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Leading the most laps doesn’t lead to wins unless you’re Kyle Larson or Martin Truex Jr.

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Through 20 races in the NASCAR Cup season, there have been 13 different winners.

But there are only seven drivers who have managed to lead the most laps in at least one race prior to this weekend’s Overton’s 400 at Pocono and two of them haven’t won yet.

Martin Truex Jr. is at the head of the bunch, having led the most laps six times. All three of Furniture Row Racing’s wins – Las Vegas (150 laps), Kansas (104 laps) and Kentucky (152 laps) – are among those six races.

Only one other driver this season, Kyle Larson, has won a race in which he led the most laps.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver has led the most laps four times. He walked away with wins at Auto Club Speedway (110 laps) and Michigan (96 laps).

The remaining drivers who have led the most laps in 2017 are Kyle Busch (five races), Kevin Harvick (two), Brad Keselowski (one), Ryan Blaney (one) and Matt Kenseth (one).

Busch and Kenseth are the two drivers who have managed to lead the most laps in a race this season without winning a race at all.

Busch brought his total to five on Sunday, leading 87 laps in the Brickyard 400 before he and Truex crashed each other on a Lap 111 restart.

After 20 races, Busch trails Truex in total laps led with 1,040. Truex has led 1,260. Busch’s total, combined with the zero in his win column, means Busch has the second most laps in a season ever without a win.

The most belongs to Harry Gant. In 1981, Gant led 1,169 laps in a 31-race season without visiting victory lane.

If Busch were to win this weekend, it would scratch Pocono off the short list of tracks Busch hasn’t won at in the Cup Series. The other is Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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Martin Truex Jr. tops Cup Series lap leaders in 2016

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A lot of laps were run in the 2016 Sprint Cup season.

From February to November, there were 10,523 laps were logged over 36 races.

Here’s a breakdown of the top 10 drivers in laps led in 2016. Topping the list is Martin Truex Jr., who led a career-high 1,809 laps. His previous best was 581 in 2007.

Lap leaders

Martin Truex Jr. – 1,809

Kevin Harvick – 1,384; Career best – 2,294 (2015)

Kyle Busch – 1,379; Career best – 1,673 (2008)

Matt Kenseth – 928; Career best – 1,783 (2013)

Carl Edwards – 918; Career best – 1,282 (2008)

Jimmie Johnson – 737; Career best – 2,238 (2009)

Joey Logano – 703; Career best – 1,431 (2015)

Brad Keselowski – 549; Career best – 1,540 (2014)

Denny Hamlin – 524; Career best – 1,380 (2009)

Kyle Larson – 379 (career best)

Other notes of interest


The 2016 Sprint Cup season by the numbers

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Whether you like it or not the 2016 Sprint Cup season came to an end last night at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

With its conclusion, it’s time to take a look at notable stats that were accumulated over the course of the 36-race season, which consisted of 10,523 laps and 13,929.5 miles of competition.

Here’s just some of the interesting numbers from the 2016 season.

  • 61 – Drivers who competed in at least one race in 2016, 30 competed in all 36. Four drivers made their Cup debut: Dylan Lupton, Ryan Reed, Gray Gaulding and DJ Kennington.
  • 13 –  Drivers who won in 2016, including first-time winners Chris Buescher (Pocono II) and Kyle Larson (Michigan II).
  • 14 – Drivers who earned poles in 2016, including first-time pole-sitters Chase Elliott (Daytona 500) and Alex Bowman (Phoenix II).
  • 5 – Races won from the pole.
  • 6 – Times qualifying was cancelled.
  • 3 – Races won by Martin Truex Jr when qualifying was cancelled.
  • 1,809 – Laps led by Truex, leading all drivers.
  • 3 hours and 57 minutes – The length of the Southern 500, the longest race of the year based on time for the second year in a row.
  • 18.3 – Tony Stewart‘s average finish in his final Sprint Cup season.
  • 12 – Wins by Joe Gibbs Racing, the most of any team.
  • 6 – Races impacted by rain (Texas I and Texas II, Pocono I and Pocono II, Bristol II and Charlotte II).
  • 10 – Races that went into overtime, including four in the Chase (Chicagoland, Talladega II, Phoenix II and Homestead.
  • 96 – Days until the 2017 Daytona 500

How Sprint Cup stars fared in their first 100 starts

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Probably the only person more relieved than Kyle Larson after his win Sunday at Michigan was team owner Chip Ganassi.

“I remember when I got into this business, James Finch told me it took a hundred races before these guys could figure it out,” Ganassi said. “Thank God we beat the triple digit by one.”

Larson, who earned his first Sprint Cup win, was seven days away from making his 100th career start in NASCAR’s premier series.

The 24-year-old driver made his first foray into the series on Oct. 12, 2013 in the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Driving the No. 51 for HScott Motorsports, Larson finished 37th after engine failure on Lap 247.

