News & Media


By the Numbers: Past trends prove that Charlotte races are critical

October 12, 2012, , NASCAR.com

For Starters

4 -- The driver winning the fall race at Charlotte has gone on to win the Nationwide Series championship four times, including two of the last three seasons: Kyle Busch (2009) and Brad Keselowski (2010).

9 -- Chevrolet's winless streak is now at nine races, since Pocono in August. This is the make's longest winless streak since 12 races between Talladega 1993 and the Daytona 500 in 1994. In the past nine races, Toyota has four wins, Ford has won three times and Dodge twice.

NATIONWIDE SERIES

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Breakout Number

7 -- Seven of the eight races on 1.5-mile tracks in 2012 have been won by non-Cup competitors. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. leads all drivers with four wins on 1.5-mile tracks in 2012 followed by Austin Dillon with two and Elliott Sadler and Brad Keselowski with one each. The driver earning the most points on 1.5-mile tracks has won the championship in five of the past six seasons, including the last four. The most wins ever by a driver on 1.5 mile tracks in a single season is five by Kyle Busch in 2008.

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Track Tidbits

0 -- Kevin Harvick is winless at Charlotte; it is the only 1.5-mile track at which he has competed that he has not won. Harvick has 12 wins on 1.5-mile tracks, which ranks third all time in series history. His best finish at Charlotte is third in May 2004.

6 -- Kyle Busch has six wins at Charlotte, tied with Mark Martin for the most. In the past 11 races at Charlotte, Busch has four wins, led 680 laps and has an average finish of 2.82. Busch is expected to run the remaining races of the season in his No. 54 car as he looks to extend his streak of winning at least one race a season to nine.

23 -- It's been 23 races since the last Charlotte race was won from the pole: Matt Kenseth (October 2000).

Recent Trends

1 -- Only one of the past 15 races at Charlotte has been won by a non-Cup driver: Mike Bliss (May 2009).

15 -- If the best finishing Chevrolet finishes better than the best finishing Toyota at Charlotte, Chevrolet will clinch its 15th manufacturer's championship. Chevrolet has not won a manufacturers' title since 2007. Chevrolet's top finisher in the spring race this year was fourth, by Kevin Harvick. Toyotas finished 2-3 (Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch, respectively). All three of those drivers are entered in this week's race.Toyota had its three-run of championships broken last year by Ford.

71 --- Morgan Shepherd turned 71 years of age on the day he'll make he attempts to make his 342nd career start in the Nationwide Series. Shepherd, who has made at least one start in 27 of the series' 31 years, has 15 wins, 44 top-five finishes and 67 top-10s.

SPRINT CUP SERIES

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Breakout Number

13 -- Mark Martin is set to make his 850th career start; which ranks fifth all time in Cup Series history. His first start came in 1981; 13 drivers on this week's entry list were not even born. How have times changed in the 32 years since Martin's debut? Average cost of a new home in 1981: $83,000. Median household income: $19,074. Cost of a stamp: 18 cents. Cost of a gallon of gas: $1.38. Cost of a dozen eggs: 90 cents.

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Track Tidbits

6 -- Jimmie Johnson is tied with Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip for the most wins at Charlotte with six. However, including the last of his six wins in October 2009, Johnson has only three top-10 finishes in the nine races in the new car and has finished 28th or worse in half of those races. Johnson made his first career start in October 2001 at Charlotte, finishing 39th.

8 -- Eight times has the winner of the 600-mile race at Charlotte have gone on to win the fall event, most recently in 2006 by Kasey Kahne, the winner of this year's Coca-Cola 600. Jimmie Johnson (2004 and '05) is the only driver to do it twice. He's also the only driver to win four consecutive races at Charlotte. Kahne is a four-time winner at CMS, twice more than any other track. All four of those wins have come in the past 13 races, making him the only repeat winner at Charlotte during that span. The past eight races have produced eight different winners.

20 -- Jeff Gordon has finished 20th or worse in three of the past four races at Charlotte. All but one of his five Charlotte wins came in his first 14 starts there. He remains the youngest race winner in track history, at 22 years, 9 months, 25 days in May 1994. It was his first career victory. Gordon also scored his first career pole at Charlotte, in October 1993. He was 22 years, 4 months, 2 days, the youngest pole winner in track history.

Recent Trends

2 -- The leader of the most laps has won only two of the past 11 races at Charlotte: Jimmie Johnson (92 laps in October 2009) and Kurt Busch (252 laps in May '10).

71 -- Jamie McMurray is on a 71-race winless streak since his last victory, at Charlotte in October 2010. He has only two top-fives since, and none in 2012, and just eight top-10s. McMurray scored his first series win and top-10 at Charlotte, in the same race in October 2002 (it was his second career start). That race fell on Saturday the 13th, the same date as this week's race.

143 -- Jeff Burton got his most recent of his three Charlotte wins in October 2008; it's his last Cup win to date, spanning 143 races. He has finished 14th or worse in the seven races at Charlotte since.

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