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2011 Prelude to the Dream: Clint Bowyer, Justin Allgaier, Marcos Ambrose, And Jason Leffler Win Heat Races

The four qualifying races for the Prelude were each won in wire-to-wire fashion, as a driver started from the front row and led every lap to record the win in his qualifying race.

Clint Bowyer started second in the first heat but snared the lead from Tony Stewart on lap one and led all eight laps. Stewart was second, followed by Ken Schrader, Ryan Newman, and Tony Kanaan.

Justin Allgaier, meanwhile, started from the pole in Heat No. 2 and pulled away from Aric Almirola to lead all eight laps himself. Carl Edwards was third, followed by Austin Dillon. NHRA driver Cruz Pedregon finished fifth.

The first caution in racing action occured when Bobby Labonte spun on lap two in the third heat race and hit the turn one wall while battling Kyle Busch for the third position. Ron Capps, the other NHRA driver in the field, tagged the wall to draw the second caution flag. Australian road racer-turned-NASCAR star Marcos Ambrose took the lead from Ricky Carmichael on lap one and, once again, led all eight laps despite the two restarts and a brief encounter with the wall. Carmichael was second, with the top-five filled out by Kyle Busch, Kenny Wallace, and defending Prelude winner Jimmie Johnson.

Finally, Jason Leffler took the fourth Heat race wire to wire from the pole. J.J. Yeley, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, and David Reutimann rounded out the top-five finishers.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.