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By the Numbers: Personal bests, records highlight Nationwide in '11

December 18, 2011, ,

A comprehensive look at the numbers that comprised the 2011 season in the Nationwide Series:

1 -- Times in series history a team won the drivers' and owners' championships in the same season but with different teams: Roush Fenway Racing this year. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won the drivers' title; Roush's No. 60 car won the owners' championship.

Side note: The 60 car trailed Joe Gibbs Racing's No. 18 by 48 points with seven races to go; won by three points. (Owner Standings)

1 -- Times in series history a team has swept the first four starting positions in a race: Kevin Harvick Inc. in the 2011 summer race at Daytona. Kevin Harvick won the pole, followed by Tony Stewart on the outside, and Elliott Sadler and Clint Bowyer on Row 2. Sadler, who started third, was the only one of the four to finish in the top 10 (eighth).

Side note: Stewart won the season opener at Daytona for KHI for the second consecutive year. He's won that race four years running, also with Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports.

3 -- Wins for Turner Motorsports, by three drivers: Mark Martin (Las Vegas), Justin Allgaier (Chicagoland) and Reed Sorenson (Road America).

Side note: Each race was won by leading just the final lap.

3 -- Women in the May race at Iowa, the most ever in a series event: Jennifer Jo Cobb finished 26th, Angela Cope 28th and Amber Cope 32nd.

Side note: Women drivers combined to make 35 starts this season: Cobb (18), Danica Patrick (12), Angela Cope (4) and Amber Cope (1).

3 -- Consecutive races (Darlington, Dover, Iowa) in which qualifying was canceled due to rain, the longest streak without time trials in series history.

Side note: All four races that had qualifying canceled took place in a five-race stretch, including Chicagoland.

4 -- Place of finish for Danica Patrick at Las Vegas, the best finish ever by a woman in any of NASCAR's national series.

Side note: Patrick became the first woman to lead a NASCAR event at Daytona when she led one lap there in the season opener.

4 -- Consecutive poles for Roush Fenway Racing during a stretch from Las Vegas to Texas, becoming just the second team to win the pole in four consecutive qualifying sessions (Diamond Ridge Motorsports in 1997).

Side note: Carl Edwards won the pole in three of those races; he won the race at Texas.

4 -- Races in 2011 won by drivers receiving infractions on pit road: Kyle Busch at Talladega after pitting too soon and having too many men in the pits; Joey Logano at Daytona (summer) after going to the rear due to an unapproved impound adjustments and pitting too soon; Carl Edwards at Nashville (summer) after a speeding penalty and again at Atlanta after a removing equipment penalty.

Side note: Marcos Ambrose won at Montreal from the rear due to a driver change, the second race in 2011 won by a driver going to the rear of the field pre-race (Logano at Daytona).

6 -- Races in 2011 that ended with a last-lap pass, a series record for a single season: Tony Stewart passed Clint Bowyer at Daytona; Mark Martin passed Brad Keselowski (cut tire) at Las Vegas; Kyle Busch passed Trevor Bayne at Talladega; Justin Allgaier passed Carl Edwards (out of fuel) at Chicagoland; Reed Sorenson passed Allgaier (out of fuel) at Road America; Joey Logano passed Elliott Sadler at Daytona.

Side note: Busch started 22nd at 'Dega, the farthest back of any winner in 2011.

7 -- Times a driver who got his first series win went on to win the championship in the same season, most recently by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in 2011. The others: Bobby Labonte (1991), Joe Nemechek (1992), Randy LaJoie (1996), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1998), Brian Vickers (2003) and Martin Truex Jr. (2004).

Side note: Stenhouse won twice in 2011, both at Iowa.

11 -- Times Roush Fenway Racing had all three of its cars finish in the top 10, including four of the last five races.

Side note: Carl Edwards finished the season with 15 consecutive top-10s, including 14 top-fives in the stretch (his worst finish a seventh place at Montreal). Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had nine consecutive top-10 finishes to end the season.

2011 Leaders

Top-5sCarl Edwards23
Top-10sCarl Edwards27
PolesCarl Edwards6
Laps LedCarl Edwards1,887
Avg. StartCarl Edwards4.7*
Avg. FinishCarl Edwards6.5*

12 -- Wins for Roush Fenway Racing, its most in a single season. Four drivers won for RFR, matching 2009 for the most drivers to win in a season: Carl Edwards (8), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2), Trevor Bayne (1) and Matt Kenseth (1).

