2012 Aaron's 499

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2012 Aaron's 499
Race details[1][2][3][4]
Race 10 of 36 in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season


Date May 6, 2012 (2012-05-06)
Location Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, Alabama
Course Permanent racing facility
2.66 mi (4.28 km)
Distance 194 laps, 516.04 mi (830.824 km)
Weather Overcast with a temperature around 90 °F (32 °C); wind out of the W at 4 mph.
Average speed 160.192 miles per hour (257.804 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports
Time 49.973
Most laps led
Driver Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing
Laps 77
Winner
No. 2
Brad Keselowski
Penske Racing
Television in the United States
Network Fox Broadcasting Company
Announcers Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds

The 2012 Aaron's 499 was a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car race held on May 6, 2012 at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Contested over 194 laps (with a green-white-checkered finish), it was the tenth race of the 2012 season. Brad Keselowski of Penske Racing took his second win of the season, while Kyle Busch finished second and Matt Kenseth finished third.

There were five cautions and thirty-five lead changes among nineteen different drivers throughout the course of the race.[5] The result moved Keselowski into the twelfth position in the Drivers' Championship. He remained seventy-nine points behind of first place driver Greg Biffle and thirteen ahead of thirteen placed Ryan Newman. Chevrolet maintained its lead in the Manufacturers' Championship, five points ahead of Toyota and ten ahead of Ford, with twenty-six races remaining in the season.

Report[edit]

Background[edit]

Talladega Superspeedway, the race track where the race was held.

The track, Talladega Superspeedway, is one of six superspeedways to hold NASCAR races, the others being Daytona International Speedway, Auto Club Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Pocono Raceway and Michigan International Speedway.[6] The standard track at the speedway is a four-turn superspeedway that is 2.66 miles (4.28 km) long.[7] The track's turns are banked at thirty-three degrees, while the front stretch, the location of the finish line, is banked at 16.5 degrees. The back stretch has a two-degree banking.[7] Talladega Superspeedway can seat up to 143,231 people.[8]

Before the race, Greg Biffle led the Drivers' Championship with 338 points, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. stood in second with 333. Denny Hamlin was third in the Drivers' Championship with 329 points, one ahead of Matt Kenseth and thirteen ahead of Martin Truex, Jr. in fourth and fifth. Jimmie Johnson with 314 was one ahead of Kevin Harvick, as Tony Stewart with 307 points, was twenty points ahead of Carl Edwards, and twenty-nine in front of Ryan Newman.[9] In the Manufacturers' Championship, Chevrolet was leading with 60 points, eight ahead of Toyota. Ford, with 49 points, was twelve points ahead of Dodge in the battle for third.[10] Johnson was the race's defending race winner after winning it in 2011.[11]

Practice and qualifying[edit]

Jeff Gordon (Las Vegas car shown) won the pole position with a time of 49.973 seconds.

Two practice sessions were held before the race on Friday. The first session was 45 minutes long, while the second lasted 60 minutes.[12] Aric Almirola was quickest with a time of 48.079 seconds in the first session, two-tenths of a second faster than Michael Waltrip.[13] Kenseth was third, followed by Jeff Gordon, Harvick, and Brad Keselowski.[13] Casey Mears was seventh, still within half of a second of Almirola's time.[13] In the second practice session, Almirola remained quickest with a time of 48.677.[14] Kenseth followed Almirola in the second position with a time of 48.687 seconds, 0.010 seconds slower.[14] Biffle was third quickest, ahead of Hamlin, Regan Smith, and David Gilliland.[14] Joey Logano followed in the seventh position with a time of 49.078 seconds.[14]

