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By the Numbers: Martinsville short in distance, long on history

October 27, 2011, , NASCAR.com



By the Numbers: Martinsville short in distance, long on history

Martinsville Speedway is a .526-mile oval with 12 degrees banking in the turns. The frontstretch and backstretch are each 800 feet with 0 degrees banking.

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1 -- Times in the eight years Martinsville has hosted two races annually a driver has swept the season: Mike Skinner in 2007. Spring winner Johnny Sauter hadn't finished better than 15th in six previous races there.

Side note: Only three drivers have won more than once at Martinsville, and only one -- two-time winner Kevin Harvick -- is active. Harvick is entered in the No. 2 this week.

6 -- First-time winners at Martinsville, more than any other track: Bobby Hamilton (April 2000); Scott Riggs (April 2001); Jamie McMurray (October 2004); Bobby Labonte (April 2005); Ricky Craven (October 2005); Timothy Peters (October 2009).

Side note: Dover and Homestead each have produced five first-time winners; Texas has had four.

7 -- Consecutive races at Martinsville in which Ron Hornaday has led, totaling 276. In his first 11 races there, he led in only once, for a total of four laps.

Side note: Hornaday's third-place finish in April was his fifth consecutive top-five; his only win occurred in last October's race.

23 -- Times the driver leading with 10 laps to go at Martinsville has won, all but the first race there and the most recent. Inaugural Martinsville winner Joe Ruttman led only the final two laps in 1995; Johnny Sauter led a race-high 71 laps in the spring, but had to pass Kyle Busch with two to go to win.

Side note: The leader of the most laps has won 10 of the 25 races at Martinsville.

Very Interesting

1 -- Drivers who have won at Martinsville and the series championship in the same year: Johnny Benson in 2008. The top two drivers in the current points, Austin Dillon and James Buescher, have never won at Martinsville.

Side note 1: Points leader Dillon finished seventh in the spring, his first top-10 in three starts.

Side note 2: Buescher finished 11th (twice) and 12th in his first three starts, but crashed out after 134 of 250 laps in the spring (his only DNF and worst finish of the season); he was credited with just nine points for his 35th-place finish.

* April race at Martinsville: Recap | Results | Videos

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10 -- Times in the past 15 races at Martinsville the leader of the most laps has failed to win. Kevin Harvick led six laps in the spring, the fewest since Dale Jarrett led six in his win in April 2001.

Side note: The last time any driver failed to lead at least 100 laps at Martinsville was October 2001, when winner Ricky Craven led a race-high 94 of 500 laps.

12 -- First-time winners at Martinsville, most recently by Ricky Craven in 2001. No current driver has posted his first career win at Martinsville.

Side note: Five drivers have scored their first career win this season.

17 -- Races at Martinsville since a Ford last won: Kurt Busch in October 2002. Dodge has gone 14 races without a win: Rusty Wallace in April 2004.

Side note: Chevrolet lead all makes with 24 wins at Martinsville, including 10 of the past 14. Toyota has scored its four wins in the past seven races (all by Denny Hamlin).

98 -- Caution-free laps to end last October's race at Martinsville, the longest green-flag stretch in the past 24 races there.

Side note: The final green-flag stretch has been less than 30 laps in 18 of the past 24 races at Martinsville (29 laps in April).

Very Interesting

3 -- Times in the past four races at Martinsville a Hendrick Motorsports driver was passed for the final lead change: Denny Hamlin passed Jimmie Johnson in October 2009 (led the final 139 laps); Hamlin passed Jeff Gordon in March 2010 (led the final two laps); Kevin Harvick passed Dale Earnhardt Jr. this past spring (led the final four laps).

Side note: The final lead change has occurred with 50 laps or less in six of the past eight races at Martinsville.

* April race at Martinsville: Recap | Results | Videos

MARTINSVILLE | Chase for the Sprint Cup

1 -- Times in the seven Chase races at Martinsville the driver who won wasn't in the Chase: Jeff Gordon in 2005. Gordon swept the season; he hasn't won at Martinsville since.

Side note: 2005 is the only year Gordon has failed to make the Chase.

5 -- Drivers in this year's Chase who finished in the top-10 at Martinsville in the spring race: 1. Kevin Harvick; 2. Dale Earnhardt Jr.; 3. Kyle Busch; 5. Jeff Gordon; 6. Matt Kenseth.

Side note: Tony Stewart is the only Chaser who finished outside the top 20 in April; his 34th-place finish represents his worst at the track since 2001.

