For Immediate Release Season In Review – Final A Look At The 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Season DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 20, 2008) – Clint Bowyer won the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship, his first series title. He finished the season 21 points ahead of Carl Edwards, the fourthclosest championship margin in series history. Bowyer finished the 2008 season with one victory, 14 top-five finishes and 29 top-10s. He had no DNFs. There were 12 different race winners in 2008, led by Kyle Busch who tied a series record with 10 wins this season. 2008 Season Highlights • Tony Stewart won the season-opening race at Daytona then repeated his trip to Victory Lane in the second race (Auto Club Speedway). It was just the third time in NASCAR Nationwide Series history 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 (Las Vegas), 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 it 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. Kyle Busch posted his first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory of 2008 with his win at Texas. Busch has won in all three of NASCAR’s national series this season, making this the fourth consecutive season he has won in all three series. Only two other drivers have accomplished the feat and both did so just once – Kevin Harvick in 2003 and Terry Labonte in 1995. Kyle Busch became the second repeat winner with his victory at Phoenix. Like Tony Stewart, Busch’s wins came in consecutive races. Kyle Busch posted his third consecutive victory of 2008 with his win at Mexico City. Busch’s victories all came on different type tracks. Tony Stewart won his second restrictor-plate race with his victory at Talladega. Tony Stewart won his fourth race of the season and the sixth consecutive for Joe Gibbs Racing with his win at Darlington – his first there in any NASCAR series. Kyle Busch became the second four-time winner of the season with his victory at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. • • • • • • • • • 2-2-2-2 NASCAR Nationwide Series – Season In Review • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Denny Hamlin became the third multiple-race winner with his victory at Dover, his second of the season. Brad Keselowski became the first driver to post his career-first victory in 2008 with his win at Nashville. Joey Logano won at Kentucky and became the second first-time winner in as many races. He also became the youngest winner in series history at 18 years, 21 days. Carl Edwards edged Clint Bowyer to win at Milwaukee, posting his first victory since Nashville in June 2007. Tony Stewart continued his partial-season dominance winning his fifth race of the year with his victory at New Hampshire. Denny Hamlin won the July Daytona race, the ninth victory for the No. 20 car this season. Kyle Busch won at Chicagoland, the third straight Joe Gibbs Racing victory and the 13th of the year for the organization. Carl Edwards took the checkered flag at Gateway, posting his second victory in 2008. Kyle Busch dominated at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, leading 197 of the 200 laps en route to his series-leading sixth victory. Ron Fellows won the rain-shortened Montreal race, posting his first series victory since Watkins Glen in July 2001. Marcos Ambrose posted his first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory with his win at Watkins Glen. Carl Edwards won at Michigan, posting his first series win there. Brad Keselowski posted his second career victory with a late-race charge past Clint Bowyer to win at Bristol. Kyle Busch posted his series-leading seventh victory when he won at the Auto Club Speedway, scoring a perfect Driver Rating of 150.0. Carl Edwards won his fourth race of the season with his victory at Richmond. Kyle Busch posted his eighth victory of the season and scored a perfect Driver Rating of 150.0 with his win at Dover. Denny Hamlin won the Kansas Lottery 300 – posting the third victory for the No. 18 in four races. Kyle Busch won the Dollar General 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, his ninth win of 2008. Carl Edwards won his fifth race of 2008 with his victory at Memphis. Kyle Busch won the O’Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway, tying the all-time record for wins in a season held by Sam Ard (10 in 1983). Carl Edwards continued his charge on points leader Clint Bowyer with his victory at Phoenix, his sixth of the season. Carl Edwards won the final race of the year, posting his seventh win of the season. 3-3-3-3 NASCAR Nationwide Series – Season In Review Qualifying • • 162 drivers attempted to qualify for at least one race this season, including Robert Pressley and Auggie Vidovich who qualified for other drivers. There were 18 different pole winners in 2008: Kyle Busch (four) Carl Edwards (four) Joey Logano (three) Tony Stewart (two) Brian Vickers (two) Jamie McMurray (two) • Colin Braun (two) Kasey Kahne (one) Brad Keselowski (one) Landon Cassill (one) Bryan Clauson (one) David Reutimann (one) Scott Pruett (one) Dario Franchitti (one) Cale Gale (one) Kevin Harvick (one) James Buescher (one) Denny Hamlin (one) There were eight first-time pole winners this season: Colin Braun (Mexico City) Joey Logano (Nashville-2) Brad Keselowski (Milwaukee) Landon Cassill (New Hampshire) Bryan Clauson (Daytona-2) Dario Franchitti (Watkins Glen) Cale Gale (Bristol-2) James Buescher (Memphis) • • 60 drivers posted at least one top-10 start this season, led by Carl Edwards with 25. Qualifying was canceled at Auto Club Speedway, Atlanta, Bristol, Texas and Richmond-2. The Races • • 150 drivers qualified for at least one NASCAR Nationwide Series race this season. There were 12 different race winners in 2008: Kyle Busch (10) Carl Edwards (seven) Tony Stewart (five) Denny Hamlin (four) Brad Keselowski (two) • • Mark Martin (one) Matt Kenseth (one) Clint Bowyer (one) Scott Wimmer (one) Joey Logano (one) Ron Fellows (one) Marcos Ambrose (one) 49 drivers registered at least one top-10 finish in 2008, led by Clint Bowyer with 29. Nine drivers had their series-best finish in 2008 be second: Greg Biffle Colin Braun Jeff Burton Patrick Carpentier Kevin Harvick Kasey Kahne David Reutimann David Stremme Brian Vickers • 10 races were extended by green-white-checkered finishes in 2008: Las Vegas Atlanta Phoenix Richmond Darlington Charlotte Daytona-2 Dover-2 Memphis Phoenix-2 • Two races were shortened in 2008: Bristol (171 laps) and Montreal (48 laps). 4-4-4-4 NASCAR Nationwide Series – Season In Review Records • Denny Hamlin won at Richmond, scoring the fifth consecutive victory for Joe Gibbs Racing. It was the first time in the history of the NASCAR Nationwide Series that an owner posted five straight wins. Roush Fenway Racing recorded four consecutive victories in 2000 (Rockingham through Darlington) with Mark Martin winning Rockingham, Atlanta and Darlington (in the No. 60) and Jeff Burton winning Las Vegas (in the No. 9). Three different drivers registered victories for JGR during the streak: Kyle Busch (Texas and Phoenix in the No. 18 and Mexico City in the No. 20), Tony Stewart (Talladega in the No. 20) and Hamlin (Richmond in the No. 20). Stewart extended the Gibbs streak to six races with his victory at Darlington (the fourth straight for the No. 20). JGR registered its 14th victory of the season with Busch’s win at O’Reilly Raceway Park. That broke a tie with Richard Childress Racing for the most by a car owner (2007). James Hylton competed in the second Daytona race, his first NASCAR Nationwide Series race since June 24, 2006. At 72 years, 313 days old, he extended his record as the oldest competitor in any of NASCAR’s three national series. Kyle Busch has won 10 NASCAR Nationwide races this season, tying Sam Ard for the most victories in a series single season. • • • First-Timers Start James Buescher (Phoenix) Kevin O’Connell (Mexico City) Ryan Hackett (Richmond) Joey Logano (Dover) Shelby Howard (ORP) Wheeler Boys (Montreal) Andrew Ranger (Montreal) Scott Steckly (Montreal) John Wes Townley (Dover-2) Justin Allgaier (Charlotte-2) Marc Davis (Memphis) Jarit Johnson (Memphis) Brian Ickler (Phoenix-2) Patrick Sheltra (Phoenix-2) Top-10 Finish Bryan Clauson (Daytona) Dario Franchitti (Las Vegas) Cale Gale (Nashville) Steve Wallace (Mexico City) Chase Miller (Darlington) Joey Logano (Dover) Colin Braun (ORP) Josh Wise (ORP) Austin Dillon (Memphis) Pole Colin Braun (Mexico City) Joey Logano (Nashville) Brad Keselowski (Milwaukee) Landon Cassill (New Hampshire) Bryan Clauson (Daytona-2) Dario Franchitti (Watkins Glen) Cale Gale (Bristol-2) James Buescher (Memphis) Win Brad Keselowski (Nashville) Joey Logano (Kentucky) Marcos Ambrose (WGI) Laps Led Dario Franchitti (Texas) Dwayne Leik (Talladega) Sam Hornish Jr. (Charlotte) James Buescher (Milwaukee) Joey Logano (Nashville) Bryan Clauson (Dover-2) Andrew Ranger (Kansas) 5-5-5-5 NASCAR Nationwide Series – Season In Review The Pole Winner/Race Winner • The Coors Light Pole winner (or driver that started first in cases of no qualifying) finishing position: First 7 2nd-5th 9 6th-10th 5 11th-30th 8 31st or beyond 6 The lap-leader performance of the pole winner (or driver that started first in