Monday, April 11, 2011

Talladega Odds & Ends: Aaron's 499

At Talladega Superspeedway:

Just another Sunday drive on the highway 
· Construction began on what was then known as the Alabama International Motor Speedway on May 23, 1968.
· The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on Sept. 14, 1969.
· The name changed to Talladega Superspeedway in 1989.
· Fourth repaving completed on Sept. 19, 2006.

· There have been 83 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Talladega Superspeedway since the track opened in 1969; two a year every year except the inaugural season, which had just one.
· Richard Brickhouse won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
· Bobby Isaac won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup pole in September 1969. Isaac won the first three poles there.
· 35 different drivers have won poles. Bill Elliott leads all drivers with eight poles.
· 41 different drivers have posted victories, led by Dale Earnhardt Sr. (10). Eighteen drivers have won more than once.
· Jeff Gordon leads all other active drivers in victories, with six. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is second among active drivers in victories with five.
· Richard Childress Racing has won 11 races, more than any other organization. Hendrick Motorsports, with 10 wins, can match that mark this weekend.
· 32 of 83 races have been won from a top-two starting position, including 13 from the pole; 23 have been won from a starting position outside the top 10. The most recent driver to win from the pole was Jeff Gordon in 2007 (spring).
· The furthest back in the field a race winner started was 36th, by Jeff Gordon in 2000.
· Mark Martin’s pace in the 1997 spring race set an all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup record for the fastest race ever. He won the caution-free race with an average speed of 188.354 mph and covered the 500-mile distance in two hours, 39 minutes and 18 seconds.
· Last season’s spring race set the all-time and track records for lead changes (88) and lap leaders (29). The previous highs were 75 lead changes (set on May 6, 1984) and 28 lap leaders (set on Oct. 5, 2008). Both previous records also were set at Talladega.
· Dale Earnhardt Jr. had four consecutive victories (October 2001 through April 2003), the most ever by a driver there. Buddy Baker (three – May 1975 through May 1976) is the only other driver to win more than two consecutive races there.
· Since the inception of electronic scoring in 1993, every race that has ended under green has had a margin of victory under half a second.

NASCAR In Alabama
There have been 102 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Alabama.
66 drivers in NASCAR’s three national series (all-time) have their home state recorded as Alabama.
There have been seven race winners from Alabama in NASCAR’s three national series.

Talladega Superspeedway Data
Race #: 8 of 36 (4-17-11)
Track Size: 2.66 miles
· Banking/Corners: 33 degrees
· Banking/Frontstretch: 16.5 degrees
· Banking/Backstretch: 2 degrees
· Frontstretch: 4,300 feet
· Backstretch: 4,000 feet

Harvick and Bowyer finished in a close one in the fall last year
Driver Rating at Talladega
Denny Hamlin 93.0
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 92.7
Brian Vickers 89.6
Joey Logano 89.1
Jeff Burton 87.8
David Ragan 87.7
Juan P. Montoya 85.9
Kurt Busch 85.4
Jeff Gordon 84.8
Tony Stewart 84.7
Note: Driver Rating compiled from 2005-2010 races (12 total) at Talladega.

Qualifying/Race Data
2010 pole winner: None, due to inclement weather.
2010 race winner: Kevin Harvick (150.590 mph, 04-25-10)
Track qualifying record: Bill Elliott (212.809 mph, 44.998 seconds, 04-30-87)
Track race record: Mark Martin (188.354 mph, 05-10-97)

- compiled by Ray M. Smith, NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications

Las Vegas Hilton Super Book NASCAR Odds To Win Aaron's 499 at Talladega

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