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THE RACE: Pontiac Excitement 400

Winston Cup Race #11 of 36 for the 2001 season
Updated: often, leading up to the race

  • Race: Saturday, May 5, 2001 in Richmond, VA

  • TV: FX(yes FX not Fox) 8:00pm/et(pre-race at 7:30pm/et)

  • Announcers: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds

  • Pit Reporters: Dick Berggren, Matt Yocum, Steve Byrnes, Jeanne Zelasko

  • Posted Awards/Purse: $3,270,994 (was $2,303,277 in 2000)

  • Entry List: Entry List for the: Pontiac Excitement 400 from NOL

  • 2000 Race Winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr, 93.374mph

  • Track Race Record: Dale Jarrett, Sept 1997, 109.047mph

  • Track/Race Length: 0.75 mile oval, 400 laps, 300 miles

  • Pit Road Speed: 35mph


  • Practice: Friday, May 4th from 12:00 - 2:00pm/et

  • Happy Hour Practice: Friday, May 4th from 5:50 - 7:20pm/et, TV-FX at 6:30pm/et


  • Qualifying Draw: Friday, May 4th at 11:00am/et

  • Qualfying Order - Pontiac Excitement 400: at or at NASCAR Online

  • Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-36, Friday, May 4th at 3:30pm/et, TV-FX tape delayed at 5:00pm/et and live via MRN radio/internet

  • will have live lap-by-lap coverage of Winston Cup qualifying via the web using it's Racecast feature

  • Second-Round Qualifying: there is no longer a 2nd round of qualifying

  • Track/Event Qualifying Record: Jeff Gordon, May 1999, 126.499mph

  • Last Year's Pole Sitter: Rusty Wallace, 124.740mph(finished 5th)

    Track Specs:
    Short Track: 0.75-mile oval, 60-foot width with 10-foot apron
    Banking: turns: 14 degrees; frontstretch 8 degrees; backstretch 2 degrees
    Seating Capacity: almost 96,000
  • Track Homepage: NEW SITE - Richmond International Raceway

  • Scanner Frequencies: are linked on my Racing Links Page/ Scanners Section


  • The NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus is $30,000 at Richmond for leading the points and winning the race(Dale Jarrett last won the award, $10,000 at Martinsville on Apr 8, 2001). The $360,000 annual award is paid at $10,000 per race to the point leader at the end of each event if he is also the winner. The award increases by $10,000 each week the it goes unclaimed. If the point leader is not the race winner at the end of the year, the balance of the award is distributed among the top-10 finisher in the point standings(4-29-2001)


Radio Coverage:
Motor Racing Network(MRN)
including RealAudio coverage
MRN Affiliate List for your local station
Airtime: 7:30pm/et with Announcers: Barney Hall and Joe Moore
Turn Reporters: Kurt Becker and Pit Reporters: Jim Phillips, Winston Kelley and Jason Toy

Satellite/Backhaul Listing's:
Satellite/Backhaul Listing's: Stutzman Computer Service/Sales - Racing Feed Locations

Local Newspaper and other Sites that cover the Richmond, VA Area:
The Daily Press
Kingsport Times-News
Lynchberg News and Advance
Roanoke Times
Richmond Times-Dispatch
Virginian Pilot

Weather forecast for Richmond, VA by The Weather Channel
Weather Underground - Richmond, VA
Weather Point - Richmond, VA
The Weather Pit

ARS Racing Outlet - Richmond Review


Fans Can Online(NASCAR Online)
looks like this is all that there is out there now....


  • Some Richmond Notes: There have been 80 NASCAR Winston Cup Series races at Richmond since 1961. There were nine NASCAR races, including three convertible events, held at Richmond prior to 1961. There have been 25 races at Richmond since the track was converted from 1/2 to a 3/4-mile track in the fall of 1988. Rusty Wallace is the defending Bud Pole Award winner for the Pontiac Excitement 400. Retired driver Richard Petty leads all drivers with eight Bud Poles at Richmond. NASCAR Winston Cup Series races at Richmond have been won from the pole 16 times since 1961, the most of any starting position (20 percent). In the 80 races at Richmond since 1961, the winner has started third or better in 39 races (49 percent). The furthermost back in the field that a Richmond race winner has started on the 3/4-mile configuration was 24th by Terry Labonte in the 1995 Pontiac Excitement 400. Retired driver, Richard Petty, has 13 victories at Richmond, the most of all drivers. There have been eight different race winners in the last 10 NASCAR Winston Cup Series races at Richmond. Dale Jarrett (September 1997 and May 1999) and Jeff Gordon (March 1996 and September 2000) are the only repeat winners in the 10-race period. In the modern era of NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing at Richmond (1972 to 1999), a sweep has occurred five times. Rusty Wallace (1989) was the most recent driver to win both Richmond races in the same year. Richard Petty won seven consecutive races at Richmond International Raceway, winning the fall race in 1970 and then sweeping 1971, 1972 and 1973.(NASCAR PR)(5-1-2001)

