Some first half NASCAR stats: Hopefully, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers take a breather this weekend. But some simply can't get enough. Kasey Kahne and Kyle Larson both will run in Saturday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway. David Gilliland will race against his father (Butch) and son (Todd) in a Super Late Model Series race at Irwindale Speedway in California. They love the thrill of racing. And there has been plenty of drama and excitement over the first 19 races. So as the series prepares for 17 consecutive weekends of racing to end the season, [NASCAR dove] into some of the statistics as we hit the final open weekend of the season. Here are some highlights:
- 11 different race winners.
- 12 different Coors Light Pole winners; 13 track qualifying records have been broken.
- Average of 11.1 leaders per race through 19 races, compared to 8.8 at this point last year.
- Average of 24.1 lead changes per race, compared to 16.6 at this point last year last year.
- Average margin of victory is .717 seconds, the lowest through 19 races since the inception of electronic timing and scoring in 1993.
- Through race No. 19, there have been 76,570 green flag passes, the most at this point of the season since the inception of passing stats in 2005. There have been 771 green flag passes for the lead, the second highest figure through 19 races since 2005.(NASCAR)(7-18-2014)
More stats at NASCAR’s Spring Break: After eight races, three of the top five drivers in the series standings are winless – #24-Jeff Gordon, #20-Matt Kenseth and #48-Jimmie Johnson. Those three drivers have won 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships (and 185 wins) collectively.
Two drivers with race victories aren’t even in the top 16 in points, starting with #4-Kevin Harvick who is “mired” – talk about another outdated term due to the new format – in 22nd. Harvick’s Stewart-Haas Racing teammate #41-Kurt Busch is 26th but he has a Martinsville victory and a likely Chase berth.
#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Daytona 500, has three runner-up finishes plus one third. He has been running near the front seemingly all season – with the exception of Texas, when he ran into the grass early in the race.
#14-Tony Stewart, coming back from being sidelined for much of last year by injury, is winless but has four top-10 finishes in the last five races, including an incredibly strong Texas run where he was the Coors Light Pole Award winner.
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevy, was never a factor at the Daytona 500 but had her second-best finish of the year thus far at Bristol’s half-mile.
Team Penske has both of its drivers in the victory column, with #2-Brad Keselowski winning at Las Vegas and #22-Joey Logano at Texas. That’s two wins on 1.5-mile tracks. There are five 1.5-mile tracks in the Chase lineup.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule resumes Saturday night April 26 at three-quarters mile Richmond International Raceway.(NASCAR)(4-21-2014)
NASCAR Numbers so far in 2014:
462: The total number of laps led by Kevin Harvick in his two NASCAR Sprint Cup victories this season. Harvick led 224 laps in winning Saturday night's Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway to go with the 238 he led in getting his first victory of the year at Phoenix. In the six other races combined, Harvick has led 53 laps.
41: The number of positions both Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. improved at Darlington over their finishes in the previous race at Texas Motor Speedway. Earnhardt was first out of the Texas race (43rd) after a close encounter with the infield grass. Harvick retired in 42nd with engine issues. At Darlington, Harvick and Earnhardt ran 1-2.
5: In eight NASCAR Sprint Cup races this season, the number of times Dale Earnhardt Jr. has recorded a top-three finish. After winning the Daytona 500, Earnhardt has finished second three times (at Phoenix, Las Vegas and Darlington) and third once (at Martinsville).
586: The total number of laps led by Kyle Busch in the last five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at Richmond International Raceway held in the spring. Hence, it's likely Busch will notch the 30 laps he needs to reach a career milestone of 10,000 laps led in the series. Busch led at least 32 laps in each of the last five spring races and won four of them.
1: The number of drivers advancing to the final round in each of the seven knockout qualifying sessions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this year. Joey Logano kept his perfect record intact Friday at Darlington Raceway, then qualified on the outside of the front row in the final round.(NASCAR Wire Service)(4-15-2014)
2014 Top-5's, Top-10's:
#88-Earnhardt Jr. and #2-Keselowski lead all drivers after 19 races in 2014 with 9 top-fives.