Side note: RFR won three consecutive races with three different drivers in three different cars, the first time any team has ever done that: Dover (Edwards, No. 60); Iowa (Stenhouse, No. 6); Charlotte (Kenseth, No. 16).

14 -- Consecutive races to end the season in which Ricky Stenhouse Jr. led the point standings, the longest streak of the season by more than four times as many races. Stenhouse took the points lead for good following the July race at Lucas Oil Raceway, after gaining 34 points in four races to overtake both Elliott Sadler and Reed Sorenson, both of whom had led during that span.

Side note: Six drivers led the standings in 2011, the most since seven in 2003 (there were also six in '04). Stenhouse led the way with 17 weeks. (Driver Standings)

21 -- Combined win for Carl Edwards (8), Kyle Busch (8) and Brad Keselowski (5). Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2) was the only other driver to win multiple races.

Side note: Eleven drivers won one race: Justin Allgaier, Marcos Ambrose, Trevor Bayne, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Sam Hornish Jr., Mark Martin, Reed Sorenson and Tony Stewart.

28 -- Races in 2011 won from a top-10 starting position, including the last 17 races of the season (eight of those from the front row).

Side note: Eight races were won from the first starting position, including six pole winners: Kyle Busch (Phoenix), Carl Edwards (Texas), Kurt Busch (Watkins Glen), Kyle Busch (Bristol), Edwards (Atlanta) and Brad Keselowski (Homestead). Kyle Busch (Darlington) and Edwards (Dover) also won from first after qualifying was canceled.

56 -- Lead changes in the April race at Talladega, a series record for a single race. The previous high was 36, also at Talledaga in April 2007.

Side note: The three restrictor-plate races in 2011 had a total of 127 lead changes, with 35 and 36 in the two Daytona races.

522 -- Starts for Kenny Wallace, most in series history. Wallace set the mark of 520 at Texas (fall), passing Jason Keller.

Side note: Wallace posted 11 top-10s in 2011, the most he has had in his past five full seasons.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in 2011

• Wins at Iowa in August after blowing an engine coming out of Turn 4 and having Carl Edwards crash into him which pushes him across the finish line for the win.
• Twenty-third driver to win the series championship (30 seasons).
• Seventh different champion in the past seven seasons.
• Third driver to win the championship while driving for Roush Fenway Racing: Greg Biffle (2002) and Carl Edwards (2007); only three Ford drivers to win the title.
• Fourth time that a driver won the series championship the season after winning rookie of the year: Johnny Benson (1995), Kevin Harvick (2001) and Greg Biffle (2002).
• Goes from missing races (DNQ at Nashville in June 2010), being parked by RFR (for three races in 2010) and five DNFs (in 2010) to winning the championship in 2011.
• Season Numbers: Two wins, 15 top-fives, 26 top-10s, 28 lead-lap finishes, 541 laps led, two DNFs, three poles, 7.2 average start, 8.8 average finish.

Kyle Busch in 2011

• Passed Mark Martin for most series wins, at Bristol in August, when he won his 50th race; he got win 51 at Richmond two races later.
• On Lap 256 at Bristol, in March, became the first driver to hit 10,000 career laps led in the series; he finished 2011 with 10,588 laps led.
• Led all 200 laps at Phoenix to become the ninth driver to lead every lap in a series race (Sam Ard and Tommy Ellis are the only drivers to do it more than once). It was the 17th time that a series race was won by a driver leading every lap; the last driver to lead every lap prior to Kyle Busch was Dale Earnhardt Jr., at Daytona in July 2003.
• Hit 11 career series wins from the pole, at Bristol, the most wins from the pole by any driver.
• Became the first driver in series history to win five of the first 10 races of the season; they came in only nine starts.

Carl Edwards in 2011

• Eight wins are the most he has ever had in a single season and the most a Roush Fenway driver ever had in a single season.
• Did not compete in the race at Road America, ending a 210 consecutive start streak that dated to Kentucky in June 2005.
• Led 1,887 laps, the most he has ever led in a single season.
• Led in 17 consecutive starts, his longest career streak.
• Thirty-seven wins tied Kevin Harvick for third all time.
• Led the most laps in 13 races in 2011, ranking third all time for most races leading the most laps in a series season; Kyle • Busch holds the record with 17 in 2009 and also ranks second with 14 in '10.
• Finished either first or second in six consecutive races (first at Atlanta, Dover, Charlotte; second at Richmond, Chicago, Kansas), tying Sam Ard for third all time for most consecutive top-two finishes behind Kyle Busch with 10 and Jack Ingram with nine.

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Check out the 2011 Nationwide Series season with this look of the Year in Pictures: