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By the Numbers: Big feats at Texas, but no trifecta

November 03, 2011, ,

Texas Motor Speedway is a 1.5-mile quad-oval with 24 degrees banking in the turns. The frontstretch is 2,250 feet with 5 degrees banking; the backstretch is 1,330 feet with 5 degrees banking.

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2 -- Consecutive fall victories at Texas for Kyle Busch, who has raced only in the series' companion weekend those years. In fact, of Busch's eight starts at TMS, all but one has come in the fall.

Side note: Outside of two DNFs (one crash, one engine), Busch has never finished worse than third at Texas.

4 -- Times a rookie contender won at Texas: Kenny Irwin Jr. (1997); Travis Kvpail (2001); and Brendan Gaughan (both races in 2002). Parker Kligerman, fourth in rookie points this year, finished second in the June race at Texas.

Side note 1: Kligerman made his first career start at Texas, last fall; he finished ninth.

Side note 2: Three rookies finished in the top 10 in June: 2. Kligerman; 5. Joey Coulter; 8. Miguel Paludo. Another rookie, Johanna Long, finished a career-best 11th.

20 -- Difference in points earned from June winner Ron Hornaday (47) and Austin Dillon, who finished 26th, despite the fact Dillon led 46 laps to Hornaday's 18. Hornaday has made up 27 points on Dillon in the past three races and now trails the championship leader by 15 points.

Side note 1: Hornaday is a three-time winner at Texas and the track's all-time lap leader (681); he has led in the past nine races and in 13 of his 17 starts there.

Side note 2: Dillon has been involved in crashes in the past two races at Texas after finishing third in his debut; in three races his average starting position is 3.3, average finish is 18.0.

56 -- Laps led by Johnny Sauter in the June race at Texas, most of any driver. Battling Ron Hornaday for the victory, Sauter was black-flagged for changing lanes before crossing the start/finish line on a green-white-checkered restart and eventually was credited with 22nd place. Sauter officially sits fourth in the standings, and like Hornaday is 15 points behind the leader.

Side note: Sauter posted runner-up finishes in both races at Texas in 2010; he finished sixth in both races in '09.

Very Interesting

3 -- Championship contenders who scored their first career poles at Texas: Johnny Sauter (June 2009); Austin Dillon (June 2010); and James Buescher (June 2011). All posted top-10 finishes: Dillon (third); Sauter (sixth); and Buescher (ninth).

Side note: Buescher, second in points, 11 behind Dillon, has posted three consecutive top-10 finishes at Texas.

* June race at Texas: Results | Videos

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1 -- Starting position of April winner Carl Edwards, just the second time in series history the race at Texas was won from the pole. Kyle Busch did so in April 2009.

Side note: Edwards has won the past two races at Texas; his victory last fall ended Busch's run of five in a row at TMS.

3 -- Cautions in the April race at Texas, a track record for fewest yellows in a series event there. Eight of the past 10 races have had five cautions or fewer, and there hasn't been a double-digit caution race at TMS since there were 10 in March 2003.

Side note: The last green-flag stretch of the Texas race in April was 72 laps, the second-longest final green stretch of the 2011 season (Chicagoland: 131 laps).

5 -- Consecutive top-fives at Texas for Brad Keselowski, the longest current streak; his top-10 run is at six consecutive races.

Side note: If patterns are to be believed, Keselowski will win this week's race; he has finished (in order) fifth, fourth, third and second in the past four races.

34 -- Place of finish in the April race at Texas for Kyle Busch, ending a string of seven consecutive races of finishing either first or second. Busch, who crashed out after 88 laps, also failed to lead a lap for the first time in the past nine races.

Side note: Busch has led 1,187 laps at Texas, tops among all drivers. He holds the track mark for most laps led by a winner (179 in November 2009) and by a non-winner (147 in November 2004), finishing second in his first series start at the track.