Forty-four cars were entered for qualifying, but only forty-three would race because of NASCAR's qualifying procedure.[15] Gordon clinched the seventy-first pole position of his career with a time of 49.973 seconds, the only qualifying lap under 50 seconds.[3][16] Gordon qualified differently from most of the other drivers, hoping to keep his engine cool through the qualifying laps.[16] A. J. Allmendinger qualified 0.135 seconds behind and joined Gordon on the front row of the grid.[3] Marcos Ambrose took third place, ahead of Almirola and Kahne in the fourth and fifth positions.[3] Championship leader, Biffle qualified sixth, while Edwards followed in seventh.[3] Stewart, Waltrip and Kenseth completed the first ten positions.[3] J. J. Yeley failed to qualify for the race after positing a time of 51.402 seconds.[3]

Following the qualifying session, Gordon stated, "That's quite an accomplishment. I'm just so proud of this DuPont Chevy team. We needed something to boost our morale and something positive because we've had a rough year so far. This is a surprise. We did not expect to be sitting here now talking to you about a pole, and I think it's ironice that we've got the DuPont paint scheme, which is celebrating 20 years and then we win a pole for the 20th straight year."[17]

Race[edit]

The race, the tenth in the season, started 2:05 p.m. EDT and was televised live in the United States on Fox.[1] The conditions on the grid were wet before the race and overcast skies are expected.[18] Rain showers before the scheduled start time of 1 p.m. EDT delayed the event by 45 minutes to 2:05 p.m. EDT.[18]

At the drop of the green flag on lap 1, polesitter Jeff Gordon maintained his lead, but was soon passed on the backstretch by the Richard Petty Motorsports tandem of Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola. By the time the field returned to the finish line, Matt Kenseth had shoved Tony Stewart to the lead. Stewart led until lap 16, when the first caution of the day waved after Regan Smith's engine blew. Most of the drivers pitted under the caution, and A.J. Allmendinger was penalized for speeding on pit road. Kenseth led the field at the restart on lap 20. On lap 25, Denny Hamlin pushed Michael Waltrip to the lead. Waltrip continued to lead until lap 46 when he was overtaken by Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.. On lap 48 Ryan Newman crashed bringing out the second caution of the race the race restarted on lap 55.Waltrip dropped to fourth on lap 55 as he was passed by Kurt Busch.[18]

On lap 56, Matt Kenseth reclaimed the lead, though he reported a vibration in his car five laps later. On lap 64, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. claimed the lead. On lap 67, Kenseth picked up Earnhardt in turn 4. The two cars gained some headway until lap 72, where a scramble for the lead sent Earnhardt back from first place to 19th place in the course of three laps, while Jeff Gordon dropped back from third to tenth place, and Kenseth claimed the lead. On lap 81, Michael Waltrip got alongside Kenseth and dueled him for several laps. On lap 87, Waltrip gave Kasey Kahne a shove to the lead. Kahne retained the lead until lap 94 when Juan Pablo Montoya pulled up alongside him. The two cars maintained the lead until a round of green flag pit stops from lap 94 to 97. Paul Menard momentarily held the lead during the cycle before he pitted.On lap 99 Jimmie Johnson blew an engine bringing out the third caution of the race [18]

Brad Keselowski (Las Vegas car shown) won the race, which was his second of the season.

The race restarted On lap 106, Greg Biffle took the lead. On lap 111, Kenseth pushed Jeff Burton to the lead alongside Biffle. On lap 120, Kurt Busch claimed the lead. He maintained this lead for two laps, when Biffle pushed Kenseth around Busch. Kenseth retained the lead until lap 136, where Kurt Busch momentarily maintained the lead on the first two turns but was repassed by Kenseth on the back straightaway. At lap 141, Busch and Harvick ran out of fuel. As they coasted down the apron on the back straightaway, the fourth caution flag was waved for a nine car wreck in turns 3 and 4. It started when Aric Almirola, trying to get back above the yellow line, knocked Dave Blaney into the wall. Several more cars piled in: Landon Cassill, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Martin Truex, Jr., Joey Logano, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Terry Labonte. Kenseth and Marcos Ambrose entered the pits after the caution flag waved and the pit road closed. As a result, they and several other drivers, including Kurt Busch and Bobby Labonte - were moved to the back of the field when the race restarted on lap 150. Paul Menard assumed the lead[18]

