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Source — nascar
Date Posted — September 10, 2008
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Emphasis on Winning

The top 12 drivers and how they rank entering the Chase:

Rank Driver Chase Points Wins Current

Position Diff

1 Kyle Busch 5,080 8 1 0

2 Carl Edwards *5,050 6 2 0

3 Jimmie Johnson 5,040 4 3 0

4 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 5,010 1 4 0

5 Clint Bowyer 5,010 1 12 7

6 Denny Hamlin 5,010 1 11 5

7 Jeff Burton 5,010 1 5 -2

8 Tony Stewart 5,000 0 8 0

9 Greg Biffle 5,000 0 6 -3

10 Jeff Gordon 5,000 0 10 0

11 Kevin Harvick 5,000 0 7 -4

12 Matt Kenseth 5,000 0 9 -3

* Because of a rule violation at Las Vegas, Edwards did not receive the 10

Chase bonus points for that win.

(Sept. 10, 2008) – As the season

enters the 10-race Chase for the

NASCAR Sprint Cup, Kyle Busch

holds the top spot in the points. All

12 drivers in the Chase have prior

Chase experience, led by Jimmie

Johnson and Matt Kenseth, who

have made the “playoffs” for the

fifth straight season. The biggest

move up the standings after the

points were reset was Clint

Bowyer, who gained seven

positions to enter the Chase in the

fifth position.

Chase Factoids

Ten races at 10 different tracks

3,227 Laps; 4,095.980 Miles

Nine superspeedways and one short track

Five tracks are 1.5-mile ovals: Kansas, Charlotte, Texas, Homestead and Atlanta (1.54)

One 2.66-mile restrictor-plate oval: Talladega

Three one-mile tracks: Dover, Phoenix and New Hampshire (1.058)

One .526-mile short track: Martinsville

Eight of the 10 tracks have already held races this season. Kansas City and Homestead are single-event tracks.

2008 Season Highlights

Ryan Newman won the season-opening Daytona 500, his first career restrictor-plate victory.

• Carl Edwards won back-to-back races at California and Las Vegas – the second time in his career

he has posted consecutive wins.

• Kyle Busch won at Atlanta – the first victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Toyota. The

victory came in the 40th start for Toyota in NASCAR’s premier series and was the first by a foreignbased

manufacturer since Jaguar won with Al Keller at the wheel at Linden (N.J.) Airport in 1954.

• Jeff Burton won at Bristol and was followed across the line by teammates Kevin Harvick and Clint

Bowyer – giving car owner Richard Childress his first-ever 1-2-3 sweep.

• Carl Edwards won at Texas to join Jeff Burton as the only drivers with multiple victories at Texas.

• Kyle Busch won at Darlington and became the youngest race winner there.

Kasey Kahne followed up his win in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race with victory in the Coca-Cola

600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. He became the sixth driver to win both races in the same season.

• Kyle Busch became the first driver to post four victories with his win at Dover.

• Kasey Kahne won the Pocono 500 and became the third multiple-race winner of 2008.

• Dale Earnhardt Jr. won at Michigan, ending a 76-race winless streak.

• Kyle Busch won at Infineon Raceway, scoring his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series roadcourse

victory and giving him victories on all four major types of tracks in NASCAR’s premier circuit.

Kurt Busch won at New Hampshire, his first victory since Michigan in August 2007.

• Kyle Busch continued to win, capturing the July race at Daytona, his sixth win of the season.

• At Chicagoland, Kyle Busch won back-to-back races for the first time in his career, extending his

collection of checkered flags in 2008 to seven.

• At Indianapolis, Jimmie Johnson won his second race of 2008, and second win at the Brickyard.

• Carl Edwards returned to Victory Lane at Pocono Raceway after waiting out rain and fuel issues for

his fourth victory of the season.

• Kyle Busch won at Watkins Glen, completing a sweep of the two road-course races this season.

• Carl Edwards completed the second NASCAR Sprint Cup-Nationwide Series weekend sweep of the

season with his victory at Michigan.

• Carl Edwards posted back-to-back victories for the second time in 2008 when he won at Bristol.

• Jimmie Johnson dominated the field at Auto Club Speedway, scoring a perfect Driver Rating of

150.0 to post his third victory.

• Jimmie Johnson won the Richmond cut-off race for the second consecutive season to capture his

fourth win of the season.


• 77 drivers have attempted to qualify for at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race this season,

including Matt Crafton who qualified Robby Gordon’s car at Dover.

• There have been 13 different pole winners in 2008: Jimmie Johnson (four), Jeff Gordon (two), Kyle

Busch (two), Greg Biffle (two), Kasey Kahne (two), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (one), Ryan Newman

(one), Joe Nemechek (one), Denny Hamlin (one), Patrick Carpentier (one), Paul Menard (one),

Brian Vickers (one) and Carl Edwards (one).

