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The Daly Planet

Friday's Top 10

Friday's Top 10
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By Carol Einarsson | 09/30/2011
Category: Friday's Top 10

10 races have been run by two active drivers named David. Gilliland and Ragan have each started ten times at Dover, and neither has a win, a pole, or a top-ten finish. Gilliand has led three laps, though, and Ragan has not led any. I guess Dover's not lucky if your first name is David, unless your last name also happens to be Pearson. THAT David won five races, had 12 top-fives, and six poles! All of that in a mere 16 starts.

9 different drivers starting Sunday's race have scored at least one pole position (maybe there'll be 10 by the time the race starts), and David Reutimann is one of them.

8th spot starting has produced just four winners in more than 80 Cup races at Dover, and the wins have alternated between Ford and Chevy, back and forth. Bobby Allison in '80 in a Ford, then Dale Earnhardt in '93 in a Chevy, followed by Mark Marin in '99 with Ford, and then just two years ago in '09, Jimmie Johnson won from 8th in his Chevy. Given the minimum of six years span between 8th place starts producing a win, it looks like even if the driver starting in 8th on Sunday is in a Ford, he probably won't win.

7 wins is the record at Dover, and it's shared by greats Bobby Allison and Richard Petty. Bobby has the better record because he only needed 35 starts for his 7 wins to Richard Petty's 46 starts. Bobby also has 18 top-fives to Richard's 16. They each have two poles, but Bobby's average finish is a full three-and-a-half spots better than the King (9.3 vs. 12.8). His average start is almost six spots better than Petty, too (6.4 vs 12.0).

6 drivers in the field on Sunday are both in the Chase, and also multiple-race winners at Dover. Four of them are affiliated with Hendrick Motorsports.

5 races have been won here by Dodge: Three by Ryan Newman, and two by Richard Petty, but they're winless since 2004 at Dover.

4 poles is the record among active drivers, and it's a three-way tie between three current Hendrick-ish drivers, Mark Martin, Ryan Newman, and Jeff Gordon.

3 of the last five races here have been won by Jimmie Johnson. Sitting 10th in the standings, 29 points out of first, this would be a good time for Jimmie to take home the trophy again. He currently holds the record at Dover for most wins among active drivers, with six.

2 races (the first two, in 1969 and 1970) were only 300 miles long. After that, the races at Dover were changed to 500 miles, and also changed to twice a year. In 1997, the length was cut back to 400 miles, but the track still hosts two races annually.

1 perfect mile is the length of Dover, perfect because of how imperfect it is. No tri-oval, no other track like it, not a cookie cutter or even a model for any other track. It's unique, and that's why it's better than most.

Bonus number: 22 - Only twenty-two races out of 83 Cup races run at Dover have been won from starting 10th or worse. That means 74% of the races have been won from 9th or better start. And the current driver of car #22 has never won a Cup race at the Monster Mile.



09/30/2011 5:33 am (1)
Re #8: Wasn't two years ago '09?

I know...I hate to proofread my own stuff, too.

09/30/2011 10:55 am (2)
@ giluvracing,

#8, still: seems Mark Marin worked relief driver for Mark Martin, at least once in Cup.

Proofreading's a bi----. I'll read pieces several times but won't see that last error till after I push 'print' or 'send'.
= =

WYB: No spell-check for RJO comments.
09/30/2011 1:02 pm (3)
Proofreading? What's that?

Thanks, though!

09/30/2011 2:14 pm (4)
is it bad that I had to stop and think about who was in the #22? My brain is pretty stuck on Kurt being in the #2...

both Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome have built in spellcheckers and tend to run smoother and better than Internet Explorer. You should check one of them out if you are looking for a built in spell checker. :)
09/30/2011 2:18 pm (5)
@ Carol:

Ref #1, what's really unique about Dover is that, unlike every other banked track where they piled up dirt on the outside of the corner to make the banking, at Dover they dug a hole on the inside of the turn. So unlike every other track where you go uphill onto the banking, and downhill onto the straight, at Dover you go downhill into the corner, and uphill onto the straight.

That downhill into the corner is notorious for distressing drivers who are heavy on the brakes, and find they don't have them in the latter part of the race.

09/30/2011 4:51 pm (6)
No, that's not bad at all. And the reason I know is because at the last Kansas race, I was texting one of my media friends who was on pit road to find out where he was stationed. He said he was at the 22 pit. I'm standing there, in the inferno heat, thinking, "Who the heck drives the 22??" I was too embarrassed to ask who it was as I stood there with media tags around my neck. I'm using my smart phone to look it up, and then finally asked him, "What sponsor?" He texts back, and I'm still befuddled. Finally he texts, "Turn one." Well thank you very much, I'm on my way. Felt like an idiot! LOL


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