Sylvania 300

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Sylvania 300
Sylvania 300.jpg
Venue New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Loudon, New Hampshire
Sponsor Osram Sylvania
First race 1997
Distance 317.4 miles (510.8 km)
Laps 300
Previous names CMT 300 (1997)
Farm Aid on CMT 300 (1998)
Dura Lube/Kmart 300 (1999)
Dura Lube 300 sponsored by Kmart (2000)
New Hampshire 300 (2001–2002)
Sylvania 300 (2003–present)

The Sylvania 300 is a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car race that is traditionally held in mid-September at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire.

The Sylvania 300 also has the distinction of being the only Sprint Cup race outside of Daytona and Talladega to run a restrictor plate race since the adoption of the current 358 cubic inch formula. After Adam Petty's fatal crash in the Busch Series practice on May 12, 2000, and Kenny Irwin, Jr.'s fatal crash in the Cup Series practice on July 7, 2000, NASCAR decided to run restrictor plates, already used for the Whelen Modified Tour races at the circuit, for the 2000 Cup race, then known as the Dura Lube 300 sponsored by Kmart. Adding restrictor plates did have the desired result of slowing down the cars drastically, but at the same time, restricted passing so much that Jeff Burton led all 300 laps. This lack of passing was so uncompetitive, that for Cup cars only, the restrictor plates were gone for the very next race, the 2001 New England 300.

From 2004 until 2010, the race served as the opening round of the "Chase for the Sprint Cup", a ten-race "playoff" designed among the top ten (twelve as of 2007) drivers in the standings of the series following the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 to spur interest in a championship series while NASCAR faces competition from the start of the NFL season and college football, the pennant races and post-season of Major League Baseball and the outset of the NHL and NBA seasons. Beginning with the 2011 Chase, the Sylvania 300 will be the second race in the ten-race playoff; as part of a new round of schedule realignment the LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway will move from its traditional early July race date.[1]

It was announced on July 15, 2006 that the title sponsor Sylvania signed an extension until 2012 to be the title sponsor of the race.

History[edit]

2000 Dura Lube 300 Presented by Kmart[edit]

Main article: 2000 Dura Lube 300

This was the first Winston Cup Series race held since the deaths of Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin Jr. at this track. NASCAR used restrictor plates for this race as a result, in an effort to slow the top speed of the cars. However, cautions were so frequent and passing was so slowed that outside polesitter Jeff Burton led all 300 laps. This is the only race to date on a short track that had used restrictor plates. They were not used again after this race.

2001 New Hampshire 300[edit]

The 2001 fall race, originally scheduled for September 16, 2001, was postponed due to the 9/11 terror attacks. Not wanting to cancel the event outright, NASCAR decided to reschedule the race to the next available date. Since there were no scheduled off weeks between then and the end of the season, NASCAR's only option was the weekend of November 23–25, 2001, Thanksgiving weekend.

This created an interesting challenge for Goodyear, the tire manufacturer, as they were not expecting to run a race in New Hampshire in November. With the potential for a much colder raceday than they would've had in September at Loudon, and taking into account the possibility for snow, Goodyear brought a tire that they hoped would be better suited to the cold conditions. NASCAR announced the rescheduled race date would be Friday, November 23, the day after Thanksgiving, to allow for potential weather-related rescheduling. NBC was to carry the race live in the Eastern, Central, and Mountain time zones, with a tape delay for the Pacific time zone to accommodate the third hour of Today.

However, NASCAR's concerns were unfounded as the race was run in unseasonably mild conditions with temperatures in the 50s. NASCAR didn't conduct a traditional qualifying event for this race, instead choosing to employ a modified version of its method used when qualifying is canceled due to weather. To set the field for the race the cars that were holding the top 43 positions in the standings following the September 8 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond automatically qualified for the race. Only 42 of those cars started the race, as 43rd-place Eel River Racing had folded shortly after the Richmond race.

The race saw Robby Gordon, driving the #31 Lowe's Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, win his first ever race in NASCAR, and was marked by an incident in which he and Jeff Gordon got tangled together late in the race which put Robby into the lead. Jeff, who had been running up front all day, hit Robby during a caution flag to retaliate and finished in the middle of the pack (although it was all moot, as Gordon had clinched the 2001 Winston Cup championship at Atlanta the week before).

