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NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Tums Fast Relief 500 Preview

From The Sports Network

 
DATE: Sunday, October 28th
SITE: Martinsville Speedway (1947) -- Martinsville, Virginia
TRACK: 0.526-mile oval - 800 feet (Frontstretch); 800 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 61,000 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 64th
TELEVISION: ESPN
ANNOUNCERS: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
RADIO: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 2 p.m. (ET)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Tony Stewart
RUNNER-UP: Jimmie Johnson
POLE WINNER: Carl Edwards (Finished 9th)
LAPS: 500
MILES: 263
QUALIFYING RECORD: Tony Stewart, 2005 (98.083 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Jeff Gordon, 1996 (82.223 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $4,851,202 (2011 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $198,983; 2nd Place - $161,786; 3rd Place - $142,211
 
2011 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1Tony Stewart46Jeff Burton23
2Jimmie Johnson77Dale Earnhardt Jr9
3Jeff Gordon108Martin Truex Jr24
4Kevin Harvick59Carl Edwards1
5Denny Hamlin1110Ryan Newman12
2011 Tums Fast Relief 500 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 68.648 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 49 minutes, 52 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.170 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 18 for 108 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 23 among 12 drivers
POLE WINNER: Carl Edwards (2011 Owner Points)
Past Tums Fast Relief 500 Winners (car) and Speed
2011 -- Tony Stewart (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 68.648 m.p.h.
2010 -- Denny Hamlin (1st) -- Toyota -- 71.619 m.p.h.
2009 -- Denny Hamlin (17th) -- Toyota -- 73.633 m.p.h.
2008 -- Jimmie Johnson (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 75.931 m.p.h.
2007 -- Jimmie Johnson (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 66.608 m.p.h.
2006 -- Jimmie Johnson (9th) -- Chevrolet -- 70.446 m.p.h.
2005 -- Jeff Gordon (15th) -- Chevrolet -- 69.695 m.p.h.
2004 -- Jimmie Johnson (18th) -- Chevrolet -- 66.103 m.p.h.
2003 -- Jeff Gordon (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 67.658 m.p.h.
2002 -- Kurt Busch (36th) -- Ford -- 74.651 m.p.h.
2001 -- Ricky Craven (6th) -- Ford -- 75.750 m.p.h.
2000 -- Tony Stewart (1st) -- Pontiac -- 73.859 m.p.h.
1999 -- Jeff Gordon (5th) -- Chevrolet -- 72.347 m.p.h.
1998 -- Ricky Rudd (2nd) -- Ford -- 73.350 m.p.h.
1997 -- Jeff Burton (10th) -- Ford -- 73.072 m.p.h.
1996 -- Jeff Gordon (10th) -- Chevrolet -- 82.223 m.p.h. (race record)
1995 -- Dale Earnhardt (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 73.946 m.p.h.
