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By the Numbers: Daytona gets things going, for openers

February 24, 2012, ,

Todd Bodine is the only repeat winner in the 12-race history of the Truck Series at Daytona (2008, 2009). Bodine also has the most top-fives (6) and laps led (136).



0 -- A Chevrolet has yet to win at Daytona in 12 races in the Truck Series. The only other tracks at which Chevrolet has not won in series history are Darlington (five races), Chicago Motor Speedway (two) and North Wilkesboro (two).

0 -- No driver has won the season opener at Daytona and gone on to win the championship. Mike Skinner (1995) and Ron Hornaday (1998) have won the first race of the season (not at Daytona) and gone on to win the championship in the same year.

1 -- David Starr is the only driver to compete in all 12 Truck Series races at Daytona. Starr's average finish is 18.3, with one top-five and three top-10s. All three of his DNFs (one engine, two crashes) came in his first four races. His engine failure happened on Lap 10; the crashes came on Lap 3 and Lap 1.

3 -- Three drivers have won from the pole at Daytona: Joe Ruttman (2001), Mark Martin (2006) and Jack Sprague (2007). Joe Ruttman is the only repeat pole winner at Daytona (2000, 2001)

4 -- There have been four green-white-checkered finishes at Daytona: 2001, 2003, 2006, and 2011. Michael Waltrip (2011) is the only driver who wasn't leading at the end of regulation to win (Elliott Sadler has led the previous 32 laps). Waltrip's last-lap pass of Sadler is one of four at Daytona: Bobby Hamilton passed Jimmy Spencer (2005); Jack Sprague passed Travis Kvapil (2007); Timothy Peters passed Todd Bodine (2010).

77 -- The driver who has led Lap 77 has yet to go on to win at Daytona. This is the only lap a race winner has not led in 12 races.

The final green-flag stretch at Daytona has been seven laps or less in eight of the past nine Nationwide Series races. The lone exception occurred in the 2010 opener (20 laps).



0 -- Daytona is one of only three active tracks at which Roush Fenway Racing has yet to win; Chicagoland and Watkins Glen are the other two. Roush drivers have finished second at Daytona four times (Edwards and Biffle with two each).

0.007 -- The 0.007 margin of victory in last year's opener at Daytona was the closest ever at the track; it was the third closest MOV in series history.

2 -- Only two of the past 20 Daytona races were won by series-only drivers, both in the summer: Mike Wallace (2004) and Martin Truex Jr. (2005). Only two non-Cup regular drivers won at Daytona in 30 February races (since 1982): Chad Little (1995), Randy LaJoie (1997, 1999 and 2001).

5 -- The driver leading the most laps had won five consecutive races at Daytona until last year. Tony Stewart led only 13 laps last Febuary, including a last-lap pass of Clint Bowyer for the win. Both races last year were decided by a last-lap pass; that occurred only four times in 38 previous races.

6 -- Six races at Daytona ended with a green-white-checkered finish but all six were in the summer race.

6 -- Tony Stewart has six Daytona wins, tied for second all time with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and only one behind Dale Earnhardt at seven. All six wins came in the past seven February races, including the past four. Stewart and Junior combined have won 12 of the past 20 Daytona races.

Jimmie Johnson's average finish in the five Daytona 500s since his 2006 win is 32nd: 39th in 2007, 27th in 2008, 31st in 2009, 35th in 2010 and 27th in 2011. Johnson finished in the top five in four of his first five 500 starts.



3 -- Kurt Busch has finished second three times in his 11 Daytona 500s, and in the top five six times, including fifth in 2011. He's finished in the top five in 10 of his 22 Daytona races. Busch has the most plate-race top-fives (16), most top-10s (25) and led the most laps (372) of all drivers who have never won a restrictor-plate race (44 races). He has the best average finish in the past 10 Daytona races (11.4).

5 -- The reigning champion has won the Daytona 500 five times: Lee Petty (1959), Richard Petty (1973), Cale Yarborough (1977), Jeff Gordon (1999) and Dale Jarrett (2000).

6 -- Hendrick Motorsports has six Daytona 500 wins, ranking second only to Petty Enterprises with nine: Jeff Gordon (3), Geoffrey Bodine (1), Jimmie Johnson (1) and Darrell Waltrip (1). However, in the past five 500s, Hendrick only has four total top-10s out of 20 possibilities: Gordon (10th in 2007); Dale Earnhardt Jr. (9th in 2008); Earnhardt (2nd in 2010); Mark Martin (10th in 2011). Hendrick enters the season with 199 career wins.

8 -- The winner of the Daytona 500 finished outside the top 10 in the final point standings in eight of the past 11 seasons: Michael Waltrip (24th in 2001), Ward Burton (25th in 2002), Waltrip (15th in 2003), Jeff Gordon (11th in 2005), Ryan Newman (17th in 2008), Matt Kenseth (14th in 2009), Jamie McMurray (14th in 2010) and Trevor Bayne (53rd in 2011). The exceptions: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (fifth in 2004), Jimmie Johnson (first in 2006) and Kevin Harvick (10th in 2007).

8 -- Each of the past five Daytona 500 winners led less than eight laps in their victory; the five winners combined led a total of 27 laps: Kevin Harvick (four in 2007), Ryan Newman (eight in 2008), Matt Kenseth (seven in 2009), Jamie McMurray (two in 2010) and Trevor Bayne (six in 2011). Michael Waltrip, in 2003, is the only driver to lead the most laps (68 out of a rain-shortened 109) and win in the past 11 500s.

10 -- The past 10 Daytona 500s were won by 10 different drivers, the longest streak of 500 winners without a repeat winner (starting from 2002): Ward Burton, Michael Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray and Trevor Bayne. The past six Daytona 500s were won by drivers getting their first 500 victory.

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