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By the Numbers: Current top 10 a far cry from Daytona 500 top-10

June 30, 2011, , NASCAR.com



By the Numbers: Current top 10 a far cry from Daytona 500 top-10

Daytona International Speedway is a 2.5-mile tri-oval with 31 degrees banking in the corners. The frontstretch is 3,800 feet -- 1,900 feet to and from the tri-oval (at the start/finish line), which has 18 degrees banking; the backstretch is 3,000 feet with 3 degrees banking.

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3 -- Summer wins at Daytona for Dale Earnhardt Jr., the only driver with more than one victory in the past 10 July races. Earnhardt is not entered in this year's race, marking only the second time since the Nationwide Series added a summer date for Daytona in 2002 that he will not compete.

9 -- Consecutive races at Daytona in which Kyle Busch has led. He will set a track record if he leads this week. Busch has led 10 or more laps in eight of those races, but no more than 19 in the past six events. He led the most laps three times, including his only win in the summer of 2007.

6 -- Nationwide Series victories at Daytona for Tony Stewart, tied with Dale Earnhardt Jr. for second-most behind Dale Earnhardt's seven. Stewart has won the past four Daytona races in which he's competed (all in February), for three different teams: Joe Gibbs Racing (2008); Hendrick Motorsports (2009); Kevin Harvick Inc. (2010 and '11). Stewart will drive the No. 9 Chevrolet of KHI this week; he has made only two summer starts at DIS, finishing 12th for KHI in 2006 and fourth for JGR in '07.

35 -- Lead changes in the Nationwide race at Daytona in February, tying the track record for most lead changes (1984 and '86) in a series event at the track. The margin of victory of .007 seconds (Tony Stewart beat Clint Bowyer) was the closest ever at the track; it was the third-closest MOV in series history.

Very Interesting

6 -- Consecutive races at Daytona that have ended with a green-white-checkered finish. Daytona and Richmond are tied for second among active tracks for producing the most G-W-C finishes; only Phoenix has more with seven. The final green-flag stretch has been less than 10 laps in 18 of the past 23 races at Daytona, including all nine summer races when the longest green stretch to end the race has been nine laps (2003 and '04).

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2 -- Fewest DNFs in a Daytona race in July, accomplished in 2007. There were 18 DNFs last summer at Daytona, the most of any race in 2010.

2 -- Drivers who have led the most laps in five of the past eight summer races at Daytona: Tony Stewart (3) and Kevin Harvick (2). They have combined to lead a total of 351 laps in those five races, nearly half of the race laps. Stewart (July 2009) and Harvick (July 2010) are the only drivers who led the most laps in the past nine races at Daytona to win.

3 -- Times in the past four summer races at Daytona qualifying has been canceled due to weather. The pole for the past 10 July races with time trials has been won by different drivers: Mike Skinner (1997); Joe Nemechek (1999); Dale Jarrett (2000); Sterling Marlin (2001); Kevin Harvick (2002); Steve Park (2003); Jeff Gordon (2004); Tony Stewart (2005); Boris Said (2006); Paul Menard (2008). Gordon and Stewart were the only drivers to win; Stewart and Harvick each won from the first starting position the past two summers.

Side note 1: The 1998 race scheduled for July was moved to October due to fires. It was the first night race at Daytona; Bobby Labonte won the pole.

Side note 2: The pole for the past 15 races overall at Daytona has been won by different drivers, beginning with the summer race of 2002.

6 -- Drivers currently in the top 10 in points who finished worse than 20th in the Daytona 500 this past February: 2. Kevin Harvick (42nd); 3. Jimmie Johnson (27th); 6. Matt Kenseth (24th); 7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (24th); 9. Jeff Gordon (28th); 10. Ryan Newman (22nd). Only three drivers in the top 10 have never won at Daytona: 1. Carl Edwards; 4. Kurt Busch; 8. Clint Bowyer. Edwards and Busch are just two of three drivers (Kyle Busch is the other) in the top 10 who finished in the top 10 in the Daytona 500.

Very Interesting

10 -- Different teams represented by the top-10 finishers in the Daytona 500 this past February: 1. Wood Brothers (Trevor Bayne); 2. Roush Fenway Racing (Carl Edwards); 3. Front Row Motorsports (David Gilliland); 4. JTG Daugherty Racing (Bobby Labonte); 5. Penske Racing (Kurt Busch); 6. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing (Juan Montoya); 7. Furniture Row Racing (Regan Smith); 8. Joe Gibbs Racing (Kyle Busch); 9. Richard Childress Racing (Paul Menard); 10. Hendrick Motorsports (Mark Martin).

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2 -- Times in the past 19 Nationwide races at Daytona the winner was a Nationwide-only driver: Mike Wallace (July 2004) and Martin Truex Jr. (July 2005).

4 -- Drivers who have swept a Nationwide/Cup weekend at Daytona: Bobby Allison (1988); Darrell Waltrip (1989); Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2004); Kevin Harvick (2007). All took place in February.

4 -- Times a driver has swept a Cup season at Daytona: Fireball Roberts (1962), Cale Yarborough (1968); LeeRoy Yarbrough (1969); Bobby Allison (1982). It's happened only once in Nationwide history, by Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2003).

7 -- Last-lap passes in the July Cup race at Daytona, most recently in 2009 when Tony Stewart passed Kyle Busch. There have been four in the past nine Cup races overall at DIS, two in the summer. There have been a total of five last-lap passes at Daytona in the Nationwide Series, most recently by Tony Stewart this past February. There's been only one last-lap pass in the July Nationwide race -- in 2004 when Mike Wallace passed Michael Waltrip.

Very Interesting

3 -- Times Bobby Allison set a Daytona record as the oldest race winner. He became the oldest July winner in 1987 at 49 years, 7 months, 1 day; it was his next-to-last Cup Series victory. His last came the following year in the Daytona 500, at age 50 years, 2 months, 11 days. The day prior he became the oldest Daytona winner in Nationwide history.

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5 -- Cup races at Daytona won in July by David Pearson (Class of 2011), most of any driver.

12 -- Cup poles at Daytona for Cale Yarborough (Class of 2012), including eight in July. Both are tops among all drivers.

42 -- Combined Cup Series wins at Daytona for Hall of Fame drivers: Richard Petty (10), Cale Yarborough (9), David Pearson (8), Bobby Allison (6), Junior Johnson (4), Dale Earnhardt (3), Lee Petty (1), Darrell Waltrip (1).

Side note 1: Allison (Class of 2011) holds the Daytona race record at 173.473 mph in July 1980.

Side note 2: Yarborough won four times with last-lap passes, twice in the summer race.

74 -- Starts at Daytona for Richard Petty (Class of 2010), most of any driver. Petty also is the track's all-time leader in wins (10), top-fives (28) and top-10s (37).

Very Interesting

1,286 -- Laps led in the Cup Series at Daytona for Dale Earnhardt (Class of 2010), most of any driver. Earnhardt led 402 laps in the Nationwide Series, second to Dale Earnhardt Jr., and won the first race in series history in February 1982.

Side note: Earnhardt won five Nationwide races in a row from 1990-94.

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