On this website; rates start at $30/month; reach thousands of brand-loyal customers.|
Call 902.444.0703 for info.
Establish your online identity; starting at $295.|
Call 902.444.0703 for info.
Sunday, April 27
Kyle Busch celebrates a well-deserved win after coming back from an early race pit miscue that caused him to lose a lap - and then
saving his car from a total sideways slide through the tri-oval in the late stages of the race.
"Wild Thing" Wins Wild One at Talladega
TALLADEGA, AL (April 28, 2008) – Kyle Busch - dubbed "Wild Thing" by television broadcasters - won racing's biggest crapshoot Sunday after a knuckle-cracking, tension-filled NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway.
After a multi-car wreck with 25 laps to go ruined Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart's chances, Busch battled his way to the front with some bold moves in the closing laps of a thrilling race.
Juan Pablo Montoya, the former Indy 500 winner and Formula One star, crossed the finish line in second, glued to the bumper of the winner.
Jaun Pablo Montoya (42) gives Kyle Busch (18) a push in the closing laps of the race.
The seventh caution flag of the day fell on the final lap, signaling the end of the race, when a gaggle of cars racing for finishing position started spinning behind the leaders.
The race which featured 52 lead changes among 20 drivers was totally unpredictable from start to finish with drivers swapping the lead several times on a single lap.
Denny Hamlin, who raced Stewart and Earnhardt for the lead throughout most of the race, finished third with rookie David Ragan fourth. Ragan also mixed it up with the leaders all day.
Brian Vickers was fifth, followed by Travis Kvapil, Casey Mears, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer and Earnhardt, who managed a 10th-place finish despite his car being damaged in the wreck.
It was a pins and needles afternoon with just about every driver leading for a spell. On the final restart, two-time champion Jimmie Johnson pushed Michael Waltrip to the front momentarily but the deck shuffled several times by the end. Johnson finished 13th and teammate Jeff Gordon, who challenged up front in the closing moments, wound up 19th.
Points leader Jeff Burton, who also ran with the frontrunners most of the overcast afternoon, was caught up in the last accident and finished 12th.
As heartbreaking as it was for Earnhardt and Stewart, substitute driver David Stremme –filling in for the injured Dario Franchitti – ran strong all day but was also eliminated in the final accident of the day.
Stewart jumped into the lead at the start on a balmy day at Talladega's two and a half mile speed emporium that has produced some of NASCAR's most exciting races.
By lap 10, Talladega favorite Earnhardt had moved from ninth to third.
It was a short day for Chip Ganassi Racing driver Reed Sorensen, who retired to the garage with engine problems after just five laps.
Behind the leaders Stewart, David Ragan and Earnhardt, pole winner Nemechek settled into fourth with veteran Schrader on his bumper.
Four-time series champion Gordon had moved from 20th to eighth by the 19th lap when former champion Matt Kenseth slid into the turn four wall for the first caution of the afternoon.
Nemechek lost valuable time in the pits while his crew switched his car from "qualifying mode" to "race mode," such as reconnecting belts like power steering that might produce a little more speed.
On the restart, Stewart was still leading with Kyle Busch second, Sadler third and Gordon fourth, followed by Brian Vickers, Earnhardt, Ragan, Jamie McMurray, Montoya and Scott Riggs.
Shortly afterwards, McMurray and Hamlin hooked up in the outside groove and streaked past Stewart and the others. After pushing McMurray to the front, Hamlin ducked to the bottom in turn one and took the lead himself on lap 33.
By lap 37, Earnhardt pulled out of line in front of Gordon and roared to the front, much to the delight of the huge, partisan crowd.
Clearly, the outside groove was the place to be. By lap 41, it was Earnhardt, Gordon, Paul Menard, Newman and Kevin Harvick, who started back in 39th position. Stewart and company had faded to 20th.
Hotshoe Carl Edwards brushed the wall and lost the draft during this period of the race.
The racing was just what people expect to see at Talladega with two and three abreast racing keeping the crowd on its feet.
Earnhardt maintained the lead during several skirmishes but Vickers got out front briefly and held on for several laps.
Earnhardt then fell in behind Menard and pushed him into the lead. Montoya got a push from Hamlin and led briefly but Earnhardt took over again on lap 53. Then Hamlin went out front. The lead was changing so fast, it was hard to keep up with who was first, and for how long.
Harvick took a turn in front, then Hamlin again. Then Earnhardt again at 60 laps of this 188-lap nail-biter.