#24-Gordon, #88-Earnhardt Jr. and #20-Kenseth lead all drivers in 2014 with 13 top-Ten finishes.
Seven drivers have ran all 19 races in 2014 and do not have a top-10 finish: #51-Allgaier, #7-Annett, #38-Gilliland, #26-Whitt, #36-Sorenson, #23-Bowman and #34-Ragan.(7-13-2014)
2013 Top-5's, Top-10's:
#48-Johnson & #18-Busch led all drivers after 36 races with 16 Top-fives in 2013, #20-Kenseth was next with 12.
#48-Johnson led all drivers in 2013 with 24 Top-Ten finishes, followed by #18-Busch and #88-Earnhardt Jr with 22.
Two drivers ran all 36 races in 2013 and do not have a top-10 finish: #83-Reutimann & #93-Kvapil.(11-17-2013)
All-time Top fives:
1 Richard Petty, 555
2 Bobby Allison, 336
3 Jeff Gordon, 312
4 David Pearson, 301
5 Dale Earnhardt, 281
6 Darrell Waltrip, 276
7 Mark Martin, 271
8 Cale Yarborough, 255
9 Buck Baker, 246
10 Lee Petty, 231
11 Buddy Baker, 202
12 Rusty Wallace, 202
13 Benny Parsons, 199
14 Ricky Rudd, 194
15 Jimmie Johnson, 188
16 Ned Jarrett, 185
17 Terry Labonte, 182
18 Tony Stewart, 181
19 Bill Elliott, 175
20 Dale Jarrett, 163
21 Jim Paschal, 149
22 Matt Kenseth, 145
23 James Hylton, 140
24 Jeff Burton, 134
24 Bobby Isaac, 134
26 Dale Earnhardt Jr., 124
27 Harry Gant, 123
28 Herb Thomas, 122
29 Junior Johnson, 121
30 Bobby Labonte, 115
other active drivers:
Kyle Busch, 114
Kevin Harvick, 105
Carl Edwards, 105
Kurt Busch, 104
Ryan Newman, 95
Denny Hamlin, 88
Greg Biffle, 87
Kasey Kahne, 82
Clint Bowyer, 53
Jamie McMurray, 47
Brad Keselowski, 42
Joey Logano, 33
Martin Truex Jr., 31
The most career top-10s in Sprint Cup history:
Driver -- Top 10s -- Titles
Richard Petty -- 712 -- 7
Mark Martin -- 453 -- 0*
Bobby Allison -- 446 -- 1
Jeff Gordon -- 444 -- 4
Dale Earnhardt -- 428 -- 7
Darrell Waltrip -- 390 -- 3
Ricky Rudd -- 374 -- 0
Buck Baker -- 372 -- 2
David Pearson -- 366 -- 3
Terry Labonte -- 361 -- 2
other active drivers
Tony Stewart; 296 -- 3
Jimmie Johnson; 284 -- 6
Matt Kenseth; 260 -- 1
Kevin Harvick; 217
Dale Earnhardt Jr.; 217
Kurt Busch; 194 -- 1
Ryan Newman; 191
Carl Edwards; 181
Kyle Busch; 171
Greg Biffle; 162
Clint Bowyer; 145
Denny Hamlin; 143
Kasey Kahne; 142
Jamie McMurray; 113
Martin Truex Jr., 93
*Finished second in points four times.(7-13-2014)
30 drivers have scored 200 or more top 10 finishes:
Year: Date, Track, Driver
30) 2013: 10/20, Talladega, Dale Earnhardt Jr.
