Keeping Pace

Race To The Chase Week 2: Analyzing The Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola At Daytona International Speedway

 (The Spokesman-Review)
(The Spokesman-Review)

With the unpredictable nature of a race at Daytona International Speedway (there have been seven different winners in the last seven races), no points standings position is secure.

Courtesy: NASCAR Media Relations

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 29, 2009) – A single point separates 12th-place Juan Pablo Montoya and 13th-place Kasey Kahne on the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup bubble.

It matches the closest Chase cut-off margin through 17 races. In 2005, when there was a 10-driver Chase field, Jeremy Mayfield trailed both Dale Jarrett in 10th and Kurt Busch in ninth by a point.

With the unpredictable nature of a race at Daytona International Speedway (there have been seven different winners in the last seven races), no standings position is secure.

Last season, seven of the top 12 drivers shifted positions after the July Daytona race – and many of those were around the Chase bubble.

The same, and more, should be the case this season – considering how the points currently look.

A mere 17 points separate drivers 10 through 14.

Kahne is one point outside the top 12 and David Reutimann (in 14th) is 12 points out.

But Montoya isn’t the only driver in jeopardy of losing his top-12 spot. Mark Martin in 11th is only four points inside the Chase bubble and Matt Kenseth in 10th is six points inside it.

Statistics suggests a spot in the top 12 is completely up for grabs. Among the drivers in positions 10 through 14, only one driver has a Daytona victory – Kenseth, in this season’s Daytona 500.

Even a Kenseth win would go against historical trends. A Daytona sweep has not occurred in over 25 years. The last to do so was Bobby Allison in 1982.

Kenseth, though, has the top Daytona Driver Rating of the bunch at 95.1.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final 2008 Top 12 at Daytona International Speedway

 

Driver

 

Races

 

Poles

 

Wins

 

Top Fives

 

Top 10s

 

DNFs

 

Average Finish

 

Driver Rating

 

 

1

 

Tony Stewart

 

21

 

1

 

2

 

6

 

11

 

4

 

17.2

 

104.4

 

2

 

Jeff Gordon

 

33

 

3

 

6

 

11

 

17

 

4

 

15.1

 

95.6

 

3

 

Jimmie Johnson

 

15

 

2

 

1

 

5

 

8

 

1

 

15.0

 

91.8

 

4

 

Kurt Busch

 

17

 

0

 

0

 

8

 

9

 

1

 

17.9

 

90.8

 

5

 

Carl Edwards

 

9

 

0

 

0

 

2

 

2

 

2

 

21.4

 

80.7

 

6

 

Denny Hamlin

 

7

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

26.7

 

76.8

 

7

 

Ryan Newman

 

15

 

0

 

1

 

2

 

3

 

3

 

21.0

 

89.1

 

8

 

Kyle Busch

 

9

 

0

 

1

 

4

 

4

 

2

 

18.4

 

100.1

 

9

 

Greg Biffle

 

13

 

1

 

1

 

1

 

3

 

1

 

22.5

 

71.8

 

10

 

Matt Kenseth

 

19

 

0

 

1

 

3

 

8

 

3

 

18.4

 

95.1

 

11

 

Mark Martin

 

48

 

1

 

0

 

9

 

17

 

11

 

17.7

 

85.7

 

12

 

J.P. Montoya

 

5

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

1

 

27.0

 

54.9

 

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

Clint Bowyer (No. 33 Cheerios Chevrolet)
• One top five, five top 10s
• Average finish of 11.1
• Average Running Position of 15.8, 11th-best
• Driver Rating of 87.0, ninth-best
• Average Green Flag Speed of 185.098 mph, 11th-fastest

Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)
• Eight top fives, nine top 10s
• Average finish of 17.9
• Average Running Position of 15.5, ninth-best
• Driver Rating of 90.8, seventh-best
• 1,006 Laps in the Top 15 (62.8%), eighth-most
• 1,014 Quality Passes, eighth-most

Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M's Toyota)
• One win, four top fives, four top 10s
• Average finish of 18.4
• Average Running Position of 11.7, third-best
• Driver Rating of 100.1, second-best
• Series-high 1,203 Laps in the Top 15 (75.1%)
• 1,108 Quality Passes, fourth-most

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 AMP Energy Drink/National Guard Chevrolet)
• Two wins, six top fives, 11 top 10s
• Average finish of 14.3
• Average Running Position of 13.6, fifth-best
• Driver Rating of 91.9, fifth-best
• 46 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 185.118 mph, 10th-fastest
• 1,091 Laps in the Top 15 (68.1%), sixth-most
• 1,031 Quality Passes, seventh-most

Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet)
• Six wins, 11 top fives, 17 top 10s; three poles
• Average finish of 15.1
• Average Running Position of 11.6, second-best
• Driver Rating of 95.6, third-best
• 34 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 185.238 mph, second-fastest
• 1,126 Laps in the Top 15 (70.3%), fourth-most
• 1,014 Quality Passes, eighth-most