• Patrick Carpentier became the first driver to post a career-first pole in 2008 when he won the pole at

New Hampshire. He continued a 22-year streak of at least one first-time pole winner (1987-2008).

• Qualifying was canceled due to inclement weather at the Auto Club Speedway, Bristol, Michigan,

Chicago, Watkins Glen and Richmond.

• 46 different drivers have posted at least one top-10 start, led by Jimmie Johnson with 20.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – Season In Review

• The pole winner (or driver who started first) has won six times and has finished in the top 10 in 13

races this season.

• Two pole winners have gone on to finish last in that race: Ryan Newman (Phoenix) and Greg Biffle


• Landon Cassill won the pole for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at New Hampshire and Patrick

Carpentier followed up with the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race. It was the first time ever that

two Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidates swept the poles at the same track in a weekend.

• The average finish of the pole winner in 2008 is 13.12.

The Races

• 66 drivers have qualified for/participated in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race this season.

• 35 different drivers have posted at least one top-10 finish in 2008, led by Carl Edwards with 19.

• There have been six green-white-checkered finishes this season: Bristol, Texas, Richmond,

Michigan, Infineon and Daytona-2.

• One race this season has gone less than the scheduled distance: New Hampshire (284 of 301 laps).

• There has been one last-lap pass for the lead in 2008: Daytona.

• The race has been won from a top-10 start 21 times this season.

• The deepest in the field that a race winner started in 2008 was 31st, by Clint Bowyer at Richmond.

• Six races have been won from the pole and the average start of the race winner in 2008 is 8.04.

Brotherly Wins

Kyle Busch won at Infineon Raceway, followed by brother Kurt at New Hampshire, giving them the

first back-to-back wins by brothers since Kyle won at California and Kurt at Richmond in September 2005.

Kyle again won at Daytona, making it the first time brothers had won three consecutive races since 1955-

56. Tim Flock won the final race of 1955 and the first of 1956 and his brother, Fonty, won the second

race. Kyle posted the fourth straight win for the Busch brothers with his win at Chicago. It was the fourth

time that brothers had won four straight:

1952 – Tim (Race No. 22 and 23), Bob (Race No. 24) and Fonty Flock (Race No. 25)

1952 – Herb (Race No. 31 and 32), Donald (Race No. 33) and Herb Thomas (Race No. 34)

1955 – Tim (Race No. 36 and 37), Fonty (Race No. 38) and Tim Flock (Race No. 39)


Start Pole Win

Dario Franchitti (Daytona)

Patrick Carpentier (New Hampshire) None

Michael McDowell (Martinsville)

Paul Menard (Daytona-2)

Marcos Ambrose (Infineon)

Max Papis (Infineon)

Laps Led Lead in Points Top 10 in Points

Dario Franchitti (California) Ryan Newman (Daytona) Reed Sorenson (Daytona)

Michael McDowell (Dover) Kyle Busch (California)

Sam Hornish Jr. (Michigan) Carl Edwards (Las Vegas) *

* Lost points lead after mid-week penalty

Laps Led

• Kyle Busch has led 1,633 laps this season, more than any other driver.

• 47 drivers have led at least one lap this season. No one has led in every race.

• Kyle Busch (seven); Jimmie Johnson (five), Tony Stewart (three), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (three), Carl

Edwards (three), Denny Hamlin (one), Greg Biffle (one), Kasey Kahne (one), Mark Martin (one)

and David Reutimann (one) have led the most laps at least once this season.


• Jeff Burton became the fourth different driver to lead the points when he took the lead following

Martinsville. It is his first time to lead the points since Oct. 14, 2006 (Lowe’s Motor Speedway).

• Kyle Busch re-assumed the lead in the points standings following his second-place finish at

Richmond and has held it since.

• The points spread between first and second has varied from a low of six points following California to

a high of 262 following Chicago.

Rookie Performance

• Five different drivers have been the highest-finishing rookie in 2008: Sam Hornish Jr. (seven),

Regan Smith (seven), Patrick Carpentier (six), Michael McDowell (four) and Dario Franchitti


• Sam Hornish Jr. has posted the best finish by a rookie candidate in 2008: 13th at Lowe’s Motor


Owner Highlights

• Ryan Newman won the season-opening Daytona 500, his first career restrictor-plate victory.

Teammate Kurt Busch finished second, giving car owner Roger Penske his first restrictor-plate

victory and first 1-2 finish in 25 years of NASCAR Sprint Cup racing.

• Joe Nemechek won the pole at Talladega, giving car owner Barney Visser his first-ever NASCAR

Sprint Cup pole. It came in Visser’s 49th as a car owner.

