NASCAR chairman Brian France’s unwavering stance to bring parity to the sport during his 10-year tenure is finally paying dividends.
While most of the sport is off this week for the Easter holiday and spring break, NASCAR’s PR staff sent out a media release Thursday that shows just how close the racing has gotten thus far in 2014.
Through this season’s first eight races:
* Although the Sprint Cup Series saw its first repeat winner at Darlington with Kevin Harvick’s win after different winners in the first seven races, the streak of eight different Coors Light Pole winners remains intact. That streak is tied for the series’ longest season-opening streak of different pole winners.
* All three manufacturers have won races thus far: Chevrolet leads with four wins, Ford has three and Toyota has one.
* There have been an average of 12 different leaders per race, compared to 8.6 at this point last year.
* There have been an average of 25.6 lead changes per race, compared to 17.4 in 2013.
* There have been 29,541 green flag passes, compared to 23,178 in 2013.
* There have been 346 green flag passes for the lead, compared to 181 in 2013.
* The average margin of victory in the first eight races has been just 0.588 seconds, the smallest since 2008.
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Juncos Racing continued to bolster its entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by signing Carlos Cunha to pilot a third Juncos Pro Mazda entry for 2018. Cunha, who finished third in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season on the back of seven podium finishes, joins Rinus VeeKay and Robert Megennis in Juncos’ Pro Mazda lineup for 2018.
Cunha previously tested with the team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October and joined Juncos for the Chris Griffis Memorial test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in November, testing cars for both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires teams.
“It’s great to become a part of Juncos Racing,” said the 18-year-old Cunha. “I am really excited to start the 2018 season with Juncos Racing. This fall we did some testing together and from there I was able to see how focused everyone on the team is and I even felt like I became a part of their family in no time. I am confident we will get great results together next year and I look forward to learning and growing more with the team. It will be a huge pleasure and also a great responsibility to carry the number one on my car, thanks to (2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni) and I hope to deliver it back to the team at the end of the year!”
Team owner Ricardo Juncos added, “We are excited to add Carlos to our Pro Mazda lineup. From the moment we started testing with him in early October, we knew he would be a great fit for our team. Carlos has been very quick in testing and even had an impressive showing in the Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis test back in October. He had a great run this past season in the Pro Mazda series and we are confident he will carry that momentum into the 2018 season.”