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By the Numbers: Legendary numbers abound at historic Bristol

September 01, 2011, ,

Bristol Motor Speedway is a .533-mile oval with 26 to 30 degrees banking in the turns. The frontstretch is 650 feet with 5 to 9 degrees banking; the backstretch is 650 feet with 4 to 8 degrees banking.

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3 -- Wins for Kyle Busch in the past 11 races at Bristol, the only repeat winner during that stretch. Busch has won the past two races at BMS, the first driver to win consecutive races there since Steve Grissom swept the season series in 1995.

Side note 1: Grissom is the only driver to sweep the season at Bristol.

Side note 2: No driver has won more than one night race at BMS since Kevin Harvick in 2000 and '01.

3 -- Drivers running for Nationwide points who finished in the top 10 in the March race at Bristol: 4. Elliott Sadler (second in points); 8. Jason Leffler (sixth); 10. Aric Almirola (fifth). The rest of the top 10: 1. Kyle Busch; 2. Kasey Kahne; 3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.; 5. Joey Logano; 6. Kevin Harvick; 7. Carl Edwards; 9. Brad Keselowski. Of that group, Earnhardt, Harvick and Keselowski will not compete in this week's race.

8 -- Races at Bristol since the track surface was repaved for the August 2007 race. During that time cautions are down 31 percent (average of 8.6 per race) and caution laps are down 42 percent (average of 49.6 laps). In the eight races prior on the old surface, the average number of cautions per race was 12.4 for an average of 84.9 laps.

13 -- Races at Bristol since a driver won from the pole: Dale Earnhardt Jr. in August 2004. During that time five races have been won from the first two rows (seven from the top 10); five others have been won from 20th or worse, including three of 30th or worse.

Very Interesting

105 -- Consecutive green-flag laps in the March race at Bristol, the longest in known history at the track.

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5 -- Times in the past 12 races at Bristol the winner started outside the top 10. Each race was won by Kyle Busch. He started 12th in March, his best starting position for any of his victories.

9 -- Times in the past 12 night races at Bristol the margin of victory has been less than 1 second.

10 -- Combined wins at Bristol for Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch, each with five which ties them with Kyle Busch for most among active drivers. However, Gordon hasn't won at BMS since August 2002 (a span now of 17 races); Busch hasn't won since August 2006 (10 races).

Side note: Only two other former Bristol winners hold longer winless droughts at the track: Mark Martin (21 races) and Tony Stewart (19 races).

28.7 -- Average place of finish for Denny Hamlin in the past three races at Bristol, including finishes of 34th and 33rd in the past two races. Hamlin, who currently holds the final wild-card spot, finished sixth or better in the four races prior to his recent woes at BMS.

Very Interesting

17.0 -- Average place of finish for Tony Stewart at Bristol, his worst at any track. He has more finishes outside the top 20 (10) than top-10s (eight).

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3 -- Consecutive Nationwide Series races on concrete won by Carl Edwards. He leads all drivers with eight Nationwide wins on concrete, but has just one in 14 starts at Bristol (March 2007).

Side note: The driver leading the most laps has won the past eight Nationwide races on concrete.

4 -- Wins since Jimmie Johnson scored his 50th career Cup victory, and first at Bristol, in March 2010, a span of 54 races.

11 -- National series wins at Bristol for Kyle Busch: five in Cup, three each in Nationwide and Truck. Busch had won the past five national series races at BMS before a crash in Wednesday night's Truck Series race resulted in a DNF and 30th-place finish, thus snapping a three-race winning streak there in the series. But he still has two-race winning streaks in both Nationwide and Cup on the line this week.

Side note: In 34 national series starts at Bristol, Busch has 19 top-fives and 26 top-10s.

60 -- Laps need by Jeff Gordon to become the fifth driver to lead 2,500 laps at Bristol: Cale Yarborough (4,305), Dale Earnhardt (3,751), Rusty Wallace (3,743) and Darrell Waltrip (3,436).

Very Interesting

50 -- Anniversary year for Bristol Motor Speedway, which held its first NASCAR race on July 31, 1961, won by Jack Smith. Bristol has hosted 101 Cup Series races (the seventh track to hold 100 or more Cup races), 58 in the Nationwide Series and with Wednesday's race, 14 in the Truck Series.


5 -- Wins at Bristol for David Pearson, including the first race on the current 30-degree banking (July 1969).

12 -- Wins at Bristol for Darrell Waltrip (Class of 2012), most of any driver. Waltrip won seven in a row from March 1981 through April 1984, a consecutive wins record he shares with Richard Petty (Class of 2010), who won seven in a row at Richmond

Side note 1: Waltrip scored seven night wins at Bristol, also the most of any driver, including the first on concrete (August 1992).

Side note 2: Waltrip posted top-fives in half of his starts at Bristol (26 of 52).

21 -- Victories at Bristol for Junior Johnson (Class of 2010) and Associates, most of any team in track history. From summer 1971 to spring 1984 (26 races), Johnson teams won 19 times.

Side note: Johnson drove his own car to victory in May 1965. Cale Yarborough (7) and then Darrell Waltrip (8) combined to win 15 races in Johnson's No. 11.

38 -- Consecutive races at Bristol without a DNF for Dale Earnhardt (Class of 2010), a track record. He had only two DNFs in 43 starts, both for crashes in 1981. His streak began in March 1982 and continued until his final race there in August 2000.

Side note: Earnhardt, a nine-time Bristol winner, holds the track mark as the older winner when he passed Terry Labonte on the final lap on Aug. 28, 1999 at 48 years, 3 months, 30 days.

Very Interesting

500 -- Laps led by Cale Yarborough (Class of 2012) in the March 1973 race at Bristol, a Cup Series record. Yarborough won nine times at Bristol and led more than half the race laps in each victory. In the nine wins he led 3,336 laps, an average of 371 per race. He is the all-time laps led leader, 4,306 in 29 races.

Side note 1: Yarborough won the inaugural night race at Bristol in 1978.

Side note 2: Class of 2012 inductees Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip figure prominently in the history at Bristol. They are the only drivers to win three consecutive summer races at BMS -- Yarborough (1976-78) and Waltrip (1981-83) -- and are the only drivers to sweep the season series three times.

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