29) 2013: 8/18, Michigan, Kevin Harvick
28) 2011: 7/31, Indianapolis, Matt Kenseth
27) 2011: 2/20, Daytona, Bobby Labonte
26) 2010: 10/15, Charlotte, Jimmie Johnson
25) 2008: 7/12, Chicago, Tony Stewart
24) 2008: 4/12, Phoenix, Jeff Burton
23) 2003: 6/15, Michigan, Sterling Marlin
22) 2002: 6/16, Michigan, Jeff Gordon
21) 2001: 6/17, Pocono, Dale Jarrett
20) 1997: 8/31, Darlington, Mark Martin
19) 1996: 7/21, Pocono, Rusty Wallace
18) 1993: 10/3, N. Wilkesboro, Harry Gant
17) 1992: 3/29, Darlington, Bill Elliott
16) 1991: 8/24, Bristol, Ricky Rudd
15) 1990: 8/25, Bristol, Terry Labonte
14) 1989: 6/18, Pocono, Dale Earnhardt
13) 1984: 10/21, Rockingham, Dave Marcis
12) 1984: 2/26, Richmond, Darrell Waltrip
11) 1979: 10/14, N. Wilkesboro, Benny Parsons
10) 1978: 3/19, Atlanta, Cale Yarborough
9) 1977: 10/9, Charlotte, Buddy Baker
8) 1974: 7/20, Nashville Fairgrounds, Bobby Allison
7) 1971: 7/18, Trenton, James Hylton
6) 1969: 6/26, N.C. Fairgrounds, David Pearson
5) 1966: 9/5, Darlington, Jim Paschal
4) 1966: 4/9, Greenville, Richard Petty
3) 1965: 5/15, Winston-Salem, Ned Jarrett
2) 1958: 7/25, Monroe, Buck Baker
1) 1957: 6/15, Tenn.-Carolina, Lee Petty
Harvick masters plate tracks: in 2010, #29-Kevin Harivck was first driver since #24-Jeff Gordon in 2007 to score a top 10 finish in all four restrictor place races during the season.(ESPN's NASCAR Now)(11-1-2010)
Most LAST-Place Finishes (1949-present) in Sprint Cup history:
rank, number of last place finishes, driver
(list does not include non-points races)
1) 33-Joe Nemechek*
2) 32-J.D. McDuffie
3) 28-Michael McDowell*
4) 26-Derrike Cope
5) 23-Dave Blaney*
6) 19-G.C. Spencer
7) 18-Morgan Shepherd*
8) 17-Buddy Baker, Jimmy Means, Cale Yarborough
9) 16-Todd Bodine, Neil Castles, Junior Johnson, Kyle Petty, Darrell Waltrip
10) 15-Buddy Arrington, Ward Burton, Richard Petty, Roy Tyner
11) 14-Mike Skinner, Mike Bliss*
12) 13-Buck Baker, Henley Gray, Dick May, Joe Ruttman, Rusty Wallace, Bobby Labonte*
13) 12-Ricky Craven, Cecil Gordon, Terry Labonte*, Sterling Marlin, Wendell Scott, Michael Waltrip*, J.J. Yeley*
* = active driver
(stats from LASTCAR.com and see the three national series combined at LASTCAR)(7-13-2014)
Hamlin 36th pole winner to finish last: According to Lastcar statistics, #11-Denny Hamlin, the pole sitter for the Atlanta race this past weekend, is the 36th driver to finish last in the race after starting 1st / on the pole. Hamlin's 74 laps led are also the second-most led by any Cup last-place finisher, behind only Greg Biffle's 95 laps led at Darlington in 2008, the polesitter of that race.(Lastcar)(9-7-2010)
Did Not Finish [DNF] Streak and stats: #24-Jeff Gordon has the longest current streak of finishing races at 37 races, followed by #31-Ryan Newman at 36, #9-Marcos Ambrose at 33, of drivers who have run all the races.
#16-Greg Biffle HAD the longest current streak of finishing races at 89 races, which is the all-time record, of drivers who have run all the races.
Seven drivers have ran all the races in 2014 and not had an DNF: #24-Gordon, #2-Keselowski, #31-Newman, #27-Menard, #3-Dillon, #9-Ambrose and #13-Mears.
Greg Biffle holds the modern day (1972-present) record at 89 (current), then Clint Bowyer at 83, Kevin Harvick at 81, Harvick at 58, Jeff Gordon at 56 and Dale Earnhardt at 53.
The old all-time record for the longest streak of not having an DNF 'was' 84 races held by Herman Beam from April 30, 1961 thru March 10, 1963 [Beam didn't run all the races, but did not have a DNF in 84 straight consecutive races that he ran].
