2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season
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The 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season was the 63rd season of professional stock car racing in the United States. The season included 36 races and two exhibition races, beginning with the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway and ending with the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The final ten races were known as 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup.

During the 2010 season, NASCAR announced several calendar changes, including race additions at Kansas Speedway and Kentucky Speedway, and the removal of one race each from Atlanta Motor Speedway and Auto Club Speedway. Once the 2010 season had concluded, NASCAR also announced changes to the point system, and that the fuel changed from Sunoco unleaded to an ethanol blend called 'Sunoco Green E15'.

Margaret Haas won the Owners' Championship, while Tony Stewart, co-owner of Stewart Haas Racing with Gene and Margaret, won the Drivers' Championship with a victory at the final race of the season in a tiebreak over Carl Edwards. Chevrolet won the Manufacturers' Championship with 248 points.

Preseason

The preseason testing season began on January 20, 2011 with a three-day test at the Daytona International Speedway to test the new nose on the car, as well as the new surface. Also in the sessions, the opening of the restrictor plate was reduced from the 30 / 32 inch plate used in tire testing in December to 29 /32 inch. NASCAR vice president for competition Robin Pemberton stated, "We'll have to get back and talk to the teams and look at the speeds from the last two days of testing. I think we have some high-water marks at 197-and-a-half which, depending on where they pulled up in the draft, it may be a little quick, but it's hard to say."[1] [2] During the first session on the morning of January 20, 2011, 33 drivers participated, and Clint Bowyer was quickest with a speed of 184.216 mph[3][4] while David Reutimann had the highest speed of 195.780 mph during the second session in the afternoon.[5]

The third test session, scheduled for the morning of January 21, was canceled because of wet weather. During the fourth session, held during the afternoon, 34 drivers participated with Denny Hamlin being quickest with a speed of 196.868 mph.[6] Several drivers decided to leave after the session, which included Reutimann, Martin Truex, Jr., Jimmie Johnson, and Bowyer.[6] During the fifth session, held on the morning of January 22, 29 drivers participated, and Joey Logano was quickest with a speed of 197.516 mph.[7] Brad Keselowski was quickest with a speed of 198.605 mph in the final session.[8] Once the testing concluded, NASCAR managing director of competition John Darby commented that he did not expect to change the restrictor plate that they used in the January test sessions, leaving the opening at 29 /32 inches.[9]

Report

In the first exhibition race of the season, the 2011 Budweiser Shootout, Hamlin crossed the finished line in the first position, but since he passed below the yellow out of bounds line, Kurt Busch became the winner of the race.[10] Trevor Bayne won the opening race of the season in the Daytona 500 after David Ragan received a penalty for a restart violation, with Bayne becoming just the fifth driver to win the race for Wood Brothers Racing and the youngest ever to win the Daytona 500 at 20 years and 1 day, as well as the first driver to win the race (excluding the inaugural 1959 race) in his first Daytona 500 start.[11] Four-time champion, Jeff Gordon claimed victory in the 2011 Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, after leading the most laps of 138, ending a 66-race winless streak.[12]

Next, Carl Edwards won the 2011 Kobalt Tools 400 after Tony Stewart, who led the most laps, was penalized on pit road.[13] After winning the Nationwide race on Saturday, Kyle Busch held off Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson to take his fifth consecutive Bristol victory.[14] Though Kyle dominated the race, Jimmie Johnson took the lead briefly but was passed on the last lap by Kevin Harvick, who took his first win of 2011 at Auto Club Speedway.[15] The following week, Harvick passed fan favorite Dale Earnhardt, Jr. with four laps to go to win at Martinsville Speedway.[16] Roush Fenway Racing dominated the weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, with Matt Kenseth leading 169 laps en route to his first victory in 76 races.[17]

In the Aaron's 499 that tied the Sprint Cup Series record for the most lead changes in a race, Jimmie Johnson edged Clint Bowyer for the win at Talladega Superspeedway by .002 seconds, tying the closest finish in series history.[18] For the third consecutive season, Kyle Busch dominated the spring race at Richmond, leading 293 of 400 laps en route to his second win of the season[19] After being denied victory at Talladega in 2008, Regan Smith stayed out on older tires and held of points leader Carl Edwards for his and Furniture Row Racing's first Cup Series victory at Darlington Raceway.[20] Making a last minute two-tire pit stop on the final pit stop, Matt Kenseth outran former teammate Mark Martin to take his second win of the season at Dover.[21]

At the second exhibition race of the season, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race XXVII at Charlotte Motor Speedway, David Ragan and Brad Keselowski finished 1–2 in the Sprint Showdown, while fan favorite Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the fan vote to transfer into the main event.[22] Carl Edwards dominated the final two segments and held off Kyle Busch for his first All-Star victory.[23] With the teams remaining in Charlotte for the Coca-Cola 600, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. came close to snapping his winless drought by gambling on fuel, but ran out of gas on the backstretch, allowing Kevin Harvick to drive to his 3rd win of 2011.[24] At 402 laps and 603 miles, the race was the longest in NASCAR history.[25] At the inaugural STP 400 at Kansas Speedway, a dominant Kurt Busch was forced to stop for fuel with 7 laps to go, allowing teammate Brad Keselowski to take the lead and hold off a charging Dale Earnhardt, Jr. for his second Sprint Cup victory.[26] At the 5-hour Energy 500, a quick final pit stop enabled Jeff Gordon to beat polesitter Kurt Busch out of the pits, getting Gordon his 84th Sprint Cup victory, tying Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip for third on the all-time wins list and also tying Waltrip for the most wins in NASCAR's modern era.[27] The next week at Michigan, defending race winner Denny Hamlin got an excellent final pit stop, enabling him to hold off Matt Kenseth for his first win of the season.[28] The next week at Infineon Raceway, Kurt Busch dominated the race and easily held off Jeff Gordon for his first win of 2011 and first on a road course.[29]