7 -- Times is as many Chase years the eventual champion was in the top two in points following the seventh race.

Side note: Points leader Carl Edwards and second-place Matt Kenseth have two of the worst average finishes among the Chasers at Martinsville: Edwards is 16.86, Kenseth is 15.83; only Kurt Busch is worse.

36 -- Starting position for Kurt Busch in October 2002, the worst for any winner at Martinsville.

Side note: Only two Chasers have a worse average starting position at Martinsville than Busch's 19.5; his 21.1 average finish ranks worse among the Chasers.

Very Interesting

6 -- Drivers in this year's Chase who have won at Martinsville; they account for 21 combined wins, however: Jeff Gordon (7), Jimmie Johnson (6), Denny Hamlin (4), Tony Stewart (2), Kurt Busch (1) and Kevin Harvick (1).

Side note: A driver in this year's Chase has won the past 14 races at Martinsville, and 17 of the past 18.

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0 -- Wins at Martinsville for Kyle Busch, in any of NASCAR's top three series. Busch has posted top-five finishes in three of the past four races in which he has competed in both the Truck and Cup series, with back-to-back runner-up finishes in Truck and a track-best third in Cup this past spring. Busch is not entered in this week's Truck race; Denny Hamlin will drive the Kyle Busch Motorsports' No. 18.

Side note: Busch finished 20th in his only Nationwide start at Martinsville in 2006, before the track was dropped from the series schedule.

3 -- Cup wins at Martinsville for Harry Gant, who scored his first career win there in April 1982 (in his 107th start) and became the oldest winner in track history (51 years, 8 months, 12 days) on Sept. 22, 1991.

Side note: Morgan Shepherd, who also scored his first Cup win at Martinsville in April 1981 (in his 15th start), is the track's oldest pole winner (45 years, 6 months, 12 days) on April 24, 1987.

7.0 -- Average starting position of Truck winners at Martinsville. Twenty of the 25 winners have started in the top 10.

Side note: The average starting position of Cup winners at Martinsville is 7.25. Seventy-four percent of the winners have started in the top 10.

25 -- Truck races at Martinsville, most of all tracks. Martinsville has been on the Truck schedule every year of the series, and has hosted two races a year every year beginning in 2003.

Side note: Dennis Setzer (2002, '03) and Mike Skinner (2007) are the only drivers to win back-to-back races at Martinsville.

Very Interesting

125 -- Cup races at Martinsville, most of all tracks (excluding qualifying points races). Red Byron won the first NASCAR race at Martinsville on Sept. 25, 1949.

Side note: Byron also won the first race in Martinsville history, on Sept. 7, 1947, in a modified stock-car race (pre-NASCAR).

MARTINSVILLE HISTORY | Hall of Fame

1 -- Last-lap passes at Martinsville: Darrell Waltrip passed Dale Earnhardt in September 1987. After finishing fifth in April 1988, Waltrip won three in a row, capping his 11-win career at Martinsville (second-most in track history).

Side note: Waltrip is Martinsville's leader in poles with eight; he won from the pole twice: April 1980 and September 1981.

15 -- Wins at Martinsville for Richard Petty, most of all drivers. Petty also is the track leader in top-fives (30), top-10s (37) and starts (67).

Side note: Petty is the youngest winner in Martinsville history, at age 22 years, 9 months, 8 days on April 10, 1960 (it was his second career win).

26 -- Wins for Hall of Fame drivers in a 33-race period from April 1967 through April 1983: Richard Petty (12), Darrell Waltrip (6), Cale Yarborough (6), Dale Earnhardt (1) and David Pearson (1). The only non-Hall of Famer to win more than once during that span Bobby Isaac (two victories).

Side note: In 14 races from September 1984 through April 1991, Waltrip (5) and Earnhardt (4) combined to win nine times.

3,851 -- Laps led at Martinsville by Cale Yarborough, most of all drivers. Yarborough is tied with Rusty Wallace for leading the most laps in the most races (9). Data based on past 75 races only.

Side note: Six-time Martinsville winner Yarborough was the first of five drivers to win three in a row at the track, September 1976 through September 1977.

Very Interesting

5.5 -- Average finish at Martinsville for Lee Petty, best of any driver with more than five starts. Petty made 24 starts at Martinsville, scoring 21 top-10s (including three wins and 16 top-fives).

Side note: Jimmie Johnson has a 5.6 average finish in 19 starts at Martinsville.

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