  • : Pontiac Excitement 400 Race Info

  • CBS Sportsline: Pontiac Excitement 400 Preview

  • Crew Chief Club

  • Raceday Today - Pontiac Excitement 400(5-5-2001)

  • Pontiac Excitement 400 Race Page

  • Sporting News: This Week In NASCAR - Pontiac Excitement 400

  • NASCAR - Pontiac Excitement 400 Preview(WRAL)

  • Yahoo: Pontiac Excitement 400 - Preview



  • Stewart Wins at Richmond: #20-Tony Stewart who ran well on long runs, won at Richmond for his and Pontiac's first win in 2001. #24-Jeff Gordon and #2-Rusty Wallace duked it out for 2nd with Gordon getting the spot, some heated words on pit road. The race was red flagged with 4 laps to go and a few cars had trouble getting started including #88-Dale Jarrett who ran out of gas and wound up 15th. Jarrett now leads Gordon by 14 points in the Drivers Championship with Wallace 62 points behind. See for Pontiac 400 results by the AP or for Unofficial Results and Unofficial Standings(5-5-2001)

  • Happy Hour Practice is over at Richmond. The top 10 were:
    1)  #24-Gordon, 122.09mph
    2)  #6-Martin 121.92
    3)  #88-Jarrett 121.79
    4)  #20-Stewart 121.76
    5)  #55-Hamilton 121.42
    6)  #99-Burton 121.32
    7)  #8-Earnhardt Jr 121.27
    8)  #26-Spencer 121.20
    9)  #28-Rudd 121.19
    10) #66-Bodine 121.16
    43) #29-Harvick 106.884mph but only ran two laps before he blew an engine in the early stages of practice, but it was his qualifying engine, the team will try to get the race engine in and get Harvick some laps before practice is over. See full rundown of speeds at : Happy Hour practice speeds(5-4-2001)

  • Qualifying is over at Richmond: #6-Mark Martin wins the Bud Pole with a speed of 124.613mph, his 2nd pole of 2001 and 41st of his career. Outside pole goes to #2-Rusty Wallace who had a speed of 124.596mph.
    Three drivers missed the race(DNQ'd), and for once they were the three slowest also: #44-Buckshot Jones(41st in Owners points); #90-Hut Stricklin(43rd); and #13-Hermie Sadler(52nd). #33-Joe Nemechek and #19-Casey Atwood used their first provisionals of 2001. #14-Ron Hornaday used his 5th of the season and joins #4-Kevin Lepage(qualified 27th) as the two teams out of provisionals until Sears Point in June. For more info, see my Provisionals Page. See for Qualifying results and race lineup and Richmond race day and Lineup or for the Pontiac Excitement 400 Starting Lineup or at MotorsportsOne(5-4-2001)

  • Notes: #55-Bobby Hamilton has a special Lightning Square-D paint scheme at Richmond. #50-Rick Mast spun on his 2nd qualifying lap, but his first lap got him in the race. #43-John Andretti spun and hit the wall during his 2nd qualifying lap but was able to get in a lap and used a provisional, the front of the #43 was pretty well damaged and Andretti will likely go to a backup car. During FX coverage, Larry Mac said Greg Sacks would stand by for #22-Ward Burton, but Burton says he feels great. #25-Jerry Nadeau, who spun and crashed in practice, also spun at the end of his qualifying run but was quick enough to get in on speed and did no damage to the car. #13-Hermie Sadler backed into the wall on his 2nd lap, but his 1st lap was not fast enough to make the top 36 and Sadler is too deep in owners points to make the race(5-4-2001)