The series returned to Daytona for the Independence Day weekend. Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne crashed out early, and David Ragan with help from teammate Matt Kenseth, rebounded from his late 500 loss to take his first Sprint Cup victory.[30] The following week, at the inaugural Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway, Kyle Busch dominated the race and held off a hard charging David Reutimann for his third win of the season.[31] Heading up to New England for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at Loudon, Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart, both drivers for Stewart Haas Racing started first and second on the grid, and the two remained in the same order at the conclusion of the race, Newman's his first win of season.[32] After an off week, the series made its way to the prestigious Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Brickyard 400. Though Jeff Gordon had the dominant car, pit strategy got Paul Menard out front and eventually hold off a hard-charging Gordon for his first career Sprint Cup victory.

The series returned to Pocono for the Good Sam RV Insurance 500. The Joe Gibbs Racing trio of Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Joey Logano dominated the race, but Brad Keselowski, racing injured from a crash at Road Atlanta, held off Busch with 10 to go to take his second win of the year. The next week at Watkins Glen, Cup drivers returned to road course racing, and Marcos Ambrose held off Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch in a green-white-checker finish and avoided several violent crashes, including David Reutimann flipping in the esses on the final lap, to claim his first Sprint Cup Series win, becoming the fifth first-time winner in 2011. Ambrose also became the first Australian ever (and fourth foreign-born driver) to win a Cup Series race.[33] The series returned to Michigan for the Pure Michigan 400, and Kyle Busch would dominate the race and hold off Jimmie Johnson for his fourth win of 2011. Heading to Bristol for the Irwin Tools Night Race, Jeff Gordon dominated the race, but Brad Keselowski got out front after a fast final pitstop and held off Martin Truex, Jr. for his third win of 2011.

Heading to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Labor Day weekend, the race was pushed to Tuesday September 6 due to Tropical Storm Lee dumping rain on the Southwest Sunday and Monday. When the race resumed, Jeff Gordon held off Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson for his 3rd win of 2011 and his 85th overall win in the Cup Series. At the Wonderful Pistachios 400, the last race of the regular season was hotly contested with multiple drivers needing a win to break into the Chase. Kevin Harvick would end up holding off the field for his 4th win of 2011 while Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski completed the two wild card spots in the top 12. For the first time, Chicagoland Speedway was the site of the Chase opener. With the race delayed until Monday due to rain, Tony Stewart held off a hard-charging Kevin Harvick and outlasted the field on fuel to take his first win of 2011. The teams headed up north to return to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Sylvania 300. Once again, the race came down to fuel milage as Tony Stewart passed Clint Bowyer with 2 laps to go and held on for his second consecutive win of the year. In the series' return to Dover, Jimmie Johnson dominated the race, but Kurt Busch took advantage of a restart and held off Johnson for his second win of 2011. Heading to Kansas, Jimmie Johnson once again dominated the race, but sealed up his second win of the season on a Green-white-checkered finish by holding off Kasey Kahne.

The series returned to Charlotte for the halfway mark of the Chase. Kyle Busch dominated the race, but Matt Kenseth passed Busch late in the race and held him off for his third win of 2011. At Talladega, the controversial two-car draft was the order of the day, as the RCR duo of Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer pulled away from the field on a late restart, though Bowyer would pass Burton on the final lap and beat him to the line by a fender for his second consecutive fall Talladega win. The teams returned to Martinsville for the final short track of the season. There, the Chase drivers had up and down days, but Tony Stewart passed Jimmie Johnson on the final restart to grab his third win of 2011 and keep his Chase hopes alive. Returning to Texas, Stewart dominated and passed a gambling Jeff Burton with 5 to go to hold off points leader Carl Edwards for his fourth win in 2011. At the penultimate race in Phoenix, the drivers face a completely new Phoenix International Raceway. Stewart dominated once again, but Kasey Kahne held off a hard-charging Carl Edwards to snap a 81 race winless streak. At the season finale, championship contenders Edwards and Stewart dominated the race with a razor-thin points gap, but Stewart prevailed and took home both his fifth win of 2011 and defeated Edwards for his first Cup championship as an owner-driver (Stewart and Edwards were tied in points after the race; Stewart prevailed on the first tie-breaker, number of race wins during the season – Stewart had five wins during the season (all during the Chase) while Edwards had only one win in the third race of the season).