Two laps later, Brad Keselowski claimed the lead. On lap 159, Denny Hamlin passed Keselowski for the lead. With help from Kenseth, Casey Mears passed Hamlin three laps later, but was repassed by Hamlin a lap later. On lap 166, Keselowski returned Kenseth to the lead. On lap 175, the third caution was waved after Casey Mears cut a tire and spun in turn 2, also brushing and spinning out Trevor Bayne as he came down the banking. Denny Hamlin, Michael Waltrip, Clint Bowyer and Jamie McMurray pitted on lap 176. Kenseth led at the restart on lap 179.[18]

On lap 181, the fourth caution waved as Kurt Busch spun out in the tri-oval off of Brad Keselowski's bumper. In a notorious move, Busch drove wrong way back to the pits instead of going around the circuit, but was still scored on the lead lap. On the lap 184 restart, Kenseth continued to maintain the lead. Barely had the cars made it down the straightaway when another wreck happened as drivers shuffled around. The drivers involved in the wreck were Menard, Hamlin, Biffle, Waltrip, Harvick, Burton, Robert Richardson, Jr., Stewart, and Logano. While driving back to pit road, the left rear tire on Hamlin's car disintegrated, shredding the fender and a panel onto the track. At the green flag on lap 193, Biffle pushed Kenseth clear to the lead. However, Biffle fell back on the backstretch, allowing Keselowski to push Kyle Busch to the lead on the final lap coming out of turn 4 Kesolowski made his move buy passing Kyle Busch. Keselowski held off Busch, Kenseth and Biffle to win his second Talladega race.[18]

Results[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

No. Driver Team Manufacturer Time Speed Grid
24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 49.973 191.624 1
22 A. J. Allmendinger Penske Racing Dodge 50.107 191.111 2
9 Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 50.126 191.039 3
43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 50.141 190.981 4
5 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 50.196 190.772 5
16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 50.245 190.586 6
99 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford 50.245 190.586 7
14 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 50.274 190.476 8
55 Michael Waltrip Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 50.335 190.245 9
17 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Ford 50.347 190.200 10
21 Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Racing Ford 50.355 190.170 11
42 Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 50.363 190.140 12
2 Brad Keselowski Penske Racing Dodge 50.381 190.072 13
39 Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 50.383 190.064 14
56 Martin Truex, Jr. Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 50.411 189.958 15
26 Josh Wise Front Row Motorsports Ford 50.411 189.958 16
27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 50.425 189.906 17
88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 50.436 189.864 18
48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 50.454 189.797 19
29 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 50.457 189.785 20
18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 50.482 189.691 21
11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 50.485 189.680 22
1 Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 50.506 189.601 23
15 Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 50.518 189.556 24
13 Casey Mears Germain Racing Ford 50.539 189.477 25
38 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 50.572 189.354 26
30 David Stremme Inception Motorsports Toyota 50.578 189.331 27
32 Terry Labonte FAS Lane Racing Ford 50.618 189.182 28
31 Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 50.640 189.100 29
20 Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 50.647 189.073 30
78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 50.653 189.051 31
34 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 50.661 189.021 32
51 Kurt Busch Phoenix Racing Chevrolet 50.671 188.984 33
10 David Reutimann Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 50.693 188.902 34
98 Michael McDowell Phil Parsons Racing Ford 50.766 188.630 35
97 Bill Elliott NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 50.890 188.171 36
87 Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 50.933 188.012 37
36 Dave Blaney Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 51.038 187.625 38
23 Robert Richardson Jr. R3 Motorsports Toyota 51.288 186.710 39
83 Landon Cassill BK Racing Toyota 51.403 186.293 40
93 Travis Kvapil BK Racing Toyota 51.427 186.206 41
47 Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota 51.542 185.790 42
33 Tony Raines Circle Sport Chevrolet 51.338 186.529 43
Failed to Qualify
49 J. J. Yeley Robinson-Blakeney Racing Toyota 51.402 186.296

