News & Media

By the Numbers: Road boasts for Road America and Sonoma

June 22, 2012, ,

For Starters

4.048 -- Road America is 4.048 miles long, the largest track the Nationwide Series has ever competed on by 1.338 miles (Montreal is 2.71 miles long). The frontstretch is 3,025 feet, which is longer than Bristol by close to 211 feet (Bristol is 2,814.24 feet long). There is an elevation change of 110 feet from the exit of Turn 14 to the start/finish line.

36 -- There have been 111 road-course races held at 10 tracks in Cup Series history. The most cars to finish on the lead lap is 36, at Sonoma in 2009.


Breakout Number

40 -- Forty percent of the drivers who finished in the top five in the two races at Road America are foreign-born drivers. Ten races in series history have been won by foreign-born drivers, nine of them were on road courses (none at Road America). Seven drivers on the preliminary entry list are foreign-born.


Track Tidbits

2 -- Jacques Villeneuve has two CART wins at Road America (1994, '95) but has yet to put together an uneventful race there in two NNS starts. In 2010, he finished 25th with an engine issue while running second with two laps to go. In 2011, he was penalized for changing lanes before the restart on Lap 25 as the leader and had to do a pass-through under green, and later was involved in a late-race incident with Max Papis and Brian Scott. Villeneuve still managed to finish third. He is driving the No. 22 Dodge of Penske Racing this week.

2 -- Place of finish in both Road America races for Ron Fellows, the only driver with top-fives in both races and one of two (J.R. Fitzpatrick) with top-10s in both. Fellows drove JR Motorsports' No. 88 in 2010 and No. 7 in '11. This week, he'll be in the No. 5. Fellows is tied with Marcos Ambrose and Terry Labonte for most road-course wins with four.

3 -- Three road-course races have ended with a last-lap pass, including two of the past seven races. Reed Sorenson led only the final lap at Road America last season, the only time a road-course race winner led only one lap. The final lead change has taken place with 10 laps or less in six of the past seven races on road courses; the race winner has led less than 10 laps in six of the past 10 such races.

Recent Trends

1 -- Points leader Elliott Sadler was the only driver to finish in the top 10 in all three road-course races last season, including a fourth-place run in his first start at Road America. It's his only top-five in six road-course starts.

7 -- Seven races on road courses -- and three of the past four -- have ended with a green-white-checkered finish, including at Road America last year, the only series race to have three attempts at a G-W-C.

12 -- Michael McDowell has finished 12th or better in all seven of his series starts with Joe Gibbs Racing, including a 12th-place finish last year at Road America. McDowell started on the pole (his only one to date) and led a race-high 30 laps before losing the lead with five to go in a five-car wreck in Turn 4. McDowell has top-10 finishes in his two starts for JGR this season, including a third-place run in the No. 18 (the car he's in this week) at Iowa.


Breakout Number

36 -- Jeff Burton has gone 175 races between victories, the second-longest winless streak in series history (Bill Elliott holds the mark at 226 races). Among the drivers in the top 25 who have 10 or more starts on road courses without a win, his 36 are the most. In 18 races at Sonoma, he has one top-five (2007).


Track Tidbits

2 -- Crew chief Steve Addington has won two of the past four races at Sonoma with two different drivers: Kyle Busch (2008) and Kurt Busch (2011). NASCAR on TNT analyst Larry McReynolds won three races at Sonoma with three different drivers: Ricky Rudd (1989), Davey Allison ('91) and Ernie Irvan ('94). Addington is now crew chief for Tony Stewart, a two-time Sonoma winner. Donnie Wingo, crew chief of the Wood Brothers' No. 21, also has won twice at Sonoma with different drivers: Geoffrey Bodine (1993) and Juan Montoya (2007). The 21 is not entered at Sonoma. Jeff Gordon has won five time with three different crew chiefs: Ray Evernham (2), Robbie Loomis (2) and Steve Letarte (1).

4 -- Four of the five drivers with the best average finish at Sonoma (five or more races) are still active, led by Jeff Gordon at 8.7 (19 starts). Juan Montoya is next at 9.0 (five starts), followed by Clint Bowyer at 11.2 (six starts) and Tony Stewart at 11.5 (13 starts). Bowyer, who has finished a road-course best fourth in three of the past five races at Sonoma, is the only one without a win. The driver with the best average finish at Sonoma is Dale Earnhardt at 8.6 (12 starts). Earnhardt won once, in 1995.

7 -- Jeff Gordon has led the most laps seven times at Sonoma, all coming in a nine-race stretch from 1998 through 2006 in which he won five times, including three from the pole. His 92 laps led in 2004 are the most in track history. Interestingly, Gordon hasn't led a lap in any of the three races in which he has finished second, including last year. In fact, Gordon hasn't led at Sonoma since his victory in 2006.

Recent Trends

5 -- The past five Sonoma races were won by first-time road-course winners: Juan Montoya, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch.

8 -- The winner at Sonoma has led the most laps (30 or more) in eight of the past nine races. The lone exception was Juan Montoya in 2007, who led only the final seven laps after starting 32nd, the farthest back of any road-course winner. The fewest laps by a Sonoma winner is two, set by Davey Allison in 1991 and Dale Earnhardt in '95. Allison passed Ricky Rudd on the final lap, the only last-lap pass in track history.

12 -- The past two races at Sonoma have each had 12 lead changes, most in track history. In 2010, race winner Jimmie Johnson (55) and Marcos Ambrose (35) combined to lead 90 of the 110 laps. In 2011, race winner Kurt Busch led four times for 76 of the 110 laps. Last year's race also tied the track record for most leaders (9) first set in 1998 and equaled again in 2002.

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