Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Inside the Quicken Loans 400 Numbers

Brad Keselowski finished third in his last start on home track (Getty)
Michigan Int’l Speedway (all 85 Sprint Cup races)

0 – fewest cautions (three times, most recent 6/13/99)
1 – fewest laps led by race winner (Mark Martin, 6/14/09)
2 – fewest cars on lead lap at finish (five times, most recent 6/15/75)
5 – fewest leaders (five times, most recent 8/12/84)
6 – races won from outside a top-20 starting position
6 – wins by Dodge at MIS since manufacturer’s return to NASCAR in 2001
7 – fewest lead changes (8/12/84)
8 – number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend at MIS
9 – most wins (David Pearson)
10 – most poles (David Pearson)
10 – most cautions (8/20/06)
11 – wins by car owner (Wood Brothers, Jack Roush)
14 – fewest cars running at finish (6/16/74)
15 – most leaders (6/20/82)
19 – drivers with more than one win
21 – drivers with more than one pole at MIS
24 – wins from the front row; 16 from the pole
32 – worst starting position for race winner (Mark Martin, 2009)
34 – different race winners
37 – most cars on lead lap at finish (6/18/06)
41 – different pole winners
41 – most cars running at finish (five times, most recent 6/17/07)
63 – most caution laps (8/24/75)
65 – most lead changes (8/16/81)
66 – races won from a top-10 starting spot
120 minutes – approximate amount of time it takes to dry the 2.0-mile track
162 – laps led by race winner (Rusty Wallace, 8/20/89)

2012 Caution Update
1 – fewest cautions this season (Fontana)
4 – races extended beyond scheduled distance (Daytona, Martinsville, Talladega and Darlington)
10 – most cautions this season (Daytona)
80 – cautions in the first 14 races of 2012; includes 33 for accidents, 27 for debris and eight for spins
433 of 4,448 – laps under caution in 2012
574.571 of 5,633.118 – miles under caution in the first 14 races

BONUS: In addition to Michigan Int’l Speedway, three other Michigan tracks hosted five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events in the 1950s – Grand River Speedrome (Grand Rapids), Michigan State Fairgrounds (Detroit) and Monroe Speedway.

- Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports (Dodge) 

Keselowski Cracks Top 10, Shakes Up Chase ‘Wild Cards’

Brad Keselowski knows how to make an entrance. And an impact.
The Rochester Hills, Mich., driver ranks among the top 10 for the first time in the regular NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings entering Sunday’s "home" race at Michigan International Speedway. Keselowski finished fifth in points a year ago but qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup™ as the first Wild Card.
A two-time winner in 2012 – and the best ranked among Wild Card aspirants entering last weekend’s Pocono race – Keselowski’s ascension into 10th place shook up the 11th through 20th segment of the standings.
Wild should describe the standings swings before this year’s Chase lineup is set Sept. 8 at Richmond International Raceway.
With six points separating positions 10 through 12 entering Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400, Keselowski’s hold on a Chase berth is precarious. Carl Edwards, a non-winner, is three points behind in 11th. In and out of the top 10 in 2012, Edwards last won at Las Vegas Motor Speedway more than a year ago and has struggled after losing last year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup title to Tony Stewart on a most victories tie-breaker.
Three points further back in 12th is Kyle Busch, whose April Richmond victory gives him present title to the No. 1 Wild Card position. Engine failure at Pocono – his second in two weeks – dropped Busch from ninth and factored into Keselowski’s rise into the top 10.
Ryan Newman currently holds the second and final Wild Card despite counting the same number of points – 398 – as Pocono winner Joey Logano. There are no ties in NASCAR. Deadlocks are broken by comparing drivers’ next-best finish (number of seconds, thirds, etc.). Newman, who won at Martinsville, has a second-best finish of fourth vs. Logano’s eighth (Dover).
Kasey Kahne’s momentum – seven consecutive top 10s and a Coca-Cola 600 victory – was broken at Pocono, where an accident relegated him to a finish of 29th. Kahne, however, is only 18 points behind Newman and Logano. Another victory – Kahne won at Michigan in 2006 – could give him the No. 1 Wild Card slot.
Marcos Ambrose is the remaining 2011 winner whose top-20 points position provides Wild Card eligibility. He’s obviously looking forward to the season’s two road races, the first of which comes June 24 in Sonoma, Calif.
Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon is 22nd, nine points outside the top 20. Gordon likely needs two wins at minimum to qualify for his seventh consecutive Chase and eighth overall.

- NASCAR Media Services

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