2010 Bank of America 500
|Race 31 of 36 in the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season
|Date||October 16, 2010|
|Location||Charlotte Motor Speedway Concord, North Carolina|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
1.5 mi (2.4 km)
|Distance||334 laps, 501 mi (806.281 km)|
|Weather||Sunny with a high around 71; wind out of the NNW at 7 mph.|
|Average speed||140.391 miles per hour (225.937 km/h)|
|Driver||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing|
||Earnhardt Ganassi Racing|
|Television in the United States|
|Announcers||Marty Reid, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree|
The 2010 Bank of America 500 was a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car race that was held on October 16, 2010, at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Contested over 334 laps, it was the thirty-first, and the fifth race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup during the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The race was won by Jamie McMurray, for the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing team. Kyle Busch finished second, and Jimmie Johnson, who started tenth, clinched third.
Pole position driver Jeff Gordon maintained his lead on the first lap to begin the race, as Carl Edwards, who started in the second position on the grid, remained behind him. Afterward, Busch became the leader of the race. Some of the Chase for the Sprint Cup participants, such as, Gordon was in the top-ten for most of the race, but halfway through the race he started to have electrical problems. Busch maintained the lead most of the race to lead the most laps of 218. After the final caution, Busch led on the restart, but McMurray passed him. McMurray maintained the lead to be the first driver not in the Chase to win a race.
There were nine cautions and twenty-seven lead changes among nineteen different drivers throughout the course of the race. It was McMurray's third win in the 2010 season, and the sixth of his career. The result moved him up to thirteenth in the Drivers' Championship, 75 points ahead Ryan Newman in fourteenth. Chevrolet maintained its lead in the Manufacturers' Championship, forty-five ahead of Toyota and eighty-five ahead of Ford, with five races remaining in the season.
The track, Charlotte Motor Speedway, is one of ten intermediate to hold NASCAR races, the others being Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Homestead Miami Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Texas Motor Speedway. The standard track at Charlotte Motor Speedway is a four-turn quad-oval track that is 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long. The track's turns are banked at twenty-four degrees, while the front stretch, the location of the finish line, is five degrees. The back stretch, opposite of the front, also had a five degree banking. The racetrack has seats for 140,000 spectators.
Before the race, Jimmie Johnson led the Drivers' Championship with 5,673 points, and Denny Hamlin stood in second with 5,637 points. Kevin Harvick followed in third with 5,619 points, thirty-one ahead of Jeff Gordon and fifty-one ahead of Tony Stewart in fourth and fifth. Kurt Busch with 5,533 was twenty-two points ahead of Carl Edwards, as Jeff Burton with 5,496 points, was thirteen ahead of Kyle Busch, and forty-one in front of Greg Biffle. Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer was eleventh and twelfth with 5,432 and 5,426 points. In the Manufacturers' Championship, Chevrolet was leading with 220 points, forty-one points ahead of their rival Toyota. Ford, with 141 points, was twenty-two points ahead of Dodge in the battle for third. Johnson is the race's defending champion.
Practice and qualifying
Three practice sessions was held before the Saturday race—one on Thursday, and two on Friday. The first session lasted 90 minutes, while the second session lasted 45 minutes. The third and final session lasted 65 minutes. During the first practice session, Ryan Newman, for the Stewart Haas Racing team, was quickest ahead of Joey Logano in second and Kyle Busch in the third position. Mark Martin was scored fourth, and David Reutimann managed fifth. Stewart, Reed Sorenson, Scott Speed, David Ragan, and Juan Pablo Montoya rounded out the top ten quickest drivers in the session.