Teams and drivers

Complete schedule

Manufacturer Team No. Race Driver Crew Chief
Chevrolet Earnhardt Ganassi Racing 1 Jamie McMurray Kevin Manion
42 Juan Pablo Montoya Jim Pohlman
Furniture Row Racing 78 Regan Smith Pete Rondeau
Hendrick Motorsports 5 Mark Martin Lance McGrew
24 Jeff Gordon Alan Gustafson
48 Jimmie Johnson Chad Knaus
88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Steve Letarte
Phoenix Racing 511 Bill Elliott Nick Harris
Landon Cassill
Boris Said
Richard Childress Racing 27 Paul Menard Richard Labbe
29 Kevin Harvick Gil Martin
31 Jeff Burton Luke Lambert
33 Clint Bowyer Shane Wilson
Stewart Haas Racing 14 Tony Stewart Darian Grubb
39 Ryan Newman Tony Gibson
Tommy Baldwin Racing 36 Dave Blaney Philippe Lopez
Ron Fellows1
Mike Skinner2
Stephen Leicht3
Geoffrey Bodine4
Dodge Penske Racing 2 Brad Keselowski Paul Wolfe
22 Kurt Busch Steve Addington
Robby Gordon Motorsports 7 Robby Gordon1 Samuel Stanley
Johnny Sauter
Mike Bliss
Reed Sorenson2
Ford FAS Lane Racing 32 Terry Labonte Frank Stoddard
Mike Skinner
Ken Schrader
Mike Bliss
T.J. Bell
Andrew Ranger
Boris Said1
Patrick Carpentier1
Jason White1
Front Row Motorsports 34 David Gilliland Peter Sospenzo
38 Travis Kvapil Jay Guy
Sam Hornish, Jr.
Tony Ave
J.J. Yeley
Terry Labonte
Richard Petty Motorsports 9 Marcos Ambrose Todd Parrott
43 A. J. Allmendinger Greg Erwin
Roush Fenway Racing 6 David Ragan Drew Blickensderfer
16 Greg Biffle Matt Puccia
17 Matt Kenseth Jimmy Fennig
99 Carl Edwards Bob Osbourne
Toyota Germain Racing 13 Casey Mears Bootie Barker
HP Racing 66 Michael McDowell Gene Nead
Todd Bodine1
Josh Wise2
Joe Gibbs Racing 11 Denny Hamlin Mike Ford
18 Kyle Busch Dave Rogers
Michael McDowell1
20 Joey Logano Greg Zipadelli
JTG Daugherty Racing 47 Bobby Labonte Brian Burns1
Michael Waltrip Racing 00 David Reutimann Bobby Kennedy1
56 Martin Truex, Jr. Scott Miller1
NEMCO Motorsports 87 Joe Nemechek Bill Willburn
Red Bull Racing 4 Kasey Kahne Kenny Francis
83 Brian Vickers Ryan Pemberton
Ford
Chevrolet
Front Row Motorsports
Max Q Motorsports
Rick Ware Racing
Whitney Motorsports
37 Robert Richardson Jr. Greg Conner
Tony Raines
Chris Cook1
Scott Speed
Josh Wise
TRG Motorsports 71 Andy Lally Doug Richert
Hermie Sadler1
Mike Bliss
Whitney Motorsports 46 J.J. Yeley1 Tony Furr
Bill Elliott
Andy Pilgrim1
Erik Darnell1
Brian Simo1
Scott Speed1

Limited schedule

Manufacturer Team No Race Driver Crew Chief Rounds
Chevrolet Curb-Agajanian Performance Group 98 Austin Dillon Danny Stockman 1
Inception Motorsports 30 David Stremme Steve Lane 23
K-Automotive Motorsports 92 Brian Keselowski Bob Keselowski 6
Dennis Setzer 3
Scott Riggs 1
Sinica Motorsports 93 Grant Enfinger Allen Wellman 1
Tommy Baldwin Racing 35 Steve Park Tommy Baldwin, Jr.

Joe Cipriano
2
Geoff Bodine 4
Dave Blaney 5
Stephen Leicht 1
Whitney Motorsports 81 Scott Riggs Butch Lamoreux
Mike Abner
8
Brian Simo 1
Dodge Robby Gordon Motorsports 77 Scott Wimmer Patrick Donahue 2
P.J. Jones 2
Robby Gordon 1
Stratus Racing Group 75 Derrike Cope Dave Fuge 1
Ford FAS Lane Racing 23 Terry Labonte Frank Stoddard 1
Wood Brothers Racing 21 Trevor Bayne Donnie Wingo 17
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. 1
Max Q Motorsports 64 Derrike Cope Dave Fuge 1
TRG Motorsports 77 Andy Lally Todd Anderson 1
T.J. Bell Barry Boeckenstedt 1
Front Row Motorsports 55 Jeff Green Derrick Finley 1
J.J. Yeley 12
Travis Kvapil 4
Leavine Family Racing 95 David Starr Wally Rogers 8
Toyota Michael Waltrip Racing 15 Michael Waltrip Bobby Kennedy 4
NEMCO Motorsports 97 Kevin Conway Scott Eggleston 4
Red Bull Racing Team 84 Cole Whitt Randy Cox 2
R3 Motorsports 23 Scott Riggs Greg Conner 1
Rusty Wallace Racing 77 Steve Wallace Larry Carter 1
Toyota
Chevrolet
LTD Powersports, LLC 50 T. J. Bell Jeff McClure 13

