2011 Aaron's 499

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
2011 Aaron's 499
Race details
Race 8 of 36 in the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Date April 17, 2011 (2011-April-17)
Official name Aaron's 499
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 75 °F (24 °C); wind speeds up to 7 miles per hour (11 km/h)[1]
Pole position
Driver Hendrick Motorsports
Time 53.723
Most laps led
Driver Clint Bowyer Richard Childress Racing
Laps 38
Winner
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports
Television in the United States
Network Fox Broadcasting Company
Announcers Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds

The 2011 Aaron's 499 was the eighth race of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season out of thirty six total races. The race was held on April 17 at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Jeff Gordon won his 70th pole position, leading a Hendrick Motorsports sweep of the top four starting positions (Gordon and Jimmie Johnson in row 1; Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in row 2). Nearly the entire race, in similar fashion to the 2011 Daytona 500, was marked by the prevalence of 2-car drafting. On the last lap, four 2-car drafting teams contended for the win (Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.; Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin; Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick; Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle), and all eight cars finished within about three car-lengths of each other. Johnson, pushed by Earnhardt, won the race by .002 seconds over Clint Bowyer, the 2010 fall race winner at the track.

The finish is tied for the closest in the Sprint Cup since NASCAR adopted electronic timing in 1993.

Report[edit]

Background[edit]

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

Talladega Superspeedway is one of six superspeedways to hold NASCAR races; the others are Daytona International Speedway, Auto Club Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Pocono Raceway and Michigan International Speedway.[2] The standard track at the speedway is a four-turn superspeedway that is 2.66 miles (4.28 km) long.[3] 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.[3] Talladega Superspeedway can seat up to 143,231 people.[4]

Before the race, Carl Edwards led the Drivers' Championship at 256 points, and Kyle Busch stood in second with 247 points. Matt Kenseth was third in the rankings with 243 points, tied with Jimmie Johnson in fourth, three points ahead of Kurt Busch.[5]

Race summary[edit]

The race, the eighth in the season, started at 1:08 p.m EDT, and was televised live in the United States on Fox. Temperatures were expected to brisk, but sunny.[6] The green flag waved at 1:22 p.m.

To start the race, the front row drivers, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, picked up their respective teammates, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Mark Martin, as drafting partners. Gordon, with help from Martin, claimed the lead, leading the first few laps. On lap 3, the hooked-up pair of Clint Bowyer and Michael Waltrip began to challenge the two Hendrick pairs for the lead. On lap 10, Denny Hamlin pushed Ryan Newman through the field for the lead, but was passed a lap later by Brad Keselowski. Another lap later, Bowyer and Waltrip passed Keselowski for the lead. On lap 13, Kurt Busch claimed the lead with help from Landon Cassill, but was passed a lap later by Johnson and Earnhardt, Jr., who had momentarily fallen back to 15th and 16th places a few laps earlier. They were, in turn, repassed by Bowyer one lap later.[6]

On lap 19, Kasey Kahne, who had started in 31st place, claimed the lead with help from Brian Vickers, marking the eighth lead change of the day.[6] David Ragan briefly took the lead on lap 22, hooked up with Paul Menard, but was soon passed by Kurt Busch and Landon Cassill on the next lap. One lap later, coming off turn three, they were passed by Kyle Busch and Joey Logano. Busch managed to maintain a lead over Bowyer for several laps. On lap 28, the first caution of the day waved as Cassill turned down and accidentally knocked Brian Vickers out of control in the back straightaway. Earnhardt, Jr. also got some damage as he brushed with Jimmie Johnson while dodging Vickers' car, which had come to a rest in the middle of the track. Most of the drivers pitted under this caution. Cassill was penalized for pitting too early, and had to be moved to the back of the fieldied Carl Edwards briefly maintained the lead under the caution flag before he pitted.

