News & Media


Numbers: Late-race excitement on tap in Charlotte

May 25, 2012, , NASCAR.com

Green-white-checkered finishes and late passes for the lead expected at CMS

For Starters

1 -- Bobby Allison is the only driver to win the Nationwide (Busch) Series race at Charlotte and the 600 on the same weekend (1984).

NATIONWIDE SERIES

Breakout Number

1 -- Roush Fenway Racing leads all teams at Charlotte with 89 starts, 13 poles, 12 wins, 32 top-fives, 48 top-10s and 2,381 laps led. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., the only Roush driver entered in this week's race, has accounted for five starts, one pole, one top-five (fourth in May 2011), two top-10s and 34 laps led. Stenhouse's speed of 186.994 mph last May was the fastest pole of the 2011 season.

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Track Tidbits

2 -- Four races at Charlotte have ended with a last-lap pass, including two on this week's race date of May 26: Bobby Allison passed Darrell Waltrip in 1984; Dale Jarrett passed Dick Trickle in 1990. Most recently, Dave Blaney passed Matt Kenseth in October 2006.

3 -- Three races at Charlotte have ended in a green-white-checkered finish, one in each of the past three even-numbered years. It happened in the May races of 2008 and '10, and both were won by Kyle Busch.

59 -- Kyle Busch (676) and Brad Keselowski (255) have combined to lead 59 percent of the laps in the past eight races at Charlotte (931 of 1575 laps). Busch has four wins during that span; Keselowski one. Both are entered in this week's race.

Recent Trends

5 -- The driver leading the most laps has failed to win in five of the past six Nationwide races at Charlotte. The exception was Kyle Busch in October 2009 when he led 137 of the 200 laps.

5 -- The final lead change was with five laps or fewer to go in both races at Charlotte last season: Matt Kenseth passed Carl Edwards with three laps remaining in the May race; Edwards passed Kyle Busch with five laps to go in October.

12 -- The final green-flag stretch has been 12 laps or fewer in four of the past six races this season. The final green stretch has been 12 laps or fewer in 14 of the past 16 Charlotte races.

SPRINT CUP SERIES

Breakout Number

2 -- Kevin Harvick led only two laps in winning the 600 last year, the fewest laps led by a winner in the 106 points-paying races at Charlotte. Harvick's last-lap pass of Dale Earnhardt Jr. was just the second in CMS history (Jimmie Johnson passed Bobby Labonte in the 2005 600). Last year's race also was the first green-white-checkered finish in 600 history (Earnhardt led at the scheduled finish).

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Track Tidbits

3 -- In the 48 600s that have gone the full distance, the leader at Lap 334 (500 miles) has gone on to win 26 times, but only three times in the past 12: Jimmie Johnson (2004), Kasey Kahne (2006) and Kurt Busch (2010). Johnson also has two engine failures within the final 100 laps in two of the past three 600s that have gone the full distance.

4 -- Ryan Newman has won the pole for the 600 six times, including two of the past three years in the No. 39. Those poles have produced all four of his top-fives in 22 overall starts at Charlotte, including a runner-up finish in the 2009 600.

6 -- Six drivers have posted their first career wins in the 600: David Pearson (1961), Jeff Gordon (1994), Bobby Labonte (1995), Matt Kenseth (2000), Casey Mears (2007) and David Reutimann (2009). Gordon, at 22 years, 9 months, 25 days, on May 29, 1994, is the youngest race winner in CMS history.

Recent Trends

0 -- Tony Stewart has won four of the past 10 races on 1.5-mile tracks, but hasn't won at Charlotte since 2003. He's never won the 600 in 13 attempts, his best finish of third coming in 2001. In fact, Stewart is winless in all three of NASCAR's original crown jewel races: Daytona 500, Southern 500 (Darlington) and the 600.

4 -- A driver representing four different teams has won the past four 600s: Kasey Kahne (Gillett Evernham Motorsports) in 2008, David Reutimann (Michael Waltrip Racing) in 2009, Kurt Busch (Penske Racing) in 2010 and Kevin Harvick (Richard Childress Racing) in 2011. Prior to 2008, a Hendrick Motorsports (6) or Roush Fenway Racing (4) driver had won 10 of 11 600s. During that 15-year span, only four drivers still race for the team for which they won the 600: Jeff Gordon (Hendrick), Matt Kenseth (Roush), Jimmie Johnson (Hendrick) and Harvick. Four drivers were multiple winners during that time: Johnson (3), Gordon (2), Jeff Burton (2, both with Roush) and Kahne (2, both with Evernham).

4 -- The final lead change has taken place with six laps or fewer in four of the past five 600s, and with fewer than 20 laps in eight of the past nine.

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