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NASCAR - Nationwide - NRA American Warrior 300 Preview

From The Sports Network

DATE: Saturday, September 1st
SITE: Atlanta Motor Speedway (1960) -- Hampton, Georgia
TRACK: 1.54-mile oval - 2,332 feet (Frontstretch); 1,800 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 99,000 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 21st
ANNOUNCERS: Marty Reid, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
RADIO: Performance Racing Network (PRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 7 p.m. (ET)/Green Flag: 7:16 p.m. (ET)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Carl Edwards (Not Defending)
RUNNER-UP: Kyle Busch
POLE WINNER: Carl Edwards (Finished 1st)
LAPS: 195
MILES: 300.3
QUALIFYING RECORD: Greg Biffle, 2003 (192.300 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Mark Martin, 1997 (151.751 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $942,006 (2011 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $60,125; 2nd Place - $30,450; 3rd Place - $33,018
2011 Finish
1Carl Edwards16Justin Allgaier14
2Kyle Busch37Brad Keselowski2
3Ricky Stenhouse Jr58Aric Almirola11
4Kevin Harvick89Jason Leffler16
5Kasey Kahne710Elliott Sadler9
2011 NRA American Warrior 300 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 132.811 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 15 minutes, 40 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.697 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 6 for 27 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 21 among 8 drivers
POLE WINNER: Carl Edwards (179.452 m.p.h.)
Past NRA American Warrior 300 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Carl Edwards (1st) -- Ford -- 132.811 m.p.h.
2010 -- Jamie McMurray (7th) -- Chevrolet -- 144.452 m.p.h.
2009 -- Kevin Harvick (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 145.228 m.p.h.
2008 -- Matt Kenseth (10th) -- Ford -- 131.290 m.p.h.
2007 -- Jeff Burton (8th) -- Chevrolet -- 127.201 m.p.h.
2006 -- Jeff Burton (8th) -- Chevrolet -- 127.984 m.p.h.
2005 -- Carl Edwards (1st) -- Ford -- 130.651 m.p.h.
2004 -- Matt Kenseth (28th) -- Ford -- 133.343 m.p.h.
2003 -- Greg Biffle (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 146.217 m.p.h.
2002 -- Jamie McMurray (8th) -- Chevrolet -- 138.788 m.p.h.
2001 -- Joe Nemechek (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 143.954 m.p.h.
2000 -- Mark Martin (4th) -- Ford -- 126.924 m.p.h.
1999 -- Mike Skinner (17th) -- Chevrolet -- 117.178 m.p.h.
1998 -- Mark Martin (10th) -- Ford -- 138.193 m.p.h.
1997 -- Mark Martin (13th) -- Ford -- 151.751 m.p.h. (race record)
1996 -- Terry Labonte (11th) -- Chevrolet -- 139.656
1995 -- Johnny Benson (10th) -- Chevrolet -- 145.767 m.p.h.
1994 -- Harry Gant (23rd) -- Chevrolet -- 127.649 m.p.h.
1993 -- Ward Burton (5th) -- Chevrolet -- 109.640 m.p.h.
1992 -- Jeff Gordon (1st) -- Ford -- 124.412 m.p.h.
NOTE: Formerly called Busch Light 300 (1992-96), Stihl Power Tools 300 (1997),
Stihl 300 (1998), Yellow Freight 300 (1999), Aaron's 312 (2000-2005),
Nicorette 300 (2006-08), Degree V12 300 (2009), Great Clips 300
Past NRA American Warrior 300 Pole Winners (Finish)
2011 -- Carl Edwards -- 1st
2010 -- Kasey Kahne -- 19th
2009 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr -- 3rd
2008 -- Jeff Burton -- 3rd
2007 -- Kyle Busch -- 3rd
2006 -- Kyle Busch -- 40th
2005 -- Carl Edwards -- 1st
2004 -- Mike Bliss -- 27th
2003 -- Greg Biffle -- 1st
2002 -- None -- Weather
2001 -- Ryan Newman -- 32nd
2000 -- Matt Kenseth -- 2nd
1999 -- Dave Blaney -- 2nd
1998 -- Dick Trickle -- 38th
1997 -- Tim Bender -- 40th
1996 -- Dick Trickle -- 13th
1995 -- Mark Martin -- 39th
1994 -- Shawna Robinson -- 36th
1993 -- Mark Martin -- 26th
1992 -- Jeff Gordon -- 1st
Last Race Results
RACE: Food City 250 (August 24th)
SITE: Bristol Motor Speedway -- Bristol, Tennessee
MILES: 133.25
LAPS: 250
WINNER: Joey Logano
RUNNER-UP: Ricky Stenhouse Jr
THIRD: Kyle Busch
FOURTH: Austin Dillon
FIFTH: Elliott Sadler
POLE WINNER: Trevor Bayne (Finished 16th)