On the lap 31 restart, Bowyer and Waltrip led the field. Bowyer then abandoned Waltrip and hooked up with his teammate Jeff Burton. On lap 34, Matt Kenseth briefly was in the lead, but Bowyer regained it before the field returned to the finish line. On lap 35, Ky. Busch and Logano pushed to the front on the inside line, but were passed by Ku. Busch when they were changing positions. A lap later, Bowyer used the advantage of Ku. Busch and Brad Keselowski switching places to take the lead. On lap 38, David Ragan pushed Kenseth back to the lead. Kenseth led for three laps before being passed by Joey Logano and Ky. Busch on lap 42. Two laps later, Paul Menard pushed Regan Smith into the lead. Within one lap, they had switched positions and Menard was in front. On lap 46, Bowyer pushed Jeff Burton to the front, where he led until being temporarily passed by Ku. Busch and Keselowski. Burton and Bowyer maintained a lead until lap 50, when Kenseth passed them.[6]

On lap 52, Keselowski claimed the lead from Kenseth. One lap later, Johnson pushed Earnhardt, Jr. into 1st place, duelling with Kenseth for the lead. On lap 56, Earnhardt, Jr. and Johnson had a big lead, but were passed one lap later by the pair Greg Biffle and Trevor Bayne. Kenseth and Ragan moved to the outside lane on lap 58. On lap 59, Bayne switched positions with Biffle to lead a lap, before being passed by Earnhardt, Jr. and Johnson on lap 60. Bowyer claimed the lead from Earnhardt on lap 62, but Earnhardt repassed him one lap later. One lap later, Bayne reclaimed the lead for three laps before Earnhardt, Jr. repassed him as well.

The field cycled through green flag pit stops from lap 69 to lap 75, beginning with Carl Edwards and Marcos Ambrose on lap 69, and ending with Bowyer and Burton on lap 75. Earnhardt, Jr. and Johnson briefly lost the lead for one lap to Trevor Bayne when they pitted, but when Bowyer and Burton pitted a few laps later, Johnson was leading, pushed by Earnhardt, Jr.. These two drivers led for several more laps, until lap 83, when Ryan Newman claimed the lead with help from Ky. Busch. He was repassed by Johnson a lap later. Newman eventually maintained a solid first-place position on lap 89.

One lap later, the second caution flag waved for a wreck on turn 3. This was the largest crash of the race, as the Big One did not happen. It started when Ku. Busch turned Keselowski into the wall, causing a chain reaction that collected Kasey Kahne, Ambrose, Ragan, and Bayne. Kahne's car coasted down the apron on fire, and replays showed that Ragan's engine blew up heading into the wreck.[6] During this caution, most of the field pitted, and Ku. Busch, pushed by his brother, led at the restart on lap 96. The Busch brothers were passed a lap later by Bowyer and Burton, but Ky. Busch repushed Ku. Busch to the lead on lap 98. Ku. Busch held onto his lead until lap 100 when he was passed by Dave Blaney. Within a lap, Edwards claimed the lead. He maintained the lead until lap 104 when Ku. Busch repassed him. He held that lead until Clint Bowyer passed Regan Smith and Ku. Busch on lap 109.

Both Busch brothers shot back to the front on lap 111, leading for several more laps until Bowyer once again took the lead on lap 116. On lap 112, Terry Labonte and J.J. Yeley pitted. Menard pushed Smith to the lead on lap 117. Smith maintained this lead for one lap before being repassed by Bowyer, who led for one lap before being passed by Blaney, receiving a shove from Kevin Harvick, on lap 119. On lap 121, Labonte received a penalty for speeding on pit road. Ku. Busch regained the lead on lap 122 as Blaney and Harvick switched positions. On lap 128, the third caution flag waved for debris that appeared to have come off of Bowyer's car. Another round of pit stops began under the caution. The 61st lead change happened on lap 130 when Casey Mears momentarily assumed the lead before pitting, giving the lead back to Menard, who led at the lap 132 restart. Smith claimed the lead on lap 133 by pulling in front of and hooking up with Menard. On lap 134, Burton and Bowyer reclaimed the lead, with Burton in front, but were repassed by Dave Blaney one lap later. Burton reclaimed the lead on lap 139.