Very Interesting

2 -- Difference in points earned in the April race at Texas between the top two championship contenders: Elliott Sadler finished fifth and earned 39 points (best of all drivers eligible for the championship); Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished eighth and earned 37 points (one bonus point included for leading five laps).

Side note: Stenhouse leads Sadler by 15 points; both drivers are tied for points earned on 1.5 mile tracks in 2011.

* April race at Texas: Results | Videos

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2 -- Times in the past four races the final green-flag stretch was more than 100 laps: 122 in November 2009; 113 in April 2011. In between, the final green stretch was 12 laps in April 2010 and three laps in November '10.

Side note: The final green stretch has been less than 55 laps in 18 of the 21 races at Texas; the three more than 55 have all occurred in the past six races (65 in November 2008).

5 -- Drivers who have made at least 10 starts at Texas and have at least three top-fives but are winless: Bobby Labonte (21 starts/3 top-fives); Kevin Harvick (17/3); Jamie McMurray (15/3); Kyle busch (13/4); Clint Bowyer (11/3). Bowyer finished second in April.

Side note: Labonte is one of four drivers who have made all 21 races at Texas. Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin are the others.

33 -- Lead changes in last fall's race at Texas, most in track history. There were 31 lead changes in this past April's race.

Side note: The November 2009 race produced only 13 lead changes, tied for fewest in track history.

36 -- Place of finish (crash DNF) in the April race at Texas for Mark Martin, ending a run of four top-six finishes in the No. 5 car.

Side note: Martin has finished on the lead lap a Texas-most 15 times; his 12 top-10s are tied with Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth for most of all drivers.

Very Interesting

4 -- Times the winner at Texas has started 29th or worse, the same amount as winners who have started on the front row. Only one driver (Kasey Kahne in April 2007) has won from the pole.

Side note: Six of the past 11 races have been won from the first two rows (April winner Matt Kenseth started fourth); 15 of the 21 races have been won from Row 6 or better.

* April race at Texas: Results | Videos

TEXAS | Chase for the Sprint Cup

5 -- Drivers in this year's Chase who finished in the top 10 in the April race at Texas: 1. Matt Kenseth; 3. Carl Edwards; 8. Jimmie Johnson; 9. Dale Earnhardt Jr.; 10. Kurt Busch.

Side note: Tony Stewart (12th) was the only other Chaser to finish on the lead lap. Jeff Gordon (23rd) was the lowest-finishing Chaser.

8 -- Consecutive races won at Texas by drivers in this year's Chase, beginning with Jimmie Johnson's victory in the Chase race there in 2007. Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin each have won twice since, and Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch and Matt Kenseth once.

Side note: Drivers in this season's Chase combined have won 13 of the 21 races at Texas: Edwards (3); Kenseth and Hamlin (2); and Busch, Gordon, Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart (1).

19 -- Place of finish for Brad Keselowski in his first career start in the Cup Series, at Texas in November 2008. Kenseth was driving the No. 25 Chevrolet of Hendrick Motorsports and finished two laps off the pace. He has never finished on the lead lap in six career starts at Texas.

Side note: Keselowski led for the first time at Texas in April (32 laps) and posted his second-best finish at the track (18th).

31 -- Starting position of Matt Kenseth in April 2002, the worst of any winner at Texas. Kenseth didn't take his first lead until Lap 242, then led 85 of the final 93 laps.

Side note: Kenseth led 169 laps in winning at Texas in April.

Very Interesting

278 -- Laps led by Tony Stewart in November 2006, the most laps led by a Texas winner.

Side note: Stewart is the only driver to win a Chase race at Texas who wasn't in that season's Chase.

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0 -- Drivers who have won a NASCAR national tour race in all three series at Texas. Eight drivers have won in two of the three series, six in Nationwide/Cup (Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth and Mark Martin); one in Truck/Cup (Greg Biffle); and one in Truck/Nationwide (Kyle Busch).