The Most DNF's in 2013: #41-Busch, #36-Sorenson have 5 DNF's in 19 races run. #83-Truex has 5 DNF's in 16 races run (3 DNQ's). Parker Kligermann has 4 DNF's in 8 races run.(7-13-2014)
Biffle's DNF streak ends: Rain wreaked havoc on the Coke Zero 400 July 4th weekend in Daytona. What should have been a Saturday night race turned into a rain-shortened Sunday afternoon race. Greg Biffle had a special patriotic 3M Stars & Stripes theme to his #16 Ford and even led the race for a total of nine laps before being involved in a wreck on lap 98. Biffle’s long-standing DNF [Did Not Finish] streak came to an end as the race ended on lap 112 for rain while the #16 was still in the garage for repairs, leaving Biffle with a 29th-place finish. The #16 3M Stars & Stripes Ford was almost ready to return to the track and keep Biffle’s stretch of not collecting any DNF’s. The rain shortened race left Biffle with his first DNF since 2011.(RFR). Biffle's DNF streak is the record at 89 races. #24-Jeff Gordon now has the longest current streak without an DNF at 36 straight races.(7-11-2014)
Biffle breaks record for races without a DNF: The “Monster Mile” of Dover International Speedway tried its best to bring down the #16 3M team, but Greg Biffle and the Pit Bulls fought back hard. On lap 134 Biffle was tagged in the left rear and spun around into the wall. The team worked over the next 100 laps on repairs and returned Biffle to the track with a fast 3M Ford, gaining two spots for their efforts and crossing the finish line 38th. The finish keeps Biffle as the driver with the longest streak of completing every race, not having missed the checkered flag since 2011.(RFR), the record had been 84, set Herman Beam from April 30, 1961 thru March 10, 1963 [Beam didn't run all the races, but did not have a DNF in 84 straight consecutive races that he ran]. Clint Bowyer had held the consecutive race streak at 83 until Biffle broke it at Charlotte.(6-3-2014)
All cars finished the race at Indianapolis, first time since 2008 for the third time since NASCAR mandated the 43-car rule in 1998, all 43 cars finished the Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the first time this has happened since 2008.
. The last two: on September 16, 2007's Cup race at New Hampshire was the first time all 43 cars that started a Cup race finished it since
on September 7, 2008 all 43 cars finished at Richmond
on July 28,2013, all 43 cars finished at Indianapolis.(7-28-2013)
The longest streaks of top 10 finishes since 1990:
Jeff Gordon, 21 races, 1998 race #14 - 1999 race #1
Dale Jarrett, 19 races, 1999 race #4 - 1999 race #22
Mark Martin, 16 races, 1996 race #17 - 1997 race #1
Dale Jarrett, 15 races, 2000 race #10 - 2000 race #24
Jeff Gordon, 14 races, 1995 race #14 - 1995 race #27
Mark Martin, 14 races, 1998 race #10 - 1998 race #23
Bobby Labonte, 14 races, 1999 race #25 - 2000 race #4
Jimmie Johnson, 13 races, 2004 race #31 - 2005 race #7
Tony Stewart, 13 races, 2005 race #15 - 2005 race #27
#15-Clint Bowyer, 2 races, 2014 race 18 (Daytona) thru current
#11-Denny Hamlin, 2 races, 2014 race 18 (Daytona) thru current
Top 10 - Consecutive Races Finished on Lead Lap:[since 1993]
1) Jeff Gordon, 21 races, from June 14, 1998 thru Feb 14, 1999
Dale Earnhardt Jr., 21, Homestead, Nov 20, 2011 thru August 5, 2012
2) Jimmie Johnson, 20, April 2, 2006 thru Sept 9, 2006
3) Matt Kenseth, 19, Oct 14, 2006 thru June 17, 2007
Carl Edwards, 19, Auto Club, March 24, 2013 thru Michigan, August 18. 2013
Clint Bowyer, 19, Martinsville, April 7, 2013 thru Bristol, August 24, 2013
4) Jeff Burton, 18, Charlotte, Oct 13, 2007 thru Charlotte, May 25, 2008
5) Tony Stewart, 17, Martinsville, March 29, 2009 thru Michigan, August 16, 2009
Rusty Wallace, 17, May 29, 2005 thru Sept 25, 2005
Matt Kenseth 17, May 5, 2006 thru Sept 24, 2006
Jeff Gordon, 9, Kansas, May 10, 2014 thru current
Paul Menard, 8, Charlotte, May 25, 2014 thru current
Dale Earnhardt Jr., 7, Dover, June 1, 2014 thru current
Kurt Busch, 6, Pocono, June 8, 2014 thru current
43rd Fact: Last driver to win from the 43rd starting spot in a Cup Series race was Fonty Flock at Raleigh, NC in 1953, the only other driver to do so was Johnny Mantz in the 1950 Southern 500. A driver who falls to the rear after changing an engine, going to a backup, driver change, etc. does not count as a 43rd spot, they are credited with an official starting spot where they qualified.
