Race Weekend Central

Numbers Game: 2012 Auto Club 400 at Fontana


There was only one yellow flag in Sunday’s running of the Auto Club 400 (March 25). The caution, which turned out to be the end of the race, was the fewest since Oct. 2002 at Talladega, when Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the checkered flag without a single caution flag.


Points leader Greg Biffle and Jimmie Johnson have finished in the top 10 in four of the first five races this year, more than any other driver.


Tony Stewart now has seven Sprint Cup victories in his last 15 races, the most he has ever had in that time.


Kurt Busch picked up his first top 10 of the season on Sunday, finishing ninth. The result moved him to a season high 23rd in the driver standings. It’s a better start than his replacement in the No. 22 Penske Dodge, AJ Allmendinger, who has yet to pick up a top 10 this year and sits all the way back in 26th in points.


It has been nearly 12 years since Stewart last got some help from Mother Nature. His last rain-shortened victory came at Loudon, N.H. in the summer of 2000, when the race was called after 273 of the scheduled 300 laps. Ironically, he had a rain-shortened wins just four races prior at Michigan, when the race was called six laps prior to the scheduled distance.


Of the drivers who have run in every race this year, there are 13 of them that have yet to lead a lap in 2012, and the list includes some surprising names – Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne and Juan Pablo Montoya are four notables who have yet to lead the pack to the stripe.


One of this seasons early surprises, Martin Truex Jr. hasn’t finished lower than 17th all year.


Jeff Gordon’s rank after five races, the lowest he has ever been this deep into a season.

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