Anthony Ballantoni


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Wrap-up: Talladega

Sunday, May 5, 2013

This past weekend, Talladega Superspeedway in Anniston, Alabama hosted the Sprint Cup Aaron’s 499 and the Nationwide Series Aaron’s 312. The Camping World Truck Series will return to action on May 17 with the NC Education Lottery 200 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Time Trials
: Qualifying was cancelled due to rain. The 43 drivers who made the race were set by the order of practice speeds in the first practice. Carl Edwards had the quickest speed (199.675 mph) and led the field on Sunday. He will not be credited with a pole award. Edwards led five laps and finished the race in third place.

Did Not Qualify: Nationwide Series  regular Elliott Sadler missed the race since the No. 81 team did not have enough owners points or race attempts to be considered for the top 43 in speeds.

Race Winner:  David Ragan won the 44th Annual Aaron's 499, his second victory in 228 NSCS races. This is the No. 34 Ford Fusion driver's first victory and first top-10 finish in 2013. This is his first victory and sixth top-10 finish in 13 races at Talladega Superspeedway. Ragan moved up four spots to 26th in the 2013 NSCS point standings.

Rookie of the Race: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., the No. 17 Ford Fusion driver started 21st and finished 13th. He was named the "Rookie of the Race". The only other ROTY contender in the event was Danica Patrick (finished 33rd). Stenhouse is currently 16th in the 2013 point standings.

Contingency Awards:
- Matt Kenseth, the No. 20 Toyota driver, won the 3M Lap Leader Award for leading the most laps (142 of 192). He started sixth and finished eighth.
- Roush Yates Engines won the Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race award. They supplied the engine in Ragan’s No. 34 Ford Fusion.
- David Gilliland won the American Ethanol Green Flag Restart award for recording the fastest average speed on restarts and finishing the race on the lead lap.  The driver of the No. 38 Ford Fusion finished second and  moved up four spots to 29th in the 2013 Sprint Cup point standings.
- Chad Johnston, crew chief on the No. 56 Toyota Camry driven by Martin Truex Jr., won the Moog Problem Solver of the Race award. The award goes to the crew chief that improves the most from first half of the race to the second half utilizing the 40 best lap times (improved 0.010 seconds). Truex started the race in second place and finished in seventh. He moved up two spots to 13th in the 2013 Sprint Cup point standings.
- David Ragan won the Mobil 1 Command Performance Driver of the Race award given to the winner of the race or the next-highest finishing driver displaying the Mobil 1 decal.

Points Leader: Jimmie Johnson leads the point standings by 41 points over Carl Edwards.

NSCS Top 12 (G/L):
1. Jimmie Johnson 0
2. Carl Edwards 0
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. +1
4. Clint Bowyer +1
5. Brad Keselowski +1
6. Kasey Kahne -3
7. Aric Almirola +4
8. Paul Menard +2
9. Kyle Busch -2
10. Greg Biffle -2
11. Matt Kenseth +2
12. Kevin Harvick -3

Next NSCS Race: Bojangles' Southern 500, Saturday, May 11, at Darlington Raceway.
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NASCAR Nationwide Series
Time Trials: 
Travis Pastrana won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 22nd Annual Aaron's 312 with a lap of 54.255 seconds, 176.500 mph. This is the No. 60 Ford Mustang driver's first pole in 17 NNS races. It is his second top-10 start in 2013. This is Pastrana's first start at Talladega Superspeedway. He led four laps and was running in the top five when he was involved in a wreck on lap 71. Pastrana was credited with a 36th place finish and dropped two spots to 15th in the points. 

Did Not Qualify: No. 15 Stanton Barrett and No. 25 John Wes Townley. Townley’s time was disqualified since the No. 25 failed pre-qualifying inspection. His sponsorship was moved to the No. 10 and Townley replaced Jeff Green in that entry.

Race Winner: Regan Smith won the 22nd Annual Aaron's 312, his second victory in 111 NNS aces. This is the No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro driver's first victory and sixth top-10 finish in 2013. This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in three races at Talladega Superspeedway.

Rookie of the Race: Alex Bowman, the No. 99 Toyota Camry driver started, 14th and finished 13th.  This was ahead of the rest of the 2013 Rookie of the Year contenders earning him the Sunoco Rookie of the Race award.

Contingency Awards:
- Justin Allgaier won the Mobil 1 Driver of the Race award given to the winner of the race or the next-highest finishing driver displaying the Mobil 1 decal. The driver of the No. 31 Chevrolet Camaro earned the award for his fifth place finish.
- Kurt Busch led the most laps earning the 3M Lap Leader award. He started ninth in the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro; led 19 of the 110 laps run and finished the race in fourth place. Busch, a Sprint Cup regular, is ineligible for driver points in this series.
- Penske Engines won the Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race award. They built the engine in the second-place finishing No. 22 Ford driven by Sprint Cup regular Joey Logano.

Points Leader: Regan Smith leads the point standings by 27 points over Sam Hornish Jr.

NNS Top 10 (G/L):
1. Regan Smith +1
2. Sam Hornish Jr. -1
3. Justin Allgaier +1
4. Parker Kligerman +4
5. Elliott Sadler 0
6. Austin Dillon +1
7. Brian Scott -4
8. Brian Vickers -2
9. Alex Bowman +2
10. Trevor Bayne -1

Next NNS Race: VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200, Friday, May 10, at Darlington Raceway.
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NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Points Leader:
Matt Crafton leads the standings by 13 points over Johnny Sauter.

Next NCWTS Race: N.C. Education Lottery 200, Friday, May 17, at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Tony Ballantoni runs the NASCAR coverage at
Email :Anthony Ballantoni

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