Team changes

In preparation for 2011, Penske Racing made team changes by moving Brad Keselowski, along with his No. 12 team, into the No. 2 Miller Lite car, replacing Kurt Busch and his 2010 team, who moved to the newly formed No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil car.[34] Another change was made by Hendrick Motorsports, who rearranged three of the four car team. The team moved Steve Letarte with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Alan Gustafson with Jeff Gordon, and Lance McGrew with Mark Martin.[35] On January 7, 2011, Bob Leavine and Lance Fenton announced the formation of Leavine Fenton Racing, and that David Starr drove for the team.[36] In February, another team was formed, FAS Lane Racing, by Frank Stoddard.[37] In March, David Stremme announced his return to the Cup Series with a new team, Inception Motorsports. They ran the No.30 Chevrolet and attempted to make the Crown Royal Presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 at Richmond.[38] In October before the Bank of America 500, it was announced that Sinica Motorsports would join the Cup Series for 3 races in 2011, running the No. 93 Chevrolet with either Bill Elliott or Terry Labonte and that ARCA driver Grant Enfinger would drive for the team for 10-15 races in 2012.

Driver changes

Changed teams

Several drivers changed teams for the season. One of which was Paul Menard, who left Richard Petty Motorsports to drive for Richard Childress Racing.[39] Menard signed a three-year deal to expire at the end of 2013, with options for further years. Other changes were Kasey Kahne who joined the Red Bull Racing Team, after leaving Richard Petty Motorsports in 2010,[40] and Marcos Ambrose who left JTG Daugherty Racing to drive for Richard Petty Motorsports in 2011, as a replacement for Kahne.[41] Also, Bobby Labonte replaced Ambrose at JTG Daugherty Racing,[42] and Bill Elliott, who moved from Wood Brothers Racing to Phoenix Racing.[43] Kevin Conway, the 2010 NASCAR Rookie of the Year in the Sprint Cup Series, also made a change by moving to NEMCO Motorsports.[44]

Entered the series

For the 2011 season, Trevor Bayne, who placed seventh in the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series season, entered the series driving for Wood Brothers Racing in 17 scheduled races.[45] Another driver, Brian Keselowski also entered the series, after qualifying for the 2011 Daytona 500 for the K-Automotive Motorsports team.[46]

Exited the series

Some drivers left the series, such as Elliott Sadler who left Richard Petty Motorsports to drive for Kevin Harvick Incorporated in the Camping World Truck Series, and Nationwide Series.[47] Sam Hornish, Jr. also exited the series and moved to the Nationwide Series to participate in ten races, after new sponsorship for his Sprint Cup Series car could not be found.[48] After the final race of the 2010 season, Scott Speed exited the series after Red Bull Racing Team dismissed him to make room for Kahne.[49] The change resulted in Speed filing a lawsuit against the team for several reasons.[50]

Mid-season changes

During July 2011, Max Q Motorsports announced that Scott Speed signed a three race contract with the team to race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Watkins Glen International and Pocono Raceway. Following the announcement, Speed commented, "I am excited to get back to the track. Max Q Motorsports seems to have a good operation and a great group of guys. Ford has a great engine package, so I'm hopeful that we can get the ball rolling quickly and be competitive out the gate."[51]

Rookie entries

At the beginning of the season, two drivers announced plans to participate in the 2011 Rookie of the Year standings. The drivers were Andy Lally driving for Kevin Buckler's TRG Motorsports, and Brian Keselowski, moving his family-operated K-Automotive Motorsports team up from the Natinowide Series.[46] Trevor Bayne, who was running half the season with the Wood Brothers, did not participate in the standings after deciding to participate for the Nationwide Series championship.[52] T.J. Bell entered later in the season and collected his first Cup points at Pocono. As Lally was the only rookie driver to run the required 17 races to keep eligibility, he won the rookie award easily despite being released from TRG before Homestead.

2011 calendar

On August 18, 2010, the final calendar was released containing 36 races, with the addition of two exhibition races. The schedule also includes two Gatorade Duels, which are the qualifying races for the Daytona 500.[53]

No. Race Title Track Date
Budweiser Shootout Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach February 12
Gatorade Duel February 17
1 Daytona 500 February 20
2 Subway Fresh Fit 500 Phoenix International Raceway, Phoenix February 27
3 Kobalt Tools 400 Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, Nevada March 6
4 Jeff Byrd 500 presented by Food City Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol March 20
5 Auto Club 400 Auto Club Speedway, Fontana March 27
6 Goody's Fast Relief 500 Martinsville Speedway, Ridgeway April 3
7 Samsung Mobile 500 Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth April 9
8 Aaron's 499 Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega April 17
9 Crown Royal Presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 Richmond International Raceway, Richmond April 30
10 Showtime Southern 500 Darlington Raceway, Darlington May 7
11 FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks Dover International Speedway, Dover May 15
Sprint Showdown and All-Star Race XXVII Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord May 21
12 Coca-Cola 600 May 29
13 STP 400 Kansas Speedway, Kansas City June 5
14 5-hour Energy 500 Pocono Raceway, Long Pond June 12
15 Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn June 19
16 Toyota/Save Mart 350 Infineon Raceway, Sonoma June 26
17 Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach July 2
18 Quaker State 400 Kentucky Speedway, Sparta July 9
19 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon July 17
20 Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records.com Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Speedway July 31
21 Good Sam RV Insurance 500 Pocono Raceway, Long Pond August 7
22 Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen August 14
23 Pure Michigan 400 Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn August 21
24 Irwin Tools Night Race Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol August 27
25 AdvoCare 500 Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton September 4
26 Wonderful Pistachios 400 Richmond International Raceway, Richmond September 10
Chase for the Championship
27 GEICO 400 Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet September 18
28 Sylvania 300 New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon September 25
29 AAA 400 Dover International Speedway, Dover October 2
30 Hollywood Casino 400 Kansas Speedway, Kansas City October 9
31 Bank of America 500 Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord October 15
32 Good Sam Club 500 Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega October 23
33 Tums Fast Relief 500 Martinsville Speedway, Ridgeway October 30
34 AAA Texas 500 Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth November 6
35 Kobalt Tools 500 Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale November 13
36 Ford 400 Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead November 20
Source:[54][55]