Side note: Kyle Busch holds the track record for most laps led in a Cup race by a non-winner: 232 in November 2009.

2 -- Nationwide races at Texas won by a series-only driver: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (April 1998) and Jeff Purvis (April 2002).

Side note: Earnhardt and Purvis each led six laps in those races, tied for fewest led by a winner.

3 -- Times a team swept a Nationwide/Cup weekend at Texas: Roush Racing in the 1997 inaugural (Nationwide -- Jeff Burton; Cup -- Mark Martin); Joe Gibbs Racing in April 2010 (Nationwide -- Kyle Busch; Cup -- Denny Hamlin); Roush Fenway Racing in April 2011 (Nationwide -- Carl Edwards; Cup -- Matt Kenseth).

Side note: Roush leads all teams with most wins at Texas in both the Nationwide (6) and Cup (8). JGR is second in Nationwide (5) and tied for second in Cup (3) in team victories.

7 -- Combined Truck (2) and Nationwide (5) wins at Texas for Kyle Busch, who is the youngest winner in track history for both series: 22 years, 11 months, 30 days on Nov. 1, 2008, in winning the Nationwide race; 24 years, 6 months, 4 days on Nov. 6, 2009, in winning the Truck race.

Side note 1: Busch set the track record for the 147-lap (350k) Truck race at Texas on that same date, at 146.296 mph; in the spring Nationwide event in 2008, Busch set that Texas race record, at 151.707 mph.

Side note 2: Busch also is the youngest Nationwide pole winner at Texas, 18 years, 11 months on April 3, 2004.

Very Interesting

2008: Year in which a driver swept the season at Texas in each of the three national series: Ron Hornaday (Truck); Kyle Busch (Nationwide); and Carl Edwards (Cup).

Side note: Two drivers have swept back-to-back years at Texas: Brendan Gaughan (2002 and '03) in Truck; and Kyle Busch (2008 and '09) in Nationwide.

TEXAS HISTORY | Hall of Fame

3 -- Top-10s in four starts at Texas Motor Speedway for Dale Earnhardt, just one of two Hall of Fame drivers who raced at the current track.

Side note: Darrell Waltrip also made four starts at TMS, with a best finish of 24th in 2000.

3 -- Wins for Richard Petty at Texas World Speedway, which held eight sanctioned races from 1969 through 1981. Petty was the only multiple winner at the 2-mile oval located in College Station, Texas.

Side note: Hall of Famers Darrell Waltrip and Cale Yarborough each won once at Texas World Speedway.

5 -- Hall of Fame drivers who had top-10 average finish at Texas World Speedway: Richard Petty (4.9 in eight starts); Dale Earnhardt (7.7 in three starts); Bobby Allison (8.2 in eight starts); Cale Yarborough (8.6 in five starts); Darrell Waltrip (9.2 in four starts).

Side note: Petty posted a track-high seven top-10s; he and Allison tied for most top-fives with six.

1980 -- Year Hall of Fame drivers swept the top four finishing positions at Texas World Speedway: 1. Cale Yarborough; 2. Richard Petty; 3. Bobby Allison; 4. Darrell Waltrip. In all, five Hall of Famers finished in the top 10; Dale Earnhardt was ninth.

Side note: David Pearson is the only other Hall of Fame driver who raced at Texas World Speedway, starting second and sixth in his two races, leading 31 laps in the 1969 inaugural; he failed to finish either due to mechanical issues.

Very Interesting

14 -- Starting field for the 1971 race at Meyer Speedway, the only other track in Texas to host a Cup event. Bobby Allison won the only race held at the half-mile oval in Houston, starting from the pole and leading 253 of the 300 laps.

Side note: Richard Petty is the only other Hall of Famer who competed in the race; he started second and led 38 laps before being slowed by an electrical problem (he finished seventh).

* Retro Racing: Lone stars highlight Meyer in '71| Storied history at Texas World Speedway

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