Race Weekend Central

Numbers Game: Sprint Unlimited/Daytona Qualifying


Laps led by Hendrick Motorsports Saturday night at Daytona. In fact, none of the three Hendrick cars entered finished inside the top 10. (Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was the best in 15th).


Driver this century who has won both the Sprint Unlimited and the Daytona 500 in the same season: Dale Jarrett in 2000.


Straight NASCAR “overtimes” at a restrictor plate race that have ended with the race under caution. This year’s Unlimited race was “called” when a wreck occurred at the back of the field, depriving drivers a chance to race to the finish line. The green-white-checkered at Talladega Superspeedway last fall had a similar ending where freezing the field determined the winner of the race.


Manufacturers to finish inside the top 3 Saturday night: Toyota (winner – Denny Hamlin), Ford (2nd – Joey Logano), and Chevrolet (3rd – Paul Menard).


Sprint Unlimited wins for Denny Hamlin. Hamlin, however has not yet won a points-paying race at Daytona in 20 career starts.


Times in 4 years the Daytona 500 polesitter is a Sprint Cup rookie. Danica Patrick won the pole in 2013, her first season followed up by Austin Dillon in ’14 (in his first drive running Dale Earnhardt’s No. 3). Chase Elliott completed the trifecta this year.


Straight races Jimmie Johnson has failed to finish the Sprint Unlimited. He’s crashed in every one of the Daytona exhibitions since 2012.


Caution flags in the 75-lap Unlimited race. Played out over a full 500-mile distance the event was on track for 19 yellows.


Lead changes in the Unlimited amongst just three drivers.


Drivers running at the finish of Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited. That’s the most for this exhibition race, known for being a wreckfest since 2008.


Years since Joe Gibbs Racing last won the Daytona 500. Their only trophy in the Great American Race came via Dale Jarrett in 1993.

About the author

Tom Bowles
 | Website

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.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Share via