With Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s victory at Phoenix last week, Chevrolet assured itself of winning at least half the 36 NASCAR Winston Cup races this season. Earnhardt's victory was Chevy's 18th of the season in 34 races, a winning percentage of .529. GM...
With Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s victory at Phoenix last week, Chevrolet assured itself of winning at least half the 36 NASCAR Winston Cup races this season. Earnhardt's victory was Chevy's 18th of the season in 34 races, a winning percentage of .529. GM Racing machines have won 19 of 34 for a .559 winning percentage.
Lapping the Field
Chevrolets have led 5,858 of 10,008 laps this season (58.5 percent), more than twice as many as the next closest manufacturer (Dodge with 2,388). On superspeedways (tracks of more than 1 mile in length), While never finishing worse than 20th, the 2002 Winston Cup champion has yet to win here. His best finish has been fourth, on three occasions.
--Ricky Craven, who won for Pontiac earlier this year at Darlington, is a big fan of Rockingham as well. He has four top-10 finishes in his last five races here, as has Bobby Labonte.
--Bobby Labonte has scored the most points in the last 10 Rockingham races, earning 1,505.
--Earnhardt Jr. is the only driver to lead 24 of the 34 races this season, and Jeff Gordon has led 1,635 of the 10,008 laps this season (16 percent).
--The last 14 fall races here have been won by 14 different drivers.
--Six Chevrolet drivers are in the top 10 in series points after 34 races, and eight of the top 12. Nine drivers have at least one victory, while Jimmie Johnson (3), Michael Waltrip (2), Robby Gordon (2), Stewart (2), Jeff Gordon (2) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2) have multiple victories. GM Racing machines have won 19 of the 34 races so far this season. Chevrolet has 18 victories and Pontiac has one.
--Johnny Benson enters Sunday's race as defending champion, but will exit the No. 10 Valvoline Pontiac at the end of the season. He has two top-three finishes here in the last four races, notching a third-place effort in the fall of 2001.
--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).
--Jimmie Johnson, the only driver to have been in the top 10 in points all season, is currently working a streak of 68 consecutive races in the top 10. He is currently third.
NASCAR Winston Cup Manufacturers' Points after 34 races: (Victories in parentheses)
Chevrolet (18) 249
Ford (7) 193
Dodge (8) 190
Pontiac (1) 116
NASCAR Winston Cup Driver's Point Standings after 34 races: (Chevrolet drivers in bold)
1. Matt Kenseth 4,828
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 4,600
3. Jimmie Johnson 4,587
4. Jeff Gordon 4,528
5. Ryan Newman 4,499
6. Kevin Harvick 4,477
7. Tony Stewart 4,260
8. Bobby Labonte 4,055
9. Kurt Busch 3,983
10. Bill Elliott 3,966
22. Ward Burton (Pontiac) 3,369
24. Joe Nemechek (Pontiac) 3,226
26. Ricky Craven (Pontiac) 3,212
27. Johnny Benson (Pontiac) 3,207
--Pontiac Captures Seventh NHRA Manufacturer's Cup The NHRA championship tour comes to a close this weekend at Pomona Raceway, but not before a sterling season by the "Fuel for the Soul" competitors racing Pontiac SC/T Grand Ams. For the seventh time since 1996, Pontiac will claim the prestigious NHRA Manufacturer's Cup, presented since 1964 to the automobile nameplate scoring the most points for current-year models in Pro Stock, Super Stock and Stock.
Led by NHRA POWERade champion Greg Anderson, Pontiac Pro Stock drivers have chalked up 15 national-event victories, raced in 19 final rounds and captured 18 No. 1 qualifying spots. Five Pontiac Grand Am drivers currently occupy positions in the top 10 of the points standings. In addition to Anderson, Warren Johnson is in fourth place, Mike Edwards is seventh, Jim Yates is eighth and Bruce Allen is ninth. Pontiac also has 124 all-time victories in NHRA Pro Stock competition, the most ever by an automobile manufacturer in the history of the sport.
"The NHRA Manufacturer's Cup could not have happened without the hard work of our GM Racing engineers and marketing staff," said Jim Panaretos, Pontiac Grand Am marketing director. "Everyone at Pontiac and the Grand Am marketing team appreciates their dedication to performance. Pontiac also salutes the outstanding efforts put forth this season by the Stock, Super Stock and Pro Stock teams that have chosen to compete with current-model year Pontiacs. It is because of their pursuit of excellence that Pontiac has been able to win its seventh NHRA Manufacturer's Cup in the last eight years. We thank all of these Pontiac teams for their outstanding contributions to this championship effort."