2012 AdvoCare 500 (Atlanta)
|Race 25 of 36 in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series|
|Date||September 2, 2012|
|Location||Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia|
Permanent racing facility|
1.54 mi (2.48 km)
|Distance||325 laps, 500.5 mi (805.476 km)|
|Scheduled Distance||325 laps, 500.5 mi (805.476 km)|
|Weather||Isolated storms with temperatures around 87°F; wind out of the SSW at 6 mph.|
|Average speed||142.02 miles per hour (228.56 km/h)|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|No. 11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Television in the United States|
|Announcers||Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree|
The 2012 AdvoCare 500 was a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car race held on September 2, 2012 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia, United States. Contested over 325 laps, it was the twenty-fifth race of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing won the race, his fourth of the season, while Jeff Gordon finished second ahead of Brad Keselowski.
Atlanta Motor Speedway is one of ten intermediate tracks to hold NASCAR races; the others are Charlotte Motor Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Homestead Miami Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and Texas Motor Speedway. The standard track at Atlanta Motor Speedway is a four-turn quad-oval track that is 1.54 miles (2.48 km) long. The track's turns are banked at twenty-four degrees, while the front stretch, the location of the finish line, and the back stretch are banked at five.
Before the race, Greg Biffle led the Drivers' Championship with 849 points, and Jimmie Johnson stood in second with 838. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was third in the Drivers' Championship with 834 points, eleven ahead of Matt Kenseth and 37 ahead of Martin Truex, Jr. in fourth and fifth. Clint Bowyer with 794 was four ahead of Brad Keselowski, as Denny Hamlin with 774 points, was seven points ahead of Kevin Harvick, and 28 in front of Tony Stewart. In the Manufacturers' Championship, Chevrolet was leading with 167 points, 30 ahead of Toyota. Ford, with 122 points, was twenty points ahead of Dodge in the battle for third. Jeff Gordon was the race's defending champion.
Practice and qualifying
Three practice sessions were held before the Sunday race—one on Friday, August 31, and two on Saturday, September 1. The first session lasted 90 minutes, and the second for 55 minutes. The third and final session finished after 50 minutes. Truex, Jr. was quickest with a time of 29.932 seconds in the first session, less than one tenth of a second faster than Kyle Busch. Stewart was just off Busch's pace, followed by Keselowski, Kasey Kahne, and Bowyer. Kenseth was seventh, still within four tenths of a second of Truex's time.
Forty-seven cars were entered for qualifying, but only forty-three could qualify for the race because of NASCAR's qualifying procedure. Stewart clinched the fourteenth pole position of his career, with a time of 29.787 seconds. He was joined on the front row of the grid by Biffle. Kyle Busch qualified third, Kenseth took fourth, and Gordon started fifth. Mark Martin, Hamlin, Johnson, Joey Logano and Marcos Ambrose rounded out the top ten. The four drivers that failed to qualify for the race were Michael McDowell, Josh Wise, Stephen Leicht and Mike Bliss. Once the qualifying session concluded, Stewart stated, "That pole is 100 percent due to Ryan Newman. I'm not sure if we'd have run the line I'd planned on running we'd have been that fast. It's awesome having a teammate like that. I don't ever remember being here and seeing anybody run up at the top like he did."
In the second practice session, Biffle was quickest with a time of 30.629 seconds. Kenseth, with a time of 30.675, was second-quickest, ahead of Earnhardt, Jr., Truex, Jr., and Bowyer. Gordon, Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Johnson, and Keselowski completed the first ten positions. Kenseth was scored quickest through the third practice session with a time of 30.653, 0.022 seconds faster than his fastest lap during the second session. Gordon was second-quickest in the session, while Hamlin was scored third. Kyle Busch followed in the fourth position ahead of Biffle, Keselowski and Stewart. Truex, Jr., Martin and Juan Pablo Montoya rounded out the first ten positions in eighth, ninth and tenth, respectively.
The race, the 25th in the season, began at 7:30 p.m. EDT and was televised live in the United States on ESPN. Hamlin won the race over second-placed Gordon after coming off of pit lane in the first position during the final caution for Jamie McMurray's crash on the front stretch.
Standings after the race
- "2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule". ESPN. Retrieved September 3, 2012.
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- "NASCAR Tracks—The Atlanta Motor Speedway". Atlanta Motor Speedway. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved September 3, 2012.
- "Driver's Championship Classification". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved September 3, 2012.
- "Manufactures' Championship Classification". Jayski's Silly Season Site. ESPN. Archived from the original on November 30, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2012.
- "2011 AdvoCare 500". Racing-Reference. USA Today Sports Media Group. Retrieved September 3, 2012.
- "THE RACE: AdvoCare 500". Jayski NASCAR Silly Season Site. ESPN. Archived from the original on August 30, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2012.
- "Practice One Timing and Scoring". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved September 3, 2012.
- "Qualifying Entry List". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved September 3, 2012.
- "Tony Stewart claims Atlanta pole". ESPN. August 31, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2012.
- "Race Official Lineup". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved September 3, 2012.
- "Practice Two Timing and Scoring". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved September 3, 2012.
- "Practice Three Timing and Scoring". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved September 3, 2012.
- "Hamlin repeats, edges Gordon for Atlanta victory". NASCAR. Turner Sports. September 3, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2012.