Keeping Pace

Analyzing The Southern 500 Presented By GoDaddy.com

Kyle Busch celebrates winning the CROWN ROYAL presents The Russ Friedman 400 at Richmond International Raceway on his 24th birthday. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR) (Rusty Jarrett / The Spokesman-Review)
Kyle Busch celebrates winning the CROWN ROYAL presents The Russ Friedman 400 at Richmond International Raceway on his 24th birthday. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR) (Rusty Jarrett / The Spokesman-Review)

With his Richmond win, Kyle Bush totaled 50 wins across NASCAR’s three national series heading into Darlington on Saturday. That’s tied for third-most since the inception of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 1995.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 4, 2009) – With his fourth career weekend sweep, Kyle Busch etched his name in a couple of record books.

First, he joined Cale Yarborough as the only drivers to win on their birthday.

Second, Bush totaled 50 wins across NASCAR’s three national series. That’s tied for third-most since the inception of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 1995.

Ahead of Busch in national series wins since 1995 are Jeff Gordon (82) and Mark Martin (60). Greg Biffle also has 50 national series wins.

The quantity is impressive. The speed at which he got to 50 is staggering.

Busch needed 365 NASCAR national series starts to get there. That puts him in the middle of a list of legends. Below are the 14 drivers who have won at least 50 NASCAR national series races, and how many races it took to get to 50:

Driver                 Races
Jeff Gordon            275
Darrell Waltrip        278
David Pearson        293
Junior Johnson       303
Ned Jarrett             332
Richard Petty         338
Cale Yarborough     347
Kyle Busch            365
Lee Petty               392
Dale Earnhardt       400
Bobby Allison        432
Mark Martin           486
Rusty Wallace       533
Greg Biffle             534

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

Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford)
• Two wins, two top fives, three top 10s; one pole
• Average finish of 14.8
• Average Running Position of 7.9, fourth-best
• Series-best Driver Rating of 121.8
• Series-high 174 Fastest Laps Run
• Average Green Flag Speed of 155.230 mph, second-fastest
• 1,298 Laps in the Top 15 (88.2%), fourth-most
• 126 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), seventh-most

Kyle Busch (No. 18 Combos Toyota)
• One win, one top five, two top 10s
• Average finish of 17.0
• Average Running Position of 11.1, sixth-best
• Driver Rating of 99.0, sixth-best
• 72 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
• 225 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most
• 1,172 Laps in the Top 15 (79.7%), fifth-most
• Series-high 155 Quality Passes

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 AMP Energy Drink/National Guard Chevrolet)
• Three top fives, seven top 10s
• Average finish of 14.2
• Average Running Position of 8.8, fifth-best
• Driver Rating of 104.2, fifth-best
• 45 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most
• 221 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most
• 1,306 Laps in the Top 15 (88.8%), third-most
• 149 Quality Passes, second-most

Carl Edwards (No. 99 Aflac Ford)
• Two top fives, four top 10s
• Average finish of 12.4
• Average Running Position of 12.0, seventh-best
• Driver Rating of 98.6, seventh-best
• 79 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
• 227 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 154.989 mph, fifth-fastest
• 1,075 Laps in the Top 15 (73.1%), sixth-most
• 140 Quality Passes, third-most

Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet)
• Seven wins, 16 top fives, 19 top 10s; three poles
• Average finish of 11.5
• Average Running Position of 6.0, second-best
• Driver Rating of 115.1, third-best
• 61 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 155.036 mph, fourth-fastest
• Series-high 1,453 Laps in the Top 15 (98.8%)
• 138 Quality Passes, fourth-most

Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Toyota)
• One top five, three top 10s
• Average finish of 6.3
• Average Running Position of 7.7, third-best
• Driver Rating of 112.5, fourth-best
• 106 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 155.176 mph, third-fastest
• 964 Laps in the Top 15 (87.6%), eighth-most
• 128 Quality Passes, sixth-most

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet)
• Two wins, five top fives, eight top 10s
• Average finish of 7.4
• Series-best Average Running Position of 5.7
• Driver Rating of 116.0, second-best
• 132 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
• Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 155.341 mph
• 1,393 Laps in the Top 15 (94.7%), second-most
• 131 Quality Passes, fifth-most

Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DEWALT Ford)
• One top five, six top 10s
• Average finish of 18.5
• Average Running Position of 14.7, 13th-best
• Driver Rating of 91.2, ninth-best
• 55 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most
• 254 Green Flag Passes, second-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 154.419 mph, 10th-fastest
• 817 Laps in the Top 15 (55.5%), 12th-most
• 111 Quality Passes, 10th-most