• Hendrick Motorsports began competing in NASCAR Sprint Cup in 1984 and won its first race in 1986.

HMS has posted at least one victory each of its 22 seasons since and has gone past the seventh

race of a season before posting its first win eight times – but only four times since 1994 (including this

season). The deepest that HMS has gone into a season before scoring a win was 1992 when the first

victory did not come until race No. 23.

• Dale Earnhardt Jr. won at Michigan and became the 14th different driver to win for Hendrick

Motorsports. Every full-time driver for Hendrick Motorsports since 2000 has posted at least one

victory while with the organization.

• Marcos Ambrose posted a third-place finish driving the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford at Watkins Glen,

the first top-five finish for the Wood Brothers since Ricky Rudd’s fourth at Bristol in August 2005.

• Carl Edwards posted only the second NASCAR Sprint Cup-NASCAR Nationwide Series weekend

sweep at Michigan when he won both races there in August. Both came with Jack Roush as the car

owner. Mark Martin posted the first in 1993.


• There have been 403 on-track penalties issued this season.

• Penalty Recap:

Pitting Before Pit Road is Open 211

Too Fast Entering Pit Road 34

Too Fast Exiting Pit Road 51

Others 107


• Toyota leads the manufacturers’ points standings with 165 points. Ford and Chevrolet both have 147

and Dodge 113.

• Toyota has posted nine victories in 2008. Chevrolet has seven, Ford six and Dodge four.

• All four manufacturers have been in the top four finishers four times this season: Texas, Charlotte,

Michigan and Indianapolis.

More Records

• Kevin Harvick extended his current streak of running at the finish to 70 races. That is the all-time

record for consecutive races without a DNF. Harvick’s Richard Childress Racing teammate, Clint

Bowyer, is second on the list, currently on a 63-race streak of running at the finish. Note: Herman

Beam completed 84 consecutive races that he competed in (1961-63), but he did not race in all of the

scheduled events during his personal streak. His longest consecutive-race streak was 35 races.

• Five foreign-born drivers participated at Infineon Raceway: Marcos Ambrose (Australia), Patrick

Carpentier and Ron Fellows (Canada), Juan Pablo Montoya (Colombia) and Max Papis (Italy). It

was the largest contingent of foreign-born drivers in a race in NASCAR Sprint Cup history, eclipsing

the previous mark of three which was set eight times – most recently at Infineon in 2007.

• At Watkins Glen, three nations were represented among the top five for the first time in NASCAR

Sprint Cup Series history. Kyle Busch (first), Tony Stewart (second) and Martin Truex Jr. (fifth) are

from the United States, Marcos Ambrose (third) from Australia and Juan Pablo Montoya (fourth)



• Ryan Newman posted the first Daytona 500 victory for Dodge since Ward Burton won in 2002. That

victory was the only other restrictor-plate victory for Dodge.

• Kasey Kahne was the only driver with three top-10 finishes in the first three races this season. In

2007, Kahne did not get his third top 10 until race No. 24 (Bristol).

• Jeff Gordon won the pole at Atlanta, making this his 16th consecutive year with a pole. He is third on

the all-time list for consecutive years with a pole behind David Pearson (20) and Richard Petty (17).

• Jeff Gordon finished 43rd after his accident at Texas, just the second time in his career that he

finished 43rd. The other also came at Texas (March 1999).

• Greg Biffle won the pole on the newly-repaved Darlington Raceway, breaking Ward Burton’s 1996

track qualifying record. Burton’s was the longest-standing qualifying record at an active, nonrestrictor-

plate track.

• Denny Hamlin led 381 laps, setting the record for the number of laps led in a 400-lap race at

Richmond. He eclipsed the mark of 369 set by Bobby Allison in September 1979. The record for

laps led all-time at Richmond is 488 of 500 on the half-mile configuration by David Pearson in

September 1970.

• Kyle Busch led 786 laps in the first 14 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this season. He had

also led the exact same number through the first 15 races (the same weekend) in the NASCAR

Nationwide Series.

• Kyle Busch led 415 laps at Bristol, the 13th time a driver has led 400 laps or more at the Tennessee

short track. The standard was set by Cale Yarborough, who led all 500 laps in March 1973. Busch

became the third driver to lead over 400 laps and not win the race, joining Richard Petty (442 laps in

July 1964) and Rusty Wallace (409 laps in August 1993).

• There were 43 cars running at the finish in the second Richmond race, the first time that has ever

happened at Richmond. The previous record was 39, which occurred four times. It was just the

second time since the field was set to 43 cars that all starters finished a race. The other was at New

Hampshire in September 2007.

See also
Article posted by staff on September 10, 2008.