration on Ambrose spinning him out in the second corner. Harvick inherited the lead and after holding off Carpentier was declared the winner.

Gordon claimed he won the race, but Harvick was the actual winner as Gordon had been black-flagged and his final laps weren't counted by the scoring computer. NASCAR parked Gordon for the Cup event at the Pocono Raceway the next day for his actions in Montreal. Pole sitter Patrick Carpentier led three times for 14 laps and placed second.

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has hosted Formula One, Champ Car and the NASCAR Canadian Tires Series. The circuit, on lle Notre-Dame, a man-made island in the St. Lawrence River that is part of the city of Montreal, was named after the late Canadian driver Gilles Villeneuve, father of Jacques Villeneuve. The venue hosted the Champ Car World Series and Grand Prix of Montreal from 2002-2007. The circuit is a fast circuit, but it is also something like a street circuit. The roads were designed for automobile racing, but are public roads for the rest of the year.

There are nine drivers from Canada on the entry list vying for a spot in Saturday's running of the race. Leading the Canadian contingent at Montreal is former winner Ron Fellows, who won in the series' second trip to the track in 2008. Fellows will be piloting the No. 5 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports. In addition, other Canadian drivers include Patrick Carpentier (No. 99 Toyota), Louis-Phillipe Dumoulin (No. 08 Ford), Kenny Habul (No. 75 Toyota), Daryl Harr (No. 4 Chevrolet), Dexter Stacey (No. 23 Chevrolet), Alex Tagliani (No. 30 Chevrolet), Jacques Villeneuve (No. 22 Dodge) and Derek White (No. 24 Toyota).

Kyle Busch and Sam Hornish Jr. will both pull double-duty this weekend by appearing in the NAPA Auto Part Parts 200 at Montreal on Saturday and the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan on Sunday.

The next Nationwide Series race is the August 24 Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch won last year's race there.

08/14 17:50:40 ET

As of August 14, 2012, at 05:50 PM ET