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NASCAR - Nationwide - Dollar General 300 Preview

From The Sports Network

 
DATE: Saturday, September 15th
SITE: Chicagoland Speedway (2001) -- Joliet, Illinois
TRACK: 1.5-mile tri-oval - 2,400 feet (Frontstretch); 1,700 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 69,000 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 12th
TELEVISION: ESPN 2
ANNOUNCERS: Marty Reid, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
RADIO: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 3:30 p.m. (ET)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Brad Keselowski
RUNNER-UP: Carl Edwards
POLE WINNER: Brian Scott (Finished 3rd)
LAPS: 200
MILES: 300
QUALIFYING RECORD: Ryan Newman, 2005 (186.611 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Brad Keselowski, 2011 (148.637 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $1,277,889 (2011 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $68,175; 2nd Place - $64,950; 3rd Place - $58,293
 
2011 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1Brad Keselowski26Elliott Sadler5
2Carl Edwards107Jamie McMurray23
3Brian Scott18Ricky Stenhouse Jr11
4Aric Almirola69Paul Menard3
5Sam Hornish Jr710Reed Sorenson12
2011 Dollar General 300 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 148.637 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 1 minute, 6 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 8.568 seconds
CAUTION FLAGS: 3 for 11 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 8 among 5 drivers
POLE WINNER: Brian Scott (176.748 m.p.h.)
Past Dollar General 300 Pole Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Brad Keselowski (2nd) -- Dodge -- 148.637 m.p.h. (race record)
2010 -- Kyle Busch (8th) -- Toyota -- 139.875 m.p.h.
2009 -- Joey Logano (3rd) -- Toyota -- 147.340 m.p.h.
2008 -- Kyle Busch (10th) -- Toyota -- 144.443 m.p.h.
2007 -- Kevin Harvick (8th) -- Chevrolet -- 135.661 m.p.h.
2006 -- Casey Mears (7th) -- Dodge -- 125.421 m.p.h.
2005 -- Kevin Harvick (5th) -- Chevrolet -- 130.340 m.p.h.
2004 -- Justin Labonte (34th) -- Dodge -- 126.790 m.p.h.
2003 -- Bobby Hamilton Jr (3rd) -- Ford -- 129.730 m.p.h.
2002 -- Johnny Sauter (20th) -- Chevrolet -- 128.008 m.p.h.
2001 -- Jimmie Johnson (6th) -- Chevrolet -- 119.469 m.p.h.
 
NOTE: Formerly called Sam's Club Presents The Hills Brothers Coffee 300
(2001), Tropicana Twister 300 (2002-03), Twister 300 (2004), USG Durock
300 (2005-07).
 
Past Dollar General 300 Pole Winners (Finish)
2011 -- Brian Scott -- 3rd
2010 -- Kevin Harvick -- 7th
2009 -- Carl Edwards -- 6th
2008 -- David Reutimann -- 5th
2007 -- Denny Hamlin -- 7th
2006 -- Carl Edwards -- 2nd
2005 -- Ryan Newman -- 3rd
2004 -- Bobby Hamilton Jr -- 43rd
2003 -- Casey Mears -- 4th
2002 -- Todd Bodine -- 2nd
2001 -- Ryan Newman -- 26th
Last Race Results
RACE: Virginia 529 College Savings 250 (September 9th)
SITE: Richmond International Raceway -- Richmond, Virginia
MILES: 187.5
LAPS: 250
WINNER: Kevin Harvick
RUNNER-UP: Ricky Stenhouse Jr
THIRD: Kurt Busch
FOURTH: Denny Hamlin
FIFTH: Michael Annett
POLE WINNER: Ricky Stenhouse Jr (Finished 2nd)
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 2 minutes, 39 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 91.724 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 1.944 seconds
CAUTION FLAGS: 7 for 45 laps
LAP LEADERS: R. Stenhouse Jr. - pole; A. Dillon 1-14; R. Stenhouse Jr. 15-70;
K. Harvick 71-187; M. Wallace 188-189; J. Buescher 190-192; R.
Stenhouse Jr. 193-201; K. Busch 202-226; K. Harvick 227-250.
Dollar General 300 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
00Blake Koch (West Palm Beach, FL)Toyota/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/Blue Bird
7Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL)Chevrolet/GoDaddy.com
08To Be AnnouncedFord/Randy Hill Racing
10Jeff Green (Owensboro, KY)Toyota/TBA
11Brian Scott (Boise, ID)Toyota/Dollar General
12Sam Hornish Jr. (Defiance, OH)Dodge/Avis
14Eric McClure (Chilhowie, VA)Toyota/Hefty/Reynolds Wrap
15Carl Long (Roxboro, NC)Ford/Rick Ware Racing
18Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Toyota/Dollar General
19Tayler Malsam (Seattle WA)Toyota/G-Oil
22 *Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hls, MI)Dodge/Discount Tire
23Jamie Dick (Albuquerque, NM)Chevrolet/Viva Auto Group
24Derek White (Kahnawake, QB, Canada)Toyota/TBA
28Tony Raines (LaPorte, IN)Chevrolet/TBA
30Alex Bowman (Tucson, AZ)Chevrolet/TBA
31Justin Allgaier (Riverton, IL)Chevrolet/Brandt
33Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards
38Brad Sweet (Grass Valley. CA)Chevrolet/Great Clips
39To Be AnnouncedFord/TBA
40Erik Darnell (Beach Park, FL)Chevrolet/TBA
41Timmy Hill (Port Tobacco, MD)Ford/TWT
42Josh Wise (Riverside, CA)Chevrolet/TBA
43Michael Annett (Des Moines, IA)Ford/Pilot Flying J
44Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR)Toyota/banditchippers.com
46Chase Miller (Denver, NC)Chevrolet/The Motorsports Group
47J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Chevrolet/Curtis Key Plumbing
50To Be AnnouncedChevrolet/TBA
51Jeremy Clements (Spartanburg, SC)Chevrolet/USS James E Williams
52To Be AnnouncedChevrolet/TBA
54Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/Monster Energy
70Johanna Long (Pensacola, FL)Chevrolet/Foretravel
71Matt Carter (Denver, NC)Chevrolet/Lilly Trucking
75Scott Riggs (Bahama, NC)Chevrolet/Lilly Trucking
81Jason Bowles (Ontario, CA)Dodge/TBA
86Kevin Lepage (Shelbourne, VT)Ford/Qello Corp.
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet
88Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA)Chevrolet/Degree Men
89Morgan Shepherd (Conover, NC)Chevrolet/TBA
99Kenny Wallace (St. Louis, MO)Toyota/Illinois Soybean Board
 