Gordon down to ONE track with no win: After winning at Homestead in November 2013 means there is only ONE race track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit at which #24-Jeff Gordon has yet to win, that being Kentucky Speedway. Gordon has won on 24 of the 25 tracks he has raced at in the Sprint Cup Series, including two tracks that are no longer active, North Wilkesboro and Rockingham.
Driver -- Wins -- Tracks won at/ Tracks ran
Richard Petty -- 200 -- 51 of 84
David Pearson -- 105 -- 38 of 65
Bobby Allison -- 84 -- 28 of 47
Jeff Gordon -- 87 -- 24 of 25
Darrell Waltrip -- 84 -- 16 of 26
Cale Yarborough -- 83 -- 18 of 46
Of course, a disclaimer here is that in the old days of NASCAR, many tracks were raced at once or just a handful of times, but that's still pretty impressive.(ESPN.com)
Current Drivers: the active leaders with the most Sprint Cup wins at the 23 different tracks currently on the NSCS schedule:
Rank, Driver, Number of Tracks
1. #24-Jeff Gordon, 22
2. #14-Tony Stewart, 21
3. #48-Jimmie Johnson, 19
4. #5-Mark Martin, 18
5. #18-Kyle Busch, 17
Youngest & Oldest:
See the Youngest - Oldest Drivers records page
Team 1-2-3 finishes: Roush Fenway Racing had a 1-2-3 team finish, something that is not too common, see the list, from 1997 thru current.
Last 1-2-3 Finishes
2008: Dover, 9/21 - Roush Fenway Racing: #16-Biffle, #17-Kenseth, #99-Edwards
2008: Bristol, 3/16 - Richard Childress Racing: #31-Burton, #29-Harvick, #07-Bowyer
2005: Homestead, 11/20 - Roush*: #16-Biffle, #6-Martin, #17-Kenseth, #99-Edwards
2005: Texas, 11/6 - Roush: #99-Edwards, #6-Martin, #17-Kenseth
2005: Kansas, 10/9 - Roush: #6-Martin, #16-Biffle, #99-Edwards
2005: Richmond 9/10- Roush: #97-Busch, #17-Kenseth, #16-Biffle
1997: Daytona 500, Hendrick Motorsports: #24-Gordon, #5-Labonte, #25-Craven
No Top 10 starters finish with a top-10 in a race at Daytona: All 10 drivers that started in the top 10 at Daytona in July failed to finish in the top 10. The best finisher from the top-10 starters was #24-Jeff Gordon, who started 9th and finished 12th. Race winner #43-Aric Almirola started 15th and #55-Brian Vickers, who finished 2nd, started 30th. The pole sitter, #38-David Gilliland, finished 35th, after being involved in a wreck. The last race there was no top-ten starters finishing in the top-10 in a race was at Las Vegas in March 2007. And before that, the last race was on July 4, 1965....at Daytona.(7-11-2014)
No Top 10 starters finish with a top-10 in a race: All 10 drivers that started in the top 10 at Las Vegas [March 2007] failed to finish in the top 10. On average, between four and five drivers that start in the top 10, finish in the top 10, but not this weekend. So how long has it been since all 10 drivers failed to finish in the top 10 [in a Cup race]? How about 1,421 races ago. On July 4, 1965, all 10 drivers that started in the top 10 failed to finish in the top 10. Almost 42 years ago. It happened at Daytona. Marvin Panch was the pole sitter and would become the highest finisher among the top 10 starters. Marvin finished 12th and led 39 laps. He would retire from the race after 136 laps of the race's 160 laps [only 14 cars of 40 were running at the finish]. In fact, the top 10 starters that day led 130 laps. AJ Foyt (started 11th) would grab the win, leading the other 30 laps that day. Not only did the top 10 starters in 1965 finish outside the top 10, but all 10 posted a DNF, 3 engines, 3 crashes, 1 heating issue, 1 fuel pump, 1 rocker arm and even 1 driver [Junior Johnson] is listed as 'quit'. The top 10 starters at Vegas this weekend didn't fair that bad, only scoring 3 DNFs. But they all finished outside the top 10, ending a string of 1421 races with at least top 10 starter finishing in the top 10.(LTPicks.com)(3-13-2007)
Last race only 43 cars? Races since 2004 that a Sprint Cup Series race only had 43 cars entered [the max that make a race]
Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway only had 43 drivers/cars entered, and all started the race on March 24, 2013.
