Jeff Gordon led a 1-2-3-4 Chevrolet Monte Carlo sweep last weekend at Martinsville Speedway, and the second-place finisher was Jimmie Johnson, whose car Gordon co-owns with Rick Hendrick, giving Hendrick Motorsports a 1-2 sweep as well. Tony...
Jeff Gordon led a 1-2-3-4 Chevrolet Monte Carlo sweep last weekend at Martinsville Speedway, and the second-place finisher was Jimmie Johnson, whose car Gordon co-owns with Rick Hendrick, giving Hendrick Motorsports a 1-2 sweep as well. Tony Stewart was third and Dale Earnhardt Jr. fourth in the 500-lap race, while Terry Labonte was sixth and Kevin Harvick seventh, giving Monte Carlo six of the top seven finishers.
Streak Intact for Gordon
Gordon's victory at Martinsville was his second of the season and increased his string of consecutive seasons with at least two victories to 10. Gordon won his first race--the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway--in 1994 and has 62 career victories since.
Chevy Tour de Force in Atlanta
Chevrolet has won 27 of 63 races here in the modern era of NASCAR (since 1972), a .429 winning percentage. GM Racing machines have earned 12 more (Pontiac 7, Buick 4 and Oldsmobile 1), giving GM a .619 winning percentage overall.
With four races left, Kevin Harvick has to make up 240 points on leader Matt Kenseth to win the championship. That means he needs to outpoint leader Matt Kenseth by an average of 60 points per race. Harvick starts 10th on Sunday while Kenseth had to take a provisional and will start 37th.
--Seven Chevrolet drivers are in the top 10 in series points after 32 races, and eight of the top 11. Nine drivers have at least one victory, while Jimmie Johnson (3), Michael Waltrip (2), Robby Gordon (2), Stewart (2) and Jeff Gordon (2) have multiple victories. GM Racing machines have won 17 of the 32 races so far this season, exceeding last year's total for victories. Chevrolet has 16 victories and Pontiac has one.
--Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart continued their late-season charges at Martinsville, finishing first and third, respectively. Stewart has finished third, third, fourth, first and third in the last five races, while Gordon has finished fifth four times before last week's victory.
--Chevrolet has led at least one lap in every race this season, and Chevrolets have led 5,382 of the 9,371 laps run this season (57.4 percent). In fact, Chevrolet's total number of laps led is more than double that of its nearest competitor (2,332).
--Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the only driver to have led 22 of the 32 races this season, and Jeff Gordon has led 1,580 of the 9,371 laps run this season (17 percent), tops among all drivers.
--Jimmie Johnson, the only driver to have been in the top 10 in points all season, is currently working a streak of 64 consecutive races in the top 10. He is currently fifth.
--Bobby Labonte leads all active drivers in victories at Atlanta with six.
--Terry Labonte has made 50 consecutive starts at Atlanta, tops among all active drivers.
--Jeff Gordon has finished in the top 10 in eight of the last 10 races here. Bobby Labonte has six top-10s in that span.
--Jeff Gordon's average finish here at Atlanta over the last 10 races is 8.5. Bobby Labonte, who has won three of those last 10 races, has an average finish of 13.8. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who has only started eight races, has an average finish of 11.8.
--After nine rounds of endurance racing in the American Le Mans Series in 2003, Chevrolet has captured its third consecutive manufacturers' championship for the production-based GTS class. The factory-backed team secured the championship after Oliver Gavin, Kelly Collins and Andy Pilgrim took a podium finish in their #4 Compuware Corvette C5-R at the 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta. Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell, co-drivers of the #3 Compuware Corvette C5-R along with Franck Freon, won the drivers' championship and Corvette Racing won the team championship.
"It means a great deal to us to win the manufacturers' championship," said Harry Turner, GM's group manager for Road Racing. "When I think about how little time we had to prepare after an on-track accident in Miami, it is a testament to the absolutely top-notch team effort we have had this entire year. Looking to 2004, we are excited for another great season of endurance racing and we expect great challenges from other manufacturers. The engineers at GM Racing are developing every single area of the Corvette C5-R for next year, and we'll be back ready to fight."
--Chevrolet is the only manufacturer currently competing in the ALMS, Indy Racing League, NASCAR Winston Cup and NHRA.