On lap 140, the fourth caution flag waved for a wreck on the backstretch. It started when Ky. Busch got loose from Logano, causing Busch to veer left into Kenseth, collecting him, and causing A. J. Allmendinger to spin out. Most cars pitted on lap 141, causing Bobby Labonte to lead for a pace lap, before he pitted and Harvick assumed the lead on lap 143. At the lap 144 restart, the four Richard Childress Racing cars - Harvick, Burton, Menard, and Bowyer were in front. Harvick was passed on lap 147 by Martin Truex, Jr., whom he repassed a lap later. Truex, Jr. reclaimed the lead on lap 150. By lap 152, Jeff Burton had claimed the lead from Harvick. On lap 154, Jamie McMurray claimed the lead with help from his teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, but one lap later, Blaney edged McMurray for the lead. On lap 158, Bowyer passed Blaney for the lead with help from Harvick.

On lap 163, the fifth caution flag was waved for debris on the track. Bowyer maintained his lead as other drivers pitted, and continued to lead at the restart on lap 167. Harvick fell back on the restart as a result of miscommunications with Burton and Bowyer. On lap 169, Menard gave Smith another push to the lead, but was repassed by Bowyer a lap later. On lap 171, Ryan Newman nearly lost control of his car and bumped into Montoya, inflicting minor damage to Montoya's car, but the green flag stayed out. Three laps later, the sixth caution flag was waved when Newman spun out on the back straightaway. By lap 176, Jeff Gordon moved up to third, with Mark Martin restarting behind him on lap 177, with Blaney in the lead. On lap 178, Harvick and Bowyer passed Gordon and Martin to claim the lead. Ku. Busch pushed Blaney back to the lead on lap 180.

On lap 184, Edwards claimed the lead with help from Greg Biffle. On lap 185, Blaney spun out off of Ku. Busch's bumper, falling out of line, and Bowyer claimed the lead. Edwards and Biffle passed Bowyer and Harvick a lap later. Gordon overtook Edwards to claim the lead at the white flag. Heading down the back straightaway, Gordon and Martin were on the inside lane, and were soon overtaken by Bowyer and Harvick. Johnson and Earnhardt, Jr. began to move up and were a car length behind the two lead pairs exiting turn 4. They squeezed to the far inside lane between Martin and Gordon and the double yellow out-of-bounds line. Going through the tri-oval, Bowyer on the high side was a car length ahead of Gordon. Earnhardt, Jr. and Martin rubbed fenders, and Gordon briefly lost momentum. Johnson accelerated, and Bowyer lost speed as he hit a pocket of air, and Johnson inched ahead to beat Bowyer to the finish line by 0.002 seconds, the closest ever recorded finish at a restrictor plate race. At the finish line, the first eight cars were four wide, as Edwards and Biffle were running on the far outside, squeezed between the wall and Bowyer.

All four of the Hendrick cars had Top 10 finishes: Gordon finished third, Earnhardt Jr. finished fourth, and Martin finished eighth.

Results[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

Qualifying results
Grid Car Driver Team Manufacturer Time Speed
1 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 53.723 178.248
2 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 53.845 177.844
3 5 Mark Martin Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 53.856 177.807
4 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 53.869 177.765
5 27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 53.888 177.702
6 09 Landon Cassill Phoenix Racing Chevrolet 53.893 177.685
7 6 David Ragan Roush Fenway Racing Ford 53.968 177.439
8 22 Kurt Busch Penske Racing Dodge 53.986 177.379
9 83 Brian Vickers Red Bull Racing Team Toyota 53.989 177.370
10 33 Clint Bowyer Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 53.994 177.353
11 21 Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Racing Ford 53.994 177.353
12 15 Michael Waltrip Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 54.005 177.317
13 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 54.046 177.182
14 00 David Reutimann Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 54.058 177.143
15 47 Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota 54.065 177.120
16 43 A. J. Allmendinger Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 54.075 177.087
17 16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 54.079 177.074
18 78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 54.083 177.061
19 2 Brad Keselowski Penske Racing Dodge 54.092 177.032
20 99 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford 54.100 177.005
21 1 Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 54.141 176.872
22 87 Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 54.195 176.695
23 39 Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 54.206 176.659
24 9 Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 54.232 176.575
25 17 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Ford 54.249 176.519
26 56 Martin Truex Jr. Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 54.262 176.477
27 31 Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 54.267 176.461
28 38 Travis Kvapil Front Row Motorsports Ford 54.278 176.425
29 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 54.295 176.370
30 14 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 54.302 176.347
31 4 Kasey Kahne Red Bull Racing Team Toyota 54.317 176.298
32 97 Kevin Conway NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 54.349 176.195
33 35 Steve Park Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 54.359 176.162
34 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 54.428 175.939
35 36 Dave Blaney Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 54.469 175.806
36 20 Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 54.592 175.410
37 71 Andy Lally TRG Motorsports Chevrolet 54.611 175.349
38 29 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 54.672 175.154
39 34 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 54.678 175.134
40 13 Casey Mears Germain Racing Toyota 54.847 174.595
41 32 Terry Labonte FAS Lane Racing Ford 54.949 174.271
42 7 Sam Hornish Jr. Robby Gordon Motorsports Dodge
43 46 Bill Elliott Whitney Motorsports Chevrolet Champion's provisional
Failed to qualify
44 60 Mike Skinner Germain Racing Toyota 54.692 175.090
45 37 Tony Raines Max Q Motorsports Ford 54.720 175.000
46 66 Michael McDowell HP Racing Toyota 54.770 174.840
Source:[7]