cases of no qualifying): Led First Lap 23 Led at All 30 Led Most Laps 8 Won Race 8 The race winner’s starting positions: Pole 7 2nd-5th 13 6th-10th 5 11th-30th 7 31st or beyond 3 The lap-leader performance of the race winner: Led First Lap 9 Led Most Laps 22 Led Mid-Race Lap 13 Led With 10 to Go 29 Led With One to Go 35 Note: Mid-Race lap is as scheduled regardless of shortened or extended race length. • • • Laps Led • • • 60 drivers led at least one lap this season. Kyle Busch led 1,933 laps in 2008, more than any other driver. Drivers who led the most laps (number of races): Kyle Busch (14) Carl Edwards (five) Tony Stewart (four) Clint Bowyer (four) Denny Hamlin (three) Points • • • • • There were three changes among three drivers who have led the points standings in 2008: Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer. Tony Stewart led the points for three races, his third time ever to lead the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings. His other two times were after the first race of both 2005 and 2006. Kevin Harvick took the points lead following Atlanta. Clint Bowyer assumed the points lead at Nashville in March – his first time to lead the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings. Two drivers have ranked in the top 10 in points all season: Carl Edwards and David Ragan. Mark Martin (one) Scott Pruett (one) Brad Keselowski (one) Marcus Ambrose (one) Jeff Burton (one) 6-6-6-6 NASCAR Nationwide Series – Season In Review Rookie Performance • • • Three rookie contenders won poles this season: Landon Cassill (Memphis), Bryan Clauson (Daytona-2) and Dario Franchitti (Watkins Glen). One rookie finished in the top 10 at Daytona in February: Bryan Clauson (sixth). It was also his career-first top-10 finish in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Six different drivers were the highest-finishing rookie in at least one race: Dario Franchitti (nine) Bryan Clauson (eight) Landon Cassill (seven) • Cale Gale (six) Patrick Carpentier (two) Chase Miller (two) There were no rookie participants in the O’Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway. Owner Highlights • Joe Gibbs Racing set the mark for the most owner wins in an NASCAR Nationwide Series season with 19, breaking the record set by Richard Childress Racing. Both JGR cars won races this season (No. 20 – nine; No. 18 – 10) and both won with multiple drivers (No. 20 – Tony Stewart – five, Denny Hamlin – two, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano – one each; No. 18 – Kyle Busch – eight, Denny Hamlin – two). Childress set the mark last year with 13 wins among three drivers in three cars. All three regular Joe Gibbs Racing drivers won this season and all three won at least one race in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Joey Logano also won in the 20, giving the team four different winners. The No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota posted 10 victories in 2008 – tying for the most in the history of the series – tying Sam Ard’s No. 00 (1983) and the Richard Childress Racing No. 21 (2006) for the all-time record for wins by a car in a single season. Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 40 Dodge posted back-to-back poles at Montreal and Watkins Glen – with different drivers at the wheel – Scott Pruett (Montreal) and Dario Franchitti (Watkins Glen). Jack Roush posted his 19th overall victory at Michigan when Carl Edwards won there. Roush has 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins and four each in the Nationwide and Truck Series. • • • • Car Owner’s Championship • • • Joe Gibbs Racing won the car owner’s championship with the No. 20 Toyota finishing the season 12 points ahead of the No. 2 of Richard Childress Racing. The 20 car posted nine victories with four different drivers: Tony Stewart (five), Denny Hamlin (two), Kyle Busch (one) and Joey Logano (one). This is the third time in series history that there has been a split championship. All three have occurred since 2003, all involved multiple drivers for the winning car owner and all have involved Richard Childress Racing. 2003 2007 2008 Driver Champion Brian Vickers (Hendrick Motorsports) Carl Edwards (Roush Fenway Racing) Clint Bowyer (Richard Childress Racing) Owner Champion Richard Childress Racing Richard Childress Racing Joe Gibbs Racing 7-7-7-7 NASCAR Nationwide Series – Season In Review Penalties • • There were 512 on-track penalties issued this season. Penalty Recap: Pitting Before Pit Road is Open Too Fast Entering Pit Road Too Fast Exiting Pit Road Others Manufacturer • • • Toyota won the manufacturers’ championship – its first in the series, with 253 points. Chevrolet was second with 201. Ford had 199 points while Dodge had 117. Toyota had 20 victories in 2008; Ford nine and Chevrolet six. Toyota swept the first three finishing positions at New Hampshire – the best performance by a manufacturer this season. 