Larson has 15 top fives, 35 tops 10s, 350 laps led and one pole (Pocono, Aug. 2014). He also has 13 DNFs. Larson’s win gives him an average finish of 16.5 heading into his 100th start, Sunday’s Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

“We’ve been close a few times throughout my Sprint Cup career,” said Larson, who finished second four times before his triumph. “To finally put it all together and get a win, it’s awesome. Glad to get it before my hundredth start next week.”

Here’s a look at how some of Larson’s young peers and a few NASCAR legends fared in their first 100 starts.

Austin Dillon

Career starts: 109

First start: 2011 Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway (Finished 26th, two laps down)

100th start: 2016 FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway (Started and finished eighth)

Stats in first 100 starts: two poles, five top fives, 16 tops 10s, 52 laps led and five DNFs

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Career starts: 136

First start: 2011 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Finished 11th)

100th start: 2015 Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway (Finished 21st, four laps down)

Stats in first 100 starts: one pole, three top fives, nine top 10s, 36 laps led and six DNFs

WATKINS GLEN, NY - AUGUST 11: Kyle Busch, driver of the #5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Chevrolet, drives during practice for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Centurion Boats at The Glen at Watkins Glen International on August 11, 2007 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kyle Busch made his 100th Sprint Cup start in 2007 at Watkins Glen International. Busch still drove for Hendrick Motorsports. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kyle Busch

Career starts: 414

First start: 2004 UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Finished 40th, crash)

100th start: 2007 Centurion Boats at Watkins Glen International (Finished seventh)

Stats in first 100 starts: Four wins, two poles, 24 tops fives, 43 top 10s,  1,107 laps led and 15 DNFs

Brad Keselowski

Career starts: 257

First start: 2008 Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway (Finished 19th, two laps down)

100th start: 2012 Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway (Started and finished 15th)

Stats in first 100 starts: Six wins, two poles, 14 top fives, 25 tops 10s, 598 laps led and eight DNFs

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Career starts: 595

First start: 1999 Coca-Cola 600 (Finished 16th, three laps down)

100th start: 20o2 Mountain Dew 500 (Finished 16th)

Stats in first 100 starts: Six wins, five poles, 18 top fives, 30 top 10s, 1,919 laps led and 15 DNFs

FONTANA, CA - SEPTEMBER 4: Jimmie Johnson driving the #48 Lowes Chevrolet during practice for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Pop Secret 500 on September 4, 2004 at California Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Gavin Lawrence/Getty Images).
Jimmie Johnson made his 100th Sprint Cup Series start on Sept. 4, 2004 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by Gavin Lawrence/Getty Images).

Jimmie Johnson

Career start: 531

First start: 2001 UAW-GM Quality 500 at Charlotte (Finished 39th, crash)

100th start: 2004 Pop Secret at Auto Club Speedway (Finished 14th)

Stats in first 100 starts: 10 wins, seven poles, 35 top 10s, 57 top 10s,  2, 481 laps led and 12 DNFs

Tony Stewart

Career starts: 606

First start: 1999 Daytona 500 (Finished 28th, 19 laps down)

100th start: 2001 Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 at North Carolina Speedway (Finished seventh)

Stats in first 100 starts: 12 wins, four poles, 38 top fives, 64 top 10s,  2, 795 laps led and 10 DNFs

Top 10 driver ratings for the Camping World Truck Series in 2015


Erik Jones took home the title in his rookie season in the Camping World Truck Series. Jones, driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports, finished the season with three wins, which equaled his total from 2014.

Jones ended the 2015 season with the best driver rating. This season there were five drivers in the top 10 of the stat category who weren’t in it in 2014.

NASCAR tabulates the driver rating based off totals in wins, finishes, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, led most laps and lead-lap finish. There is a maximum 150 points per race. They must have raced in 75 percent of scheduled point-paying races.

Here’s the final totals for driver ratings in the Truck series.

  1. Erik Jones (117.9) – Jones topped the total earned by Darrell Wallace Jr. in 2014 (109.5).
  2. Matt Crafton (113.9) – The two-time champion finished with the runner-up driver rating for the second year in a row. In 2014, he finished with a rating of 106.0.
  3. Tyler Reddick (100.54) – Reddick is one of three rookies in the top five driver ratings. This is the second-straight year a Brad Keselowski Racing driver finished with the third-best rating (Ryan Blaney, 101.7).
  4. John Hunter Nemechek (95.0) – Nemechek finished in the top five despite not racing in five of the season’s 28 races. He earned one win at Chicagoland Speedway.
  5. Johnny Sauter (93.0) – Sauter slipped one spot from 2014 when his rating was 94.8. Sauter did not earn a Truck win for the first time since 2008.
  6. Timothy Peters (91.0) – Finished with two wins in 2015. Had the fifth-best rating in 2014 (88.8).
  7. Cameron Hayley (87.6) – A rookie, Hayley helped put all three ThorSport drivers into the top 10.
  8. John Wes Townley (79.3) – Improved two spots from 2014. Was helped by earning his first career NASCAR win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
  9. Daniel Hemric (78.7) – The rookie finished the season with four top-five finishes. He led only 18 laps.
  10. Ben Kennedy (77.5) – Dropped three spots from 2014 when he finished with a rating of 80.0.