Calendar changes

For the 2011 season, NASCAR made several changes to the schedule. One change was that the Subway Fresh Fit 600, held at Phoenix International Raceway, was reduced to 500 kilometers, making the name Subway Fresh Fit 500, and it became the second race of the season.[56] Also the Kobalt Tools 500, held at Atlanta Motor Speedway, was discontinued.[57] The Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway, was reduced to 400 miles making the name Auto Club 400,[58] and became the fifth race of the season.[56] More changes to the schedule included Kansas Speedway gaining a race (the STP 400), which was run on June 5, 2011,[59] and Kentucky Speedway hosted its first Sprint Cup Series race, the Quaker State 400 on July 9, 2011.[60] The Chase schedule was changed to the GEICO 400 becoming the first race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup; the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway was the second, while Auto Club Speedway's Pepsi Max 400 was removed.[61]

Starting times

Another change for the season involves the races in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, which had different starting times so they would not conflict with the beginning of NFL games. The change was made after seven races during the 2010 season began at 1:00 pm EST, the same time as the NFL games began. The change delayed the start of the first six races, excluding Charlotte, to 2:00 pm EDT, while the last three started at 3:00 pm EST. Charlotte Motor Speedway's race remained on Saturday night.[62] Martinsville Speedway's October race on Halloween weekend features a 1:30 pm EDT start because the track does not carry lights, and as a result is using the 2004-09 start time of 1:30 pm EDT.

Changes

Rule changes

After the 2010 season, the catch can man, who caught excess fuel during pit stops and adjusts the track bar, is no longer needed, because of the addition of a self-venting fuel can.[63] On January 11, 2011, NASCAR reported drivers can only be able to compete for the championship in one of NASCAR's three national racing series, which means the drivers who race in multiple series, most notably in the Cup and Nationwide Series, are able to compete in the races, but not for the championship.[64]

The rule does not affect the exemption rule, as exemptions are determined by the top 35 in NASCAR car owner points. Drivers ineligible for Sprint Cup driver points earned Sprint Cup owner points for their team.

An announcement came on January 26, 2011, when Brian France announced that the winner of the race, excluding bonus points would receive 43 points, and each position lost one point from the position before, so that the first position would receive 43 points, while second would receive 42.[65] For bonus points, if the driver leads a lap they receive one, if they lead the most laps they receive one more, and if they win the race they receive three more points.[66] On the same day, France announced changes to the qualifying format, such as the qualifying order being set by practice speeds from slowest to highest. If qualifying is canceled, the grid would be determined by practice speeds, unless they are also cancelled, then they lined up by Drivers' points. In the press conference, it was also noted that in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, the eleventh and twelfth positions would be awarded to whoever has the most victories who are ranked from 11th to 20th in regular-season driver's points. Those drivers would not be given bonus points for wins.[67][68][69] In addition, the number of base points received by Chase drivers at the points reset were set at 2,000 instead of the previous 5,000.[70]

Sponsorship changes

During the 2010 off-season, Shell and Pennzoil became the primary sponsors of Kurt Busch's new team at Penske Racing.[71] Budweiser decided to end their association with Richard Petty Motorsports, and instead replaced Shell and Pennzoil at Richard Childress Racing.[72] Mobil 1, Sam Hornish, Jr.'s primary sponsor in 2010, moved their sponsorship to Tony Stewart at Stewart Haas Racing.[73] The primary sponsor of the 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet driven by Jeff Gordon became AARP's "Drive to End Hunger", replacing DuPont, which became his associative sponsor. As part of Paul Menard's move to Richard Childress Racing, he took his family-owned business, Menards, with him.[74]

Other changes

During the 2010 season through the off-season, NASCAR announced a change to the front end of the race cars. The change removed the splitter braces, and made it a single molded piece.[75] The fuel for all major series in NASCAR changed from Sunoco unleaded to an ethanol blend called 'Sunoco Green E15'.[76]