Subway Fresh Fit 500k at Phoenix International Raceway only had 43 drivers/cars entered, and all started the race on March 3, 2013.
The Finger Lakes 355(k) at Watkins Glen International only had 43 drivers/cars entered, and all started the race on August 12, 2012.
Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway only had 43 drivers/cars entered, and all started the race on March 27, 2011.
Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Speedway in August 2009
California Speedway [now Auto Club Speedway] in May 2004.
In 2013 this happened 22 times in 36 races: Homestead, Phoenix, Texas in November; Martinsville, Charlotte, Kansas in October; Dover, New Hampshire, Chicago & Atlanta in September, Watkins Glen in August; Pocono in August; New Hampshire in July; Daytona in July; Kentucky in June; Sonoma in June; Pocono in June; Dover in June, Darlington in May, Richmond in April, Auto Club Speedway in March & Phoenix in March.
Last time less then 43 cars entered The last time a Sprint Cup Series race was held with fewer than 43 cars was the 2001 season finale at New Hampshire but that race was rescheduled from Sept. 16 to Nov. 23 because of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The #27 car of Rick Mast was withdrawn as the team had shut down and was not replaced by NASCAR. Beofre that, the last race without 43 cars was in October 1007 at Talladega when 42 cars started but 47 cars were entered. In 1997, 42 was the mandated number with the 43rd spot reserved for a former Cup champion that had not qualified. The last time a Sprtint Cup Series race had less cars entered then the maximun was in September 1996 at Dover, when 41 cars ran.
UPDATE: quite a few races in 2014, plus only 42 cars/drivers entered the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway in June 2014.(7-13-2014)
The single largest Sprint Cup Series entry fields since 2000:
1. 2007 Daytona 500 - 61 cars
2. 2000 Daytona 500 - 59 cars
3. 2006 Daytona 500 – 58 cars
3. 2004 [Atlanta] Bass Pro Shops 500 – 58 cars
4. 2009 Daytona 500 - 57
4. 2005 Daytona 500 – 57 cars
5. 2006 [Homestead] Ford 400 – 56 cars
5. 2004 [Homestead] Ford 400 – 56 cars 6. 2001 Indianapolis - 54
6. 2010 Daytona 500 - 54
The most ever?
86 at Indianapolis in 1994
82 at Darlington Raceway in 1951
Most Cars To Finish On Lead Lap Complete Race
Less than 400-Mile Race - 38 - Sonoma (June 26, 2011)
400-Mile Race - 35, Indianapolis (Aug. 6, 2006)
500-Mile Race - 32 Daytona (Feb. 17, 2008)
500-Mile Race - 31 Daytona (Feb. 19, 2006)
Shortened Race - 37, Michigan - June 18, 2006 (129 of 200 Laps)(11-20-2011)
An interesting note is that the season-opening race put a halt to all but two of the streaks, the exception being Earnhardt’s record streak and Sterling Marlin’s 10th-ranked run.(NASCAR PR and updated weekly)
2010: The Most Competitive Year In NASCAR Sprint Cup Series History: The recently completed 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season goes down as the most competitive in the 62-year history of the sport's premier series. Two major competition records were broken this past season in the series: average lead changes and leaders per race. There was an average of 25.4 lead changes per event in 2010, the most in the history of NASCAR Sprint Cup competition.
