News & Media


By the Numbers: Late trends show anything can happen at M'ville

October 26, 2012, , NASCAR.com

For Starters

2 --- The top two contenders for the 2012 Camping World Truck Series championship, Ty Dillon and James Buescher, finished second and third, respectively, in the first race this year at Martinsville. Dillon outpointed Buescher by two, 43-41; Dillon led two laps, the only driver besides winner Kevin Harvick to lead in the race. Dillon leads Buescher by one point.

13 --- Thirteen of the past 16 Cup Series races at Martinsville have been won by either Hendrick Motorsports (8) or Joe Gibbs Racing (5).

CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES

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Breakout Number

3 --- Kevin Harvick scored his third win at Martinsville this March in record-setting fashion. He set a Truck mark for most laps led by a race winner, leading 248 of 250 laps. Harvick, a 14-time series winner, has made two Truck starts in 2012 and led the most laps both times. If Harvick can sweep the season series -- he'll be just the second driver to do so -- he would become the all-time winner at Martinsville with four victories. He's tied with Mike Skinner and Dennis Setzer, neither of whom is entered in this week's race. Incidentally, Skinner is the only driver to sweep Martinsville, in 2007. In the first race that year, he led 246 laps, which ranks second in series history for most laps led by a racer winner.

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Track Tidbits

0 --- A rookie has never won at Martinsville. Four rookies have finished second: Travis Kvapil (2001), Carl Edwards (2003), Todd Kluever (2005) and Ty Dillon (2012). Dillon has finished in the top 10 in 18 of his career 21 starts. His career average finish of 7.29 is the best in series history among drivers with more than five starts.

1 --- The winner at Martinsville has gone on to win the championship only once: Johnny Benson in October 2008.

22 --- Twenty-two of the 27 races at Martinsville have been won from the top 10, 17 from the top five, and six from the first starting position, including three of the past five races.

Recent Trends

8 --- If Chevrolet is the second-highest finishing maker at Martinsville, it will clinch its eighth manufacturers' championship and second in a row. Chevy clinched its 15th Nationwide Series title last week.

13 --- There have been 13 different winners this year in the 18 Truck Series races to date, with four races remaining. The record for the most different winners in a season is 14, in 1998 (27 races) and again in 2005 (25 races). James Buescher, Timothy Peters and Nelson Piquet Jr. are the only repeat winners of 2012. The seven different winners in the first seven races was a series record.

39 --- James Buescher has gained 39 points on first place in the past nine races. His average finish during that span is 5.0, with two of his series-high four wins. Buescher has scored 16 more bonus points this season than points leader Ty Dillon (29-13) and led in 13 races, including the most laps in four of them. For comparison, Dillon has led in nine races, leading the most just once.

SPRINT CUP SERIES

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Breakout Number

5 --- A different driver has won each of the five short-track races this season: Brad Keselowski (Bristol); Ryan Newman (Martinsville); Kyle Busch (Richmond); Denny Hamlin (Bristol); and Clint Bowyer (Richmond). Bowyer Bowyer is the only driver to finish in the top 10 in all five short-track races this season. He finished 10th earlier this year at Martinsville, his seventh top-10 in his past 10 starts there.

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Track Tidbits

3 --- The final lead change at Martinsville has taken place with fewer than five laps to go in three of the past five races: Denny Hamlin passed Jeff Gordon with two laps to go in March 2010; Kevin Harvick passed Dale Earnhardt Jr. with four laps to go in April 2011; and Tony Stewart passed Jimmie Johnson with three laps remaining last October.

7 --- There were seven cautions in the race at Martinsville earlier this year, the first time there has been less than 10 cautions in the past 25 races there. One of those cautions came with three laps remaining from the scheduled distance, setting up the first of what would be two attempts at a green-white-checkered finish.

11 --- The final green-flag stretch at Martinsville has been less than 10 laps in 11 of the past 16 races, and less than 30 laps in 14 of the past 16.

65 --- This year Martinsville is celebrating its 65th anniversary. It was built in 1947 for $60,000 and hosted its first race that September, a modified stock-car event that pre-dated NASCAR. The first NASCAR-sanctioned race at Martinsville was for modified stock cars and won by Fonty Flock on July 4, 1948. The eighth-place finisher was Bill France. The first Cup (Grand National) race was September 25th, 1949, won by Red Byron over Lee Petty. Martinsville is the only remaining charter track on NASCAR's current schedule. It has seen 128th Cup Series points races, the most of all tracks (excluding Daytona qualifying points races).

Recent Trends

3 --- Matt Kenseth has three top-five results in the five short-track races this season, including a fourth-place finish at Martinsville in April. Greg Biffle and Kevin Harvick are the only Chase drivers without a short-track top five finish in 2012.

10 --- Chevrolet could win its 10th consecutive manufacturers' championship, and 36th overall, at Martinsville by being one of the top-two finishing manufacturers.

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