  • Pole Progression: at Richmond
    #55-Hamilton, 1st out to qualify, 122.772mph, will start 26th
    #27-Wallace, 2nd out, 122.794mph, will start 25th
    #8-Earnhardt Jr, 4th out, 123.412mph, will start 14th
    #26-Spencer, 5th out, 124.058mph, will start 5th
    #1-Park, 8th out, 124.064mph, will start 4th
    #6-Martin, 26th out, 124.613mph, on the pole(5-4-2001)

  • Practice #1: is over at Richmond. #1-Steve Park was the fastest at 125.116mph with #33-Joe Nemechek 2nd fastest at 125.041mph. Slowest was #13-Hermie Salder at 121.305mph. Track record is 126.499mph which looks safe. See the speeds at or/and Also #25-Jerry Nadeau crashed in practice, backing his Chevy into the wall, destroying both ends. The team will roll out a backup car. Nadeau is scheduled to go out 14th in qualifying but will probably be allowed to move back some. Also #11-Bodine spun and hit the wall, bur had little damage. Don't forget Happy Hour is TONIGHT following Qualifying and can be seen at 6:30pm/et on FX.(5-4-2001)

  • Qualifying Order is up for the Pontiac Excitement 400. See the links above. #55-Bobby Hamilton is scheduled out first and #19-Casey Atwood is scheduled out last of the 46 cars. Qualifying starts at 3:30pm/et and can be heard on MRN Radio or seen on FX will televise it tape delayed at 5:00pm/et after three episodes of M*A*S*H (at least it's a favorite show of mine)(5-4-2001)

  • Entry List is up for the Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond. See the link above. 46 drivers are entered to go for 43 starting spots. Including #13-Hermie Sadler and #50-Rick Mast(5-1-2001)

  • an interesting point: When NASCAR officials decided to disallow Jerry Nadeau's qualifying time yesterday, it raised an interesting question. With the Winston Cup series having only one round of qualifying the rest of the season, what happens if an unapproved part is found? According to NASCAR, drivers no longer have to post an official qualifying time to use a provisional, they only have to practice. So a driver could have a penalty on a qualifying issue but still have access to one of the seven provisionals for the race(Richmond Times Dispatch)(2-11-2001)

  • How to break a tie during qualifying?(same speed/time) When drivers are tied for a starting spot during qualifying, it is broken by owners points standings(not drivers). For provisionals standings see the Jayski Provisional Status page(2-20-2000)

  • Links: Practice speeds, qualifying and results can be found at these sites: NASCAR Online, Racin Network, and


  • RIR Approved to Add Seats: Tuesday night, the Henrico County Board of Supervisors(VA) approved an ordinance that allows an increase in height for certain structures in the track's business zone. Richmond International Raceway(RIR) can now apply for a permit to raise the grandstand seating, but doesn't plan to expand this season, but the new county ordinance has opened the door for future additions to the grandstands. Track President Doug Fritz said RIR paid close attention to the county discussions at work sessions. The new law, which applies only to stadiums, coliseums and racetracks in the track's business zone, states that structures can be any height in excess of 45 feet with board approval. Buildings were previously allowed to only build 110 feet with special approval. Currently the 102,420-seat grand- stand climbs 100 feet. RIR already has an approved development plan to raise the height to 110 feet and increase seating to 125,000. The track plans to file a petition to expand to 150,000 seats with a height of 225-250 feet.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(4-26-2001)

  • Richmond Repairs: Richmond International Raceway is undergoing a little repair work. During NASCAR testing sessions plagued by rain last week(the #28 and #88 were supposed to test there), teams noticed the track "weeping" between turns one and two. Track officials checked into the problem and discovered that water was seeping from under the grandstands and across the asphalt. RIR hired a crew to add a drain to that area. Testing has been postponed for Monday as work continues. There should be no problems with other tests or the upcoming NASCAR races. Ricky Rudd is not planning on making up the test that was rained out at Richmond this week. Rudd said the sealer that has been put on the track will be worn off by the race, which means data gained in the test might be useless on race weekend.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(4-7-2001)