1994 -- Rusty Wallace (7th) -- Ford -- 77.139 m.p.h.
1993 -- Ernie Irvan (1st) -- Ford -- 74.101 m.p.h..
1992 -- Geoff Bodine (7th) -- Ford -- 75.424 m.p.h.
1991 -- Harry Gant (12th) -- Oldsmobile -- 74.535 m.p.h.
1990 -- Geoff Bodine (14th) -- Ford -- 76.386 m.p.h.
1989 -- Darrell Waltrip (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 76.571 m.p.h.
1988 -- Darrell Waltrip (20th) -- Chevrolet -- 74.988 m.p.h.
1987 -- Darrell Waltrip (14th) -- Chevrolet -- 76.410 m.p.h.
1986 -- Rusty Wallace (8th) -- Pontiac -- 73.191 m.p.h.
1985 -- Dale Earnhardt (11th) -- Chevrolet -- 70.694 m.p.h.
1984 -- Darrell Waltrip (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 75.532 m.p.h.
1983 -- Ricky Rudd (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 76.134 m.p.h.
1982 -- Darrell Waltrip (3rd) -- Buick -- 71.315 m.p.h.
1981 -- Darrell Waltrip (1st) -- Buick -- 70.089 m.p.h.
1980 -- Dale Earnhardt (7th) -- Chevrolet -- 69.654 m.p.h.
1979 -- Buddy Baker (7th) -- Chevrolet -- 75.119 m.p.h.
1978 -- Cale Yarborough (6th) -- Oldsmobile -- 79.336 m.p.h.
1977 -- Cale Yarborough (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 73.447 m.p.h.
1976 -- Cale Yarborough (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 75.370 m.p.h.
1975 -- Dave Marcis (7th) -- Dodge -- 75.800 m.p.h.
1974 -- Earl Ross (11th) -- Chevrolet -- 66.232 m.p.h.
1973 -- Richard Petty (6th) -- Dodge -- 68.831 m.p.h.
1972 -- Richard Petty (4th) -- Plymouth -- 69.989 m.p.h.
1971 -- Bobby Isaac (1st) -- Dodge -- 73.681 m.p.h.
1970 -- Richard Petty (4th) -- Plymouth -- 72.159 m.p.h.
1969 -- Richard Petty (6th) -- Ford -- 63.127 m.p.h.
1968 -- Richard Petty (6th) -- Plymouth -- 65.808 m.p.h.
1967 -- Richard Petty (5th) -- Plymouth -- 69.606 m.p.h.
1966 -- Fred Lorenzen (2nd) -- Ford -- 69.177 m.p.h.
1965 -- Junior Johnson (3rd) -- Ford -- 67.056 m.p.h.
1964 -- Fred Lorenzen (1st) -- Ford -- 67.320 m.p.h.
1963 -- Fred Lorenzen (2nd) -- Ford -- 67.486 m.p.h.
1962 -- Nelson Stacy (3rd) -- Ford -- 66.870 m.p.h.
1961 -- Joe Weatherly (4th) -- Pontiac -- 62.590 m.p.h.
1960 -- Rex White (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 60.440 m.p.h.
1959 -- Rex White (14th) -- Chevrolet -- 60.500 m.p.h.
1958 -- Fireball Roberts (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 63.970 m.p.h.
1957 -- Bob Welborn (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 63.030 m.p.h.
1956 -- Jack Smith (23rd) -- Dodge -- 61.140 m.p.h.
1955 -- Speedy Thompson (17th) -- Chrysler -- 59.600 m.p.h.
1954 -- Lee Petty (1st) -- Chrysler -- 44.547 m.p.h.
1953 -- Jim Paschal (n/a) -- Dodge -- 56.013 m.p.h.
1952 -- Herb Thomas (2nd) -- Hudson -- 47.556 m.p.h.
1951 -- Frank Mundy (3rd) -- Oldsmobile -- not available
1950 -- Herb Thomas (19th) -- Plymouth -- not available
1949 -- Red Byron (3rd) -- Oldsmobile -- not available
 
