2012 Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500

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2012 Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500
Race details[1][2]
Race 30 of 36 in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Talladega Superspeedway
Talladega Superspeedway
Date October 7, 2012 (2012-10-07)
Location Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, Alabama, United States
Course Permanent racing facility
2.66 mi (4.3 km)
Distance 188 laps, 500 mi (804.672 km)
Weather Temperatures reaching up to 62.1 °F (16.7 °C); wind speeds up to 11.1 miles per hour (17.9 km/h)[3]
Pole position
Driver Hendrick Motorsports
Time 50.017
Most laps led
Driver Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
Laps 39
No. 17 Matt Kenseth Roush-Fenway Racing
Television in the United States
Network ESPN
Announcers Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree

The 2012 Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 was a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car race held on October 7, 2012 at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama, United States. Contested over 188 laps on the 2.66-mile (4.3 km) asphalt tri-oval, it was the thirtieth race of the 2012 Sprint Cup Series season, as well as the fourth race in the ten-race Chase for the Sprint Cup, which ends the season.

Matt Kenseth of Roush Fenway Racing won the race, his second of the season, and snapped a twenty-nine race winless streak extending back to the Daytona 500; while Jeff Gordon finished second and Kyle Busch finished third. The Big One hit the field on the final lap, collecting 25 cars in turn four, with Tony Stewart flying in the air after being accidentally tagged by Michael Waltrip, who in turn was being pushed by Casey Mears.[4]



Brad Keselowski entered the race as the Driver's Championship leader.

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.[5] The standard track at the speedway is a four-turn superspeedway that is 2.66 miles (4.28 km) long.[6] 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.[6] Talladega Superspeedway can seat up to 143,231 people.[7]

Before the race, Brad Keselowski led the Drivers' Championship with 2,142 points, and Jimmie Johnson stood in second with 2,137 points.[8] Denny Hamlin followed in third with 2,126 points, nine points ahead of Clint Bowyer and sixteen ahead of Tony Stewart in fourth and fifth.[8] Kasey Kahne with 2,110 was seven points ahead of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., as Martin Truex, Jr. with 2,100 points, was four points ahead of Kevin Harvick, and six in front of Jeff Gordon.[8] Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth was eleventh and twelfth with 2,091 and 2,070 points, respectively.[8]

In the Manufacturers' Championship, Chevrolet was leading with 197 points, twenty-five points ahead of Toyota.[9] Ford, with 138 points, was seven points ahead of Dodge in the battle for third.[9] Clint Bowyer is the race's defending champion after winning the event in 2011.[10]


Kasey Kahne scored the pole position.

To begin pre-race ceremonies, Billy Irvin, a volunteer with Alabama Raceway Ministries and director of ministry relations with FAITH Radio in Montgomery, Alabama, delivered the invocation. [11] Then, singer Raelynn performed the National anthem. At 2:11 PM, actor Kevin James gave the command to start engines.

At the drop of the green flag, Kasey Kahne led, and continued to lead for the first ten laps. On lap 11, Trevor Bayne took the lead with drafting help from Clint Bowyer. Three laps later, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. claimed the lead. Earnhardt, Jr. led for two laps before being passed by Kyle Busch.

On lap 17, the first caution came out for a three car crash in turn 4 that eliminated Carl Edwards and Cole Whitt from contention, and also gave some heavy damage to Joey Logano. Kyle Busch continued to lead the field when the green flag waved on lap 22. Two laps later, Matt Kenseth passed Busch to lead. Kenseth led for ten laps, before Earnhardt, Jr. passed him. On lap 35, Denny Hamlin reported a loose rearview mirror in his car.[11] Earnhardt, Jr. led for seven laps before being repassed by Kenseth on lap 41. One lap later, Kenseth got loose off of Greg Biffle's bumper, and he went from 1st to 31st place in a matter of seconds, while Earnhardt, Jr. received the lead. On lap 50, Casey Mears received the lead. A lap later, Mears was passed by Jeff Burton, who led for two laps before Bayne received the lead.

By lap 58, Mears had re-received the lead. From lap 60 to lap 62, the field was cycled through green-flag pit stops. Earnhardt, Jr, Bayne, Kyle Busch, and others received speeding penalties. These penalties ultimately resulted in Earnhardt, Jr. and Busch being trapped a lap down for a significant chunk of the mid-portion of the race. On lap 64, Jimmie Johnson took the lead. On lap 73, Jeff Gordon passed Johnson with drafting help from Kenseth. By lap 83, Jamie McMurray had taken the lead.

On lap 90, Kurt Busch, in his last start for Phoenix Racing, received the lead.[11] Five laps later, Kenseth took the lead. He led for two laps before Busch repassed him. Two laps after that, the second caution of the race waved when Kasey Kahne ran out of fuel, and simultaneously, Busch was spun out on the back straightaway by Jamie McMurray. Although the car took damage from hitting the inside wall, Busch was able to refire the engine, after the emergency crews had already reached him. A medical bag that was sitting on top of the car was subsequently thrown from the back decklid. NASCAR parked Busch for pulling away and trying to drive back to the garage despite the fact that his car was shedding debris.

On the restart at lap 104, Marcos Ambrose was the leader, but was passed during the next lap by Kenseth. On lap 121, Kyle Busch got onto the tail end of the lead lap, being pushed by Mears. On lap 127, Greg Biffle assumed the lead for one lap before being repassed by Kenseth. Four laps after that, Biffle pushed McMurray into the lead. Busch was shuffled back during this green flag run.