Afterward, during qualifying, forty-nine cars were entered, but only forty-three was able because of NASCAR's qualifying procedure. Gordon clinched his sixty-ninth pole position during his career, with a time of 28.192. He was joined on the front row of the grid by Edwards. A. J. Allmendinger qualified third, Martin took fourth, and Paul Menard started fifth. Harvick, one of the drivers in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, qualified twenty-fourth, while Stewart was scored twenty-ninth. The six drivers that failed to qualify for the race were Joe Nemechek, Casey Mears, Mike Bliss, Jason Leffler, Kevin Conway and Johnny Sauter. Once the qualifying session completed, Gordon commented, "We used to qualify so well here, but competition and cars and different things changing over the years, we just sort of lost our way here, and I'll be honest, [Thursday], the way it was going, I didn't think we had any shot at this pole."
On the next evening, Kasey Kahne was quickest in the second practice session, ahead of Reutimann and Biffle in second and third. Kurt Busch was fourth quickest, and Martin Truex, Jr. took fifth. Brad Keselowski, Allmendinger, Newman, Logano, and Ragan followed in the top-ten. Other drivers in the chase, such as Johnson, was fifteenth, and Harvick, who was twentieth. During the third, and final practice session, Edwards, with a fastest time of 29.031, was quickest. Sorenson and Kurt Busch followed in second and third with times of 29.133 and 29.135 seconds. Kahne managed to be fourth fastest, ahead of Jamie McMurray and Kyle Busch. Speed was scored seventh, Menard took eighth, Truex was ninth, and Biffle took tenth.
The race, the thirty-first out of a total of thirty-six in the season, began at 7:30 p.m. EDT and was televised live in the United States on ABC. Prior to the race, weather conditions were sunny with the air temperature around 71 °F (22 °C). Joe Gibbs began pre-race ceremonies, by giving the invocation. Next, Danielle Peck performed the national anthem, and NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees gave the command for drivers to start their engines.
Jeff Gordon accelerated accelerated faster than Carl Edwards off the line, getting ahead of him down the front straightaway. On the following lap, Ryan Newman spun sideways and collided into the wall, prompting the first caution to be given. Gordon maintained the lead during the caution to lead on the restart. Edwards passed Gordon at the end of the eighth lap, but he was passed by Kyle Busch one lap later. On lap 11, Paul Menard moved to third, as Newman drove to the garage for repairs. Four laps later, Menard took over second, after passing Gordon. After starting tenth, Jimmie Johnson was scored in fifteenth on the nineteenth lap. On lap 24, the second caution was given because Kurt Busch spun sideways. All the front runners pitted during the caution. Gordon was the leader during the restart, as Joey Logano moved to second.
On the following lap, Kyle Busch moved into the first position. The third caution came out on lap 33, after Johnson spun sideways. On the restart, Kyle Busch was first, ahead of Gordon and Logano. After being involved in the first caution, Newman remained in the garage forty laps later. Denny Hamlin, who started twenty-third on the grid, had moved to eleventh by lap 45. By lap 48, Kyle Busch had a 1.9 second lead over Gordon. Kevin Harvick had moved nineteen positions to fifth, after 55 laps. On the following lap, Johnson took over twenty-eighth, after spinning on lap 33, as Hamlin claimed the ninth position. On lap 61, Jeff Burton moved to seventh, while Travis Kvapil becomes a lap behind the front runners. Afterward, Burton moved to fifth, after passing Menard. The second round of pit stops began on lap 75, when Stewart and Harvick pitted. Gordon and Kyle Busch pitted two laps later, resulting in Juan Pablo Montoya receiving the lead.
Once Montoya pitted, Matt Kenseth became the leader, but after one lap he pitted, giving the lead to Patrick Carpentier. Carpentier pitted on lap 84, which resulted in Kyle Busch reclaiming the lead. Kyle Busch had a 3.6 second lead by lap 87. Five laps later, Menard took over the seventh position, after passing Harvick. Then, on lap 95, Kyle Busch reported his throttle was sticking. To fix this problem, Busch used the cut-off switch. (a switch on the back of the steering wheel to slow the car) Four laps later, Menard fell to the eighth position. On the following lap, Regan Smith was passed by Kyle Busch, putting in a lap behind. Kyle Busch reported to his crew that his throttle was improving on lap 105. On the following lap, debris caused the fourth caution. All the front runners pitted during the caution, and Johnson reported to his crew that him and Clint Bowyer collided on pit road. Kyle Busch led the drivers on the restart, ahead of Gordon, Montoya, Greg Biffle, and Logano. One lap later, Biffle moved to second, as Hamlin claimed fifth.