Ryan Newman (No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet)
• Five top fives, six top 10s; one pole
• Average finish of 13.3
• Average Running Position of 12.2, eighth-best
• Driver Rating of 97.1, eighth-best
• 45 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 154.984 mph, sixth-fastest
• 1,072 Laps in the Top 15 (72.9%), seventh-most

At Darlington Raceway:
History

• Built as a 1.25-mile paved superspeedway in 1949-50, Darlington Raceway hosted the first 500-mile race in NASCAR history and the first on asphalt.
• The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on Sept. 4, 1950.
• The track was re-measured to 1.375 miles in 1953.
• The track was re-configured to 1.366 miles following the spring race in 1970.
• The first NASCAR Nationwide Series race was held on April 3, 1982.
• The track was repaved in 1995.
• The first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Darlington was held on May 12, 2001.
• The 2005 race was the first Saturday night race at Darlington.
• The track was repaved again for the 2008 season.

Notebook
• There have been 105 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Darlington Raceway since the track opened in 1950.
• There was one race per year in 1950, 1951, between 1953 and 1959 and again every year since 2005. Darlington held two races a season in all other years.
• Curtis Turner won the first pole at Darlington Raceway in 1950.
• Johnny Mantz won the first race at Darlington, in 1950.
• 45 drivers have posted poles at Darlington; 23 drivers have won more than one.
• David Pearson leads all drivers with 12 poles at Darlington.
• Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Kasey Kahne and Ken Schrader lead all active drivers with three poles each.
• 43 drivers have won races; 22 drivers have won more than once there.
• David Pearson leads all drivers with 10 victories, followed by Dale Earnhardt with nine.
• Jeff Gordon is third overall and leads all active drivers with seven victories.
• Hendrick Motorsports has won 12 races at Darlington, more than any other organization. He broke a tie with Junior Johnson when Jeff Gordon won there in 2007.
• 18 races at Darlington have been won from the pole, the most productive starting position.
• The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Darlington was 43rd, in the track’s inaugural race in 1950 by Johnny Mantz. That race had a 75-car field.
• Not only is Darlington the site of the oldest NASCAR race on asphalt, it is also the site of one of the closest race finishes in NASCAR history. Ricky Craven edged Kurt Busch by 0.002 seconds on March 16, 2003 – the smallest margin of victory since NASCAR instituted electronic timing in mid-1993.

NASCAR in South Carolina
• There have been 215 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in South Carolina.
• 133 NASCAR drivers (all-time) have their home state recorded as South Carolina.
• There have been 11 race winners from South Carolina in NASCAR’s three national series:

Driver

 

NSCS

 

    NNS

 

NCTS

 

David Pearson

 

105

 

1

 

0

 

Cale Yarborough

 

83

 

0

 

0

 

Rex White

 

28

 

0

 

0

 

Cotton Owens

 

9

 

0

 

0

 

Tiny Lund

 

 

5

 

0

 

0

 

James Hylton

 

2

 

0

 

0

 

Johnny Allen

 

1

 

0

 

0

 

Joe Eubanks

 

1

 

0

 

0

 

Larry Pearson

 

0

 

15

 

0

 

Jason Keller

 

0

 

10

 

0

 

Butch Lindley

 

0

 

6

 

0

 

Darlington Raceway Data

 

Race #: 11 of 36 (5-9-09)

 

Track Size: 1.366 miles

 

·     Banking/Corners: 23-25 degrees

 

·     Banking/Frontstretch: 6 degrees

 

·     Banking/Backstretch: 6 degrees

 

·     Frontstretch: 1,229 feet

 

·     Backstretch: 1,229 feet

 

Driver Rating at Darlington  

 

Greg Biffle                     121.8

 

Jimmie Johnson             116.0

 

Jeff Gordon                    115.1

 

Denny Hamlin                112.5

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr.          104.2

 

Kyle Busch                   99.0

 

Carl Edwards                 98.6

 

Ryan Newman               97.1

 

Matt Kenseth                 91.2

 

Kasey Kahne                 88.4

 

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

 

 

 

Qualifying/Race Data

 

2008 pole winner: Greg Biffle (179.442 mph, 27.405 seconds, 5-9-08)

 

2008 race winner: Kyle Busch (140.350 mph, 5-10-08)

 

Track qualifying record: Greg Biffle (179.442 mph, 27.405 seconds, 5-9-08)

 

Track race record: Kyle Busch (140.350 mph, 5-10-08)

 

 

Estimated Pit Window: Every 50-55 laps, based on fuel mileage

 




You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Keeping Pace
Keeping Pace

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






Close

Sections


Profile

Close

Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
(800) 338-8801
Newsroom:
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801