2003 Sylvania 300[edit]

The 2003 race marked the last time that the long-standing NASCAR rule of racing back to a yellow caution flag was in place. During the race, Dale Jarrett spun and hit the wall in turn 4 and came to rest in the middle of the racetrack's front stretch. Leaders slowed down except Michael Waltrip, who attempted to put several cars a lap down; he and others raced past Jarrett's immobilized car at full speed and some barely avoided contact with him. Beginning with the next race, the MBNA America 400 at Dover, in addition to other rule changes for the Cup, Busch, and Truck series, NASCAR outlawed racing back to the caution. Instead, NASCAR froze the field immediately at the caution and allowed the first car one lap down (or multiple laps down, if there were no cars one lap down) to rejoin the lead lap; this is officially called the "free pass" by NASCAR but is widely known by fans and journalists as the "lucky dog" rule.

2004 Sylvania 300[edit]

The 2004 Sylvania 300 was the first time drivers raced in the Chase for the Nextel Cup format. Rain cancelled qualifying, prompting the grid to be set from owner's points.. Jeff Gordon led them down to the green flag. Afterward, Greg Biffle got in the back of Robby Gordon sending Gordon spinning. Later in the race Robby Gordon spun Biffle collecting Chase contenders Tony Stewart and Jeremy Mayfield. Robby Gordon was penalized two laps for aggressive driving. Kurt Busch won the race to start his run toward his first Nextel Cup Series championship.

Past winners[edit]

Year Date Driver Team Manufacturer Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
(mph)
Report
Laps Miles (km)
1997 September 14 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 300 317.4 (510.805) 3:09:45 100.364 Report
1998 August 30 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 300 317.4 (510.805) 2:49:55 112.078 Report
1999 September 19 Joe Nemechek SABCO Racing Chevrolet 300 317.4 (510.805) 3:09:10 100.673 Report
2000 September 17 Jeff Burton Roush Racing Ford 300 317.4 (510.805) 3:06:42 102.003 Report
2001 November 23* Robby Gordon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 300 317.4 (510.805) 3:03:50 103.594 Report
2002 September 15 Ryan Newman Penske Racing Ford 207* 219.006 (352.455) 2:05:03 105.081 Report
2003 September 14 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 300 317.4 (510.805) 2:58:41 106.58 Report
2004 September 19 Kurt Busch Roush Racing Ford 300 317.4 (510.805) 2:53:31 109.753 Report
2005 September 18 Ryan Newman Penske Racing Dodge 300 317.4 (510.805) 3:18:36 95.891 Report
2006 September 17 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 300 317.4 (510.805) 3:06:21 102.195 Report
2007 September 16 Clint Bowyer Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 300 317.4 (510.805) 2:52:23 110.475 Report
2008 September 14 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 300 317.4 (510.805) 3:00:34 105.468 Report
2009 September 20 Mark Martin Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 300 317.4 (510.805) 3:09:01 100.753 Report
2010 September 19 Clint Bowyer* Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 300 317.4 (510.805) 2:58:22 106.769 Report
2011 September 25 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 300 317.4 (510.805) 2:43:13 116.679 Report
2012 September 23 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 300 317.4 (510.805) 2:43:02 116.81 Report
2013 September 22 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 300 317.4 (510.805) 2:57:02 107.573 Report
2014 September 21 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 303* 320.574 (515.913) 3:14:53 98.697 Report
  • 2001: Race postponed from September to November due to 9/11.
  • 2002: Race shortened due to rain.
  • 2010: Clint Bowyer's was found to have illegal car modifications in the post-race inspection, and was penalized 150 points, as well as crew chief Shane Wilson suspended four races.
  • 2014: Race extended due to a green-white-checkered finish.

Multiple winners (drivers)[edit]

# Wins Driver Years Won
2 Jeff Gordon 1997, 1998
Ryan Newman 2002, 2005
Clint Bowyer 2007, 2010

Multiple winners (teams)[edit]

# Wins Team Years Won
4 Hendrick Motorsports 1997, 1998, 2003, 2009
Richard Childress Racing 2001, 2006, 2007, 2010
3 Roush Fenway Racing 2000, 2004, 2008
Team Penske 2002, 2005, 2014
2 Joe Gibbs Racing 2012, 2013

Manufacturer wins[edit]

# Wins Manufacturer Years Won
10 Chevrolet 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011
5 Ford 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2014
2 Toyota 2012, 2013
1 Dodge 2005

Television broadcasters[edit]

Year Network Lap-by-lap Color commentator(s)
2014 ESPN Allen Bestwick Dale Jarrett
Andy Petree
2013
2012
2011
2010 Marty Reid
2009 ABC Jerry Punch
2008
2007 Rusty Wallace
Andy Petree
2006 TNT Bill Weber Benny Parsons
Wally Dallenbach
2005
2004 Allen Bestwick
2003
2002 NBC
2001
2000 TNN Eli Gold Buddy Baker
Dick Berggren
1999
1998
1997

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chase Date for Chicagoland?". www.speedtv.com. Retrieved 7 August 2010. 

External links[edit]


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