Additionally, there was an average of 11.4 leaders per event, also the highest average since the series' inaugural year of 1949. The previous highs in both statistics were 24.9 lead changes in 1981 and 11.0 leaders in 2006.
In all, 55 different drivers led at least one lap this season – another record. The previous most was 51, in both 2005 and 2007. Passing numbers, too, were at their statistical peak this season. NASCAR began recording passing numbers in 2005, with the inception of Loop Data. This season, those numbers were higher than any of the past six years.
There were a total of 1,299 green flag passes for the lead (Note: Those are lead changes all around the track, not just at the start-finish line). The previous high was 994 in 2006.
There were also 116,327 total green flag passes. The previous high was 110,226 in 2009.
The tight on-track competition led to a closer-than-ever points battle. The 15 points separating the top-two drivers going into the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway were the fewest in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup's seven-year history. Five-time champion Jimmie Johnson became the first driver since 1992 to overcome a deficit with one-to-go to capture the title.
Five races broke or matched track records in either most leaders or lead changes this season:
Talladega: Both Talladega races were exceptionally competitive, but the spring event made history. There were 88 lead changes among 29 drivers during the April 25 event, both all-time series records – at any track, ever.
Daytona: There were 21 different leaders in the season-opening Daytona 500, the most ever at a track whose history dates back to 1959.
Infineon Raceway: The first road course race of the season, the June 20 event featured 12 lead changes, the most ever at Infineon. The last lead change belonged to 2010 series champion Jimmie Johnson, who won the first road course race of his career.
Phoenix: There were 13 different leaders in the spring Phoenix event, tying a track record.
Texas: The autumn event at Texas had 33 lead changes, setting a track record.(NASCAR)(11-27-2010)
Only the second time ever in the Cup series: Casey Mears became another first time winner for Rick Hendrick (the 8th from the Hendrick stable). Brian Vickers was the last first time winner, also from the Hendrick stable. In fact, they both won their first career race while driving the same car, Hendrick's #25 Chevy. Did you know that the only other time that consecutive 'first-time' winners drove the same car was way back in 1950, 57 years ago. Harold Kite scored his first career win while driving his own #21 Lincoln. Then the next first time winner in the top series was Tim Flock, driving the same #21 Lincoln. These are the only two instances in which the same car produced two consecutive 'first-time' winners. Did you know part 2 - Only 4 times in Cup history has an owner produced 2 consecutive first time winners. The two mentioned above plus: in 1957, Bob Welborn was the car owner when he won his first race. Then Bob Welborn was the car owner of the next first-time winner, Max Welborn. And in recent times, Jack Roush was the owner of consecutive first-timers, Greg Biffle in 2003 and then Carl Edwards broke a 1 1/2 year drought of first-timers, in 2005.(LTPicks.com)(5-31-2007)
Good Starts among active drivers: Finishing in the top-10 in his first Sprint Cup start puts Carl Edwards in some heady company:
2nd: Rusty Wallace 1980 Spring Atlanta
4th: Terry Labonte 1978 Southern 500 (Darlington)
6th: Matt Kenseth 1998 Fall Dover*
9th: Kyle Petty 1979 Talladega 500
10th: Carl Edwards 2004 Fall Michigan
*driving for Bill Elliott.(Fanball.com)
17th: Richard Petty 1957 Toronto in #142 [out of 19 cars in the field]
22nd: Dale Earnhardt 1975 Coca-Cola 600
28th: Tony Stewart 1999 Daytona 500
31st: Jeff Gordon 1992 Fall Atlanta
33rd: Bill Elliott 1976 Spring Rockingham
38th: Darrell Waltrip 1972 Spring Talladega.(8-23-2004)