Race results[edit]

Pos Grid Car Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Points
1 13 2 Brad Keselowski Penske Racing Dodge 194 47
2 21 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 194 43
3 10 17 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Ford 194 43
4 5 5 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 194 41
5 6 16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 194 40
6 24 15 Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 194 38
7 32 34 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 194 37
8 11 21 Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Racing Ford 194 0
9 18 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 194 36
10 29 31 Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 194 35
11 23 1 Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 194 33
12 4 43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 194 32
13 26 38 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 194 31
14 3 9 Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 194 30
15 2 22 A. J. Allmendinger Penske Racing Dodge 194 29
16 41 93 Travis Kvapil BK Racing Toyota 194 29
17 17 27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 194 28
18 25 13 Casey Mears Germain Racing Ford 194 27
19 9 55 Michael Waltrip Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 194 26
20 33 51 Kurt Busch Phoenix Racing Chevrolet 194 25
21 42 47 Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota 192 23
22 34 10 David Reutimann Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 192 22
23 22 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 192 22
24 8 14 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 190 21
25 20 29 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 184 20
26 30 20 Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 184 18
27 39 23 Robert Richardson Jr. R3 Motorsports Toyota 182 0
28 15 56 Martin Truex, Jr. Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 166 16
29 28 32 Terry Labonte FAS Lane Racing Ford 143 15
30 38 36 Dave Blaney Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 142 14
31 7 99 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford 142 13
32 12 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 142 13
33 1 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 142 11
34 40 83 Landon Cassill BK Racing Toyota 141 10
35 19 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 61 10
36 14 39 Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 42 8
37 36 97 Bill Elliott NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 37 7
38 43 33 Tony Raines Circle Sport Chevrolet 32 6
39 27 30 David Stremme Inception Motorsports Toyota 30 5
40 31 78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 15 4
41 37 87 Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 7 0
42 16 26 Josh Wise Front Row Motorsports Ford 5 2
43 35 98 Michael McDowell Phil Parsons Racing Ford 2 1
Source:[4]

Standings after the race[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Sprint Cup Series Schedule". ESPN. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  2. ^ Brown, Brian (May 2, 2012). "The Aaron's 499". Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Race Lineup: Aaron's 499". NASCAR. May 5, 2012. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "2012 Official Race Results : Aaron's 499". NASCAR. Retrieved May 7, 2012. 
  5. ^ "RaceTrax: Aaron's 499". Fox Sports. Retrieved May 7, 2012. 
  6. ^ "NASCAR Race Tracks". NASCAR. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "NASCAR Tracks — The Talladega Superspeedway". Talladega Superspeedway. Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Talladega". NASCAR. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Driver's Championship Classification". NASCAR. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "Manufactures' Championship Classification". Jayski.com. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  11. ^ "2011 Aaron's 499". racing-reference.com. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Jayski's© NASCAR Silly Season Site – Sprint Cup Race Info / Rundown Page". Jayski.com. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b c "Practice One Timing and Scoring". NASCAR. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c d "Practice Two Timing and Scoring". NASCAR. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Qualifying Entry List". NASCAR. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b Hembree, Mike (May 5, 2012). "CUP: Gordon Wins Talladega Pole". Speed TV. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Gordon earns pole position at Talladega, teammates in top 19". Hendrick Motorsports. May 5, 2012. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f g "Race Summary". NASCAR. Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Lineup Statistics". MotorRacingNetwork.com. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Jayski's® NASCAR Silly Season Site — Talladega Sprint Cup Qualifying Order/Results, Lineup". Jayski.com. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  21. ^ "2012 Official Driver Standings: Aaron's 499". NASCAR. Retrieved May 7, 2012. 


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