GM Racing Winston Cup Bullet Points; Kansas Speedway; Oct. 4, 2003 Race: Banquet 400 Distance: 267 Laps Date: Sunday, Oct. 5, 2003 Television: NBC (live coverage starting at 1 p.m.
GM Racing Winston Cup Bullet Points; Kansas Speedway; Oct. 4, 2003
Race: Banquet 400
Distance: 267 Laps
Date: Sunday, Oct. 5, 2003
Television: NBC (live coverage starting at 1 p.m. CDT)
If a Chevrolet wins the Banquet 400, the race for the NASCAR Winston Cup Manufacturer's title is all but over. A victory here Sunday would give Chevrolet 216 points. Provided Ford finishes second [worth six points], the margin would be 37 points with six races remaining. Even if Ford won the remaining six races and Chevrolet finished fourth in all six, Chevrolet would still finish one point ahead. Chevrolet leads all manufacturers with 26 championships since 1952, and GM Racing brands have won 34 of the 51 manufacturer's titles in NASCAR history. That's a .667 winning percentage.
Prime Real Estate
In the two races run so far at Kansas Speedway, only one man--Jeff Gordon--and one manufacturer--Chevrolet--have gone to victory lane. Should Gordon win Sunday's race, he would become the first man in NASCAR history to win the first three races at a track.
Eighteen drivers broke Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s track record of 177.924 miles per hour in Friday's qualifying. Six Chevrolets and two Pontiacs were among the 18 to break the record, including four of the top five and six of the top seven. Jimmie Johnson is the track record holder with his pole-winning time of 29.938 seconds at 180.373 miles per hour. Mike Skinner was the fastest Pontiac, putting the U.S. Army Grand Prix on the outside of the front row at 179.647 mph.
Skinner is carrying a desert camouflage paint scheme this week, dedicated to all U.S. troops stationed around the world. Jason Leffler put the NetZero Pontiac sixth. Johnson crashed his pole-winning car in the first practice Saturday morning and went to a backup car, meaning he will drop to the rear of the field for Sunday's race.
Kansas Quick Shots
--Jason Leffler, now the full-time driver of the NetZero Pontiac, won the inaugural Bud Pole for the first race at Kansas in 2001. It is his only Bud Pole.
---Kevin Harvick will make his 100th Winston Cup start here Sunday. His first start came Feb. 26, 2001 at North Carolina Speedway, one week after he took over the Goodwrench Chevrolet following Dale Earnhardt's death at Daytona.
--Seven Chevrolet drivers are in the top 10 in series points after 29 races, and nine of the top 12. All nine have at least one victory, while Jimmie Johnson (3), Michael Waltrip (2) and Robby Gordon (2) have multiple victories. GM Racing machines have won 15 of the 29 races so far this season, tying last year's total with seven races remaining. Chevrolet has 14 victories and Pontiac has one.
--Kevin Harvick has at least a precedent on his side in his chase for the Winston Cup title. In 1995, Dale Earnhardt trailed Jeff Gordon by 335 points with four races remaining. He wound up losing the title to Gordon by 35 points. Harvick currently trails leader Matt Kenseth by 354 points with seven races to go. Should Kenseth average a ninth-place finish in the remaining races, he would win the title no matter what Harvick does.
--Chevrolet has led at least one lap in every race this season.
--Jimmie Johnson, the only driver to have been in the top 10 in points all season, is currently working a streak of 62 consecutive races in the top 10. He is currently fourth.
--Jeff Gordon has led 169 laps in two races at Kansas, winning both. He has also led the most laps this season, 1,267, which is 271 better than his closest competitor, Dodge's Ryan Newman.
--Sam Hornish Jr. will try to earn his third consecutive Indy Racing League title next weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Hornish trails point leaders Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves by 19 points entering the final race and rests fourth in the standings behind the top two and Tony Kanaan. Hornish has won three of the last four races with the new Gen IV Chevy Indy V-8.
--Chevrolet is the only manufacturer currently competing in the ALMS, Indy Racing League, NASCAR Winston Cup and NHRA.