NOTE: Formerly called Goody's 500 (1983-1995), Hanes 500 (1996-97), NAPA
Autocare 500 (1998-2000), Old Dominion 500 (1956-1982, 2001-02), Subway
500 (2003-07).
 
Past Tums Fast Relief 500 Pole Winners (Finish)
2011 -- None -- Weather
2010 -- Denny Hamlin -- 1st
2009 -- Ryan Newman -- 7th
2008 -- None -- Weather
2007 -- Jeff Gordon -- 3rd
2006 -- Kurt Busch -- 27th
2005 -- Tony Stewart -- 2nd
2004 -- Ryan Newman -- 3rd
2003 -- Jeff Gordon -- 1st
2002 -- Ryan Newman -- 15th
2001 -- Todd Bodine -- 12th
2000 -- Tony Stewart -- 1st
1999 -- Joe Nemechek -- 38th
1998 -- Ernie Irvan -- 8th
1997 -- Ward Burton -- 7th
1996 -- Bobby Hamilton -- 3rd
1995 -- None -- Weather
1994 -- Ted Musgrave -- 9th
1993 -- Ernie Irvan -- 1st
1992 -- Kyle Petty -- 4th
1991 -- Mark Martin -- 5th
1990 -- Mark Martin -- 3rd
1989 -- Dale Earnhardt -- 9th
1988 -- Rusty Wallace -- 3rd
1987 -- Geoffrey Bodine -- 20th
1986 -- Geoffrey Bodine -- 2nd
1985 -- Geoffrey Bodine -- 24th
1984 -- Geoffrey Bodine -- 28th
1983 -- Darrell Waltrip -- 3rd
1982 -- Ricky Rudd -- 2nd
1981 -- Darrell Waltrip -- 1st
1980 -- Buddy Baker -- 2nd
1979 -- Darrell Waltrip -- 11th
1978 -- Lennie Pond -- 5th
1977 -- Neil Bonnett -- 22nd
1976 -- Darrell Waltrip -- 2nd
1975 -- Cale Yarborough -- 19th
1974 -- Richard Petty -- 29th
1973 -- Cale Yarborough -- 2nd
1972 -- Bobby Allison -- 2nd
1971 -- Bobby Isaac -- 1st
1970 -- Bobby Allison -- 2nd
1969 -- David Pearson -- 2nd
1968 -- Cale Yarborough -- 2nd
1967 -- Cale Yarborough -- 28th
1966 -- Junior Johnson -- 14th
1965 -- Richard Petty -- 2nd
1964 -- Fred Lorenzen -- 1st
1963 -- Junior Johnson -- 21st
1962 -- Fireball Roberts -- 7th
1961 -- Fred Lorenzen -- 18th
1960 -- Glen Wood -- 25th
1959 -- Glen Wood -- 2nd
1958 -- Glen Wood -- 9th
1957 -- Eddie Pagan -- 19th
1956 -- Buck Baker -- 7th
1955 -- Gwyn Staley -- 7th
1954 -- Lee Petty -- Won
1953 -- Fonty Flock -- 4th
1952 -- Perk Brown -- 22nd
1951 -- Herb Thomas -- 18th
1950 -- Fonty Flock -- 4th
1949 -- Curtis Turner -- 9th
Last Race Results
RACE: Hollywood Casino 400 (October 21st)
SITE: Kansas Speedway -- Kansas City, Kansas
MILES: 400.5
LAPS: 267
WINNER: Matt Kenseth
RUNNER-UP: Martin Truex Jr.
THIRD: Paul Menard
FOURTH: Kasey Kahne
FIFTH: Tony Stewart
POLE WINNER: Kasey Kahne (Finished 4th)
TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 28 minutes, 48 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 115.086 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.495 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 14 for 66 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 16 among 10 drivers
LAP LEADERS: K. Kahne - pole; M. Martin 1-6; A. Almirola 7-33; D. Gilliland
34; A. Almirola 35-73; T. Kvapil 74; J. Johnson 75-118; A.
Almirola 119-121; C. Bowyer 122-123; J. Gordon 124; C. Bowyer
125-127; M. Kenseth 128-156; J. Gordon 157; M. Martin 158-211; P.
Menard 212-217; K. Kahne 218; M. Kenseth 219-267.
Tums Fast Relief 500 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
1Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO)Chevrolet/McDonald's
2Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI)Dodge/Miller Lite
5Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Chevrolet/hendrickcars.com
9Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia)Ford/Black & Decker
10David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL)Chevrolet/Tommy Baldwin Racing
11Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Express
13Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA)Ford/Geico
14 *Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Mobil 1/Office Depot
15Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Toyota/5-Hour Energy
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/3M
17Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Ford/Roush Fenway Racing
18Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/M&M's Halloween
19Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR)Toyota/Plinker Tactical
20Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Toyota/The Home Depot
22Sam Hornish Jr. (Defiance, OH)Dodge/Shell/Pennzoil
23Scott Riggs (Bahama, NC)Chevrolet/North Texas Pipe
24Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/Pepsi Max
26Josh Wise (Riverside, CA)Ford/MDS Transport
27Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/Zecol
29Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Rheem
30David Stremme (South Bend, IN)Toyota/Inception Motorsports
31Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA)Chevrolet/Odyssey/EnerSys
32Ken Schrader (Fenton, MO)Ford/TBA
33To Be AnnouncedChevrolet/littlejoesautos.com
34David Ragan (Unadilla, GA)Ford/Where's Waldo
36Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH)Chevrolet/Tommy Baldwin Racing
37J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Chevrolet/TBA
38David Gilliland (Riverside, CA)Ford/Long John Silver's
39Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/Quicken Loans
42Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia)Chevrolet/Target
43Aric Almirola (Tampa, FL)Ford/Gwaltney
47Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Toyota/Pine Sol
48Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's
51A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA)Chevrolet/Phoenix Construction
55Brian Vickers (Thomasville, NC)Toyota/My Classic Garage
56Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts
78Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/Furniture Row
83Landon Cassill (Cedar Rapids, IA)Toyota/Burger King
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/AM FM Energy Wood&Pellet
88Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/Diet Mt. Dew/Nat Guard
91Reed Sorenson (Peachtree City, GA)Chevrolet/Plinker Tactical
93Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI)Toyota/Burger King
95Scott Speed (Manteca, CA)Ford/TBA
98Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Ford/Phil Parsons Racing
99Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Ford/Geek Squad
 
