News & Media


By the Numbers: Leaders hope things add up at the end

November 16, 2012, , NASCAR.com

For Starters

19 -- Camping World Truck Series points leader James Buescher made his first career start at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2008. He started 10th and finished 19th. In four starts, his best finish is 12th (last year) and his average finish is 17.0.

1 -- Kyle Busch is the only driver to win the Homestead race and Nationwide Series championship in the same season (2009).

500 -- Tony Stewart will make his 500th career Cup Series start at Homestead. He will be the 31st driver with 500 or more starts. All 500 starts are consecutive. Richard Petty and Bobby Allison both won in their 500th start. Stewart has won three times at Homestead, in the inaugural race there in 1999 and again in 2000, and then last year to clinch the series championship.

CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES

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Breakout Number

9 -- The biggest deficit overcome in the final race took place in 2003 when Travis Kvapil was third in points, 34 back. That is approximately nine points in today's point system. Kvapil trailed Brendan Gaughan and Ted Musgrave going into the race at Homestead. Points leader Gaughan crashed out, and Kvapil finished sixth to Musgrave's 13th to win the title by nine points over Dennis Setzer, who also leapfrogged Gaughan and Musgrave. Musgrave finished third, 18 points back, and Gaughan was fourth, 40 points out.

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Track Tidbits

2 -- Todd Bodine is the only driver with multiple victories at Homestead, winning in 2005 and '08.

4 -- There have been four green-white-checkered-finishes at Homestead, including in three of the past five races.

13 -- Thirteen of the 16 race winners started in the top 10 at Homestead, but only one from the pole: Bobby Hamilton in 2003.

Recent Trends

3 -- The points leader with one to go has failed to win the championship in three of 17 Truck Series seasons: In 1999, Greg Biffle held a 21-point lead (five in today's system), Jack Sprague won the title by eight points; in 2003, Brendan Gaughan led by 26 points, Travis Kvapil won by nine points; in 2007, Mike Skinner had a 29-point lead (seven in today's system), Ron Hornaday won the championship by 54 points. The 1999 finale was held at Fontana.

12 -- Twice this season a driver has gained more than 12 points to take the points lead: Ty Dillon gained 17 points to take the lead following the second Iowa race; James Buescher gained 22 points to take the lead after the second Martinsville race, a lead he's held since.

• Four wins this season, a series high.
• Thirty bonus points this season.
• Only two finishes outside the top 20.
• Average finish this season: 8.0.
• Ten top-fives this season, tied with Timothy Peters for the most.
• Finished 17th at Phoenix, the first time he finished outside the top 10 in back-to-back races this season.
• Finished ahead of Timothy Peters/Ty Dillon 10 times this season.
• Two wins this season.
• Seventeen bonus points this season.
• Only two finishes outside the top 20.
• Average finish this season: 8.3.
• Ten top-fives this season, tied with James Buescher for the most.
• Led the points following a series-best nine races this season.
• Finished ahead of James Buescher/Ty Dillon six times this season.
• One win this season.
• Fourteen bonus points this season.
• Only two finishes outside the top 20.
• Average finish this season: 7.95
• Seventeen top-10s this season, a series high.
• Completed all but eight laps this season.
• Finished ahead of James Buescher/Timothy Peters five times this season.

15 -- James Buescher has scored 15 more bonus points this season than Ty Dillon and 13 more than Timothy Peters. Buescher has led in 14 races this season, including the most in four of them, compared to Dillon's 11 races led, leading the most only once, and Peters' 10 races led and most only once. Buescher holds an 11-point lead over Peters and 12 over Dillon entering the final race. A closer look at why the point standings are the way the are:

NATIONWIDE SERIES

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Breakout Number

21 -- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. twice this season has lost 21 points in a single race as the points leader. At Charlotte in May, he led Elliott Sadler by 34 points but finished 26th and left with a 13-point lead over Sadler (a 21-point swing). The next race, at Dover, Stenhouse lost his lead to Sadler and trailed by 12 points (a 25-point swing). Stenhouse holds a 20-point lead over Sadler heading into the season finale. Stenhouse has finished in the top five in both of his Homestead starts, including a runner-up finish last year.

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Track Tidbits

6 -- The final green-flag stretch was 11 laps or less in six of the past eight races at Homestead.

7 -- Seven of the nine races at Homestead on the current configuration were won from a top-five starting position, including four of the past seven won from the front row. However, the worst starting spot of any winner also took place during that span when in 2007 Jeff Burton started 30th.

7 -- The first caution was on Lap 6 or sooner in seven of the nine races on the current configuration.

Recent Trends

1 -- The driver leading the standings with one to go went on to win the championship in all but one of the 30 prior seasons of the NNS. Rob Moroso was second in points in his 1989 championship season with one race to go with Tommy Houston leading the standings by 19 points (roughly five points under the new system). Moroso finished third in the season finale that year at Martinsville while Houston finished 24th (engine) to win the title by 55 points.

8 -- The past eight races at Homestead have been won by Cup Series drivers; only three of the 17 races there have been won by non-Cup competitors: Kevin Lepage (1996), Scott Wimmer (2002) and Kasey Kahne (2003).

36 -- Michael Annett made his first career start at Homestead in 2008, starting 29th and finishing 36th (crash). His best finish at Homestead is 19th in last year's race. Annett has finished in the top 10 in 17 races this season after entering 2012 with only 13 top-10 finishes in 105 prior starts. All six of his top-five finishes in the NNS have come in the past 18 races. Among the 22 tracks that the NNS competed on in 2012, Annett had his best finish on 15 of them.

SPRINT CUP SERIES

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Breakout Number

20 -- Brad Keselowski finished 20th at Homestead last year, which is right about his average. He has an average starting position and average finish of 20.2. His best finish there is 13th, in 2011. His best starting position is fifth, last year, which marked his first race there in the No. 2 car. He led 11 laps in that race. For comparison's sake, Jimmie Johnson has finished worse than 20th three times in 11 races at Homestead, including 32nd last year. All his other finishes but one have resulted in top-10s; his best finish is second (twice), most recently in 2010.

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Track Tidbits

2 -- Homestead is just one of two tracks at which Hendrick Motorsports is winless. The other is Kentucky, which joined the Cup circuit in 2011.

2 -- The pole winner has finished in the top 10 in all but two of the 13 races at Homestead. Only two drivers have won from the pole: Bill Elliott (2001) and Kurt Busch (2002).

5.25 -- Carl Edwards has finished in the top 10 in seven of eight races at Homestead. His average finish of 5.25 is the best of all drivers and his personal best at any track. Edwards, who is on a 68-race winless streak, the second-longest of his career, is a two-time winner at Homestead, most recently in 2010.

Recent Trends

2 -- A non-Chase driver has won twice at Homestead during the Chase era, both by Greg Biffle (2004 and '06). Biffle's three wins are tied with Tony Stewart for the most.

6 -- The season champion has finished in the top 10 six times in the eight Chase races at Homestead, and in the top five in the past three years, including Tony Stewart's victory last season, the only time the HMS race has been won by the season's champion.

36 -- Three of the past four races at Homestead have had a final green-flag stretch of more than 36 laps. The final lead change has taken place with 36 or fewer laps left in 11 of 13 races, and less than 20 in nine races.

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