Results and standings

Races

No. Race Pole position Most laps led Winning driver Winning manufacturer Report
Budweiser Shootout Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Jeff Burton Kurt Busch Dodge Report[77]
1 Daytona 500 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Ryan Newman Trevor Bayne Ford Report[11][78]
2 Subway Fresh Fit 500 Carl Edwards Jeff Gordon Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Report
3 Kobalt Tools 400 Matt Kenseth Tony Stewart Carl Edwards Ford Report
4 Jeff Byrd 500 Carl Edwards Jimmie Johnson Kyle Busch Toyota Report
5 Auto Club 400 Juan Pablo Montoya Kyle Busch Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Report
6 Goody's Fast Relief 500 Jamie McMurray Kyle Busch Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Report
7 Samsung Mobile 500 David Ragan Matt Kenseth Matt Kenseth Ford Report
8 Aaron's 499 Jeff Gordon Clint Bowyer Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Report
9 Crown Royal Presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 Juan Pablo Montoya Kyle Busch Kyle Busch Toyota Report
10 Showtime Southern 500 Kasey Kahne Kasey Kahne Regan Smith Chevrolet Report
11 FedEx400 benefiting Autism Speaks Jimmie Johnson Jimmie Johnson Matt Kenseth Ford Report
NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Kyle Busch Greg Biffle Carl Edwards Ford Report
12 Coca-Cola 600 Brad Keselowski Matt Kenseth Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Report
13 STP 400 Kurt Busch Kurt Busch Brad Keselowski Dodge Report
14 5-hour Energy 500 Kurt Busch Denny Hamlin Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Report
15 Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 Kurt Busch Greg Biffle Denny Hamlin Toyota Report
16 Toyota/Save Mart 350 Joey Logano Kurt Busch Kurt Busch Dodge Report
17 Coke Zero 400 Mark Martin Ryan Newman David Ragan Ford Report
18 Quaker State 400 Kyle Busch Kyle Busch Kyle Busch Toyota Report
19 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Ryan Newman Ryan Newman Ryan Newman Chevrolet Report
20 Brickyard 400 presented by BigMachineRecords.com David Ragan Kasey Kahne Paul Menard Chevrolet Report
21 Good Sam RV Insurance 500 Joey Logano Denny Hamlin Brad Keselowski Dodge Report
22 Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen Kyle Busch Kyle Busch Marcos Ambrose Ford Report
23 Pure Michigan 400 Greg Biffle Greg Biffle Kyle Busch Toyota Report
24 Irwin Tools Night Race Ryan Newman Jeff Gordon Brad Keselowski Dodge Report
25 AdvoCare 500 Kasey Kahne Jeff Gordon Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Report
26 Wonderful Pistachios 400 David Reutimann Kevin Harvick Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Report
Chase for the Championship
27 GEICO 400 Matt Kenseth Kurt Busch Tony Stewart Chevrolet Report
28 Sylvania 300 Ryan Newman Jeff Gordon Tony Stewart Chevrolet Report
29 AAA 400 Martin Truex, Jr. Jimmie Johnson Kurt Busch Dodge Report
30 Hollywood Casino 400 Greg Biffle Jimmie Johnson Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Report
31 Bank of America 500 Tony Stewart Kyle Busch Matt Kenseth Ford Report
32 Good Sam Club 500 Mark Martin Tony Stewart Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Report
33 Tums Fast Relief 500 Carl Edwards Kyle Busch Tony Stewart Chevrolet Report
34 AAA Texas 500 Greg Biffle Tony Stewart Tony Stewart Chevrolet Report
35 Kobalt Tools 500 Matt Kenseth Tony Stewart Kasey Kahne Toyota Report
36 Ford 400 Carl Edwards Carl Edwards Tony Stewart Chevrolet Report

Drivers

(keyBold – Pole position awarded by time. Italics – Pole position set by final practice results. * – Most laps led.