* - Defending champion
 
Leading Contenders (Finish the last eight years)
Driver200320042005200620072008200920102011
Tony Stewart3rd15th2nd4th13th26th9th24thWon
Jimmie Johnson2ndWon3rdWonWonWon2nd5th2nd
Jeff GordonWon9thWon5th3rd4th5th20th3rd
Kevin Harvick7th8th15th9th10th7th10th3rd4th
Denny Hamlin------8th2nd6th5thWonWon5th
Dale Earnhardt Jr4th33rd18th22nd23rd2nd29th7th7th
Martin Truex Jr---------36th19th10th28th29th8th
Carl Edwards---24th26th12th11th3rd20th8th9th
Ryan Newman5th3rd10th13th2nd23rd7th30th10th
Greg Biffle19th17th20th32nd7th12th25th33rd15th
Brad Keselowski---------------------10th17th
Clint Bowyer---------23rd9th9th19th38th19th
Kasey Kahne---13th17th7th15th33rd32nd14th25th
Kyle Busch------9th18th4th29th4th4th27th
Matt Kenseth13th16th12th11th5th8th14th15th31st
 
Mover of the Week
Regan Smith - Started in the 39th position and finished 7th
 
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Tony Stewart
Darkhorse - Kyle Busch
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Jimmie Johnson) - Finished 9th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Ryan Newman) - Finished 30th
 
NOTES:
With only four races remaining in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, the big news this week is that Dale Earnhardt Jr has been cleared to race at Martinsville.

Earnhardt Jr., who is NASCAR's most popular driver and one of the 12 competitors in this year's Chase, was forced to miss the last two races -- Charlotte and Kansas -- after being diagnosed with a concussion days after he was involved in a 25-car accident on the final lap of the Oct. 7 event at Talladega. He also sustained a concussion during a crash while participating in the Aug. 29 Goodyear tire test at Kansas, which had recently been repaved.

Regan Smith had substituted for Earnhardt Jr., finishing 38th at Charlotte due to engine failure and then seventh at Kansas. As a result of missing the last two races, Earnhardt Jr. is last in the Chase rankings, 122 points behind leader Brad Keselowski.

Keselowski maintained his lead with an eighth-place finish last week and owns a seven-point advantage over Jimmie Johnson. The five-time champion is winless in the Chase, but has posted five top-10s in the last six starts, including two runner-up finishes.