After everyone had pitted under the green flag, Stewart was once again out front.
Vickers, who had been in the thick of things, spun his car exiting pit road and lost a lot of track position, all the way back to 30th spot.
By 70 laps, it was Stewart, Hamlin, Menard, Martin Truex Jr., Kvapil, Johnson, rookie Michael McDowell, Waltrip, Elliott Sadler and Bowyer. Earnhardt had dropped to 11th spot.
On lap 76, Indy 500 winner Sam Hornish Jr., scraped the wall slightly and had to make an unscheduled pit stop.
By the 80th lap, Earnhardt was back up to fourth just behind Johnson. Stewart and Hamlin were in front. The next lap, Earnhardt pushed Johnson towards the front but fell back in line, leaving Johnson in a fade-away position, all the way back to 15th.
Stewart and Hamlin were hooked together for several laps and Nemechek had worked his way back into the top 10.
Earnhardt took the lead again on lap 88 with the Stewart-Hamlin duo stuck on his bumper.
At the halfway mark, 94 laps, it was Earnhardt, Stewart, Hamlin, McMurray, Ragan, Menard, Waltrip, Newman, Truex, and Sadler.
Complete Race Results click here
Post-Race Driver Point Standings click here
Joe Nemechek was the surpirse Coors Light Pole Award winner for the Aaron’s 499 with a lap of 51.103 seconds, 187.386
Complete Qualifying Results click here
Starting Lineup click here
- This is his 10th pole in 465 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. This is his first top-10 start in 2008.
- This is Nemechek’s fourth pole and 11th top-10 start in 27 races at Talladega Superspeedway. He also was
the fastest of the drivers required to make the field on time.
- Tony Stewart (second) posted his fifth top-10 start in 2008 and his eighth top-10 start in 19 Talladega races.
He tied his career-best start here set in May 2006.
- Ken Schrader (third) posted his 14th top-10 start in 45 races at Talladega, but his first since September
- Kyle Busch (third) posted his sixth top-10 start in 2008 and his second in seven Talladega races.
- Jon Wood (12th) qualified for his second NASCAR Sprint Cup race. He started 41st and finished 29th at Las
Vegas in 2007
- Sterling Marlin (16th) qualified for his first race since Homestead in 2007.
- Patrick Carpentier (17th) was the fastest qualifying rookie and all five rookie candidates made the field.
- Drivers that failed to qualify: Dave Blaney, J.J. Yeley and John Andretti.
Broadcast Times - AT*
Practice: Friday, April 25 (SPEED at 3:30 p.m.)
Final Practice: Friday, April 25 (SPEED at 5 p.m.)
Qualifying: Saturday, April 26 (SPEED at Noon)
RaceDay: Sunday, April 27 (SPEED at 12:30 p.m.)
Pre-Race Show: Sunday, April 27 (FOX & TSN-alt at 2:30 p.m.)
Race: Sunday, April 27 (FOX & TSN-alt at 3 p.m.)
*AT is one hour ahead of ET, i.e. if it's 2 p.m./AT - it's 1 p.m./ET...
Kevin Harvick (right), fastest overall in Friday's two practice sessions at Talladega, chats with the Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Friday First Practice Speed Chart click here Harvick tops chart at 195.936 mph
Friday Final Practice Speed Chart click here Waltrip fastest at 192.754 mph
Saturday's Qualifying Order click here Starts Noon on SPEED
The Race: Aaron’s 499
The Place: Talladega Superspeedway
The Track: 2.66-mile tri-oval
The Distance: 500 miles/188 laps
TV: FOX & TSN-alt, 2:30 p.m./AT, 1:30 p.m./ET
Radio: MRN, SIRIUS Satellite Radio
2007 Winner: Jeff Gordon
2007 Polesitter: Jeff Gordon
Pre-Race Schedule (local track time): Friday—Practice, 1:30-2:30 p.m.; Final Practice, 3:05-3:55 p.m.; Saturday — Qualifying, 10:15 a.m.
Year-To-Date Race Results & Driver Point Standings click here
NASCAR Newscast - Talladega Preview click here
Talladega Storylines click here
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (right) and his father watching Talladega practice in 2000, the year before the elder Earnhardt's death at Daytona. Dale Sr.
has 10 victories at Talladega, the most of any driver; and Jr. has five - looking for number six this weekend.
Pre-Race Pit Stops
- Gordon Facing Talladega Crossroads...A year ago, four-time series champion Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont-Pepsi Chevrolet) arrived for the spring event at 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway atop the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings — and promptly won his second consecutive race.