On lap 119, Scott Speed went a lap down, after being passed by Busch. The fifth caution was given four laps later because Kasey Kahne spun sideways, collided into Sam Hornish, Jr., which resulted in him collided into the wall. Some front runners pitted during the caution. On the restart, Mark Martin was the leader, ahead Martin Truex, Jr., Jamie McMurray, Montoya, and Johnson. On the following lap, McMurray took over second, as Johnson and Kyle Busch moved past Montoya. Afterward, Hamlin passed Gordon for the eighth position, as McMurray became the leader. By lap 144, McMurray had a 1.25 second lead over Martin. After 146 laps, Newman remained in the garage for repairs. Six laps later, Johnson claimed third, as Hamlin took over the fifth position. On lap 168, Johnson, McMurray, and Martin made their pit stops, seven laps ahead of Kyle Busch.
Once pit stops concluded, Jamie McMurray was the leader. Johnson took over the second position on lap 180. A. J. Allmendinger moved to the tenth position, after passing Gordon two laps later. Johnson became the leader on lap 189, after passing McMurray. On the following lap, Gordon lost power to his race car, which resulted with an unscheduled pit stop. By the one hundred and ninety-fifth lap, Johnson had a 1.36 second lead over the other drivers. Afterward, Kyle Busch began to catch Johnson. On lap 203, the sixth caution was given because Marcos Ambrose spun near pit road. All the front runners pitted during the caution. During the pit stops, Kyle Busch became the leader, after passing Johnson on pit road. On the restart, Busch was first, while Johnson fell to fifth. Hamlin took over the fifth position from Johnson. Afterward, Gordon reported that he had alternator problems on lap 211. Four laps later, Johnson moved to fifth, as McMurray maintained the second position.
By lap 221, Kyle Busch had a 1.30 second lead over McMurray. Hamlin moved to third five laps later. On lap 239, Robby Gordon spun sideways, prompting the seventh caution to be given. During the caution, the front runners pitted, which resulted in Busch maintaining the lead ahead of Hamlin, McMurray, Johnson, and Biffle on the restart. On the following lap, Johnson moved to second. On lap 246, Burton spun sideways, after colliding into Bowyer. Burton was the only one to pit during the caution. Afterward, Kyle Busch led Johnson on lap 250. Five laps later, Harvick passed Truex for the seventh position. On lap 261, Logano passed Martin for tenth, as Kenseth moved into eighth. By lap 262, Busch had a 0.74 second lead over Johnson. Six laps later, Speed moved into twelfth, after passing Edwards. Busch expanded his lead to 2.01 seconds by lap 278. Six laps later, McMurray took over the second position from Johnson.
Once Kahne's race car was repaired, J. J. Yeley was put in to finish the race for the team, after Kahne became ill. On lap 289, the final pit stop set began. Busch and Johnson pitted on lap 294, one lap earlier than McMurray. In between pit stops the leaders were Juan Pablo Montoya, Reed Sorenson, and Allmedinger. Also during the pit stops, Gordon received a pass-through penalty for speeding on pit road. On lap 299, Kyle Busch became the leader, as pit stops concluded. Three laps later, his lead shrunk to 1.3 seconds. On lap 308, the caution was given because of debris on the track. On the restart Busch led ahead of McMurray, Johnson, and Hamlin. On the following lap, McMurray became the leader. By lap 320, McMurray had a 1.02 second lead over Busch. McMurray crossed the finish line on lap 334 to take his third win of the season, two seconds ahead of Busch. Johnson was third, ahead of Hamlin, Biffle, Kenseth, Logano and Harvick. Reutimann took ninth on the line, ahead of Ragan. Montoya finished in front of Edwards, in 11th. Smith and Martin took the next two positions.
Standings after the race
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