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet)
• One win, five top fives, eight top 10s; two poles
• Average finish of 15.0
• Series-best Average Running Position of 11.0
• Driver Rating of 91.8, sixth-best
• 1,553 Green Flag Passes, 10th-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 185.201 mph, fifth-fastest
• 1,172 Laps in the Top 15 (73.2%), second-most
• 1,131 Quality Passes, second-most

Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Carhartt Ford)
• One win, three top fives, eight top 10s
• Average finish of 18.4
• Average Running Position of 14.1, sixth-best
• Driver Rating of 95.1, fourth-best
• 47 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 185.203 mph, fourth-fastest
• 1,128 Laps in the Top 15 (70.4%), third-most
• Series-high 1,167 Quality Passes

Mark Martin (No. 5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Chevrolet)
• Nine top fives, 17 top 10s; one pole
• Average finish of 17.7
• Average Running Position of 15.8, 10th-best
• Driver Rating of 85.7, 10th-best
• 1,003 Laps in the Top 15 (62.6%), ninth-most
• 976 Quality Passes, 11th-most

Ryan Newman (No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet)
• One win, two top fives, three top 10s
• Average finish of 21.0
• Average Running Position of 15.4, eighth-best
• Driver Rating of 89.1, eighth-best
• 37 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most
• 1,595 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 185.212 mph, third-fastest
• 1,026 Laps in the Top 15 (64.0%), seventh-most
• 1,077 Quality Passes, fifth-most

Tony Stewart (No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet)
• Two wins, six top fives, 11 top 10s; one pole
• Average finish of 17.2
• Average Running Position of 12.8, fourth-best
• Series-best Driver Rating of 104.4
• 46 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 185.134 mph, eighth-fastest
• 1,119 Laps in the Top 15 (69.9%), fifth-most

At Daytona International Speedway
History
• Groundbreaking for Daytona International Speedway was on Nov. 25, 1957. The soil underneath the banked corners was dug from the infield of the track and the hole filled with water. It is now known as Lake Lloyd.
• The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona was a 100-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20, 1959.
• The first NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona was held on Feb. 13, 1982.
• Richard Petty won his 200th career race on July 4, 1984 at Daytona.
• Lights were installed in the spring of 1998. However, the race was delayed until October that year due to thick smoke from wildfires. The second Daytona race has been held under the lights ever since.
• The first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona was held on Feb. 18, 2000.

Notebook
• There have been 124 NASCAR Sprint Cup points races at Daytona International Speedway since the track hosted its first race in 1959: 51 have been 500 miles, 46 were 400 miles and four 250 miles. There were also 23 qualifier races that were points races (one in 1959; two from 1960-1971).
• Fireball Roberts won the inaugural pole at Daytona.
• Bob Welborn won the first race at Daytona, a 100-mile qualifying race for Daytona International Speedway.
• Lee Petty won the inaugural Daytona 500 on Feb. 22, 1959.
• Fireball Roberts won the first 400-mile race at Daytona, the 1963 Firecracker 400.
• 52 drivers have posted poles at Daytona; 19 have more than one.
• Cale Yarborough leads all drivers with 12 poles at Daytona.
• Bill Elliott leads all active drivers with five poles at Daytona.
• 54 drivers have won at Daytona; 24 have won more than once.
• Richard Petty leads all drivers in victories at Daytona, with 10.
• Jeff Gordon has six victories at Daytona, more than any other active driver.
• The Wood Brothers have won 14 races at Daytona, more than any other car owner.
• Fifteen full-length races at Daytona have been won from the pole. Thirteen have been won from the second starting position – a total of 28 race winners from the front row.
• A driver has swept both races at Daytona only four times, most recently by Bobby Allison in 1982.
• Matt Kenseth won this season’s Daytona 500 from 39th, the deepest in the field that a Daytona race winner has started.
• Other than qualifying races, there have been four Daytona races run caution-free: 1959 spring, 1959 summer; 1960 summer; 1961 spring; 1961 summer and 1962 spring.

NASCAR in Florida
• There have been 160 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Florida.
• 154 drivers in NASCAR’s three national series (all-time) have their home state recorded as Florida.
• There have been nine race winners from Florida in NASCAR’s three national series:

Driver

 

NSCS

 

NNS

 

NCTS

 

Fireball Roberts

 

33

 

0

 

0

 

LeeRoy Yarbrough

 

14

 

0

 

0

 

Marshall Teague

 

7

 

0

 

0

 

Joe Nemechek

 

4

 

16

 

0

 

Bobby Johns

 

2

 

0

 

0

 

David Reutimann

 

1

 

1

 

1

 

Shorty Rollins

 

1

 

0

 

0

 

Rick Wilson

 

0

 

2

 

0

 

Aric Almirola

 

0

 

1

 

0

 




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Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.





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