As the series anticipates Sunday’s Aaron’s 499, Gordon sits 13th, eight points out of 12th, the cut-off spot for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Last year’s series runner-up, he’s juggled uncharacteristic inconsistency in 2008, but Talladega could mark a turning point.
Gordon leads all active drivers with six victories there. He’s also NASCAR’s all-time leader with 12 wins at restrictor-plate tracks (Talladega and 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway). And, he’s Sunday’s defending champion, having won from the pole last April and sweeping both Talladega events in 2007.
Gordon’s statistical tank certainly is full: He ranks first in pre-race Driver Rating for Talladega (98.5) and fourth in Laps in the Top 15, having run 63.6% of his laps in the top 15. His Average Running Position of 14.3 is the series’ sixth-best. Finally, the top-ranked driver in pre-race Driver Rating has finished in the top 10 in six of eight races in 2008.
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. Seeks Landmark Victory...Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet) may live in another state, but given his Alabama success, Talladega could be considered his competitive “home”.
In his first season with Hendrick Motorsports, Earnhardt returns as a strong favorite for Sunday’s Aaron’s 499. He trails only teammate Jeff Gordon in Talladega victories by active drivers (five), his highest win total at any track on the series schedule.
Legacy is a factor: His father, seven-time series champion Dale Earnhardt, won 10 times at Talladega, more than any other driver.
But a sixth Talladega victory by the younger Earnhardt would do more than bolster career numbers. Currently third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings, he’d climb higher; he’s six points behind second –place Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Toyota) and 80 points behind leader Jeff Burton (No. 31 AT&T Mobility Chevrolet).
The last time Earnhardt was second in the standings was after the 31st race of 2004. The last time he led the standings was following the 27th race in 2004.
Sunday’s event also marks Earnhardt’s 300th career NASCAR Sprint Cup start.
- Why Is Jr So Good at Talladega? According to Jr..."I enjoy it. I study it. Studying it hard is important, I
think, because I just watched Dad and watched a lot of races and tried to understand why things were happening that didn't look
like they should be happening. How cars got runs in certain areas of the track and how they work side-by-side differently
every time they would go back from the old Monte Carlos to the new Lumina. They changed how the cars ran side-by-side. I wasn't
driving them, but I would just watch that and wondered why they sometimes struggled side-by-side. I just studied all that
stuff all the time."
- Three Series, One Winner: Kyle Busch On A Victory Tear...Seemingly everywhere, and nearly always up front, Kyle Busch appears poised for a dream season.
Heading into Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway, the fourth-year driver is at, or near, the top of all three NASCAR national series standings.
He’s second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings, 80 points behind leader Jeff Burton. He’s also third in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, 60 points out of first, and he leads the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standings by 35 points over second place.
Here’s why: Busch has more wins than anyone else in all three national series, to date.
That’s one NASCAR Sprint Cup win (at Atlanta Motor Speedway), three consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series wins (including last Sunday at Mexico City) and two in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
Accumulating wins means accumulating starts, and Busch is doing that this season.
Although his stated focus is the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Joe Gibbs Racing, Busch plans to run a number of events in the other two national series, as schedules allow.
He’s competing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for both JGR and Braun Racing. He competes for Billy Ballew Motorsports in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
And he’ll forfeit the standings lead in the latter this weekend, as both the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series are in action Saturday, three hours apart — in different states.
While Busch will compete in Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 and Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event, Shane Sieg will take his seat in Saturday’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Kansas Speedway.
- Chevrolet Clearly Dominant At Talladega...Chevrolet’s bow-tie logo has been a recent constant in Talladega’s Victory Lane, a success rate only magnified by statistics.
Chevrolet drivers have won the last four NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Talladega — and 16 of the last 17 series events there.
It’s a dominance that extends to the NASCAR Nationwide Series, where Chevrolet drivers have won the last five Talladega events.
Part of the manufacturer’s success is tied to two drivers — Hendrick Motorsports teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon — who have won 10 of those 17 races (five each).
Earnhardt won his all back-to-back, from the fall event of 2001 through the spring event of 2003.
But while Chevrolet is the overwhelming manufacturer favorite heading to Talladega, its competitors rank close behind in seasonal stats.
This year ’s mix of winners and close competition shows up in another statistical category — the 2008 manufacturers’ standings.
Chevrolet holds a narrow four-point lead over second-place Ford, which leads third-place Toyota by three points. Dodge, 14 points behind Toyota, is a couple of wins away from unseating one or more competitors.
