By the numbers: Daytona International Speedway stats and driver ratings

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NASCAR officials aren’t just motorheads, they’re also number geeks – and I mean that in a good way.

The sanctioning body’s crack statistics crew have once again put out a number of, well, numbers related to Sunday’s Daytona 500 that not only give you a great history of the Great American Race, they also show how the best of the best drivers have fared in recent years at the 2.5-mile superspeedway.

Enjoy:

Fast Facts about the Daytona International Speedway (including Daytona 500 and Coke Zero 400):

* There have been 133 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at the fabled Daytona International Speedway since the track hosted its first race in 1959: 55 have been 500 miles, 51 were 400 miles and four 250 miles. There were also 23 qualifier races that were point races.

* Fireball Roberts won the inaugural pole at Daytona.

* Bob Welborn won the first race at Daytona, the 100-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500.

* Lee Petty won the inaugural Daytona 500 on Feb. 22, 1959; he led 38 laps and won by 2 feet.

* Fireball Roberts won the first 400-mile race at Daytona, the 1963 Firecracker 400.

* 57 different drivers have posted poles at Daytona.

* Cale Yarborough leads all drivers with 12 poles at Daytona.

* Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin lead all active drivers with three poles at Daytona.

* 56 different drivers have won Cup races at Daytona.

* Richard Petty leads all drivers in victories at Daytona with 10.

* Jeff Gordon has six victories at Daytona, more than any other active driver.

* The Wood Brothers have won 15 races at Daytona, more than any other car owner.

* 17 full-length races at Daytona have been won from the pole; the last to do it was Jimmie Johnson in the 2013 Daytona 500.

* A driver has swept both the Daytona 500 and the July race only five times at Daytona International Speedway: Jimmie Johnson (2013), Bobby Allison (1982), LeeRoy Yarborough (1969), Cale Yarborough (1968) and Fireball Roberts (1962).

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Daytona:

No. 18 – Kyle Busch 96.9

No. 14 – Tony Stewart 93.0

No. 20 – Matt Kenseth 92.6

No. 88 – Dale Earnhardt Jr. 89.7

No. 41 – Kurt Busch 88.8

No. 48 – Jimmie Johnson 88.4

No. 24 – Jeff Gordon 87.2

No. 15 – Clint Bowyer 86.2

No. 11 – Denny Hamlin 83.7

No. 5   -Kasey Kahne 82.4

* Driver Ratings are compiled from 2005-2013 races (17 total) at Daytona.

** Ratings are compiled by combining the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.

(Statistics and information courtesy of NASCAR)

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Have a decent tax refund coming? Buy Ayrton Senna’s 1993 Monaco-winning car

Photos courtesy Bonhams
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Are you expecting a better than normal tax refund? Did you get a very nice bonus from your company due to the new tax cut?

Well, if you have a good chunk of change hanging around and potentially can be in Monaco on May 11, you can have a chance to bid on the 1993 McLaren-Ford MP4/8A that the late Ayrton Senna drove in — and won — that year’s Monaco Grand Prix.

We’re not just talking about any race winner. It’s also the same car Senna won his sixth Monaco Grand Prix, and the chassis bears the number six.

It’s also the same car Senna piloted to that season’s F1 championship (his third and final title before sadly being killed the next year) and is the first McLaren driven by Senna that’s ever been sold or put up for auction.

The famed Bonhams auction house is overseeing the sale of the car.

“Any Grand Prix-winning car is important, but to have the golden combination of both Senna and Monaco is a seriously rare privilege indeed,” Bonhams global head of motorsport, Mark Osborne, told The Robb Report.

“Senna and Monaco are historically intertwined, and this car represents the culmination of his achievements at the Monegasque track. This is one of the most significant Grand Prix cars ever to appear at auction, and is certainly the most significant Grand Prix car to be offered since the Fangio Mercedes-Benz W196R, which sold for a world record at auction.”

How much might you need? You might want to get a couple of friends to throw in a few bucks as well.

“We expect the car to achieve a considerable seven-figure sum,” Osborne said.

The London newspaper “The Telegraph” predicts the car will sell in the $6.1 million range.”

“This car will set the world record for a Senna car at auction,” Osborne said. “We are as certain as you can be in the auction world.”

While you won’t be able to take the car for a test drive before the auction, it’ll be ready to roar once you pay the price.

“In theory, the buyer could be racing immediately upon receipt of the cleared funds after the auction,” Osborne said. “All systems are primed and ready.”