On lap 139, the third caution flag of the race was waved for debris.[11] Earnhardt, Jr. got back on the lead lap and Kyle Busch returned to the lead lap with a free pass. At the restart on lap 143, Casey Mears was leading again. Laps later, Biffle passed him. On lap 151, McMurray received the lead. A lap later, Biffle repassed him. On lap 155, Kevin Harvick gave McMurray a shove to reclaim the lead for two laps. On lap 168, Harvick became the leader.[11] He led for three laps before Mears assumed the lead. On lap 173, the lead returned to McMurray. On lap 182, Kenseth claimed the lead, and the fourth caution came out as McMurray spun out in the tri-oval off of Harvick's bumper. Under the caution, 11 drivers did not pit, so Clint Bowyer led the field at the restart on lap 187.

Final lap and repercussions[edit]

Coming to the white flag, Tony Stewart claimed the lead as Kenseth made a charge on the outside down the back straightaway. Entering turn three, Kenseth was leading the high lane and much of the field was bunched up behind him and Stewart. In turn four, Casey Mears started pushing Michael Waltrip and the pair made a move on the inside of Stewart. As Stewart tried to block, he was turned sideways by Waltrip's car and spun into the pack. Waltrip just clipped Kevin Harvick's car and then hit the outside wall, collecting 25 cars in all. Stewart's car went airborne and was upside down on top of several cars, including Kasey Kahne, Clint Bowyer, and Paul Menard. Kenseth was the only one in front of the crash and he made it to the finish line to win the race followed by Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch, who got through by going down to the apron. Greg Biffle and Ryan Newman, who were on the outside back of the four-wide pack before the crash, managed to avoid it by slowing down and weaving through out-of-control cars to finish in sixth and ninth place respectively.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. contacted a neurosurgeon following headaches from the crash two days later, and a day later, the neurosurgeon medically disqualified Earnhardt following a concussion from being part of this crash. The next day, Earnhardt admitted in a press conference he had been concussed in an August 29 tire test at Kansas after a tire failure at speeds exceeding 300 km/h in Turn 1, and hired Regan Smith in the #88 until he was cleared. This eventually led to an official concussion protocol by NASCAR that would be in full effect by the 2014 season, including a new Chase format that would fit with the protocol.[12]


Race results[edit]

Matt Kenseth won the race.

Note: Cars that finished the final lap, despite being involved in the crash, are scored as having completed all 189 laps.

Pos Grid Car Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Run Points
1 15 17 Matt Kenseth Roush-Fenway Racing Ford 189 47
2 6 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 189 43
3 25 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 189 42
4 30 34 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 189 41
5 28 78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 189 39
6 8 16 Greg Biffle Roush-Fenway Racing Ford 189 39
7 22 2 Brad Keselowski Penske Racing Dodge 189 37
8 36 93 Travis Kvapil BK Racing Toyota 189 37
9 2 39 Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 189 35
10 26 31 Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 189 35
11 21 29 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 189 34
12 1 5 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 189 33
13 9 56 Martin Truex, Jr. Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 189 31
14 23 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 189 30
15 32 38 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 189 29
16 31 32 Terry Labonte FAS Lane Racing Ford 189 28
17 17 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 189 28
18 40 47 Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota 189 26
19 18 43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 189 25
20 12 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 189 25
21 8 21 Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Racing Ford 189 0
22 4 14 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 188 23
23 3 15 Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 188 22
24 10 22 Sam Hornish, Jr. Penske Racing Dodge 188 0
25 11 55 Michael Waltrip Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 188 19
26 19 13 Casey Mears Germain Racing Ford 188 19
27 20 9 Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 188 18
28 16 27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 188 16
29 39 36 Dave Blaney Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 188 15
30 38 83 Landon Cassill BK Racing Toyota 188 14
31 34 98 Michael McDowell Phil Parsons Racing Ford 188 13
32 14 20 Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 187 12
33 30 30 David Stremme Inception Motorsports Toyota 187 11
34 24 1 Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 184 12
35 43 23 Robert Richardson, Jr. R3 Motorsports Toyota 180 0
36 7 99 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford 179 8
37 41 10 David Reutimann Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 162 7
38 27 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 156 6
39 29 51 Kurt Busch Phoenix Racing Chevrolet 98 6
40 42 33 Cole Whitt Circle Sport Racing Chevrolet 16 0
41 37 87 Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 12 0
42 35 97 Timmy Hill NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 8 0
43 33 26 Josh Wise Front Row Motorsports Ford 5 1

The lead changed 54 times, the 39th time a race at Talladega had broken 40 official lead changes.

Standings after the race[edit]


  1. ^ "2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule". ESPN. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  2. ^ Brown, Brian (October 3, 2012). "The Good Sam 500". Rotoworld.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  3. ^ "2012 Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Archived from the original on 2013-07-13. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  4. ^ "Matt Kenseth avoids 25-car pileup to win at Talladega - ESPN". ESPN. 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
  5. ^ "NASCAR Race Tracks". NASCAR. Archived from the original on January 1, 2013. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  6. ^ a b "NASCAR Tracks — The Talladega Superspeedway". Talladega Superspeedway. Archived from the original on August 27, 2009. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  7. ^ "Talladega". NASCAR. Archived from the original on November 15, 2010. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  8. ^ a b c d "2012 Official Driver Standings: AAA 400". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  9. ^ a b c "2012 NASCAR Manufacturer Championship". Jayski's NASCAR Silly Season Site. ESPN. Archived from the original on November 30, 2012. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  10. ^ "2011 Good Sam Club 500". Racing-Reference.info. USA Today Sports Media Group. October 23, 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  11. ^ a b c d e "Race Summary". NASCAR. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
  12. ^ "Junior out with concussion". NASCAR. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  13. ^ "2012 Official Race Results : Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  14. ^ "2012 Official Driver Standings: Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500". NASCAR. Turner Sports. Retrieved October 8, 2012.

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2012 AAA 400
Sprint Cup Series
2012 season
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2012 Bank of America 500