205 63 57 187 Notebook • Kyle Busch won 10 races this season, in three different cars, for two different owners. Busch drove four different cars for three different owners: Joe Gibbs (No. 18, 20), Todd Braun (No. 32) and Eddie D’Hondt (No. 92). He has won for Gibbs and Braun and finished second at Watkins Glen for D’Hondt. Busch also won with five different crew chiefs: Jason Ratcliff, Doug Hewitt and Joel Weidman (No. 18), Dave Rogers (No. 20) and Todd Lohse (No. 32). Joey Logano posted his first career pole in qualifying for Nashville. Brad Keselowski followed by winning his first career race. It was the 29th time in series history that a first-time pole and first-time race winner occurred in the same event. Only five times has the same driver posted both a first pole and first victory in the same event. Joey Logano posted his second series pole and then won at Kentucky – registering his first career win in just his third NASCAR Nationwide Series race. He became the 19th driver to score his first victory within his first three series races. Eight of the other 18 drivers posted their first series win in 1982, the first year for the series, and 14 did so within the first three years of the series. Logano joined Derrike Cope (1994 – third race), Ron Fellows (1998 – second race) and Kurt Busch (2006 – first race) as the only drivers to achieve their first win within their first three races since 1987. Morgan Shepherd finished on the lead lap at Talladega, his first time in a NASCAR Nationwide Series race since Rockingham on Oct. 23, 1999. His last lead-lap finish in any of the three major NASCAR series was in the season opener for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Daytona on Feb. 16, 2001. Colin Braun won the pole at Mexico City in his third series start; Joey Logano won the pole at Nashville – his second series start. Mark Green qualified fourth at Richmond – his best start since he rolled off fifth at Rockingham in October 1998. Steve Wallace and David Stremme finished fifth and sixth, respectively, at Richmond – the first time two Rusty Wallace Racing drivers have posted top 10s in the same race. They repeated the performance at Darlington the following week. • • • • • • 8-8-8-8 NASCAR Nationwide Series – Season In Review • • Bobby Hillin Jr. finished 36th at Kansas, his first race on a NASCAR national series since he competed in a NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol on Aug. 26, 2000. James Buescher became the third-youngest driver to win a pole on the NASCAR Nationwide Series with his pole at Memphis. At 18 years, seven months and 29 days he posted the fifth-youngest pole winner age. Casey Atwood and Joey Logano posted poles twice each at a younger age. Behind the Numbers Speed MOV Leaders Daytona 154.154 0.259 8 California 141.769 2.408 9 Las Vegas # 108.118 0.586 11 Atlanta # 131.290 0.159 11 Bristol * 78.874 UC 3 Nashville 134.095 0.578 5 Texas 151.707 1.041 8 Phoenix # 98.764 0.241 5 Mexico 68.124 0.737 7 Talladega 133.111 0.302 9 Richmond # 96.238 0.789 4 Darlington # 107.139 0.814 8 Lowe’s # 120.331 UC 11 Dover 112.395 1.072 3 Nashville 117.643 1.980 8 Kentucky 135.508 2.259 8 Milwaukee 91.678 1.589 9 New Hampshire 109.025 UC 5 Daytona # 155.761 0.133 10 Chicagoland 144.443 3.120 6 Gateway 108.095 6.877 9 O’Reilly Park 80.622 1.111 4 Montreal * 50.149 UC 4 Watkins Glen 85.957 UC 7 Michigan 136.571 UC 4 Bristol 93.509 1.025 4 California 144.212 UC 6 Richmond 90.787 1.552 5 Dover # 107.084 0.866 4 Kansas 122.296 1.407 8 Lowe’s 103.647 0.661 7 Memphis # 88.783 0.147 3 Texas 140.900 0.253 4 Phoenix # 132.915 0.096 6 Homestead 117.340 0.639 8 Average 114.084 1.168 6.60 # - Extended Race * - Shortened Race Changes 16 11 15 22 6 10 12 14 10 15 3 11 18 5 10 14 12 11 17 10 12 3 3 11 10 5 7 7 5 10 12 2 10 6 10 10.11 Cautions 4 5 13 8 7 3 4 9 7 8 8 8 12 6 10 5 9 5 3 3 6 7 4 6 6 5 5 9 7 6 13 8 5 9 8 6.94 Laps 12 19 55 30 37 20 13 36 18 27 41 36 44 26 40 25 34 22 10 15 25 35 12 15 21 26 15 50 34 31 58 38 20 41 38 29.11 Lead Lap 24 21 14 16 17 8 14 15 30 13 16 11 21 15 17 16 22 18 21 14 14 24 16 23 18 18 14 22 19 13 19 6 13 20 21 17.23 DNFs 9 13 17 10 10 8 9 12 10 20 6 20 13 17 13 14 13 12 8 10 18 11 13 14 9 8 10 9 17 9 13 12 8 8 12 11.83 For more information contact: Michael Payne, NASCAR Public Relations, (386) 527-1263 or email@example.com.