* - defending champion.
 
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Driver200320042005200620072008200920102011
Brad Keselowski------------14th3rd18th21stWon
Brian Scott---------------------3rd2nd
Sam Hornish Jr------------------------5th
Elliott Sadler------33rd38th---21st------6th
Ricky Stenhouse Jr---------------------19th8th
Paul Menard37th---9th39th6th---14th11th9th
Justin Allgaier------------------10th10th14th
Michael Annett------------------17th14th16th
Joey Logano------------------Won2nd19th
Kurt Busch---------6th---------------
Danica Patrick---------------------24th---
Austin Dillon---------------------------
 
Mover of the Week
Ryan Blaney - Started in the 27th position and finished 9th
 
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Justin Allgaier
Darkhorse - Joey Logano
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Ricky Stenhouse Jr) - Finished 2nd
Last Week's Darkhorse (Ryan Blaney) - Finished 9th
 
NOTES:
With just eight races remaining on the Nationwide Series schedule, the race for the championship is as tight as it can be, as Elliott Sadler leads Ricky Stenhouse Jr by just one point.

Last season, Brad Keselowski put on a dominating performance by leading 158 of 200 laps and crossing the finish line 8.6 seconds ahead of fellow Sprint Cup Series competitor Carl Edwards for his third win of 2011 and the 15th of his Nationwide career.

Keselowski, who's victory total now stands at 20, has recorded 12 top-10 finishes in 18 Nationwide starts this year, finishing outside the top-10 just twice in his last 10 starts.

Back in 2010, Kyle Busch had the dominant car, but needed a little bit of luck at the end to win the race at Chicagoland Speedway.

Despite leading a race-high 110 laps, Busch had to overcome a penalty for speeding on pit road early in the 300-mile race. Busch ran eighth after his penalty, but reclaimed the lead shortly after a restart on lap 81.

Joey Logano passed his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate and took the lead for the first time just after a restart with 53 laps remaining.

Trevor Bayne's late-race accident in the closing laps setup a green-white- checkered finish. Busch held the third spot for the restart, but quickly grabbed second when Keselowski ran out of fuel. Busch then chased down Logano and made the winning pass with less than two laps to go. With the win, Busch joined Kevin Harvick as the only two-time winners of this race.

Logano impressively held off Busch on old tires after a late-race restart to win the 2009 running of the Dollar General 300. Logano passed Busch for the lead just before a caution for debris came with less than 20 laps to go. While Busch and the other leaders pitted for new tires, Logano's crew chief, Dave Rogers, elected to keep his driver on the track. On the restart, Busch quickly moved around Jason Leffler for second, but could not catch Logano in the final laps. Rogers' gutsy call helped Logano capture his third victory of that season and the fourth of his Nationwide career. Logano and Busch combined for 174 laps led in the 200-lap event. Logano led the most with 96.

Kyle Busch doubled at Chicagoland in 2008, as he won this race and then took the checkered flag the following day in the Sprint Cup event. Busch dominated the race in '08, defeating Denny Hamlin by 3.120 seconds for his 16th career Nationwide Series title. Busch led 101 of the final 105 laps. Busch now owns 51 Nationwide titles.

In 2007, Kevin Harvick became the first two-time winner of this race, as he led the final 27 laps for his 29th career Nationwide Series title. Harvick, who started eighth on the grid, took over the top spot on lap 174 and held on to edge Matt Kenseth by just over one second. Pole sitter Denny Hamlin led 22 laps, but finished seventh, while Kyle Busch led for a race-high 58 laps and placed fifth. Harvick's win total now stands at 38.

Casey Mears became a Nationwide Series champion in 2006, as he raced to victory for the first and only time in his career at the sixth annual Chicagoland race. Before an estimated crowd of 75,000, Mears took the lead on lap 154 of the 200-lap event and held on to edge pole sitter Carl Edwards by less than a second. Edwards led three times for 53 laps, while Kurt Busch led for a race-high 79 laps and finished sixth.

In 2005, Harvick clipped Greg Biffle at the finish line by less than a second for his 15th career Nationwide Series title. Pole sitter Ryan Newman led 118 laps, but finished third. Harvick took the lead for the first and only time on lap 181 and held on the rest of the way. Only six cars failed to finish the race with 18 on the final lap.

When Justin Labonte captured the 2004 race, he started 34th on the grid, the furthest a driver has started and then win the race. The pole sitter has never won this race and only three times has the winner come from the top-3 positions (2003, Bobby Hamilton Jr - 3rd; 2009, Joey Logano - 3rd; 2011 Keselowski - 2nd. Two of the 11 races have been won from outside the top 10. Dodge snapped Toyota's consecutive win streak at three last year.

The next Nationwide Series race is the inaugural Kentucky 300 at Kentucky Speedway on September 22nd.

09/11 16:57:22 ET

As of September 11, 2012, at 04:57 PM ET