  • Speed Record at Richmond: Indy Racing League driver Buzz Calkins unofficially turned the fastest lap in Richmond International Raceway history yesterday. Piloting a Dallara-Oldsmobile, Calkins toured the .75-mile oval at an estimated 154.99 mph (17.4 seconds) during a testing session. The lap is nearly 30 mph faster than the Winston Cup qualifying record at RIR, a 21.344-second, 126.499-mph lap by Jeff Gordon on May 13, 1999. The IRL will make its debut at RIR on June 30. The night race will mark the first trip to a track shorter than a mile for the Indy-car series, which formed in 1996. Randy Tolsma turned the fastest official lap in an event at RIR, running 131.374 mph (20.552 seconds) in a USAC Silver Crown car on June 15, 1996. Last June, IRL driver Scott Goodyear made a 147-mph lap during a one-day test on the oval.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(3-27-2001)

  • Richmond News: Richmond International Raceway is beginning a promotion with Hardee's restaurants. RIR has signed a three-year sponsorship extension with the fast-food chain for the spring BGN race. Hardee's restaurants in North Carolina and Virginia have started a promotion where fans can buy tickets for the race and earn the chance to win $10,000 or wave the green flag at the start of the race.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(3-17-2001)

  • How to Calculate Track Speeds: use the formula Speed = Distance divided by Time. Distance is Track Length, and Lap Time into Hours. Once hour is 3600 seconds, so the calculation for a 48 second lap at Daytona(2.5 miles) would be: Speed = 2.5 x (3600/48), = 2.5 x 75 = 187.500mph. For a 19 second lap at Bristol(.533 miles): Speed = .533 x (3600/19), = .533 x 189.474 = a speed of 100.990mph

  • Past track news: posted in the past at Jayski's Past Track News/Rumors - Richmond


  • #50: tonights race at Richmond will mark #8-Dale Earnhardt's 50th career Cup start(5-5-2001)

  • New Team: #13-Hermie Sadler failed to qualify for the Virginia 500 in his driving debut for the Virginia Lottery-sponsored team yesterday. Sadler owns the team and is housing the Winston Cup cars in Lyndon Amick's Busch Grand National shop. Amick's team is helping to work on and pit Sadler's car. Sadler bought a couple of Chevrolets from the now-defunct Larry Hedrick team and is building some cars of his own. Tony Lambert, Mark Martin's former Grand National crew chief, is working as crew chief..(Richmond Times Dispatch)
    AND All revved up for it's first-ever NASCAR Winston Cup Promotion, the Virginia Lottery is pleased to announce that Virginia native veteran driver Hermie Sadler will be behind the wheel of the new Lotto Virginia car for four Winston Cup Series races in Virginia this year. "Racing for the Virginia Lottery will give me a chance to promote the good work the Lottery doesin supporting education and will also giv me a chance to have Lady Luck on my side during the races," said Sadler. "Thirteen is the lucky number for the Virginia Lottery this year," said Penelope Kyle, executive director of the Virginia Lottery. "That's the number of the Lotto Virginia race car and the Virginia Lottery is celebrating our 13th lucky year of giving people a chance to have fun while trying to win prizes and giving the Lottery the opportunity to support education."(Sadler Fan Club Site)(4-7-2001)

  • See the 2001 Team Chart which has links to past news for each team


STATS and STUFF thru the race before this one

  • Pole but No Wins: did ya know? No pole winner has gone on to win the race in which he won the pole this season(4-29-2001)

  • Interesting UPDATE: In the past four Winston Cup seasons, the top 10 in points after seven races has provided a good indication of which drivers will be in the top 10 at season's end - 33 of 40 drivers in the final top 10s were there seven races into the season: see the chart at : Signs of things to come?
    UPDATE: and an addition to the story: Others in early season points peril by David Poole(4-6-2001)

  • A Championship Outlook: Only five times in the modern era(1972-present) has the eventual champion not won in the first six races. The winners in the first 6 eaces this year: Michael Waltrip, Steve Park, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Dale Jarrett and Elliott Sadler. When did a driver win the Championship and not win a race in the first six? 1973-Benny Parsons; 1984 and 1996-Terry Labonte; 1985-Darrell Waltrip; and 1999-Dale Jarrett(3-25-2001)

  • Top Fives: There have been 26 different Cup drivers(no new additions at California) who have scored a Top-5 so far in 2001....2000's total was 28, 1999's total was 28 and 1998's total number was 27(4-29-2001)

  • Top Tens: There have been 35 different Cup drivers(add #77-Pressley at California) who have scored a Top-10 in 2001.....2000's total was 41, 1999's total was 40 and 1998's total number was 41(4-29-2001)

