Watkins Glen: Raybestos Rookie pre-race notes

* WOULD YOU BELIEVE? Only two Raybestos® Rookies have led a lap at Watkins Glen International since the Winston Cup Series returned to the road course in 1986. Ted Musgrave led once for one lap in 1991 while Robert Pressley led once for one...

* WOULD YOU BELIEVE? Only two Raybestos® Rookies have led a lap at Watkins Glen International since the Winston Cup Series returned to the road course in 1986. Ted Musgrave led once for one lap in 1991 while Robert Pressley led once for one lap in 1995.

* Ryan Newman was the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Newman finished fourth, his fourth consecutive top-five finish and his ninth top-five of the 2002 Winston Cup season. Newman took highest finishing Raybestos® Rookie honors for the third consecutive race and has been Raybestos® Rookie of the Race 10 times this season entering the Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen.

* Jimmie Johnson finished ninth, his 13th top-10 finish of the 2002 season.

* Newman used his good run at Indianapolis to chop into Jimmie Johnson's lead in the Raybestos® Rookie standings. Newman trails Johnson by seven points (288-281) entering the Brickyard 400.

* Johnson moved up to second in Winston Cup points, just 93 behind leader Sterling Marlin. Johnson leads third place Mark Martin by 16 points and fourth place Jeff Gordon by 32.

* No Raybestos® Rookie led a lap at Indianapolis.

* For the third consecutive Winston Cup race, Newman was the highest qualifying Raybestos® Rookie. Newman grabbed the fifth starting position for the Brickyard 400, the second consecutive season he started fifth in the Brickyard 400. He has now been highest qualifying rookie 11 times in 2002. Newman has 13 top-10 starts in 2002 and is tied with Bill Elliott for the most top-10 starts this season.

* Johnson has led the most laps in two races this season: the Coca-Cola 600 and the MBNA Platinum 400. Newman has led the most laps in one race this season, the Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Entering Sunday's race at Indianapolis, both Raybestos® Rookies have led laps in the same event five times.

* Johnson has led more miles this season than any other Winston Cup driver entering Sunday's race at Watkins Glen. He has led 19 times in eight races for 794.78 miles (556 laps).

* 2001 Raybestos® Rookie of the Year Kevin Harvick was the highest finishing rookie in last year's Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen. Harvick finished seventh and was the only first year driver to finish inside the top-10.

*  Harvick was also the highest qualifying rookie at The Glen, taking the
10th starting position.  He was the only rookie to start inside the top-10.

* All four Raybestos® Rookies that qualified for last year's race at Watkins Glen finished on the lead lap: Harvick, Ron Hornaday (17th), Casey Atwood (22nd) and Kurt Busch (29th).

*  Newman became the first Raybestos® Rookie since Kenny Irwin in 1998 to
finish in the top-10 at Sonoma.  Irwin, like Newman, finished ninth.

* A Raybestos® Rookie has posted multiple victories five times in NASCAR Winston Cup history: Davey Allison (two wins in 1987), Tony Stewart (three wins in 1999), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (two wins in 2000), Kevin Harvick (two wins in 2001, and Jimmie Johnson (two wins in 2002).

* A Raybestos® Rookie Contender has now won at least one race in each of the last four seasons dating back to Tony Stewart's win at Richmond in September, 1999. Other freshman drivers to win: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Richmond, 2000), Matt Kenseth (Charlotte, 2000), and Kevin Harvick (Atlanta, 2001).

* When Johnson and Newman won poles at Talladega and California in consecutive races, it was the first time since 1965 that a rookie won the pole position in back to back events. The last driver to accomplish the feat was Dick Hutcherson when he took the top starting spot at Myrtle Beach and Valdosta.

* By winning the pole for the Daytona 500, Johnson joined Loy Allen (1994) and Mike Skinner (1997) as the only drivers in their rookie season to win the pole for the Daytona 500. He is also among an elite group of modern era (since 1972) drivers who have won poles early in their careers. Johnson won his first Winston Cup pole position in just his fourth career start. Ryan Newman and Mark Martin both won a pole in their third career start, while Johnny Benson won his first career pole in his fourth start.


DRIVER                  POINTS
Jimmie Johnson          288
Ryan Newman             281
Shawna Robinson          81
Carl Long                28


EVENT                           HIGHEST FINISHING ROOKIE
Daytona 500                     Ryan Newman, seventh
Subway 400                      Ryan Newman, 14th
UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400        Ryan Newman, fourth
MBNA America 500                Jimmie Johnson, third
Carolina Dodge Dealers 400      Ryan Newman, fifth
Food City 500                   Jimmie Johnson, seventh
Samsung/RadioShack 500          Jimmie Johnson, fourth
Virginia 500                    Jimmie Johnson, 35th
Aaron's 499                     Jimmie Johnson, seventh
NAPA Auto Parts 500             Jimmie Johnson, first
Pontiac Excitement 400          Ryan Newman, second
Coca-Cola Racing Family 600     Jimmie Johnson, seventh
MBNA 400                        Jimmie Johnson, first
Pocono 500                      Jimmie Johnson, third
Sirius Satellite Radio 400      Ryan Newman, third
Dodge/Save Mart 350             Ryan Newman, ninth
Pepsi 400                       Jimmie Johnson, eighth
Tropicana 400                   Jimmie Johnson, fourth
New England 300                 Ryan Newman, fifth
Pennsylvania 500                Ryan Newman, fifth
Brickyard 400                   Ryan Newman, fourth


Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Mike Skinner , Kevin Harvick , Shawna Robinson , Sterling Marlin , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Robert Pressley , Johnny Benson , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Ted Musgrave , Jimmie Johnson , Dick Hutcherson , Carl Long , Mark Martin , Davey Allison