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By the Numbers: NASCAR adds to historic Indy with NNS debut

July 27, 2012, ,

For Starters

50 -- Indianapolis Motor Speedway becomes the 50th different track to host a Nationwide Series race. There have been 16 previous new tracks since 1995, with a who's who of winners: Dale Jarrett (Homestead-Miami, 1995); Mark Martin (Texas, 1997); Matt Kenseth (Auto Club, 1997 and Pikes Peak, 1998); Jeff Gordon (Phoenix, 1999); Jimmie Johnson (Chicagoland, 2001); Greg Biffle (Nashville, 2001); Kevin Harvick (Kentucky, 2001 and Montreal, 2007); Martin Truex Jr. (Mexico City, 2005); Brad Keselowski (Iowa, 2009); Carl Edwards (Road America, 2010). 2000 series champion Jeff Green has three wins: Las Vegas (1997, his first career victory); Memphis (1999); Kansas (2001). Current points leader Elliott Sadler won the first race at Gateway in 1997.

3 -- Penske Racing, which has a team-most 15 Indianapolis 500 victories, has finished second in the Cup Series at the Brickyard three times, all with Rusty Wallace (1995, 2000 and '02).


Breakout Number

20 -- Twenty drivers entered in the Nationwide inaugural at Indianapolis have previously raced at the Brickyard; 19 in Cup competition. Two are former winners: Paul Menard (2011 in Cup) and Sam Hornish Jr. (2006 Indianapolis 500). Elliott Sadler and Kasey Kahne each have two top-fives in Cup action. Hornish is the only driver to have raced at Indy in Cup and IndyCar. Danica Patrick made seven starts in the Indianapolis 500, with six top-10s.


Recent Trends

2 -- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has started on the pole and finished second in two of the past three races.

2 -- Denny Hamlin has finished second in three of his past four series starts, all in the No. 18 car that he is driving this week. He has finished second five times since his last win, at Richmond in April 2011.

3 -- Michael Annett has three career top-five finishes in his 123 series races; all three have come in the past four races.

5 -- Justin Allgaier has finished in the top 10 in the past five races, matching his career-best streak of top-10 finishes for the third time. He has finished in the top 10 in eight of the past nine races.

6 -- Sam Hornish Jr. has finished in the top 10 in the past six races, the longest current streak and his career longest streak.

9 -- Paul Menard has finished in the top 10 in his past nine series starts, all in the No. 33 car that he is driving this week. He won the pole for two of his past three starts with a best finish of the season coming at Texas (second).


Breakout Number

3 -- Juan Montoya, the 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner, has started on the front row in three of his five Cup races at the Brickyard, including the pole in 2010. However, after he finished second in his first Cup start at Indy in 2007, Montoya has finished 28th or worse in three of the past four races, including two crashes and even more heartache. In 2009, Montoya led 116 of the first 136 laps before a speeding penalty on his final stop took him out of contention; he finished 11th. In 2010, Montoya led 86 of the first 139 laps but restarted ninth after a four-tire stop; he finished 32nd after an accident trying to get back to the front four laps after the restart.


Track Tidbits

1 -- There has been one green-white-checkered finished at Indianapolis. In 2004, the race went one lap past the scheduled distance with Jeff Gordon maintaining his lead for the win. It was the first G-W-C in Cup history.

3 -- Indy is one of three active tracks at which Roush Fenway hasn't won: Chicagoland and Kentucky. A Roush driver has finished second four times: Mark Martin (1993); Matt Kenseth (2003 and '06); and Carl Edwards (2008).

13 -- Chevrolet has won 13 of the 18 races at Indy including the past nine. Ford has three wins, most recently in 1999 by Dale Jarrett, who has two of those victories; Pontiac (2000 with Bobby Labonte) and Dodge (2002 with Bill Elliott) have one win each.

Recent Trends

1 -- Kyle Busch has only one top-10 finish in the past seven races, having fallen from eighth to 13th in points during that span. He has five top-10s in seven starts at Indy.

3 -- Kasey Kahne has finished no worse than seventh in the past three races, including a win the last time out at New Hampshire. It continues his up-and-down season in which he started out with four finishes of 29th or worse, rebounded with a seven-race stretch of top-10s (including a win) and faltered in a three-race span with two DNFs (crashes) before his most recent uptick. His track record at Indy has been similarly up-and-down: back-to-back top-fives in his first two races, followed by consecutive DNFs (crashes) and back-to-back seventh-place finishes. He led a race-high 48 laps last year but finished 18th.

6 -- The final lead change has taken place after Lap 149 of 160 in six of the past seven races at the Brickyard. The lone exception came in 2009, when Jimmie Johnson led the final 24 laps, the only laps he led in that race. Paul Menard passed Jamie McMurray with four laps left last year, the fewest laps remaining when the winning pass was made.

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