  • Provisional Finishes in 2001: In 63 provisional starts(9 races x 7 no qualifying at Darlington 3/2001), drivers have accumulated 1 Win, 3 Top 5's and 8 Top 10's. Add #8-Earnhardt (started 38th finished 3rd) and #77-Pressley (started 42nd finished 10th) at California. See my Provisional Finishes Page for each race finish by the provisionals starters(4-29-2001)

  • Lap Leaders and Bonus Points: #6-Mark Martin led a lap at California, but #40-Sterling Marlin did not, so now Martin is the only driver left who has led in all 10 races of the 2001 Cup season. #12-Jeremy Mayfield led a lap in the 2001 season for the 1st time at California. Only one driver has made all the races and NOT led a lap, #5-Terry Labonte. 40 drivers have now led a lap in 2001. See my Lap Leaders/Bonus Points page(4-29-2001)

  • Consecutive Winston Cup Starts: Ricky Rudd leads with with 618 followed by Rusty Wallace at 527, Ken Schrader with 497 and Mark Martin 411. Terry Labonte had 655 but sat out the 2000 Brickyard 400 to end his record streak. Dale Earnhardt had 648 consecutive Winston Cup starts until his death at Daytona(4-29-2001)

  • No Top Fives Since.... It has been a while since some drivers have had a top five finish on the Winston Cup circuit. Here are those with the longest streak of races without a top-five finish:

       Driver          Races  Finish    Track           Date
       Dave Marcis*     315     3rd     Watkins Glen    8-10-87
       Brett Bodine     209     2nd     Indianapolis    8-6-94
       Rick Mast        130     4th     Martinsville    9-22-96
       Kyle Petty        97     3rd     Dover           9-21-97
       Chad Little*      87     2nd     Texas           4-5-98
       Ken Schrader      86     4th     Richmond        9-12-98
       Hut Stricklin     73     2nd     Darlington      9-1-96
       Mike Wallace      57     5th     Atlanta         11-13-94
       Ted Musgrave*     52     5th     Phoenix         10-25-98
       Dick Trickle*     49     5th     Rockingham      10-27-97
       Derrike Cope*     46     5th     Atlanta         11-16-97
       Steve Grissom*    45     4th     New Hampshire   9-14-97
       Robert Pressley    30    5th     Michigan         6-11-00
    Dave Marcis has not had a top 10 since April 10, 1994 in the Food City 500 at Bristol, he finished 10th.
    Regular Drivers Without a Career Top Five
       Driver         Races
       Dave Blaney     43
       Stacy Compton   37
       Buckshot Jones  26
    Cup drivers(not including 2001 rookies)
    (* not full time Cup in 2001, data compiled from UMI Press Guides, Winston Cup Updates)(5-1-2001)
  • No Wins Ever.... Some regular drivers in Winston Cup who have never won a Cup race and how many starts they have:

    Active Drivers	
    Driver        Races Run
    Rick Mast        341
    Ted Musgrave     298*
    Hut Stricklin    277
    Dick Trickle     266*
    Kenny Wallace    228
    Wally Dallenbach 225*
    Chad Little      216*
    Robert Pressley  180
    Johnny Benson    172
    Mike Skinner     155
    Ricky Craven     154
    Steve Grissom    141*
    Todd Bodine      119
    Kevin Lepage      100
    David Green       78*
    All Time - Over 400 Starts	
    Driver          Races Run
    JD McDuffie       653
    Buddy Arrington   560
    Neil Castles      497
    Jimmy Means       455
    Cecil Gordon      450
    G.C. Spencer      415
    *not a full time or regular Cup driver
    (4-29-2001)(UMI Press Guides Stats/Winston Cup Updates)

  • Drivers with the longest streak since they won a CUP race:

       Driver          Races Run   Last Win   Track
       Dave Marcis      480*       2/21/82    Richmond
       Brett Bodine     337        4/22/90    North Wilkesboro
       Ken Schrader     313        6/2/91     Dover
       Derrike Cope     272*       6/3/90     Dover
       Jimmy Spencer    212        7/24/94    Talladega
       Bill Elliott     203        9/4/94     Darlington
       Kyle Petty       168        6/4/95     Dover
       Sterling Marlin  158        7/6/96     Daytona
       Geoffrey Bodine  120*       8/11/96    Watkins Glen
       Ricky Rudd        85        9/27/98    Martinsville
       John Andretti     70        4/18/99    Martinsville
       Terry Labonte     70        3/28/99    Texas
       Joe Nemechek      52        9/19/99    New Hampshire
       Mark Martin       36        4/9/00     Martinsville
       *not a full time or regular Cup driver
    (4-29-2001)(UMI Press Guides Stats/Winston Cup Updates)