Gordon vs Petty before 30 years of age: Jeff Gordon, who turned 30 Saturday, has 56 career victories — 55 (in 277 starts) before the age of 30. Richard Petty had 56 (in 332 starts) career wins before the age of 30.(USA Today). Petty had one Cup Championship before the age of 30 and won it in 1967 when he turned 30. Gordon had 3 championships before 30 and is currently leading the points. Dale Earnhardt had 8 wins and one Championship before he turned 30 in 1981.(8-7-2001)
Dale va Dale Jr after 229 Career Races:
(when Dale Jr won race #17 at Richmond - 229 races)
Wins: 18, 17
Top-Five: 87, 92
Top-10: 135, 96
Poles: 7, 6
Earnings: $3.9M, $37.5M
Dale: 1980 Cup Championship
Dale Jr: Daytona 500 win
Jeff Gordon vs. Dale Earnhardt 1992-2001 - 258 races:
Gordon vs. Earnhardt
Wins: 52, 23
Top 5's: 129, 101
Top 10's: 166, 160
Ave Finish: 11.8, 10.8
Championships: 3, 2
150 starts - Jeff Gordon vs. Jimmie Johnson:
#24-Jeff Gordon, stats after 150 careers starts, Dover in Sept 1997
Top fives: 71
Top tens: 92
Championship 1995, 2nd in 1996
#48-Jimmie Johnson, stats after 150 career starts, Las Vegas in March 2006
Top Fives: 56
Top Tens: 89
2nd drivers points in 2003 and 2004.(3-15-2006)
Some numbers from 2012:
#2-Brad Keselowski, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #11-Denny Hamlin led the series in wins, at 5 each.
Johnson had the most top fives (18) and most top 10s (24) in the field but also had more DNFs (6) than any other driver in the Chase dozen.
Most races led? That number – 26 (of 36) – belongs to Johnson.
Johnson also scored more points (873) in superspeedway competition than any other driver. #17-Matt Kenseth was tops in that category on restrictor-plate tracks with 180. With 236, #15-Clint Bowyer led points scorers on short tracks, and Bowyer also was No. 1 on road courses with 88.
Johnson sat atop the most laps led category with 1,744, or 16.7 percent of all laps run.
The most-laps-completed winner was winless Paul Menard, who ran 10,406 laps, or 99.6 percent of the seasonal total.
By winning at Las Vegas in March, Tony Stewart extended his series-leading streak of winning at least one race per year to 14.
#5-Kasey Kahne, #55-Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson shared the honor of winning the most poles with four each, but the biggest number in the pole category was zero, and that belonged to #39-Ryan Newman. Flyin' Ryan, generally considered an expert at qualifying, failed to notch a pole for the first time in 12 seasons, and he has been stalled at a career number of 49 since September 2011.
The numbers can have any ugly downside, as evidenced by these: Too many drivers will enter 2013 with unsightly winless streaks – #31-Jeff Burton (149), #78-Kurt Busch (43), #18-Kyle Busch (27), #99-Carl Edwards (69), #47-Bobby Labonte (324), #1-Jamie McMurray (77), #42-Juan Pablo Montoya (86), #339-Ryan Newman (30), #56-Martin Truex Jr. (203).(SPEED)(12-19-2012)
Records Set In Lead Changes And Leaders Per Race in 2011: Tony Stewart won the title in the most statistically-competitive season in the 63-year history of the Sprint Cup Series. Two major NASCAR Sprint Cup competition records were broken this past season: average lead changes and leaders per race. There was an average of 27.1 lead changes per race in 2011, the most in the history of Sprint Cup competition. Additionally, there was an average of 12.8 leaders per event, also the highest average since the series' inaugural year of 1949. For the second consecutive season, the record books were rewritten. The previous record-highs in both statistics were set in 2010, when there were averages of 25.4 lead changes and 11.4 leaders. In addition, there were 131,989 total green flag passes (an average of 3,666 per race), which is a series-high since NASCAR began tabulating passing numbers in 2005. From green flag to checkered, races during the 2011 unfurled in a tight, unpredictable manner. Averaging a margin of victory of 1.321, a record 23 races featured an MOV under one second. That's the most since the inception of timing and scoring in 1993.(NASCAR)(11-24-2011)
No track sweeps in 2011: the 2011 season was the first season since 2001 that no driver won both races at a track that ran two points races in one season.(11-20-2011)
Born on Date: February 12, 2002