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NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Aaron's 499 Preview

From The Sports Network

 
DATE: Sunday, April 17th
SITE: Talladega Superspeedway (1969) -- Talladega, Alabama
TRACK: 2.66-mile oval - 4,300 feet (Frontstretch); 4,000 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 131,866 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 42nd
TELEVISION: FOX
ANNOUNCERS: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds
RADIO: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 1 p.m. (et); Green Flag: 1:19 p.m. (et)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Kevin Harvick
RUNNER-UP: Jamie McMurray
POLE WINNER: Jimmie Johnson (Finished 31st)
LAPS: 188
MILES: 500
QUALIFYING RECORD: Bill Elliott, 1987 (212.809 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Mark Martin, 1997 (188.354 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $5,982,252 (2010 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $344,501; 2nd Place - $245,879; 3rd Place - $205,356
 
2010 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1Kevin Harvick46David Ragan26
2Jamie McMurray217Clint Bowyer14
3Juan Pablo Montoya248Kurt Busch9
4Denny Hamlin119Kyle Busch6
5Mark Martin1010Mike Bliss37
2010 Aaron's 499 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 150.590 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 31 minutes, 58 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.011 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 8 for 32 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 88 among 29 drivers
POLE WINNER: Jimmie Johnson (2010 owner points)
Past Aaron's 499 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2010 -- Kevin Harvick (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 150.590 m.p.h.
2009 -- Brad Keselowski (9th) -- Chevrolet -- 147.565 m.p.h.
2008 -- Kyle Busch (5th) -- Toyota -- 157.409 m.p.h.
2007 -- Jeff Gordon (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 154.167 m.p.h.
2006 -- Jimmie Johnson (16th) -- Chevrolet -- 142.880 m.p.h.
2005 -- Jeff Gordon (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 146.904 m.p.h.
2004 -- Jeff Gordon (11th) -- Chevrolet -- 129.396 m.p.h.
2003 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr (13th) -- Chevrolet -- 144.625 m.p.h.
2002 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr (4th -- Chevrolet -- 159.022 m.p.h.
2001 -- Bobby Hamilton (14th) -- Chevrolet -- 184.003 m.p.h.
2000 -- Jeff Gordon (36th) -- Chevrolet -- 161.157 m.p.h.
1999 -- Dale Earnhardt (17th) -- Chevrolet -- 163.395 m.p.h.
1998 -- Bobby Labonte (1st) -- Pontiac -- 142.428 m.p.h.
1997 -- Mark Martin (18th) -- Ford -- 188.354 m.p.h. (race record)
1996 -- Sterling Marlin (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 149.999 m.p.h.
1995 -- Mark Martin (3rd) -- Ford -- 178.902 m.p.h.
1994 -- Dale Earnhardt (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 157.478 m.p.h.
1993 -- Ernie Irvan (16th) -- Chevrolet -- 155.412 m.p.h.
1992 -- Davey Allison (2nd) -- Ford -- 167.609 m.p.h.
1991 -- Harry Gant (2nd) -- Oldsmobile -- 165.620 m.p.h.
1990 -- Dale Earnhardt (5th) -- Chevrolet -- 159.571 m.p.h.
1989 -- Davey Allison (2nd) -- Ford -- 155.869 m.p.h.
1988 -- Phil Parsons (3rd) -- Oldsmobile -- 156.547 m.p.h.
1987 -- Davey Allison (3rd) -- Ford -- 154.228 m.p.h.
1986 -- Bobby Allison (2nd) -- Buick -- 157.698 m.p.h.
1985 -- Bill Elliott (1st) -- Ford -- 186.228 m.p.h.
1984 -- Cale Yarborough (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 172.998 m.p.h.
1983 -- Richard Petty (15th) -- Pontiac -- 153.936 m.p.h.
1982 -- Darrell Waltrip (2nd) -- Buick -- 156.697 m.p.h.
1981 -- Bobby Allison (1st) -- Buick -- 149.376 m.p.h.
1980 -- Buddy Baker (2nd) -- Oldsmobile -- 170.481 m.p.h.
1979 -- Bobby Allison (12th) -- Ford -- 154.770 m.p.h.
1978 -- Cale Yarborough (1st) -- Oldsmobile -- 159.699 m.p.h.
1977 -- Darrell Waltrip (11th) -- Chevrolet -- 164.877 m.p.h.
1976 -- Buddy Baker (12th) -- Ford -- 169.887 m.p.h.
1975 -- Buddy Baker (1st) -- Ford -- 144.948 m.p.h.
1974 -- David Pearson (1st) -- Mercury -- 130.220 m.p.h.
1973 -- David Pearson (2nd) -- Mercury -- 131.956 m.p.h.
1972 -- David Pearson (2nd) -- Mercury -- 134.400 m.p.h.
1971 -- Donnie Allison (1st) -- Mercury -- 147.419 m.p.h.
1970 -- Pete Hamilton (6th) -- Plymouth -- 152.321 m.p.h.
 
