Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Martinsville Facts: Johnson, Gordon, and Hamlin Look to Be Top Choices to Win
by Mike Forde
NASCAR Media Services
At Martinsville Speedway:
• Opened in September 1947 by H. Clay Earles, Martinsville Speedway, originally a dirt track, is one of the oldest continuously-operating racing facilities in the United States.
• The first NASCAR-sanctioned race at Martinsville was on July 4, 1948.
• The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on Sept. 25, 1949.
• The track was paved in 1955.
• The first 500-lap event at Martinsville was in 1956.
• Concrete corners were added atop the asphalt track in 1976.
• There have been 121 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway, one in the inaugural year and two races per year since 1950.
• Curtis Turner won the pole for the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville in 1949.
• Red Byron won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville.
• 55 drivers have won poles, led by Darrell Waltrip with eight. Jeff Gordon, with seven poles, can tie that mark this weekend.
• Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and Darrell Waltrip share the consecutive pole record, each with three.
• 45 different drivers have won races, led by Richard Petty with 15.
• Fred Lorenzen holds the consecutive win record (4).
• 17 races have been won from the pole, the last by Jimmie Johnson in October 2008.
• Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with seven victories.
• Petty Enterprises has won 19 races, more than any other organization. Hendrick Motorsports, with 19 wins, can tie that mark this weekend.
• Kurt Busch won the 2002 fall race from the 36th starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started.
• Three drivers average a top-10 finish: Jimmie Johnson (5.3), Jeff Gordon (6.8), Denny Hamlin (8.0).
NASCAR in Virginia• There have been 265 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Virginia.
• 158 drivers in NASCAR’s three national series (all-time) have their home state recorded as Virginia.
• There have been 18 race winners from Virginia in NASCAR’s three national series.