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By the Numbers: Heart of the matter in Heartland of racing

July 28, 2011, ,

Lucas Oil Raceway is a .686-mile paved oval with 7.5 degrees banking in the turns. The frontstretch and backstretch are each 699 feet with 2 degrees banking.

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4 -- Wins at Lucas Oil for Ron Hornaday, including the past two races and three in the past four. His first victory was in 1997, driving the No. 16 Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt Inc.

Side note 1: Hornaday is the only driver entered in this week's race who has won a series race at LOR; he's also the only driver to have won at LOR in both the Truck and Nationwide series.

Side note 2: Hornaday has eight top-fives in 11 starts at Lucas Oil; his worst finish in the past six races there is third (twice) and he has led the most laps in each of the past four races.

6 -- Best place of finish (2007) for Todd Bodine in six starts at Lucas Oil, one of three active tracks at which he has failed to score a top-five (Iowa and Pocono). Bodine finished seventh last year, his third top-10 at LOR.

Side note: Bodine has 21 Truck wins, but none have come on a track 1 mile or shorter. He is the only series champion who has not won on a short track.

7 -- Top-10s at Lucas Oil for Matt Crafton, third-most in track history behind Dennis Setzer (nine) and Ron Hornaday (eight). Crafton has top-five finishes in three of the past six races at LOR, including two in the past three; he finished a track-best third last year.

15 -- Races at Lucas Oil won from a top-five starting position. The only race won from outside the top five was in 2008, when Johnny Benson started eighth. The average starting position of LOR winners is 2.9.

Side note: Five races at Lucas Oil have been won from the pole, but none in the past five races.

Very Interesting (Historical perspective)

3 -- Tracks at which the Truck Series has competed every year: Martinsville, Phoenix and Lucas Oil Raceway. Some moments from the past:

* Mike Skinner led every lap in the first two races (1995 and '96) at Lucas Oil.

* In 1997, Ron Hornaday won by passing Jimmy Hensley in overtime. Hensley led the first 200 laps, Hornaday only led the final two.

* In 2001, Kyle Busch made his NASCAR national series debut, at age 16 years, 3 months, 1 day; he finished ninth.

* In 2001, Joe Ruttman became the oldest pole winner in series history (56 years, 9 months, 6 days); two weeks later, at Chicago Motor Speedway, he broke that record and it still stands today (56 years, 9 months, 20 days).

* In 2004, Chad Chaffin passed Johnny Sauter on the last lap, leading only that final lap. It is the only last- lap pass at LOR.

* Ten of the 16 races have been won by a series champion. Five won there during their championship season: Mike Skinner (1995), Jack Sprague (2001), Johnny Benson (2008) and Ron Hornaday (2007, '09, '10).

Side note: The Truck Series is not expected to race at Lucas Oil in 2012.

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3 -- Victories at Lucas Oil for both Morgan Shepherd and Kyle Busch, most in track history. Shepherd won two of the first three races at LOR, including the inaugural in 1982, and three of the first seven. Busch has won two of the past three races, including last year, and three of the past seven.

3 -- Consecutive top-10 finishes at Lucas Oil for Steve Wallace, tied with Kyle Busch for the longest current streak. Wallace is one of three drivers -- Trevor Bayne and Brad Keselowski -- who have started in the top 10 in the past two races.

5 -- Times in the past six races at Lucas Oil the driver leading the most laps has won, including Carl Edwards in 2009, who led 72 laps despite starting 42nd. The lone exception during that time was in 2007 when Jason Leffler led only the final three laps.

Side note: Leffler has not won since.

16 -- Times in the past 17 races at Lucas Oil the pole winner has finished eighth or better, including four of the five times the pole-sitter has won the race.

Side note: LOR has not been won from the pole since 2002 (Greg Biffle).

Very Interesting (Historical perspective)

30 -- Years the Nationwide race at Lucas Oil has been known as the Kroger 200; it is the only race on the series schedule that has had the same sponsor. Some moments from the past:

* In 1983, Tommy Houston passed Tommy Ellis on the last lap to win; it was Houston's only win in 15 starts at the track. However, he is LOR's all-time leader in top-fives (nine) and top-10s (10).

* In 1987, Larry Pearson passed Elton Sawyer on the last lap; it's the only other time in track history there has been a last-lap pass for the win at LOR. Pearson's led only that final lap, the fewest of any race winner.

* In 1988, Morgan Shepherd led the first three laps and the final seven to set the mark as the oldest winner (46 years, 9 months, 25 days) in track history that still stands. Shepherd also holds the track record for most laps led in the most races (three).

* In 2003, Shane Hmiel started on the pole and led 153 laps, the most of any non-winner; he finished fourth, one of 10 career top-fives for the since-banned driver. (The story of Shane Hmiel: Part 1 | Part 2)

* In 2004, Kyle Busch became the youngest race winner at 19 years, 3 months, 5 days.

* In 2008, Kyle Busch led 197 of 200 laps, most of any race winner. He led every green-flag lap.

* In 2009, Carl Edwards started 42nd, the farthest back of any short-track winner in series history.

* In 2010, Trevor Bayne won the pole for the second consecutive year, ending a streak of 13 different pole winners in as many races. In '09, Bayne became the youngest (18 years, 5 months, 6 days) pole winner in track history.

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Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a 2.5-mile oval with 9 degrees banking in the turns (60 feet wide). The frontstretch and backstretch (50 feet wide) are each 3,330 feet with 0 degrees banking. It has two chutes of 660 feet each.

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3 -- Consecutive top-10s at Indy for Greg Biffle, the longest current streak. Biffle scored his first two top-fives in the past two races, including a track-best third last year.

8 -- Consecutive races won at Indy by Chevrolet. Six drivers have comprised to win 12 of the 17 races at the Brickyard in a Chevrolet: Jeff Gordon (four); Jimmie Johnson (three); Tony Stewart (two); and Dale Earnhardt, Kevin Harvick and Jamie McMurray (one each).

Side note 1: Ford is the only other make with more than one win (three), but by no current driver.

Side note 2: Only six former Brickyard winners are entered this week: Gordon, Johnson, Stewart, Harvick, McMurray and Bobby Labonte, who won in a Pontiac for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2000.

9.24 -- Total amount of money won, in millions of dollars, by the 17 winners at Indy, an average $543,000 per race. The total purses for all the Brickyard 400s is in excess of $120 million, an average of $7 million per race and approximately $164,000 per competitor. Jeff Gordon has won more than $6 million in 17 races.

59 -- Most consecutive laps led at Indy, by Juan Montoya in 2009. Montoya led 90 of 91 laps before a pit-road speeding penalty ended his chance of winning. Montoya's 116 laps led are the most of any non-winner at the Brickyard.

Very Interesting

1 -- Green-white-checkered finishes at Indy: In 2004, a four-lap caution for a three-car wreck involving Brian Vickers, Ryan Newman and Terry Labonte in Turn 2 precipitated the first G-W-C in Cup Series history. The race ended under caution, one lap past the scheduled distance, for another wreck involving Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ricky Rudd on the backstretch.

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