Pos Driver DAY PHO LSV BRI CAL MAR TEX TAL RIC DAR DOV CHA KAN POC MIC INF DY2 KTY NHA IND PO2 GLN MI2 BR2 ATL RI2 CHI NH2 DV2 KN2 CH2 TL2 MA2 TX2 PH2 HOM Points
1 Tony Stewart 13 7 2* 19 13 34 12 17 9 7 29 17 8 21 7 39 11 12 2 6 11 27 9 28 3 7 1 1 25 15 8 7* 1 1* 3* 1 2403
2 Carl Edwards 2 28 1 2 6 18 3 6 5 2 7 16 5 37 5 3 37 5 13 14 7 12 36 9 5 2 4 8 3 5 3 11 9 2 2 2* 2403
3 Kevin Harvick 42 4 17 6 1 1 20 5 12 17 10 1 11 5 14 9 7 16 21 11 14 6 22 22 7 1* 2 12 10 6 6 32 4 13 19 8 2345
4 Matt Kenseth 34 12 11 4 4 6 1* 36 21 25 1 14* 6 8 2 14 2 6 20 5 16 17 10 6 9 23 21 6 5 4 1 18 31 4 34 4 2330
5 Brad Keselowski 29 15 26 18 26 19 18 33 36 3 13 19 1 23 25 10 15 7 35 9 1 2 3 1 6 12 5 2 20 3 16 4 17 24 18 20 2319
6 Jimmie Johnson 27 3 16 3* 2 11 8 1 8 15 9* 28 7 4 27 7 20 3 5 19 4 10 2 4 2 31 10 18 2* 1* 34 26 2 14 14 32 2304
7 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 24 10 8 11 12 2 9 4 19 14 12 7 2 6 21 41 19 30 15 16 9 14 14 16 19 16 3 17 24 14 19 25 7 7 24 11 2290
8 Jeff Gordon 28 1* 36 14 18 5 23 3 39 12 17 20 4 1 17 2 6 11 11 2 6 13 6 3* 1* 3 24 4* 12 34 21 27 3 6 32 5 2287
9 Denny Hamlin 21 11 7 33 39 12 15 23 2 6 16 10 3 19* 1 37 13 10 3 27 15* 36 35 7 8 9 31 29 18 16 9 8 5 20 12 9 2284
10 Ryan Newman 22* 5 5 10 5 20 14 25 20 5 21 31 15 9 6 25 23 4 1* 12 5 16 5 8 20 8 8 25 23 18 10 38 10 16 5 12 2284
11 Kurt Busch 5 8 9 7 17 16 10 18 22 27 14 4 9* 2 11 1* 14 9 10 21 3 38 34 17 4 5 6* 22 1 13 13 36 14 30 22 34 2262
12 Kyle Busch 8 2 38 1 3* 3* 16 35 1* 11 4 32 12 3 3 11 5 1* 36 10 2 3* 1 14 23 6 22 11 6 11 2* 33 27* EX 36 23 2246
Chase for the Championship cut-off
Pos Driver DAY PHO LSV BRI CAL MAR TEX TAL RIC DAR DOV CHA KAN POC MIC INF DY2 KTY NHA IND PO2 GLN MI2 BR2 ATL RI2 CHI NH2 DV2 KN2 CH2 TL2 MA2 TX2 PH2 HOM Points
13 Clint Bowyer 17 27 15 35 7 9 2 2* 6 31 6 15 18 16 8 4 36 35 17 13 18 11 8 26 36 22 7 26 8 7 24 1 19 9 10 6 1047
14 Kasey Kahne 25 6 14 9 9 39 21 37 3 4* 36 22 14 12 28 20 4 13 6 18* 28 26 7 11 34 38 12 15 4 2 4 6 25 3 1 7 1041
15 A. J. Allmendinger 11 9 19 31 14 14 19 11 7 20 37 5 27 25 13 13 10 28 12 22 19 8 11 12 10 11 27 21 7 25 7 31 11 10 6 15 1013
16 Greg Biffle 35 20 28 8 11 21 4 7 15 8 19 13 10 27 15* 23 18 21 18 7 8 31 20* 31 12 13 26 3 27 8 15 14 15 5 13 35 997
17 Paul Menard 9 17 12 5 16 38 5 12 37 22 24 29 19 14 4 17 8 24 24 1 10 32 26 30 18 34 20 20 16 12 17 12 24 15 9 16 947
18 Martin Truex, Jr. 19 14 6 17 21 40 35 13 27 10 8 26 20 10 26 8 35 18 8 24 12 4 19 2 14 30 18 16 30 36 23 10 8 8 20 3 937
19 Marcos Ambrose 37 16 4 15 28 29 6 32 23 13 3 6 26 34 23 5 17 20 9 34 20 1 27 10 21 21 19 30 9 9 5 19 29 11 8 39 936
20 Jeff Burton 36 26 21 20 15 24 11 16 16 33 11 21 25 20 24 21 21 19 16 35 17 9 17 15 13 29 15 13 11 21 18 2 6 27 4 10 935
21 Juan Pablo Montoya 6 19 3 24 10 4 13 30 29 23 32 12 17 7 30 22 9 15 30 28 32 7 25 19 15 15 14 9 22 23 14 23 22 18 15 31 932
22 Mark Martin 10 13 18 12 20 10 36 8 14 19 2 34 21 18 9 19 33 22 22 8 13 25 4 38 17 10 9 24 19 10 37 20 28 19 16 24 930
23 David Ragan 14 36 22 16 22 8 7 39 4 21 28 2 13 17 20 29 1 8 14 23 34 28 12 20 35 4 11 7 21 20 11 28 33 12 33 38 906
24 Joey Logano 23 33 23 23 25 13 24 10 11 35 27 3 23 11 18 6 3 14 4 25 26 5 21 13 24 35 16 14 29 29 12 24 18 37 11 19 902
25 Brian Vickers 31 30 10 36 8 17 27 38 10 34 5 18 16 22 10 36 12 27 34 15 39 15 15 21 11 33 13 5 14 19 20 5 30 21 23 17 846
26 Regan Smith 7 34 39 22 27 31 37 15 17 1 34 8 24 15 33 16 24 17 33 3 21 23 13 18 33 18 17 10 17 24 25 30 13 23 38 13 820
27 Jamie McMurray 18 35 27 21 23 7 22 21 18 9 20 37 29 33 19 15 22 36 31 4 22 18 23 5 16 14 38 23 15 22 27 29 35 36 17 14 795
28 David Reutimann 30 29 13 30 19 15 29 14 31 16 15 9 22 13 35 24 25 2 19 36 24 29 18 36 31 26 32 28 13 35 26 13 20 22 7 18 757
29 Bobby Labonte 4 21 24 13 38 27 25 24 24 18 18 24 28 28 22 38 31 26 7 17 25 19 16 34 38 20 37 19 26 30 29 35 32 28 21 27 670
