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2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Season in Review – Week 6

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Mar. 18, 2008) – There have been four different race winners in 2008 for the NASCAR Nationwide Series: Tony Stewart (Daytona and California), Mark Martin (Las Vegas), Matt Kenseth (Atlanta) and Clint Bowyer (Bristol). Kevin Harvick, who had finished 21st at Daytona, has amassed four consecutive top 10s since and sits atop the point standings, 49 points ahead of second-place Bowyer.

2008 Season Highlights

  • Tony Stewart won the season-opening race at Daytona, then repeated his trip to Victory Lane in the second race (California). It was just the third time in NASCAR Nationwide Series history that a driver had won the first two races of the season (Dale Earnhardt in 1986 and Chad Little in 1995).
  • Mark Martin won the third race of the season – ending Stewart’s bid to become the first driver to win the first three races of a season in NASCAR Nationwide Series history.
  • Matt Kenseth posted the first victory for Ford in 2008 with his win at Atlanta – making three different manufacturers to win in the first four races.
  • Clint Bowyer won at Bristol, becoming the 10th consecutive different race winner at the Tennessee short track.


  • Tony Stewart won the first ever Coors Light Pole Award, also posting his career-first Daytona pole.
  • Brian Vickers posted his second career pole, at Las Vegas. Vickers’ previous pole had come at Rockingham in November 2003.
  • Qualifying was canceled at California, Atlanta and Bristol.
  • Twenty drivers have posted at least one top-10 start this season. Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick have done so in all five races.

    The Races

  • 27 drivers have posted at least one top-10 finish in 2008.
  • Kevin Harvick has posted top-10 finishes in the four races this season, more than any other driver.
  • At Las Vegas, race-winner Mark Martin posted the fastest lap of the race on the 202nd and final lap, he also had three of the top-five fastest laps over the course of the race. Martin posted the fourth fastest lap on lap 144 and the fifth on lap 194. By contrast, Kyle Busch recorded all five of the fastest laps at Atlanta – but finished 24th after losing the right front tire while leading and dropping off the lead lap.

    Top-10 Finish
    Bryan Clauson (Daytona)
    Dario Franchitti (Las Vegas)
    Laps Led
    Dario Franchitti (Las Vegas)

    The Pole Winner/Race Winner

  • The Coors Light Pole winner (or driver that started first in cases of no qualifying) finishing position:
    First 1
    2nd-5th 2
    6th-10th 0
    11th-30th 1
    31st or beyond 1

  • The lap-leader performance of the pole winner (or driver that started first in cases of no qualifying):
    Led First Lap 1
    Led at All 5
    Led Most Laps 0

  • The race winner’s starting positions:
    Pole 1
    2nd-5th 2
    6th-10th 1
    11th-30th 1
    31st or beyond 0

  • The lap-leader performance of the race winner:
    Led First Lap 2
    Led Most Laps 3
    Led Mid-Race Lap 2
    Led With 10 to Go 2
    Led With One to Go 5

    Note: Mid-Race lap is as scheduled regardless of shortened or extended race length.

    Laps Completed

  • Three drivers have completed every lap raced in 2008: Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and David Ragan.

    Laps Led

  • 27 drivers have led at least one lap this season.
  • Tony Stewart has led 243 laps in 2008 – more than any other driver.
  • Kyle Busch (two), Clint Bowyer (one), Mark Martin (one) and Tony Stewart (one) have each led the most laps in a race this season.
  • The race winner has led the most laps three times in 2008.

    Rookie Performance

  • One rookie finished in the top-10 at Daytona: Bryan Clauson. It was also his career-first top-10 finish on the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
  • Dario Franchitti finished sixth at Las Vegas – posting his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series top 10. He was also the highest finishing rookie at Las Vegas and Bristol.
  • Cale Gale was the highest finishing rookie at Atlanta.


  • There have been 90 on-track penalties issued this season.
  • Penalty Recap:
    Pitting Before Pit Road is Open 37
    Too Fast Entering Pit Road 13
    Too Fast Exiting Pit Road 2
    Others 38


  • Chevrolet holds the early lead in the manufacturer point standings with 36 points. Ford and Toyota each have 27 while Dodge has 20.
  • Chevrolet and Toyota each have two victories and Ford one.

    Behind the Numbers
    Speed MOV Leaders Changes Cautions Laps Lead Lap DNFs
    Daytona 154.154 0.259 8 16 4 12 24 9
    California 141.769 2.408 9 11 5 19 21 13
    Las Vegas 108.118 0.586 11 15 13 55 14 17
    Atlanta 131.290 0.159 11 22 8 30 16 10
    Bristol * 78.874 UC 3 6 7 37 17 10
    Average 122.841 0.853 8.400 14.000 7.400 30.600 18.400 11.800

    # - Extended Race * - Shortened Race

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