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Keeping Pace

Analyzing The Toyota/Save Mart 350 At Infineon Raceway

The two combatants currently on the Chase bubble – Jeff Burton and David Reutimann – have vastly different experiences at Infineon Raceway, site of Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350.


Courtesy: NASCAR Media Relations

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 15, 2009) – The three points separating David Reutimann in 13th place and Jeff Burton in 12th is the closest margin at the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup cutoff after 15 races.

The previous closest margin after 15 races was four points, in 2005, when the Chase field was 10 drivers. Then, Jamie McMurray in 11th trailed Kevin Harvick in 10th.

The two combatants currently on the Chase bubble – Burton and Reutimann – have vastly different experiences at Infineon Raceway, site of Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350.

Reutimann’s Infineon Raceway experience consists of a single race, and the story is a short one. He started 42nd, finished 40th and advanced only as high as 28th in that race last year. His average running position was 38.2.

Burton’s Infineon career is certainly more prolific, scoring five top 10s in 15 career starts. His best finishes have come recently, with two top 10s in the last three races – including a third-place run in 2007. Over the last four races, he has posted a seventh-best Driver Rating of 96.5.

So, statistically speaking, 12th and 13th may not swap this weekend.

But 12th and 14th might.

In 14th-place sits the dangerous Juan Pablo Montoya, who won in his first visit to Infineon Raceway in 2007. Last season, he finished sixth. In his two Infineon races, Montoya has scored a Driver Rating of 113.2, an Average Running Position of 9.6, seven Fastest Laps Run and a Laps in the Top 15 percentage of 82.4%.

Montoya has two top-10 finishes in a row (eighth at Pocono and sixth at Michigan), the first time in his career he has strung together two consecutive finishes inside the top 10.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Top 12 at Infineon Raceway

 

 

 

Driver

 

 

 

Races

 

 

 

Poles

 

 

 

Wins

 

 

 

Top Fives

 

 

 

Top 10s

 

 

 

DNFs

 

 

 

Average Finish

 

 

 

Driver Rating

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

Tony Stewart

 

10

 

1

 

2

 

3

 

6

 

0

 

10.0

 

109.5

 

2

 

Jeff Gordon

 

16

 

5

 

5

 

10

 

12

 

1

 

9.3

 

100.1

 

3

 

Jimmie Johnson

 

7

 

0

 

0

 

1

 

2

 

1

 

19.3

 

75.2

 

4

 

Kurt Busch

 

8

 

1

 

0

 

3

 

3

 

0

 

19.1

 

102.6

 

5

 

Ryan Newman

 

7

 

0

 

0

 

2

 

5

 

0

 

9.4

 

101.9

 

6

 

Carl Edwards

 

4

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

2

 

0

 

17.8

 

86.7

 

7

 

Greg Biffle

 

6

 

0

 

0

 

2

 

2

 

1

 

14.0

 

89.2

 

8

 

Mark Martin

 

18

 

1

 

1

 

7

 

13

 

1

 

10.1

 

90.2

 

9

 

Kyle Busch

 

4

 

0

 

1

 

1

 

2

 

0

 

15.0

 

104.8

 

10

 

Denny Hamlin

 

3

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

1

 

0

 

16.3

 

76.3

 

11

 

Matt Kenseth

 

9

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

1

 

0

 

21.8

 

73.0

 

12

 

Jeff Burton

 

15

 

0

 

0

 

1

 

5

 

1

 

18.9

 

96.5

 

Selected Driver Highlights
Note: All driver statistics that follow are from Infineon Raceway. The Loop Data statistics – Driver Rating, Average Running Position, etc. – in this release, however, cover the last four races at Infineon Raceway. NASCAR’s scoring loops began collecting data for statistical purposes in 2005.