30 David Gilliland 3 22 37 27 31 33 42 9 25 32 22 33 33 29 29 12 16 31 25 33 23 33 32 24 37 27 36 32 28 32 36 22 34 32 31 33 572
31 Casey Mears DNQ 18 25 37 29 36 26 22 28 30 23 23 37 30 38 34 32 25 38 29 36 22 37 23 28 17 29 42 35 42 32 17 12 25 26 26 541
32 Dave Blaney 26 42 34 25 37 30 30 27 13 24 26 27 32 26 34 31 39 33 29 31 30 DNQ 33 35 43 19 33 35 32 31 35 3 23 35 27 28 508
33 Andy Lally (R) 33 31 32 32 32 32 19 26 DNQ 33 DNQ 31 32 36 35 27 32 28 26 29 24 29 25 30 32 28 34 33 37 421 39 29 DNQ 398
34 Robby Gordon 16 32 31 39 34 23 31 20 35 37 38 37 18 34 DNQ 43 35 21 43 39 37 39 40 38 37 35 268
35 J. J. Yeley 43 37 40 40 41 41 41 43 39 40 42 38 42 39 DNQ 40 23 DNQ 43 42 43 DNQ 25 42 34 27 34 43 22 42 40 43 28 41 192
36 Michael McDowell DNQ 41 41 43 43 32 40 DNQ 40 43 43 39 41 41 43 30 42 41 40 37 41 39 41 39 43 37 40 39 39 40 39 33 40 43 139
37 Tony Raines 25 35 28 36 25 34 DNQ 33 36 35 DNQ DNQ 36 DNQ DNQ 38 DNQ 38 DNQ 129
38 Ken Schrader DNQ 33 22 33 32 28 30 21 110
39 Terry Labonte 15 34 32 28 41 34 33 34 102
40 Bill Elliott 12 23 30 29 26 100
41 David Stremme 34 41 42 40 39 41 DNQ 371 DNQ 38 40 32 DNQ 40 41 38 41 40 41 38 DNQ DNQ 42 80
42 Michael Waltrip 40 28 DNQ 9 56
43 Boris Said 28 20 38
44 Geoff Bodine 38 DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ 38 37 30 33
45 T. J. Bell (R) 381 DNQ DNQ 39 DNQ 42 DNQ 37 DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ 29 29
46 Stephen Leicht 24 DNQ 20
47 Andy Pilgrim 26 18
48 Chris Cook 27 17
49 Brian Simo 33 DNQ 11
50 Brian Keselowski (R) 41 DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ 3
51 Erik Darnell 391 DNQ 42 DNQ DNQ 2
52 Steve Park 42 DNQ 2
Ineligible for Sprint Cup driver points, but eligible for owner points if pre-entered
Pos Driver DAY PHO LSV BRI CAL MAR TEX TAL RIC DAR DOV CHA KAN POC MIC INF DY2 KTY NHA IND PO2 GLN MI2 BR2 ATL RI2 CHI NH2 DV2 KN2 CH2 TL2 MA2 TX2 PH2 HOM Points
Trevor Bayne 1 40 20 34 30 35 17 40 16 41 30 24 23 31 15 17 25  –
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. 11  –
Landon Cassill 38 43 42 24 26 28 31 38 29 30 35 35 24 12 26 23 26 20 27 31 22 25 30 33 31 17 28 16 42 26 29 36  –
Travis Kvapil 32 39 33 26 35 37 DNQ 29 30 26 31 25 34 31 30 29 DNQ 31 28 37 42 28 DNQ 43 43 27 40 21 16 31 43 22  –
Steve Wallace 20  –
Mike Bliss 25 30 31 32 34 32 32 29 26 36 25 31 36 28 30 34 30 21  –
Mike Skinner 24 29 42 43 DNQ 41 40 41 43 40 DNQ DNQ 42 40 43 42 40 DNQ 43 42 41 27 DNQ DNQ Wth DNQ DNQ Wth 43 41 42 DNQ  –
Cole Whitt 25 37  –
Hermie Sadler 28 33 26  –
Austin Dillon 26  –
David Starr 38 36 DNQ 27 29 DNQ DNQ DNQ  –
Scott Wimmer 38 DNQ 38 37 27 DNQ  –
Joe Nemechek 39 43 42 41 42 43 39 41 42 42 39 41 43 40 40 40 29 39 41 38 41 40 41 40 40 41 40 36 39 41 43 41 41 42 41 40  –
Patrick Carpentier 30  –
Ron Fellows 30  –
Scott Speed 39 40 39 42 32 43 35 41 42 33 DNQ DNQ 37 39 39 DNQ  –
Jason White 33  –
Sam Hornish, Jr. 35  –
Andrew Ranger 35  –
Reed Sorenson 38 38 36 DNQ DNQ  –
Johnny Sauter 36 DNQ  –
Josh Wise 42 39 37 DNQ DNQ DNQ 40  –
Todd Bodine DNQ 40 37 39  –
Dennis Setzer 38 Wth DNQ DNQ DNQ  –
Robert Richardson, Jr. 38  –
Scott Riggs DNQ DNQ DNQ 42 43 42 42 DNQ DNQ DNQ  –
Kevin Conway DNQ 43 43 43  –
P. J. Jones 43 DNQ  –
Jeff Green 43 DNQ  –
Derrike Cope DNQ Wth DNQ  –
Tony Ave DNQ  –
Grant Enfinger DNQ  –
References [79] [80] [81] [82] [83] [84] [85] [86] [87] [88] [89] [90] [91] [92] [93] [94] [95] [96] [97] [98] [99] [100] [101] [102] [103] [104] [105] [106] [107] [108] [109] [110] [111] [112] [113] [114] [115]

Note:This list does not include exhibition races.

  • 1 – Post entry, driver and owner did not score points.

Manufacturer

Pos Manufacturer Wins Points
1 Chevrolet 18 248
2 Ford 7 195
3 Toyota 6 187
4 Dodge 5 162
Source:[116]

See also

NASCAR portal

References