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By the Numbers: Chicagoland

September 11, 2013, Staff report,

Vital stats for the Geico 400

Track: Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet, Ill., 1.5 miles, asphalt surface, 18-degree banking in turns, 11-degree banking on frontstretch, 5-degree banking on backstretch.

Time/TV: Geico 400, 2 p.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 15. TV: ESPN (coverage starts at 1 p.m. ET). Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

Trailblazers: Kevin Harvick prevailed in the first-ever event for NASCAR’s top series at Chicagoland Speedway in 2001. He repeated the feat the following year and remains the only winner of consecutive Sprint Cup races on the 1.5-mile track. ... Jimmie Johnson notched his first career NASCAR victory at Chicagoland, taking the inaugural Nationwide Series race in Joliet.

.159 seconds is the closest margin of victory recorded at Chicagoland Speedway. Kyle Busch passed Jimmie Johnson in the next-to-last lap in 2008, holding on by one car-length at the checkered flag.

1 is the number of times the the Coors Light Pole Award winner has gone on to win the Sprint Cup main event. That distinction also goes to Busch in 2008.

2 is the number of years that Chicagoland Speedway has served as the opening venue of the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Each year -- Tony Stewart in 2011, Brad Keselowski in 2012 -- the race winner has gone on to capture the series championship. In the 10 years prior to 2011, Chicagoland hosted Sprint Cup races in July.

3 drivers in this season’s Chase are past winners at Chicagoland. They are Kevin Harvick (who won the first two races in Joliet in 2001 and 2002), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2005) and Kyle Busch (2008).

4 is the number of extra laps run in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ only overtime finish at Chicagoland. The race was extended by six miles after eventual winner Jeff Gordon bumped Matt Kenseth from the lead to bring out the final caution period in 2006.

8 is the number of victories by Chevrolets at Chicagoland, tops among all manufacturers. Toyota and Dodge each have two Joliet wins, with Ford still seeking its first triumph on the 1.5-mile Illinois track.

8.5 is the series-best average finish at Chicagoland Speedway of Tony Stewart, who is out for the season with a broken leg suffered in a sprint-car crash Aug. 5. Stewart’s three victories lead the Joliet track’s all-time win list.

10 drivers have competed in every event for NASCAR’s top series at Chicagoland Speedway. They are Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin, Joe Nemechek and Tony Stewart.

14 races in NASCAR’s top series have been held in the state of Illinois. Of that total, 12 have been hosted by Chicagoland Speedway. The other two races took place in NASCAR’s infancy. Dick Rathmann prevailed on July 10, 1954 at Santa Fe Speedway’s half-mile dirt track in Willow Springs, Ill., and NASCAR Hall of Famer Fireball Roberts won on July 21, 1956 on a half-mile paved oval at Soldier Field, home to the NFL’s Chicago Bears.

22 lead changes is the most recorded in a Chicagoland race for NASCAR’s top series. Tony Stewart emerged in that 2011 race; on two other occasions at Chicagoland, the lead has changed hands 20 times.

27 is the number of years in age difference between the youngest and oldest Sprint Cup race winners at Chicagoland Speedway. Kyle Busch was 23 years, 2 months and 10 days old when he won in Illinois in 2008; the following year, Mark Martin took the checkered flag at 50 years, 6 months and 2 days of age.

32 is the worst starting spot for a Chicagoland race winner. Kevin Harvick came from that deep in the field to win in 2002.

74 drivers with a hometown recorded in Illinois have made at least one start in NASCAR’s three national series. Of those, two have at least one victory in NASCAR’s premier series. NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Fred Lorenzen, the “Elmhurst Express,” won 26 times in Cup competition. “Tiger” Tom Pistone, hailing from Chicago, has two victories in NASCAR’s top division.

108.6 driver rating is the best in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season thus far, owned by series leader Matt Kenseth, a five-time winner this season who is winless in 12 career starts at Chicagoland.

116.2 is the series-best Chicagoland Speedway driver rating for Jimmie Johnson, who, despite his all-time series-best 537 laps led in Joliet, has yet to break into Victory Lane there. He has three runner-up finishes among his six top-fives.

145.138 mph is the record for the fastest Sprint Cup race run at Chicagoland, won by David Reutimann in 2010. The event was slowed by just four yellow flags, a record low that was matched in last season’s race.

500 starts across all three NASCAR national series is the milestone that Ryan Newman will achieve by starting Sunday’s Geico 400. Additionally, Joey Logano -- entered in Nationwide and Sprint Cup events this weekend -- is scheduled to achieve 300 national series starts. Kenny Wallace, entered in Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series events this weekend, is scheduled to hit the 900-start plateau in national series competition.

3,204 is the career number of laps completed (out of a possible 3,207) by Mark Martin at Chicagoland Speedway, best in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Martin, the 2009 Joliet winner, has finished on the lead lap in 10 of his 12 starts on the 1.5-mile track.


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