Jeff Burton (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet)
• One top five, five top 10s
• Average finish of 18.9
• Average Running Position of 11.6, fifth-best
• Driver Rating of 96.5, seventh-best
• Average Green Flag Speed of 89.805 mph, eighth-fastest
• 349 Laps in the Top 15 (79.0%), second-most
• 89 Quality Passes, fourth-most

Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)
• Three top fives, three top 10s; one pole
• Average finish of 19.1
• Average Running Position of 11.4, fourth-best
• Driver Rating of 102.6, fourth-best
• 13 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 89.936 mph, fifth-fastest
• 328 Laps in the Top 15 (74.2%), fourth-most
• 73 Quality Passes, ninth-most

Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Toyota)
• One win, one top five, two top 10s
• Average finish of 15.0
• Average Running Position of 16.3, 13th-best
• Driver Rating of 104.8, third-best
• 37 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 89.964 mph, fourth-fastest
• 268 Laps in the Top 15 (60.6%), eighth-most
• 63 Quality Passes, 13th-most

Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet)
• Five wins, 10 top fives, 12 top 10s; five poles
• Average finish of 9.3
• Average Running Position of 13.2, eighth-best
• Driver Rating of 100.1, sixth-best
• 35 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
• 172 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 89.756 mph, 10th-fastest
• 273 Laps in the Top 15 (61.8%), seventh-most
• 94 Quality Passes, second-most

Robby Gordon (No. 7 Red Stag by Jim Beam/Kid Rock Toyota)
• One win, two top fives, three top 10s
• Average finish of 22.1
• Driver Rating of 91.9, ninth-best
• 49 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 89.916 mph, sixth-fastest
• 236 Laps in the Top 15 (53.4%), 12th-most
• 70 Quality Passes, 10th-most

Mark Martin (No. 5 Kellogg’s/CARQUEST Chevrolet)
• One win, seven top fives, 13 top 10s; one pole
• Average finish of 10.1
• Average Running Position of 12.6, sixth-best
• Driver Rating of 90.2, 10th-best

Jamie McMurray (No. 26 Crown Royal Ford)
• One top five, one top 10; one pole
• Average finish of 18.0
• Average Running Position of 12.6, seventh-best
• Driver Rating of 92.7, eighth-best
• 287 Laps in the Top 15 (64.9%), sixth-most

Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Target Chevrolet)
• One win, one top five, two top 10s
• Average finish of 3.5
• Average Running Position of 9.6, second-best
• Series-best Driver Rating of 113.2
• Average Green Flag Speed of 90.020 mph, third-fastest

Ryan Newman (No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet)
• Two top fives, five top 10s
• Average finish of 9.4
• Average Running Position of 9.7, third-best
• Driver Rating of 101.9, fifth-best
• 10 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most
• Series-high 379 Laps in the Top 15 (85.7%)
• 94 Quality Passes, second-most

Tony Stewart (No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet)
• Two wins, three top fives, six top 10s; one pole
• Average finish of 10.0
• Series-best Average Running Position of 9.5
• Driver Rating of 109.5, second-best
• Series-high 58 Fastest Laps Run
• 189 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most
• Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 90.262 mph
• 343 Laps in the Top 15 (77.6%), third-most
• Series-high 127 Quality Passes

At Infineon Raceway:
History

• The track opened as a 2.52-mile road course and drag strip in 1968.
• The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held in 1989.
• The first nine races were 300 kilometers and switched to a 350k format in 1998.
• The track was re-configured to 1.949 miles in 1998 with the installation of an 890-foot chute between the original Turns 4 and 7.
• The track was reconfigured to 2.0 miles in 2001 and re-measured at 1.99 miles in 2002.