NOTE: Formerly called Alabama 500 (1970), Winston 500 (1971-93), Winston
Select 500 (1994-96), Winston 500 (1997), Diehard 500 (1998-00),
Talladega 500 (2001).
 
Past Aaron's 499 Pole Winners (Finish)
2010 -- None -- Weather
2009 -- Juan Pablo Montoya -- 20th
2008 -- Joe Nemechek -- 25th
2007 -- Jeff Gordon -- 1st
2006 -- Elliott Sadler -- 16th
2005 -- Kevin Harvick -- 12th
2004 -- Ricky Rudd -- 17th
2003 -- Jeremy Mayfield -- 18th
2002 -- Jimmie Johnson -- 7th
2001 -- Stacy Compton -- 43rd
2000 -- Jeremy Mayfield -- 14th
1999 -- Ken Schrader -- 6th
1998 -- Bobby Labonte -- 1st
1997 -- John Andretti -- 4th
1996 -- Ernie Irvan -- 31st
1995 -- Terry Labonte -- 26th
1994 -- Ernie Irvan -- 2nd
1993 -- Dale Earnhardt -- 4th
1992 -- Ernie Irvan -- 5th
1991 -- Ernie Irvan -- 32nd
1990 -- Bill Elliott -- 22nd
1989 -- Mark Martin -- 3rd
1988 -- Davey Allison -- 34th
1987 -- Bill Elliott -- 22nd
1986 -- Bill Elliott -- 24th
1985 -- Bill Elliott -- 1st
1984 -- Cale Yarborough -- 1st
1983 -- Cale Yarborough -- 29th
1982 -- Benny Parsons -- 3rd
1981 -- Bobby Allison -- 1st
1980 -- David Pearson -- 3rd
1979 -- Darrell Waltrip -- 2nd
1978 -- Cale Yarborough -- 1st
1977 -- A.J. Foyt -- 38th
1976 -- Dave Marcis -- 9th
1975 -- Buddy Baker -- 1st
1974 -- David Pearson -- 1st
1973 -- Buddy Baker -- 40th
1972 -- Bobby Isaac -- 2nd
1971 -- Donnie Allison -- 1st
1970 -- Bobby Isaac -- 2nd
Last Race Results
RACE: Samsung Mobile 500 (April 9th)
SITE: Texas Motor Speedway -- Fort Worth, Texas
MILES: 501
LAPS: 334
WINNER: Matt Kenseth
RUNNER-UP: Clint Bowyer
THIRD: Carl Edwards
FOURTH: Greg Biffle
FIFTH: Paul Menard
POLE WINNER: David Ragan (Finished 7th)
TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 21 minutes, 26 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 149.231 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 8.315 seconds
CAUTION FLAGS: 5 for 24 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 31 among 13 drivers
LAP LEADERS: D. Ragan 1-10; Kurt Busch 11-14; B. Keselowski 15-46; Kurt Busch
47; R. Gordon 48; D. Blaney 49; M. Kenseth 50-51; G. Biffle
52-58; M. Kenseth 59-94; C. Bowyer 95; C. Edwards 96; D.
Earnhardt Jr. 97-98; M. Kenseth 99-114; D. Ragan 115; Kurt Busch
116-123; M. Kenseth 124-162; C. Edwards 163-164; J. Gordon 165;
M. Kenseth 166-199; C. Bowyer 200-204; M. Kenseth 205-213; C.
Bowyer 214-248; M. Kenseth 249; C. Bowyer 250; M. Ambrose 251;
T.Stewart 252-256; Kurt Busch 257-269; T. Stewart 270-276;
M.Kenseth 277-294; C. Bowyer 295-296; Kurt Busch 297-320;
M.Kenseth 321-334.
Aaron's 499 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
00David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL)Toyota/Aaron's Coloring Contest
1Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO)Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops
2Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI)Dodge/Miller Lite
4Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Toyota/Red Bull
5Mark Martin (Batesville, AR)Chevrolet/Carquest/GoDaddy.com
6David Ragan (Unadilla, GA)Ford/UPS
7Robby Gordon (Orange, CA)Dodge/Speed Energy
09Landon Cassill (Cedar Rapids, IA)Chevrolet/Security Benefits
9Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia)Ford/DeWalt
11Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Office
13Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA)Toyota/GEICO
14Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Office Depot
15Michael Waltrip (Owensboro, KY)Toyota/Aaron's
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/3M Scotch Blue
17Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Ford/Crown Royal Black
18Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/M&M's Pretzel
20Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Toyota/Home Depot
21Trevor Bayne (Knoxville, TN)Ford/Good Sam Club/Camping World
22Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Dodge/Shell/Pennzoil/AAA
24Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/Drive to End Hunger
27Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/Schrock
29 *Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Budweiser
31Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA)Chevrolet/Caterpillar
32Terry Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Ford/C&J Energy
33Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Chevrolet/BB&T
34David Gilliland (Riverside, CA)Ford/Taco Bell
35Steve Park (East Northport, NY)Chevrolet/TBA
36Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH)Chevrolet/AllSport Body Quencher
37Tony Raines (LaPorte, IN)Ford/TBA
38Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI)Ford/Long John Silver's/T-Mone
39Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/Haas Automation
42Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia)Chevrolet/Target
43A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA)Ford/Best Buy
46Bill Elliott (Dawsonville, GA)Chevrolet/Red Line Oil
47Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Toyota/Bush's Baked Beans
48Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's
56Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/NAPA
60Mike Skinner (Susanville, CA)Toyota/Big Red
66Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Toyota/HP Racing LLC
71Andy Lally (Northport, NY)Ford/Eco-Fuel Saver
78Regan Smith (Cato, NY)Chevrolet/Furniture Row Racing
83Brian Vickers (Thomasville, NC)Toyota/Red Bull
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/NEMCO Motorsports
88Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/Amp Energy/Nat'l Guard
97Kevin Conway (Cornelius, NC)Toyota/Extenze
99Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Ford/AFLAC
 
