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By the Numbers: Starting points at Texas and Rockingham

April 14, 2012, ,

Truck Series set to welcome another first-time track in Rockingham

For Starters

1 -- The Camping World Truck Series starts a new era at Rockingham Speedway by running its first race at the track, which hosted 78 Cup and 42 Nationwide races when it was known as North Carolina Motor Speedway and later North Carolina Speedway. Other uses for Rockingham Speedway included movie locations for Days of Thunder, 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story and Talladega Nights; commercial location for UPS; and the truck pull event during the 2011 World's Strongest Man competition.

3 -- Kasey Kahne is the only driver entered in all three races this weekend: Nationwide and Cup at Texas; Truck at Rockingham.


Breakout Number

4 -- Drivers entered in this week's race who have won a Nationwide race at Texas: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1998), Joe Nemechek (2003), Kasey Kahne (2005) and Kurt Busch (2006). Busch is driving Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 54 Toyota in place of his brother, who has the most wins (5), top-fives (10) and laps led (1,187) of any driver at TMS.


Track Tidbits

1 -- Kurt Busch is the only driver to win at Texas in his first series start, in April 2006. Two other drivers also scored their first win at Texas: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (April 1998, in his 16th series start), his win the only last-lap pass in TMS history; and Trevor Bayne (November 2011, in his 77th start), who set the mark for youngest winner at 20 years, 8 months, 17 days. He is not entered in this week's race.

5 -- Five of the past seven races at Texas have been won from the first two rows, including two from the pole. Neither of those drivers -- Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards, are entered in this week's race. Those two drivers combined to lead the most laps in nine of the past 10 races.

15 -- Trevor Bayne's win at Texas this past November was the first race won by a non-Cup regular since Jeff Purvis won there in April 2002 (15 races between). Only one other of the 22 NNS races at Texas has been won by a series-only driver: Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the first in April 1998. Each driver led only six laps, the fewest laps led by a winner at Texas.

Recent Trends

3 -- The three cautions in last April's race at Texas set a track record for fewest yellows. Only one of the 22 series races has had double-digit cautions (10 in 2003). There have been five cautions or fewer in nine of the past 11 races. However, the final green-flag stretch has been 14 laps or less in six of the past eight races at Texas.

4 -- Brad Keselowski has won only five times in 55 races on 1.5-mile tracks, but four have come in the past eight races. Keselowski has current race streaks of six (top-fives) and seven (top-10s) at Texas, with a best finish of second in last April's race.

6 -- Joey Logano has finished second to Kyle Busch six times in the Nationwide Series, including once at Texas (April 2010). Logano has competed in four of the five series races in 2012 and leads all drivers with two poles and 211 laps led (nearly twice as many as any other driver and twice as many as he led in 22 starts in 2011 (106 laps led); he has led the most laps in each of the past two races. He has one win, two top-fives and three top-10s this season.


Breakout Number

2 -- The two fastest pole speeds since Talladega in October 1999 (198.331 mph by Joe Nemechek) have been set at Texas. Brian Vickers topped out at 196.235 mph in November 2006; Elliott Sadler hit 195.397 mph in November 2010. The pole speed of 193.736 mph by Greg Biffle this past November was the fastest qualifying speed of 2011.


Track Tidbits

13 -- Thirteen of the 22 races at Texas have been won from a top-five starting position, including both in 2011. Kasey Kahne, in April 2006, is the only driver to win from the pole. On the other end of the spectrum, Denny Hamlin, who swept the 2010 season, started 29th and 30th. Only two other drivers started as bad or worse: Matt Kenseth (31st) in April 2002 and Carl Edwards (30th) in November 2005.

24 -- The caution laps in the two 2011 races were the fewest at Texas, both with 24. Each race also had a track-low five cautions; in fact, there has been but five cautions in four of the past five races at TMS.

100 -- The race winner has led more than 100 laps in six of the past nine races at Texas. 2011 spring winner Matt Kenseth led 173; Tony Stewart led 169 in the fall. Stewart holds the record for most laps led by a winner with 278 in November 2006. The winner has led the most laps in 10 of the 22 races at Texas.

Recent Trends

4 -- Tony Stewart has won four of the past six races on 1.5-mile tracks, including the past three; he's a two-time winner at Texas, most recently this past November. Jimmie Johnson, who leads all drivers with 16 wins on 1.5-mile tracks, has won only one of the past 21 such races; his lone Texas win came in November 2007.

12 -- Hendrick Motorsports is on a 12-race winless streak, its longest since they went 12 races without a win in the summer stretch of 2005. The last time Hendrick went more than 12 races without a win was in 2002 when it went 15. Hendrick has three victories at Texas, most recently Jeff Gordon (April 2009), and all four of its current drivers are past TMS winners: Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne each have one win.

31 -- There were 31 lead changes in last April's race, just two shy of the record 33 set the race before in November 2010. Race winner Matt Kenseth led nine times for a race-high 169 laps; he also led the longest consecutive stretch of laps (39). Runner-up Clint Bowyer and Kurt Busch, who finished 10th, each led on five occasions.


Breakout Number

3 -- Kasey Kahne has won three of his four starts in the Truck Series, and finished second in the other. Kahne has six career starts at Rockingham: four in the Nationwide Series with an average finish of 23.4 (best of 16th); one in the Cup Series (finished second in the most recent NASCAR race run there in 2004). Kahne will drive the No. 4 Chevrolet for Turner Motorsports at Rockingham.


Track Tidbits

1.017 -- Rockingham Speedway is just past 1 mile in length. The D-shaped oval has a frontstretch length of 1,300 feet, the backstretch is 1,367 feet. It has 22 degrees banking in Turns 1 and 2, 25 degrees banking in Turns 3 and 4, and 8 degrees banking in the straights. The track's surface is asphalt.

4 -- Combined wins in other series at Rockingham by drivers entered in this week's race: Todd Bodine (2) -- Nationwide; Ty Dillon (1) -- ARCA; Parker Kligerman (1) -- ARCA.

4.4 -- Andy Hillenburg, who owns Fast Track Driving School, paid $4.4 million for Rockingham at an auction in October 2007.

Recent Trends

6 -- Six of the top eight drivers in points have never won a series race: 3. Justin Lofton; 4. Ty Dillon; 5. Jason White; 6. James Buescher; 7. Parker Kligerman; 8. Nelson Piquet Jr. Twenty-one points separate the top eight in points.

31 -- Ron Hornaday has won on 31 different tracks in the Truck Series. He has made nine previous starts at Rockingham (2 in Cup, 7 in Nationwide). His best finish (third) came in his first start there, in the Nationwide Series in 2000.

48 -- Rockingham becomes the 48th different track at which the series has competed, including the fourth in the past four years, joining Chicago (2009), Iowa (2009) and Pocono (2010).

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