NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Reaches Midpoint

Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart needed little time to grasp the driver-owner concept. At the season’s midpoint, he has already:

* Won two races (Pocono and Daytona), becoming the first driver-owner to win a race since Ricky Rudd in 1998, and the first to win multiple races since Rudd in ’97;

* Captured the points lead, the first driver-owner to do so since Alan Kulwicki in 1992;

* Put both of his Stewart-Haas Racing cars in the top 12 in points.

Stewart’s surprising success highlights a season filled with compelling storylines. Competition is strong and balanced, as illustrated by the 11 different race winners this season. There were 12 different winners in all of 2008, including seven drivers who have yet to win this season. In other words, last year’s mark will likely be passed.

Some other statistics gleaned from the first half:

* 7 different teams represented in the current NASCAR Sprint Cup top 12
* 8 different Coors Light Pole winners
* 34 drivers with at least one top-10 finish
* 40 drivers have led at least one lap
* Average Margin of Victory of 1.044 seconds
* 10 races with an MOV under 1 second
* Average of 11 leaders per race
* Average of 20 lead changes per race
* Average of 22 green flag passes for the lead all around the track
* Average of 3,038 green flag passes per race
* 52% of the cars finished on the lead lap
* 85% of the cars were running at the finish
* All four manufacturers have won a race and are in the top 12 NASCAR PR

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