* - Defending champion
 
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Driver200220032004200520062007200820092010
Kevin Harvick28th2nd3rd12th23rd6th24th38thWon
Jamie McMurray---27th9th5th5th5th17th42nd2nd
Juan Pablo Montoya---------------31st2nd20th3rd
Denny Hamlin------------22nd21st3rd22nd4th
Mark Martin37th26th6th33rd35th------43rd5th
David Ragan---------------17th4th12th6th
Clint Bowyer------------40th35th9th39th7th
Kurt Busch3rd19th36th7th7th3rd39th6th8th
Kyle Busch---------41st32nd37thWon25th9th
Carl Edwards---------32nd8th42nd40th24th11th
Martin Truex Jr---------21st36th10th37th33rd12th
Dale Earnhardt JrWonWon2nd15th31st7th10th2nd13th
David Reutimann---------------32nd20th26th14th
Tony Stewart29th25th22nd2nd2nd28th38th23rd16th
Greg Biffle---22nd15th13th38th29th18th7th17th
Kasey Kahne------30th24th39th12th23rd36th21st
Jeff Gordon4th8thWonWon15thWon19th37th22nd
Paul Menard---------------43rd14th13th25th
Matt Kenseth30th9th42nd11th6th14th41st17th28th
Brian Vickers------27th37th3rd---5th8th29th
Jimmie Johnson7th15th4th20thWon2nd13th30th31st
Jeff Burton9th35th7th10th4th34th12th10th32nd
Brad Keselowski---------------------Won34th
Ryan Newman43rd39th11th39th33rd9th8th3rd35th
Joey Logano---------------------9th36th
Trevor Bayne---------------------------
 
Mover of the Week
Dale Earnhardt Jr - Started 28th in the field and finished 9th
 
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Kevin Harvick
Darkhorse - Dave Blaney
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Carl Edwards) - Finished 3rd
Last Week's Darkhorse (Greg Biffle) - Finished 4th
 
NOTES:
In a race that saw 88 lead changes among 29 drivers, Kevin Harvick was the first to cross the finish line, as he captured the 2010 running of the Aaron's 499.