  • Drivers with the current streak of consecutive seasons with at least one win a year:

    Have already won in 2001 and extended or started their streaks:
       Driver          Years   Last Win
       Rusty Wallace     16    California, Apr 2001
       Dale Jarrett       9    Martinsville, Apr 2001
       Jeff Gordon        8    Las Vegas, Mar 2001
       Steve Park         2    Rockingham, Feb 2001
       Michael Waltrip    1    Daytona, Feb 2001
       Kevin Harvick      1    Atlanta, Mar 2001
       Elliott Sadler     1    Bristol, Mar 2001
       Bobby Hamiton    1    Talladega, Apr 2001
    Thru 2000 season:
       Bobby Labonte      6    Charlotte, Oct 2000
       Jeff Burton        4    Phoenix, August 2000
       Mark Martin        4    Martinsville, Apr 2000
       Tony Stewart       2    Homestead, Nov 2000   
       Ward Burton        1    Darlington, Mar 2000
       Dale Earnhardt Jr  1    Richmond, Apr 2000
       Jeremy Mayfield    1    Pocono, June 2000
       Matt Kenseth       1    Charlotte, May 2000
       Jerry Nadeau       1    Atlanta, Nov 2000
    Streaks that ended in 2000 that were thru 1999 season:
       Driver          Years   Last Win
       Terry Labonte      6    Texas, Apr 1999
       John Andretti      1    Martinsville, Apr 1999
       Joe Nemechek       1    New Hampshire, Sept 1999
    All Time Record is Richard Petty - 18 years from 1960-1977
    (4-29-2001)(info gathered using the 2000/2001 UMI Official NASCAR Preview and Press Guide and 1999/2000 Winston Cup Updates)

  • Top 10's in restrictor plates: Only three drivers have finished in the top 10 in the two restrictor plate races run so far in 2001 (Daytona and Talladega): #55-Bobby Hamilton(8th at Daytona, win at Talladega); #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr (2nd at Daytona, 8th at Talladega); and #7-Mike Wallace (6th at Daytona, 9th at Talladega)(On Track from Lowe's Motor Speedway)(4-23-2001)

  • Single Car Winner: Even though the #21 Wood Brothers team uses Roush chassis and engines, they are considered a single car team, and before Elliott Sadler's win at Bristol. the last time a single-car team scored a victory was by Ricky Rudd at Martinsville in September 1998(3-25-2001)

  • Hendrick Motorsports Double wins: Two drivers from Hendrick Motorsports have won at least one Winston Cup race for seven consecutive seasons. No other current multi-car team has done that.(Gordon 1994-2000, T Labonte 1994-1999 and Nadeau in 2000)(11-22-2000)

  • Four 1st Timers: The four first-time winners in 2000 was the most since 1988 when there were also four, those winners: Ken Schrader(Talladega), Alan Kulwicki(Phoenix), Phil Parsons(Talladega), and Lake Speed(Darlington). Parsons and Speed have not won in Cup since and are out of the series. Kulwicki died in an aircraft accident in 1993. Schrader is still active on the Cup circuit and has four career Cup wins. The winners in 2000: Dale Earnhardt Jr(Texas), Matt Kenseth(Lowes), Steve Park(Watkins Glen) and Jerry Nadeau(Atlanta)(11-21-2000)

  • Pontiac Win Record: Pontiac Grand Prix, which clinched its third NASCAR Winston Cup Driver championship and first since 1989, thanks to driver Bobby Labonte, could had set a NASCAR modern-era standard for itself with a victory in Atlanta. Pontiac had 11 wins this season, matching the highest number of wins in a season that was set in 1993(Rusty had 10 of those). Tony Stewart, Labonte's teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing, had a series-leading six wins this season, while Labonte had four and Ward Burton one(AP), The All-Time Pontiac Record is held in 1961 with 30. Ford holds the all-time mark of 48 in 1965 while the all time modern-era(1972 to present) is held by Buick with 25 wins in 1982(Winston Cup Updates)(11-18-2000)