TIME OF RACE: 1 hour, 44 minutes, 26 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 76.556 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.503 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 9 for 59 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 7 among 4 drivers
LAP LEADERS: T. Bayne - pole; J. Logano 1-35; E. Sadler 36-46; R. Stenhouse
Jr. 47-105; J. Logano 106-116; R. Stenhouse Jr. 117; K. Harvick
118-215; J.Logano 216-250.
NRA American Warrior 300 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
00Blake Koch (West Palm Beach, FL)Chevrolet/TBA
01Mike Wallace (St. Louis, MO)Chevrolet/TBA
2Elliott Sadler (Emporia, VA)Chevrolet/One Main Financial
3Austin Dillon (Lewisville, NC)Chevrolet/American Ethanol
4Danny Efland (Irmo, SC)Chevrolet/TBA
6Ricky Stenhouse Jr (Olive Brnch,MS)Ford/NOS
7Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL)Chevrolet/
08Kyle Fowler (Smyrna, GA)Ford/Randy Hill Racing
10Jeff Green (Owensboro, KY)Toyota/TBA
11Brian Scott (Boise, ID)Toyota/Dollar General
12Sam Hornish Jr. (Defiance, OH)Dodge/Detroit Genuine Parts
14Eric McClure (Chilhowie, VA)Toyota/Hefty/Reynolds Wrap
15Timmy Hill (Port Tobacco, MD)Chevrolet/Rick Ware Racing
18Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/Z-Line
19Tayler Malsam (Seattle WA)Toyota/G-Oil/Noah's Light Foundation
22Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hls, MI)Dodge/Discount Tire
23Robert Richardson Jr (McKinney, TX)Chevrolet/North Texas Pipe
24Benny Gordon (DuBois, PA)Toyota/TBA
30James Buescher (Plano, TX)Chevrolet/Central Wire
31Justin Allgaier (Riverton, IL)Chevrolet/Brandt
33Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Hunt Brothers Pizza
36Ryan Blaney (High Point, NC)Chevrolet/Seal Wrap
38Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Chevrolet/Great Clips
39To Be AnnouncedFord/Go Green Racing
40Erik Darnell (Beach Park, FL)Chevrolet/TBA
41Fain Skinner (Live Oak, FL)Ford/
42Matt DiBenedetto (Grass Valley, CA)Chevrolet/TBA
43Michael Annett (Des Moines, IA)Ford/Pilot Flying J/M&M's Snack Mix
44Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR)Toyota/TBA
46Chase Miller (Denver, NC)Chevrolet/The Motorsports Group
47J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Chevrolet/Curtis Key Plumbing
50T.J. Bell (Reno, VA)Chevrolet/TBA
51Jeremy Clements (Spartanburg, SC)Chevrolet/USS James E. Williams
52To Be AnnouncedChevrolet/TBA
54Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/Monster Energy
70Tony Raines (LaPorte, IN)Dodge/TBA
71Scott Riggs (Bahama, NC)Chevrolet/Rick Ware Racing
74Mike Harmon (Birmingport, AL)Chevrolet/Koma Unwind
81Jason Bowles (Ontario, CA)Toyota/American Majority
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet
88Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA)Chevrolet/Spy Optic
89Morgan Shepherd (Conover, NC)Chevrolet/TBA
98Reed Sorenson (Peachtree City, GA)Ford/Carroll Shelby Motors
99Travis Pastrana (Annapolis, MD)Toyota/Boost Mobile
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Kyle Busch43rd2nd---40th3rd24th2nd2nd2nd
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.---------------------10th3rd
Kevin Harvick9th15th---11th2nd2ndWon4th4th
Kasey Kahne7th3rd5th2nd7th9th11th19th5th
Justin Allgaier------------------17th13th6th
Brad Keselowski------------25th6th4th12th7th
Elliott Sadler------------------------10th
Michael Annett------------------14th21st20th
Denny Hamlin------16th38th---------------
Sam Hornish Jr.------------15th------------
Austin Dillon---------------------------
James Buescher---------------------------
Danica Patrick---------------------------
Mover of the Week
Danica Patrick - Started in the 34th position and finished 9th
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Darkhorse - Jason Bowles
Last Week's Pick to Win (Kyle Busch) - Finished 3rd
Last Week's Darkhorse (Jeremy Clements) - Finished 33rd
Just 10 races remain on the Nationwide Series schedule, as Elliott Sadler owns a 19-point lead over Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Last week, Stenhouse bumped Sadler in turn four at Bristol Motor Speedway to take second place and pick up three points, as Sadler finished fifth.

