by Garrett Horton
There were only two cautions flags Saturday night, a track record for fewest yellows. The previous record was five times, which all occurred recently – the fall races of 2008 and 2009 as well as both events last year.
Four of the first six Nationwide races this year have been won by Nationwide regulars. The two other winners have been Joey Logano, and James Buescher, who is competing full-time in the Camping World Truck Series.
Matt Kenseth now has 11 top-5’s at TMS, more than any other driver. His fifth place run marked his fourth consecutive finish of fifth or better at the 1.5 mile speedway.
There were only 12 cars that finished on the lead lap, matching Martinsville’s race two weeks ago for fewest lead lap finishers in 2012.
Greg Biffle now has 17 career Sprint Cup wins, moving him into a tie with Marvin Panch and Curtis Turner for 46th most all time.
Tony Stewart placed his worst finish of the season this weekend, limping home to a 24th place effort. The defending Sprint Cup champion, who had recently developed a hot streak on the 1.5 mile speedways – including winning the last three events – had not finished worse than 24th on this type of speedway since this race two years ago, when he was caught up in an accident after leading 74 laps.
Jimmie Johnson led a race high 156 laps. Prior to Saturday, he had led a total of 119 circuits in his 17 previous starts at TMS.
Rick Hendrick drivers have combined to lead for 773 laps this year, over 400 more than second most Roush Fenway Racing. However, the team has still been shutout from the winner’s circle this year as Hendrick continues to wait for career win 200 as a car owner.
Sunday’s estimated attendance for NASCAR’s long awaited return to Rockingham. The innagural Camping World Truck series race run there marked the first NASCAR sanctioned event at the popular 1 mile speedway since 2004.
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