Race Weekend Central

Numbers Game: 2012 Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville


AJ Allmendinger finally got his first top 10 driving for Roger Penske, finishing second at Martinsville. The runner-up result beats his previous career-best finish, a third in the 2009 Daytona 500.


There wasn’t a single caution flag for debris Sunday (April 1), marking the third straight week race control did not throw what has become known as a somewhat controversial caution over the years.


Bad fast on Friday, just plain bad on Sunday. That has been the theme for Kasey Kahne in 2012. Even though he is off to a disastrous start to the season, Kahne is tied with Kevin Harvick for highest average starting position after six races with a 7.8. He has already qualified on the pole for two races; however, the newest driver at Hendrick Motorsports has still yet to lead a single lap all year.


There are eight full-time drivers with one DNF or less that have not yet scored a top 10 for the year. The list includes 2000 Cup champ Bobby Labonte and three first-time winners from last year: Regan Smith, David Ragan and Marcos Ambrose.


By picking up first Sprint Cup victory at Martinsville this past week, Ryan Newman now has 16 career wins, moving him into a tie with active competitor Greg Biffle for 48th most all time.


The top-two drivers in points, Biffle and Dale Earnhardt Jr., have a combined winless streak of 184 races. Biffle’s last victory came at Kansas in 2010, 49 races ago, while Earnhardt’s last trip to victory circle dates back to the June Michigan race in 2008, and his winless streak has now reached 135 races.


Jeff Gordon led 328 laps at Martinsville, the most he has led in a single race since 2001 when he paced the field for 381 circuits at Dover. This is the eighth time in his career Gordon has led more than 300 laps in a race, but the first time he failed to finish in the top three.


There have been a total of 1,925 laps completed at the one-sixth mark of the season. Only three drivers have completed every single one – Earnhardt, Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr.

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