Through eight events, Ford leads with Carl Edwards’ (No. 99 Office Depot Ford) three wins. Both Toyota and Chevrolet have two wins each, while Dodge has one.
- AJ Allmendinger, Jon Wood Return To NASCAR Sprint Cup Series...As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Talladega, so does AJ Allmendinger to his seat.
The second-year driver ends a four-week hiatus during which veteran driver and current NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standout Mike Skinner took over the No. 84 Team Red Bull Toyota. A learning period designed to aid both Allendinger and his young team, Skinner’s tenure revealed some telling observations.
“After seeing Mike drive the No. 84 car and seeing him struggle with some of the same problems I had been having, it was a little bit of relief for me to realize that while I had plenty of room to improve as a driver, we also have a long way to go as a team,” said Allmendinger, who remained at the track each week and in contact with Skinner. “Collectively, we still need to get better. I think part of us getting better as a team is about taking small steps towards improvement, and I think we were able to do that with Mike's help.”
After a tough rookie season in 2007, Allmendinger and his team struggled early in 2008, prompting the month out of the car.
A former open-wheel standout, he knows he’s still learning stock-car nuances, but feels more ready than ever to resume the challenge.
“While I can't lie and say it was easy being out of my car and watching someone else drive it,” Allmendinger said, “I can say that Mike tried to make the experience a positive thing for me by making me feel like I was still a part of the team and still a part of the learning process in fixing our program.”
… Jon Wood, son of Wood Brothers Racing co-owner Eddie Wood and grandson of team founder Leonard Wood, will attempt to qualify the No. 21 Little Debbie Ford at Talladega. If he makes the field, it will be his second series start.
The younger Wood also is driving the team’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entry this Saturday at Kansas Speedway.
- The Top 35: Four Teams Chasing DEI And Regan Smith...As NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams prepare for Sunday’s Aaron’s 499, the top 35 in the owner standings remains a significant factor.
Each week, those teams are guaranteed starting spots, and weekend performances are especially crucial for those on the top-35 “bubble”.
Heading to Talladega, the No. 01 Dale Earnhardt Inc./Principal Chevrolet owned by Teresa Earnhardt and driven by Regan Smith is 35th for the third consecutive week.
Only 40 points separate the four teams trailing in 36th through 39th.
The No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota owned by Jeffrey Moorad driven by J.J. Yeley is 36th, a drop of three spots. Yeley trails Smith by three points in the owner standings.
The No. 44 UPS Toyota driven by David Reutimann and owned by Michael Waltrip is 34th, a gain of four spots. Reutimann finished 18th at Phoenix, returning his team for the top 35 for the first time in three weeks.
Behind Yeley, the No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota owned by Bill Davis and driven by Dave Blaney is 37th, only five points behind Yeley and eight points out of 35th.
The No. 70 Haas Automation Chevrolet owned by Margaret Haas will be driven by veteran Ken Schrader at Talladega. It’s 38th, only four points behind Blaney and 12 points out of 35th.
The No. 40 Dodge owned by Felix Sabates and driven by Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Dario Franchitti is 39th, 40 points out.
Although 41st and 165 points behind 35th, fellow rookie Patrick Carpentier and the No. 10 LifeLock Dodge owned by George Gillett Jr., continue their climb. Carpentier fell to 48th after the year’s second event at Auto Club Speedway, but has gained seven spots in the last six weeks.
- International Motorsports Hall of Fame Induction...The International Motorsports Hall of Fame, whose facility adjoins Talladega Superspeedway, will induct its 2008 honorees during a black-tie ceremony on Thursday, April 24.
This year’s class includes Art Arfons, Robert “Red” Byron, Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins, Frank Kurtis, Everett “Cotton” Owens and Ralph Seagraves.
Arfons, best known for setting the Land Speed Record three times, will be inducted posthumously, as will Byron, a NASCAR driving pioneer and Anniston, Ala., native. Seagraves, a well-known motorsports marketing executive, and Kurtis, a chassis manufacturing pioneer, also are posthumous inductees.
Jenkins is a renowned National Hot Rod Association driver and engine builder. Owens, known as “King of the Modifieds,” has 41 wins and 37 poles in 487 starts in NASCAR competition.
IMPORTANT: All information, schedules and/or scheduled events is/are subject to change without notice. Please
check with the source to confirm.
© Copyright - CheckersToWreckers.com - All Rights Reserved.
Best viewed with Internet Explorer - 800x600 resolution.