Notebook
• There have been 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Infineon Raceway since the first race there in 1989.
• Rusty Wallace won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup pole.
• Ricky Rudd won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
• 12 different drivers have won poles; only three have won more than one.
• Jeff Gordon (five) leads all pole winners. Ricky Rudd has four, including three consecutive (1990-92) and Rusty Wallace has two.
• There have been four different pole winners in the last four races.
• There have been consecutive pole winners three times: Ricky Rudd (1990-92) and Jeff Gordon (1998-99 and 2004-05).
• 12 different drivers have won races; five have multiple victories there – led by Jeff Gordon with five. Ernie Irvan, Ricky Rudd, Tony Stewart and Rusty Wallace (all with two) are the other multiple-race winners.
• Jeff Gordon is also the only driver with consecutive wins, winning in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
• There have been four different race winners in the last four races at Infineon: Tony Stewart (2005), Jeff Gordon (2006), Juan Pablo Montoya (2007) and Kyle Busch (2008). Montoya was a rookie when he won.
• Five of 20 races have been won by the pole winner, including three times by Jeff Gordon. His victory from the pole in 2004 is the most recent.
• The lowest starting position by a race winner was 32nd by Juan Pablo Montoya. Last season, Kyle Busch came close to matching that mark, starting 30th in his Infineon victory.
• Jeff Gordon is the all-time leader in NASCAR Sprint Cup road-course victories with nine. Five of Gordon’s road-course victories have occurred at Infineon Raceway. He has three more victories than any other driver at the Sonoma track. Gordon also heads the all-time pole winners list for Infineon Raceway with five and has led the most laps there with 437 – more than twice the total of Rusty Wallace (171), who has led the second most.

NASCAR in California
• There have been 124 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in California:
• 404 drivers from NASCAR’s three national series (all-time) have their home state recorded as California.
• There have been 32 race winners from California in NASCAR three national series:

Driver

 

 

 

 NSCS

 

 

 

  NNS

 

 

 

NCWTS

 

 

 

Jimmie Johnson

 

 

 

42

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

Marvin Panch

 

 

 

17

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

Ernie Irvan

 

 

 

15

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

Dick Rathmann

 

 

 

13

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

Kevin Harvick

 

 

 

11

 

 

 

33

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

Dan Gurney

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

Eddie Gray

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

Parnelli Jones

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

Eddie Pagan

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

Robby Gordon

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

Ray Elder

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

Danny Letner

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

Marvin Porter

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

Casey Mears

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

Dick Brooks

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

Marvin Burke

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

Jim Cook

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

Lou Figaro

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

Danny Graves

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

Johnny Mantz

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

Bill Norton

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

John Soares

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

Danny Weinberg

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

Ron Hornaday Jr.

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

40

 

 

 

Jason Leffler

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

Mike Skinner

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

26

 

 

 

Joe Ruttman

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

13

 

 

 

David Gilliland

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

Matt Crafton

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

Boris Said

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

Scott Speed

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

Brandon Whitt

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

Infineon Raceway Data

 

Race #: 16 of 36 (6-22-08)

 

Track Size: 1.99 miles

 

Race Length: 110 laps/219 miles/350 kilometers

 

Driver Rating at Infineon Raceway 

 

Juan Pablo Montoya #    113.2

 

Tony Stewart                 109.5

 

Kyle Busch                   104.8

 

Kurt Busch                    102.6

 

Ryan Newman               101.9

 

Jeff Gordon                    100.1

 

Jeff Burton                     96.5

 

Jamie McMurray            92.7

 

Robby Gordon               91.9

 

Mark Martin                   90.2

 

Note: Driver Rating compiled from 2005-2008 races (4 total) at Infineon Raceway.

 

# - Two races only.

 

 

 

Qualifying/Race Data

 

2008 pole winner: Kasey Kahne (92.153 mph, 77.740 seconds)

 

2007 race winner: Kyle Busch, 76.445 mph, 6-22-08)

 

Track qualifying record: Jeff Gordon (94.325 mph, 75.950 secs., 6-24-05)

 

Track race record: Ricky Rudd (81.007 mph, 6-23-02)

 

 

Estimated Pit Window: Every 30-32 laps, based on fuel mileage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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