Milestone Alert: 2,500th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race
Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway marks the 2,500th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.
Below are some stats from the first 2,499 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.
· The first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race was held at Charlotte Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina on June 19, 1949 - the race was won by Jim Roper (Lincoln)
· 186 drivers have won a race
· The series has competed on 156 different tracks
· 224 different drivers have won a Coors Light Pole
· 2,536 drivers have made a start
Busch Wins DAYTONA 500
After finishing runner-up in the DAYTONA 500 three times (2003, 2005, 2008), Kurt Busch won his first Great American Race by leading only the final lap. The 2004 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion is the 15th title-winner to visit Victory Lane in the DAYTONA 500. Busch's triumph also marked the first DAYTONA 500 win for owner Tony Stewart and crew chief Tony Gibson. "There is nothing predictable about this race anymore, and the more years that have gone by that I didn't win I kept trying to go back to patterns that I had seen in the past," Busch said of the race, which featured three lead changes on the final three laps. "My mirror fell off with 30 laps to go, and I couldn't even see out the back. It just got crazy and wild, and I am so proud of all the drivers at the end. We put on a show for a full fuel run, and nobody took each other out, and it was one of the smartest chess games I have seen out there." Busch's win was also the first for Ford with Stewart-Haas Racing. Coincidentally, his primary sponsor is Monster Energy and he won the first-ever Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.
Busch will go for his second consecutive win in Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway - a track where he's won three times.
Many of the young drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series shined in Sunday's 59th running of the DAYTONA 500.
Ryan Blaney, 23, finished second and scored points in all three stages (finishing third in Stage 1 and 10th in Stage 2).
Joey Logano, 26, came in sixth and posted a second-place finish in Stage 2.
Kyle Larson, 24, finished 12th after running out of gas with the lead on the final lap. He scored points in the first two stages (placing sixth in Stage 1 and eighth in Stage 2).
Coors Light Pole Award winner Chase Elliott, 21, paced the field five times for 39 laps and led the field for the majority of Stage 3 (23 of the final 26 laps) until he also ran out of fuel and was passed by Martin Truex Jr. with three laps remaining. He finished 14th. If Elliott wins at Atlanta, he would top Kyle Busch as the youngest Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victor at the 1.5-mile track. Busch was 22 years, 10 months, 7 days old when he visited Victory Lane at the 1.54-mile track on March 9, 2008.
Parity Abundant At DAYTONA 500
The top 13 finishers in the DAYTONA 500 all came from different teams: 1. Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing; 2, Ryan Blaney, Wood Brothers Racing; 3. AJ Allmendinger, JTG Daugherty Racing; 4. Aric Almirola, Richard Petty Motorsports; 5. Paul Menard, Richard Childress Racing; 6. Joey Logano, Team Penske; 7. Kasey Kahne, Hendrick Motorsports; 8. Michael Waltrip, Premium Motorsports; 9. Matt DiBenedetto, Go FAS Racing; 10. Trevor Bayne, Roush Fenway Racing; 11. Brendan Gaughan, Beard Motorsports; 12. Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing; 13. Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing.
Johnson Goes For Sixth Atlanta Victory
Active Atlanta wins leader Jimmie Johnson will go for his sixth victory at the 1.54-mile track this weekend. The seven-time champion boasts five wins, 14 top fives and 16 top 10s in the Peach State. He also owns the top average running position (8.7) and driver rating (107.1), as well as the third-best average finish (9.6) at AMS. Johnson has won the most recent two Atlanta races. Both were held in February/March after the race was moved from Labor Day weekend for the 2015 season. The last driver prior to Johnson to win at Atlanta was his teammate Kasey Kahne in 2014.
Kahne Hopes He's Able At One Of His Top Tracks
#5-Kasey Kahne has failed to win a race in his last 84 starts. On Sunday, he returns to the site of his last victory - Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kahne came up clutch at the Georgia track on Aug. 31, 2014, leading 24 laps and making the playoffs in a "win-or-go-home" situation. In 20 Atlanta starts, Kahne claims three wins, seven top fives and nine top 10s. He's led 353 laps at the 1.54-mile track.
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