2008 AMP Energy 500
|Race 30 of 36 in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season|
|Date||October 5, 2008|
|Official name||AMP Energy 500|
|Location||Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, Alabama|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
2.66 mi (4.28 km)
|Distance||188 laps, 500.08 mi (804.8 km)|
|Weather||Temperatures reaching up to 82.9 °F (28.3 °C); wind speeds up to 6 miles per hour (9.7 km/h)|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Tony Stewart||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|No. 20||Tony Stewart||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Television in the United States|
It was held on October 5 at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama, and marked the only race in the Championship Chase to utilize restrictor plates on the 2.66 miles (4.28 km) track. ABC telecast the 188-lap, 500.8 miles (806.0 km) race beginning at 1 pm US EDT and MRN along with Sirius Satellite Radio had radio coverage starting at 1:15 PM US EDT. This marked the last time the race will be run in an early October spot, as in 2009, the race will be held in the slot formerly occupied by the Atlanta Motor Speedway event.
- Paul Menard is leaving Dale Earnhardt, Inc. after the season for Yates Racing and he'll bring his family's Menards sponsorship along for the troubled Yates team, which is relying upon week-to-week deals.
- Joey Logano will not drive the #96 Hall of Fame Toyota for the rest of the season. It is expected that the 18-year driver will have extra rides in the #02 Joe Gibbs Racing machine at two or three more races.
- JTG Daugherty Racing announced a technical alliance with Michael Waltrip Racing and in 2009 will field Toyotas with Marcos Ambrose behind the wheel.
Talladega is known for its surprise pole sitters, and this time, Travis Kvapil would wind up sitting on the pole position with a lap time of 51.109 seconds and a speed of 187.364 mph.
The big one happened on lap 68, when Brian Vickers cut a tire and tapped Martin Truex Jr. into the middle of the field. The second occurred with 16 laps to go. Carl Edwards bumped Greg Biffle into Matt Kenseth. Edwards appeared to have gotten through, but Biffle and Kenseth came back up the track, tapped Edwards, and Edwards crashed into Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kevin Harvick. 18 cars were involved. When the race was extended due to the green-white-checker finish rule, it appeared that Regan Smith had won the race. However, Smith had made an illegal pass below the yellow out-of-bounds line, an off-limits area at restrictor plate tracks Talladega and Daytona, and NASCAR awarded Stewart the win, his first in 43 races, and his first win in 20 attempts at Talladega. Smith was placed 18th by NASCAR, last on the lead lap. In addition, the lead changed hands 65 times officially among 28 drivers, setting a new series record for the most drivers leading a lap in a single race, and many more times unofficially during each lap.
|Top Ten Finishers
(Chase Drivers highlighted in yellow)
|Pos.||Car #||Driver||Car Make||Team|
|1||20||Tony Stewart||Toyota||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|2||15||Paul Menard||Chevrolet||Dale Earnhardt, Inc.|
|3||6||David Ragan||Ford||Roush Fenway Racing|
|4||31||Jeff Burton||Chevrolet||Richard Childress Racing|
|5||07||Clint Bowyer||Chevrolet||Richard Childress Racing|
|6||43||Bobby Labonte||Dodge||Petty Enterprises|
|7||66||Scott Riggs||Chevrolet||Haas CNC Racing|
|8||7||Robby Gordon||Dodge||Robby Gordon Motorsports|
|9||48||Jimmie Johnson||Chevrolet||Hendrick Motorsports|
|10||19||Elliott Sadler||Dodge||Gillett Evernham Motorsports|
Failed to qualify: Sam Hornish, Jr.(#77), Patrick Carpentier (#10).
Notes: 1. The #08 car, to have been driven by Boris Said was withdrawn earlier in the week.
2. Race extended two laps due to green-white-checker finish rule.
- Weather information for the 2008 AMP Energy 500 at The Old Farmers' Almanac. Accessed 2013-06-21. Archived 2013-07-05.