Race Weekend Central

Numbers Game 9/17/2012

by Garrett Horton

Despite all of Jimmie Johnson’s Chase accomplishments, there is a goose egg in the win column for Chase race openers.

The number of times a driver who won the Chase opener went on to win the championship – Kurt Busch in 2004 and Tony Stewart in 2011.

2 hours, 47 minutes, 37 seconds
It took two hours, forty seven minutes and thirty seven seconds to complete 267 laps in Sunday’s running of the Geico 400.

Jimmie Johnson has an average finish of 3.6 in the 10 Chase races where he started from the pole, and has finished in the top-5 in the last seven.

Unlucky 13? Not in the 2012 Sprint Cup season. Brad Keselowski won from the 13th starting position, the fourth time this year a driver has gone on to Victory Lane after starting in this spot. The only other starting position that has generated that many wins this year is from the fifth-place spot.

Brad Keselowski earned his eighth career Sprint Cup victory on Sunday, moving him into a tie with Kyle Petty for 61st most all-time.

Jeff Gordon now has ten finishes of 20th or worse in 2012, slightly under his total of 12 top-10’s on the year.

The average finishing position of the eventual Cup champion in the first Chase race.

Sam Hornish, Jr. has finished 11th in three consecutive races.

Ryan Newman has 12 wins in a Dodge, more than any other driver since the manufacturer returned to the sport in 2001. Brad Keselowski has some work to do if he wishes to exceed that mark as seven of his eight wins have come with Dodge. Penske Racing had announced earlier this year they are switching to Ford in 2013, leaving Chrysler Group, LLC with no other option but to leave the sport once again after this year.

Regular season points champ Greg Biffle continued his Chicago struggles on Sunday, coming home in 13th-place. In ten races at the speedway he has only finished in the top-10 once.

Martin Truex, Jr. posted his 15th top-10 of the season at Chicagoland, eclipsing his previous personal best of 14 in 2007, which was the only other year he has made the Chase.

This is the first time in 58 races that a Dodge driver has led the point standings. Kurt Busch had led the standings after race four in Bristol of last year in the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Dodge entry.

The estimated attendance for Sunday’s race was 65,000.

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