Race results[edit]

Race results
Pos Grid Car Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Points
1 2 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 188 471
2 10 33 Clint Bowyer Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 188 442
3 1 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 188 421
4 4 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 188 411
5 38 29 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 188 401
6 20 99 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford 188 391
7 17 16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 188 381
8 3 5 Mark Martin Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 188 371
9 39 34 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 188 35
10 36 20 Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 188 351
11 16 43 A. J. Allmendinger Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 188 33
12 5 27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 188 331
13 26 56 Martin Truex Jr. Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 188 321
14 14 00 David Reutimann Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 188 30
15 18 78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 188 301
16 27 31 Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 188 291
17 30 14 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 188 27
18 8 22 Kurt Busch Penske Racing Dodge 188 271
19 37 71 Andy Lally TRG Motorsports Chevrolet 188 25
20 42 7 Robby Gordon Robby Gordon Motorsports Dodge 188 24
21 21 1 Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 188 241
22 40 13 Casey Mears Germain Racing Toyota 188 231
23 29 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 188 21
24 15 47 Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota 188 211
25 23 39 Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 188 201
26 43 46 Bill Elliott Whitney Motorsports Chevrolet 188 18
27 35 36 Dave Blaney Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 188 181
28 12 15 Michael Waltrip Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 187 16
29 28 38 Travis Kvapil Front Row Motorsports Ford 184 03
30 13 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 177 14
31 6 09 Landon Cassill Phoenix Racing Chevrolet 170 03
32 24 9 Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 157 131
33 19 2 Brad Keselowski Penske Racing Dodge 154 121
34 41 32 Terry Labonte FAS Lane Racing Ford 152 10
35 34 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 144 101
36 25 17 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Ford 139 91
37 31 4 Kasey Kahne Red Bull Racing Team Toyota 139 81
38 9 83 Brian Vickers Red Bull Racing Team Toyota 115 6
39 7 6 David Ragan Roush Fenway Racing Ford 89 61
40 11 21 Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Racing Ford 89 03
41 22 87 Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 5 03
42 33 35 Steve Park Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 4 2
43 32 97 Kevin Conway NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 1 03
Source:[8]
1 Includes one bonus point for leading a lap
2 Includes two bonus points for leading the most laps
3 Ineligible for championship points

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Weather information for the 2011 Aaron's 499". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2013-06-26. 
  2. ^ "NASCAR Race Tracks". NASCAR. Archived from the original on 2010-10-12. 
  3. ^ a b "NASCAR Tracks — The Talladega Superspeedway". Talladega Superspeedway. Archived from the original on 2009-08-27. 
  4. ^ "Talladega". NASCAR. Archived from the original on 2010-11-15. 
  5. ^ "Driver's Championship Classification". NASCAR. Retrieved May 13, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d e "Race Summary". NASCAR. Retrieved May 13, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Race Lineup". NASCAR.com. Turner Sports Interactive. Archived from the original on April 19, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2017. 
  8. ^ "2011 Official Race Results : Aaron's 499". NASCAR.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on April 21, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2017. 


Previous race:
2011 Samsung Mobile 500
Sprint Cup Series
2011 season
Next race:
2011 Crown Royal Presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400