Last year, Tony Stewart raced to victory, as he passed Johnson for the lead just after a restart with three laps remaining and then held off a fierce challenge from Johnson to claim his third Chase win in 2011. The 500-lap race at Martinsville turned out to be a slugfest, featuring a season-high 18 cautions -- all of them for accidents. Stewart, a three-time winner this season, has not won since early July.

Back in 2010, Hamlin moved to within six points of eventual champion Jimmie Johnson in the Chase after winning the Tums Fast Relief 500. Hamlin started on the pole, but dealt with an ill-handling car early in the race. He fell back as far as 15th before his pit crew made proper adjustments on the car, which helped him get back into contention for the win. Hamlin grabbed the lead from Kevin Harvick with 30 laps remaining, and then held it for his third consecutive win at Martinsville.

Hamlin and Johnson had dominated at Martinsville from the fall of 2006 through 2010, winning nine times and posting 18 top-10 finishes. Hamlin had won three straight starting in the fall of 2009, while Johnson won three in a row from the fall of 2006 and captured five in a six-race stretch through spring of 2009. How good has Johnson been at Martinsville? In 21 career starts, he has finished outside the top-10 just three times (2002, 2010, 2012). In fact, he has not finished outside the top-12 since 2002, his first start at Martinsville.

In 2009, Hamlin grabbed the lead from Johnson with 139 laps remaining and then a lightning-fast pit stop under green late in the race allowed him to keep the top position. An incident involving then-rookie Scott Speed set up a green-white- checkered finish. On the final restart, Hamlin pulled away from Johnson and fended him off before the race concluded under caution when John Andretti spun around at the start/finish line.

Johnson defeated Dale Earnhardt Jr in 2008 by less than a second for win number 39. It was another overwhelming performance, as he led seven times for a whopping 339 laps. Starting on the pole, Johnson led the final 35 laps to edge Earnhardt Jr by 0.708 of a second.

Johnson became the first back-to-back winner of this race since Darrell Waltrip captured three straight in 1987-89, when he won in 2007. Johnson, who started fourth on the grid, led four times for 147 laps, as he defeated Ryan Newman under caution for his 30th career Sprint Cup title. Johnson survived a record number of cautions (21) en route to victory.

When Kurt Busch won the 2002 fall race from the 36th starting position, it marked the furthest back a race winner had started.

In 2005, Jeff Gordon reclaimed the lead on lap 360 of the 500-lap event and held off pole sitter Tony Stewart for his 73rd Sprint Cup Series title. Stewart led seven times for a total of 283 laps, but finished 0.235 of a second behind Gordon. Before 72,000 fans, Gordon led for 151 laps, as he captured one of four races that year.

Not quite out of the Chase, Jeff Gordon, 8th on the points list, has enjoyed plenty of success at Martinsville with seven wins, seven all-time poles and 31 top-10 finishes in 39 starts. His average finish is 7.077 with 3,423 laps led.

Three active drivers average a top-10 finish at Martinsville: Jimmie Johnson (5.7), Denny Hamlin (6.4) and Jeff Gordon (7.0).

Martinsville Speedway is the last charter race track still on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. There have been many changes to the .526-mile facility since it hosted its first NASCAR premier series event in 1949. That first race at the dirt-surfaced speedway covered 200 laps with 15 cars in the field. Today's races at Martinsville cover 500 laps with 43 cars competing. A crowd of 10,000 attended that first race, while an estimated 64,000 were in attendance at the race last season. Red Byron won the initial race in 1949, pocketing $1,500 for the victory. There have been 127 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway, one in the inaugural year and two races per year since 1950. The pole sitter has captured 19 of those races, the last coming in 2010 when Hamlin raced to victory.

The Chase for the Sprint Cup championship continues at Texas Motor Speedway for the November 4 running of the AAA Texas 500. Tony Stewart is the defending race winner.

10/23 18:23:34 ET

As of October 23, 2012, at 06:23 PM ET