One of Every Two No matter who wins Sunday's season-ending 400-miler at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Chevrolet will walk away with at least half the race victories in 2003. Chevrolet has 18 victories, and Pontiac has one, giving GM Racing...
One of Every Two
No matter who wins Sunday's season-ending 400-miler at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Chevrolet will walk away with at least half the race victories in 2003. Chevrolet has 18 victories, and Pontiac has one, giving GM Racing machines the season edge over its manufacturing rivals.
Pontiac's Last Hurrah
Sunday's race will be the last for the Pontiac Grand Prix in Winston Cup competition. Pontiacs won two of the last four Winston Cup titles (Bobby Labonte in 2000 and Tony Stewart in 2002) and have won 85 races in NASCAR's modern era. Stewart won the first two races here, in 1999 and 2000, driving a Pontiac. Barring a Pontiac victory on Sunday, the brand will leave NASCAR with 154 total victories, fifth-most in NASCAR history.
Lapping the Field
Chevrolets have led 5,936 of 10,401 laps this season (57.1 percent), more than twice as many as the next closest manufacturer (Dodge with 2,673). On superspeedways (tracks of more than 1 mile in length), Chevys have led 3,859 of 7,408 laps (52.1 percent), and on short tracks the margin is even more impressive. Monte Carlos led 1,929 of 2,793 laps on short tracks, a whopping 69.1 percent.
Homestead Quick Shots
--Stewart won the first two Winston Cup races here, but finished 37th and 39th in his two NASCAR Busch Series starts here.
--Twenty of the top 25 drivers in the points are separated by 98 points or less in the final races of the season. Six of the top 10 positions are separated by 65 points or less.
--Tony Stewart has finished in the top 10 in season points in each of his four seasons in Winston Cup. The defending champion will finish seventh this year, no matter what happens on Sunday.
--Jeff Gordon will keep his string of top-10 points finishes intact this year, making it 10 straight. He is fifth currently, 137 points behind Jimmie Johnson in second. Included in that are four Winston Cup championships.
--Johnson has been in the top 10 in points 69 consecutive races. The record is 172, set by the late Dale Earnhardt.
--Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the only driver to lead 24 of the 35 races this season, and Jeff Gordon has led 1,635 of the 10,401 laps this season (16 percent).
--There have been five different pole winners in five races here.
--Six Chevrolet drivers are in the top 10 in series points after 35 races, and eight of the top 13. Nine drivers have at least one victory, while Jimmie Johnson (3), Jeff Gordon (3), Michael Waltrip (2), Robby Gordon (2), Stewart (2), and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2) have multiple victories. GM Racing machines have won 19 of the 35 races so far this season. Chevrolet has 18 victories and Pontiac has one.
--Kvapil Earns NCTS Title in Last-Race, Last-Lap Showdown
Travis Kvapil became the 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion on Friday, and it came about in the most thrilling fashion. Point leader Brendan Gaughan was eliminated in a violent crash with less than 25 laps remaining, opening the door for Kvapil, who had to finish two spots ahead of Ted Musgrave to earn the title. A crash with a handful of laps left set up a green-white-checkered finish. On the restart, Musgrave dived left to pass Dennis Setzer before the start/finish line, and NASCAR penalized him for the infraction, giving Kvapil the title by nine points over Setzer. Kvapil drove the IWX Motor Freight Chevrolet Silverado to its second straight title--Mike Bliss won the title last year in the same truck--and Jack Sprague, who finished fifth in a second IWX truck, will take over that ride in 2004 with backing from Chevy Trucks. Setzer, whose Morgan-Dollar Chevy Silverado finished sixth, will have Chevy Silverado on the hood in 2004. That announcement, along with the GM Goodwrench truck for Matt Crafton out of Kevin Harvick Inc.'s stable and the Spears Manufacturing Chevy of David Starr, was made Friday morning.
--Chevrolet is the only manufacturer currently competing in the ALMS, Indy Racing League, NASCAR Winston Cup and NHRA.