  • Different Winners in 2000: There were 14 different race winners in 2000, the most in a single season since 1991 when there were 14, which is a record for NASCAR's modern era, which began in 1972.
    The drivers who won in 2000: Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte, Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, Steve Park, Jeremy Mayfield, Ward Burton, Jeff Gordon and Jerry Nadeau.
    Terry Labonte, Joe Nemechek and John Andretti are the drivers who earned victories in 1999 and did not win in 2000. Two drivers who won in 1998 Bobby Hamilton and Ricky Rudd, have not won since(11-21-2000)

  • 43rd Fact: Last driver to win from the 43rd starting spot was Fonty Flock at Raleigh, NC in 1953, the only other driver to do so was Johnny Mantz in the 1950 Southern 500

  • Backstretch/Provisional/Backup Car Winner: Only two drivers in the history of Bristol had ever won a race after pitting on the backstretch. Davey Allison(started 19th) in the spring 1990 race and Dale Earnhardt(26th) in the 2nd 1999 race, and now #21-Elliott Sadler who came from 38th, pitting on the backstretch and having to use a provisional to make the race in a backup car only the 4th ever Provisional Starter to gain a win in a Cup race(3-25-2001)

  • Provisional Starting Winners: Jeff Burton was the first driver to win from a provisional starting spot EVER at New Hampshire in 1999 and that is the farthest back any driver has won from since Kyle Petty won from 37th at Dover in June 1995(in 1995 37th was not a provisional starting spot). Bill Elliott also won from 38th spot in the 1988 Pepsi 400. In fact ALL the provisional starters for the race finished in the top 25 at NHIS(7-11-1999)
    UPDATE: Add Bobby Labonte as the 2nd ever provisional winner by winning the 1999 NAPA 500 at Atlanta(11-21-1999)
    UPDATE 2: Add Bobby Labonte as the 3rd ever provisional winner by winning the 2000 Southern 500 at Darlington(9-3-2000)
    UPDATE 3: Add Elliott Sadler as the 4th ever provisional winner by winning the 2001 Food City 500 at Bristol(3-25-2001)

  • Amazing Finishes: Races won from a starting position of 35 or worse in the history of NASCAR
    Starting Position  Race                                 Driver
     43                1950 Southern 500, Darlington        Johnny Mantz
     43                1953 Raliegh, NC                     Fonty Flock
     38 provisional    2001 Food City 500, Bristol          Elliott Salder   
     38 provisional    1999 Jiffy Lube 300, Loudon          Jeff Burton
     38                1988 Firecracker 400, Daytona        Bill Elliott
     37 provisional    1999 NAPA 500, Atlanta               Bobby Labonte
     37 provisional    2000 Southern 500, Darlington        Bobby Labonte
     37                1995 Miller 500, Dover               Kyle Petty
     37                1959 Lakewood Speedway, Atl, GA      Lee Petty
     36                2000 Diehard 500, Talladega          Jeff Gordon
     35                2000 Cracker Barrel 500, Atlanta     Dale Earnhardt

  • Championship and no poles? ever happen? With Dale Jarrett winning the Cup championship and not scoring any poles in 1999, I was asked, has it ever happened before? Yep, five times, most recently, in 1991 when Dale Earnhardt won the Winston Cup Championship with four wins and NO poles. It also happened in 1983-Bobby Allison; 1980-Earnhardt; 1973-Benny Parsons; and 1950-Bill Rexford(The Stock Car Racing Encyclodepia)(11-14/21-1999)

  • Stats: Only five times in NASCAR's modern era(1972-present) has the eventual champion not won by the sixth race of the season. Those champions were Benny Parsons in 1973, Terry Labonte in 1984 and 1996, Darrell Waltrip in 1985 and Dale Jarrett in 1999

  • Did ya know? When Bobby Labonte won the 2000 Winston Cup Championship, he and his brother Terry, who won it in 1984 and 1996, have become the first brothers to do so in Winston Cup history. There have been two father-son pairs; Lee and Richard Petty, and Ned and Dale Jarrett AND Bobby Labonte is the first former BGN champ(since the series began in 1982, not counting the old Sportsman division) to win the Winston Cup championship(11-12-2000)

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