Last season, Carl Edwards bounced back from an early-race pit-road penalty and then held off Kyle Busch, as well as his other fellow Sprint Cup Series competitors Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne, in the closing laps to win at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Edwards, the pole sitter, received a penalty for equipment violation during his first pit stop in the 300-mile race. An air gun and hose got away from his stall after he pitted. Edwards fell to the tail end of the lead lap but quickly moved through the field and reclaimed the lead just past the halfway point.

After a restart with 27 laps remaining, Harvick passed Edwards for the lead. An accident involving Reed Sorenson and Trevor Bayne on the following lap forced the sixth and final caution. When the race resumed with 19 laps to go, Edwards moved ahead of Harvick to take the lead for good.

Busch took second from Harvick with less than 10 laps left and attempted to chase down Edwards, but Edwards crossed the finish line 0.7 seconds ahead of Busch for his sixth win of the 2011 season and the 35th of his Nationwide career. His first win in the series came in March 2005 at Atlanta.

Edwards' lone Nationwide Series start this year was back in August at Watkins Glen, where he won for the 38th time in this circuit.

Jamie McMurray won his first Nationwide Series race in nearly six years by taking the 2010 edition of this race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. McMurray passed Brad Keselowski after the final restart with 23 laps remaining, and then held off a hard-charging Kyle Busch in the closing laps for his eighth career Nationwide win, but his first since November 2004 at Darlington. His first career win in the series came in 2002 at Atlanta. Busch chased down McMurray during the final five laps, but came up 0.29 seconds short.

After placing second in back-to-back years, Kevin Harvick added another notch to his belt, as he raced to victory in 2009. Starting second on the grid, Harvick dominated the race, leading six times for a race-high 131 laps, as he defeated Kyle Busch by 1.138 seconds for his 34th career Nationwide Series title. Harvick has added three wins to his credit and ranks fourth on the all- time list with 37 titles.

Matt Kenseth joined Mark Martin and Jeff Burton as multiple champions of this race, as he captured the 2008 edition ahead of Harvick. Kenseth clipped Harvick by 0.159 of a second for the 24th of 26 career Nationwide Series wins.

Kyle Busch was in a league of his own as he led 153 of 198 laps that year, but with 25 laps to go Busch's right-front tire went flat causing him to crash into the first-turn wall to ruin another great performance. Busch finished the race in a disappointing 24th place. With just 13 laps remaining, Kenseth reclaimed the lead and was able to fend off Harvick to take the checkered flag.

Burton only led twice for a total of 29 laps, but it included the final 26, as he clipped Harvick by 1.064 seconds for his 24th Nationwide Series win in 2007. Pole sitter Kyle Busch dominated this race, as he led five times for a race-high 143 laps. With the win, Burton joined Mark Martin as the only back-to-back winners, at the time of this race. Martin accomplished the feat in 1997-98.

When he won in 2006, Burton crossed the finish line 1.420 seconds ahead of Kasey Kahne to capture the checkered flag. Burton, who led on four different occasions throughout the race for 75 laps, reclaimed the lead on lap 176 and held on to take the checkered flag. Pole sitter Kyle Busch led the first 25 laps, but failed to finish due to an accident.

In 2005, pole sitter Carl Edwards captured his first-ever Nationwide Series title, as he edged out Tony Stewart by less than two seconds. Edwards, who won the pole position earlier in the day, led the first 29 laps then fell as low as 13th before making his final move.

In the previous 20 years, the pole sitter has captured this event four times and the top five spots have won eight of the 20 races. The farthest a driver has started and won this race was 28th, when Kenseth won in 2004.

Back in 1992, Jeff Gordon won his first national series race at Atlanta in Nationwide Series competition, the inaugural year for this event.

The next Nationwide Series race is the Sept. 7 Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway. Kyle Busch is the defending race winner.

08/28 13:19:39 ET

As of August 28, 2012, at 01:19 PM ET