Race Weekend Central

Numbers Game: Irwin Tools Night Race


Laps led by Hendrick Motorsports all season at Bristol, including Saturday night. It’s the first time the HMS organization has failed to lead a lap at Thunder Valley for both Cup races there since 1993.


Top-5 finish for Michael Waltrip Racing on an oval track this season. Clint Bowyer, third at Sonoma added a second top 5 to his resume with a fifth Saturday night.


Overnight rating for the Bristol Night Race, easily the lowest in the history of NASCAR’s national television contract. By comparison, the XFINITY Series race at Bristol (then called the Busch Series) matched that viewership level back in 2002.


Drivers who failed to finish Bristol due to a crash: David Ragan and Kyle Larson. There were only four DNFs overall in the Irwin Tools Night Race, far below average for even the new Bristol.


Top-10 finishes for Martin Truex, Jr. after going 14-for-15 in that category to start the season. He was a distant 28th at Bristol after a tire problem and getting involved in a wreck late in the race.


Joe Gibbs Racing cars to qualify in the top 3 at Bristol: polesitter Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Carl Edwards. All of them finished inside top 8 in the 500-lap race.


Straight top-10 finishes for Carl Edwards, including a seventh place at Bristol. That’s a season high.


Straight top-10 finishes for Brad Keselowski, including a sixth-place finish Saturday night. That’s the longest active streak in the Cup Series.


Second-place finishes this season by point leader Kevin Harvick. If all of those were turned into victories that would equate to 30 additional bonus points for this year’s Chase.


Lead changes Saturday night, seven fewer than we saw in the Spring 2015 race at Bristol.


Percentage of cautions at Bristol Saturday night that were caused by “debris.”


Laps led by Kyle Busch Saturday night at Bristol to lead all Cup drivers. Busch has now led 501 laps in the last seven Cup races, more than any other driver ALL season not named Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, or Kurt Busch.


Money won by part-time competitors Michael McDowell and Leavine Family Racing for running the full race at Bristol and finishing 31st.


Money won by Matt Kenseth for blowing an engine at Bristol and running 42nd.


About the author

Tom Bowles
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The author of Did You Notice? (Wednesdays) Tom spends his time overseeing Frontstretch’s 40+ staff members as its majority owner and Editor-in-Chief. Based outside Philadelphia, Bowles is a two-time Emmy winner in NASCAR television and has worked in racing production with FOX, TNT, and ESPN while appearing on-air for SIRIUS XM Radio and FOX Sports 1's former show, the Crowd Goes Wild. He most recently consulted with SRX Racing, helping manage cutting-edge technology and graphics that appeared on their CBS broadcasts during 2021 and 2022.

You can find Tom’s writing here, at CBSSports.com and Athlonsports.com, where he’s been an editorial consultant for the annual racing magazine for 15 years.

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