NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Numbers Game 04/30/2012

by Garrett Horton

Joe Gibbs Racing has won the last two races – Kyle Busch this past Saturday and Denny Hamlin last week at Kansas. That gives JGR three victories for the year, putting them in a tie with Stewart-Haas Racing for the most so far.

After a horrid start to the 2012 season, Kasey Kahne now has three straight finishes of eighth or better. He has moved up from 31st to 23rd in the standings in that stretch.

Kyle Busch has won the last four spring races at Richmond, and has put him into sole possession of most wins there by any active driver.

Busch’s success at RIR hasn’t been limited to just the spring. In 15 career races, he has posted an astonishing 4.7 average finish at the short track, the highest all time for drivers who have run at least ten events there.

We have now gone five straight races with no driver crashing out. The last DNF due to a wreck was at Bristol in March when David Stremme crashed out after 334 laps.

There have been seven races in 2012 where the race winner did not lead the most laps. The only two times it didn’t happen came in back to back races at Las Vegas and Bristol when Tony Stewart and Brad Keselowski earned the maximum amount of points thanks to the lap leader bonus.

This represents Dale Earnahrdt, Jr.’s worst finish all year, which came at Bristol. He is the only driver to finish in the top-15 in every race so far.

When it comes to racing at Richmond, you can bet the best will be towards the front. The top-6 finishers Saturday night have combined to win a total of 16 races at the three-quarters mile short track. On the flip side, the rest of the field has totaled only 11 victories at RIR.

Richmond pole sitter Mark Martin currently sits 19th in the point standings despite missing two races. He has scored just three fewer points than four-time champion Jeff Gordon.

Landon Cassill drove the No. 83 BK Racing Toyota to a 20th-place result at Richmond, the teams best effort so far.

Kyle Busch has 24 victories in the Sprint Cup series, tying his brother Kurt for 26th most all time.

Jimmie Johnson, who averages one win about every 6.76 races despite having only two victories in the last year and a half, would need to race a little more than 27 years with this win ratio to match Richard Petty’s record total of 200. Even if he were to maintain that ratio, age would start to factor in as he would be 63 years old by the end of this time frame.

With his runner up result at Richmond, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is now just one top-5 short of 100 for his career with 99.

Carl Edwards led 206 in Saturday nights race at Richmond. Prior to that event, he had led a total of one lap all season.

By finishing third Saturday night, Tony Stewart recorded his 270th career top-10.

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