2010 Aaron's 499
The 2010 Aaron's 499 was the 9th race of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, and the first of two Sprint Cup races held at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. It started at 1 p.m. EDT on April 25, 2010. The race was televised on Fox and was also broadcast on MRN radio at 12 p.m.
After the major crashes such as Carl Edwards' and Ryan Newman's crashes at the races last year, officials decided that they would change from the rear wing to the rear spoiler which debuted in the 2010 Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500.
The race, which was extended by 12 laps, shattered numerous NASCAR records: it marked the first time under the modified green-white-checkered finish rules that a race had gone to the maximum three attempts allowed. There were eight caution flags, a record setting 29 different leaders and a record setting 88 lead changes.
Kevin Harvick of Richard Childress Racing won the race, his first win of the season and his first since the 2007 Daytona 500, while the Earnhardt-Ganassi teammates of Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya finished second and third.
In 2010, McMurray moved over to Earnhardt Ganassi Racing in the #1 car, replacing Martin Truex, Jr. McMurray reunited with Chip Ganassi when he participated in the 2010 24 Hours of Daytona; it was the first time he has been with Ganassi since 2005. On February 14, in just his first start for Ganassi since 2005, McMurray won the Daytona 500.
He led for only two laps, the least in Daytona 500 history by passing Kevin Harvick with 2 to go. McMurray cried in victory lane and thanked Ganassi and his new sponsors for giving him another chance.
McMurray accidentally crashed into new teammate and former rival Juan Pablo Montoya at Las Vegas. McMurray apologized but Montoya said after the race that he felt like McMurray wasn't helping the team much although later they made up.
McMurray almost won the Aaron's 499 that spring, but Kevin Harvick beat him in a .011-second drag race to the finish line. McMurray led 27 laps. It was speculated by McMurray's car owner Felix Sabates that Harvick went below the yellow line when he made the pass but this was denied by NASCAR.
On April 23, there were two practice sessions that began, with David Reutimann, Regan Smith, Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton, and Marcos Ambrose posting the fastest times. The fastest in the final practice were Jeff Burton, Brad Keselowski, Mike Bliss, Denny Hamlin, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. In the final practice there were two caution flags – one after Ryan Newman spun on the back stretch after being tapped by Mark Martin and received major damage to his car, the other being when spotters noticed a small, black bird near the SAFER barrier, which a member of the safety team was able to grab.
On April 24, qualifying was canceled because of severe weather in the area (which also rained out the Nationwide Series race of the weekend, causing that race to be rescheduled to April 25, right after the Sprint Cup race); Jimmie Johnson, as he was first in the standings, started on the pole.
The drivers that failed to qualify were Aric Almirola and Terry Cook.
Subsequently, McMurray was in front until lap 127 when Earnhardt, Jr. passed him. Earnhardt, Jr. led until lap 137 at which point Jeff Gordon passed him. The race experienced a long run from lap 116 to lap 235. Gordon led until lap 166 when he came to pit road for a green flag pit stop; Juan Pablo Montoya passed him.
Montoya then pitted leaving the lead for Earnhardt, Jr. Gordon passed Earnhardt, Jr. on lap 182 for the lead in turn two. Jeff Gordon, around lap 205, entered heavy traffic that slowed him down and caused him to be passed by Jimmie Johnson.
Once out of the heavy traffic Gordon took away the lead from Johnson. For the next ten laps green flag pit stops occurred.
The top-five after the pit stops was Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Denny Hamlin, and David Reutimann. Then, on lap 227, Gordon passed Johnson for the lead. The fifth caution came out on lap 232 because Montoya collided with the wall. All lead lap cars pitted; the leader on the lap 236 restart was Tony Stewart.
To begin pre-race events, Reverend Mark Stokes of Alabama Raceway Ministries gave the invocation. Then, recording artist Brittini Black performed the national anthem. To start the engines, Mal Moore, director of athletics at the University of Alabama, gave the starting command.
The 1986 Winston 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on May 4, 1986, at Alabama International Motor Speedway in Talladega, Alabama. There was an invocation service and the singing of the American national anthem prior to the gentlemen starting their engines.