Harvick held the lead briefly on the fifth lap, but it wasn't until the final lap that he assumed control again and then held off Jamie McMurray by 0.011 of a second for his 12th career Sprint Cup title. The victory ended a 115-race winless streak.

During a third attempt at a green-white-checkered finish, second-place runner Harvick pushed leader McMurray around the 2.66-mile superspeedway before Harvick perfectly timed his winning pass just before they approached the finish line for his first victory since the 2007 Daytona 500.

Starting from the ninth position, Brad Keselowski took the lead for the first and only time on the final lap to clip Dale Earnhardt Jr by less than a second for his first and only Sprint Cup title in 2009. With 57 lead changes among 25 drivers, Keselowski had the last laugh, as he outraced Earnhardt Jr by 0.175 of a second for the win in just his fifth Sprint start.

Kyle Busch won the 2008 running of the Aaron's 499 at Talladega as the checkered flag came out because of two multi-car accidents on the last lap. The No.18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota crossed the finish line just ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya. With the win, Busch won for the sixth time in his career. Since then, Busch has added 14 more victories to his total and now ranks 33rd on the all-time list with 20 titles.

Jeff Gordon became the first four-time winner of this race in 2007, when he raced to victory. Gordon, who became the first pole sitter to capture this race since Bobby Labonte in 1998, reclaimed the lead on lap 185 and held on to edge Jimmie Johnson under caution. Gordon led 10 times for a total of 71 laps, as he claimed the 77th of his 83 career Sprint Cup titles.

In his 36 career starts at Talladega (Sprint and Nationwide), Gordon has six wins, 13 top-five's and 17 top-10's. Recently, Gordon has struggled at Talladega with just one top-10 in his last six starts. When Gordon captured the 2007 race, he became the all-time leader in restrictor plate wins with 12, passing the great Dale Earnhardt.

Jimmie Johnson led for only three laps, but it was good enough to claim his 21st career Sprint Cup Series title in 2006. Johnson, who has now improved to 53 victories, overtook Brian Vickers and Tony Stewart on the final lap to take the checkered flag by the slimmest of margins (0.120 of a second). Pole Sitter Elliott Sadler led for 23 laps, but finished 16th. Ironically, Vickers returned the favor in the second Talladega race in 2006, as he passed Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr on the closing lap for the win.

David Pearson is the only driver in history to win three consecutive Aaron's 499's (1972-74). The race history at Talladega features many multiple champions. Gordon is a four-time winner, while Pearson, Bobby Allison, Davey Allison, Buddy Baker and Dale Earnhardt are three-time champions. Mark Martin, Darrell Waltrip and Cale Yarborough won this race twice.

Chevrolet has dominated this race in recent years winning 11 of the last 12 Aaron's 499. Toyota snapped the Chevrolet streak in 2008.

Dale Earnhardt Jr and his father had great success at Talladega. Dale Sr won 10 times at the track, while Dale Jr's victory total stands at five.

Opened in 1969, Talladega Superspeedway was last paved in the summer of 2006. The original name for the raceway was Alabama International Motor Speedway and was changed to its current name in 1989. The tri-oval superspeedway is 2.66 miles in length. There have been 83 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Alabama. 32 of 83 races have been won from a top-two starting position, including 13 from the pole; 23 have been won from a starting position outside the top 10.

Since the inception of electronic scoring in 1993, every race that has ended under green has had a margin of victory under half a second.

Auburn head football coach Gene Chizik will serve as the grand marshal.

The next Sprint Cup Series race is the April 30 Crown Royal Presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Kyle Busch won last year's race there.

04/12 21:41:13 ET

As of April 12, 2011, at 09:41 PM ET