Season in review 2007-04-11

SEASON IN REVIEW - AN ONGOING LOOK AT THE 2007 SEASON DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 11, 2007) - History is on the verge of being made in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. If a member of the Hendrick Motorsports stable wins this weekend at Texas Motor...

SEASON IN REVIEW - AN ONGOING LOOK AT THE 2007 SEASON

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 11, 2007) - History is on the verge of being made in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.

If a member of the Hendrick Motorsports stable wins this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, it would mark only the sixth time in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup history a team has won five consecutive races.

Following, is a review of the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season-to-date: Johnson's Emphasis on Winning Jimmie Johnson has won three of the first six races of the 2007 season - and has earned a potential 30 bonus points if he makes the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.

Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon is the last driver to win three of the first six races. He accomplished the feat in 1996.

Qualifying

*There have been five different Budweiser Pole winners in 2007: Jeff Gordon (two); David Gilliland, Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin (one each).

*Ryan Newman's Budweiser Pole at Atlanta ended a streak of 20 races without a pole - the longest of his career.

*Jeff Gordon leads all other drivers with four top-10 starts this season - all top fives.

*Joe Nemechek failed to qualify for the Bristol race on March 25th, ending a streak of 175 consecutive starts that dated to April 2002.

First-timers

*David Ragan finished fifth in the Daytona 500, earning a top-10 ranking in the point standings for the first time in his career.

*Aric Almirola and Jon Wood both made their first career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup start when they qualified at Las Vegas. Almirola finished 40th and Wood 29th.

*AJ Allmendinger and Regan Smith all made their first career start at Bristol.

The Races

*There have been four different race winners this season: Jimmie Johnson (3), Kevin Harvick (1), Matt Kenseth (1) and Kyle Busch (1)

*Johnson's victory at Las Vegas was his third consecutive win there.

*Only two drivers have posted five top-10 finishes: Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton.

*Only three drivers have completed every lap run: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth.

*No driver has led in every race this season. Three drivers have led in five races: Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart.

*Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth lead all other drivers in potential bonus points earned this season, each with 25.

*Tony Stewart has led 441 of the 1,548 laps - 28.5 percent of the laps raced in 2007 and more than any other driver.

*A driver has made the field based on being a guaranteed starter 20 times this season by 13 teams, including the past champion provisional four times - all by Dale Jarrett.

Points

*Three drivers have ranked in the top 10 in points for each of the first six races this season: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick.

*Mark Martin led the points from California through Atlanta, becoming the oldest driver to lead the points for more than a week under the current point system. Martin, who is 48, falls behind Bobby Allison (51 in 1988) and Morgan Shepherd (49 in 1990) as the third-oldest driver to lead the points. Allison and Shepherd both led the standings for one week at that age.

*David Ragan ranked fifth in the point standings for the first two weeks of the season, the highest point standing by a Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate in 2007.

2007 Improvements

*Jeff Burton, currently second in points, has improved 16 spots over his 2006 ranking after six races.

*David Stremme has made the largest gain over 2006 - moving from 33rd at this time in 2006 to his current points position of 13th.

Car Owner Points

*Sterling Marlin, in the No. 14 Ginn Racing Chevrolet, was the only driver in the first five races of the season that had to make the field on time and do so in all five races.

*The biggest gain in car owner points over the final 2006 standings is held by the No. 01 owned by Bobby Ginn. The No. 01 ranked 28th in the final 2006 owner point standings and is currently 22 positions ahead of that ranking.

*Only one of the teams in the current top 35 in owner points did not compete in 2006: Bobby Ginn (No. 13).

Manufacturer

*Chevrolet won its 600th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race with Kyle Busch's win at Bristol.

*Kyle Busch's victory at Bristol was the first for the Chevrolet Impala since Wendell Scott won in a 1962 Impala at Jacksonville (FL) Speedway Park on Dec. 1, 1963.

Season Snapshot

*Mark Martin stepped out of the seat of the No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet at Bristol, despite being the series points leader entering the event. The last time a driver who was leading the points did not start the next race - other than part-time drivers who won the first race of the season and did not run the second - was in 1971, Richard Petty.

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Joe Nemechek , Sterling Marlin , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Jon Wood , Richard Petty , Kasey Kahne , Morgan Shepherd , Regan Smith , Bobby Allison , David Stremme , David Gilliland , David Ragan , Denny Hamlin , Aric Almirola , Kyle Busch , Mark Martin , Wendell Scott
Teams Hendrick Motorsports