Everything you need to know about the 2014 Chasers at Charlotte

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Sunday’s Contender Round opener had a sizable impact on the Chase for the Sprint Cup, as several drivers that have been considered title contenders now find themselves in less-than-ideal situations.

Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Jimmie Johnson all crashed at Kansas, and all of them now face points deficits of 20 points or more. The beauty of the new Chase format is that a win can solve all of their problems.

But with Talladega coming in two weeks as the elimination race for the Contender Round, Saturday night’s 500-miler at Charlotte Motor Speedway has become that much more critical for them.

The same scenario also applies for everyone else in the Chase besides Kansas winner Joey Logano. It’s been said before, and it needs to be said again: Nobody wants to go to the unpredictable ‘Dega needing a win to stay in the championship fight.

Courtesy of NASCAR’s public relations and statistics teams, here’s everything you need to know for the fifth race of the 2014 postseason, the Bank of America 500…

CHARLOTTE-SPECIFIC STATISTICS

1 – Joey Logano (No. 22 Pennzoil Platinum Ford)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 107.7
2014 Rundown
· Five wins, 14 top fives, 19 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 11.8
· Led 20 races for 916 laps
Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Three top fives, six top 10s
· Average finish of 10.5 in 11 races
· Average Running Position of 14.1, sixth-best
· Driver Rating of 88.0, ninth-best

2 – Kyle Busch (No. 18 Doublemint Toyota)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 91.1
2014 Rundown
· One win, seven top fives, 13 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 16.7
· Led 14 races for 412 laps
Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Nine top fives, 13 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 15.6 in 21 races
· Average Running Position of 10.0, second-best
· Driver Rating of 106.3, second-best
· 460 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
· 5,291 Laps in the Top 15 (77.4%), second-most
· Series-high 973 Quality Passes

3 – Carl Edwards (No. 99 Fastenal Ford)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 82.8
2014 Rundown
· Two wins, seven top fives, 12 top 10s
· Average finish of 14.5
· Led 10 races for 134 laps
Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Six top fives, 12 top 10s
· Average finish of 11.4 in 19 races
· Average Running Position of 14.6, seventh-best
· Driver Rating of 89.8, seventh-best
· 1,592 Green Flag Passes, second-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 176.106 mph, 11th-fastest
· 4,280 Laps in the Top 15 (62.6%), sixth-most
· 806 Quality Passes, fifth-most

4 – Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 85.6
2014 Rundown
· Two top fives, 12 top 10s
· Average finish of 13.8
· Led 5 races for 30 laps
Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Four top fives, 10 top 10s; nine poles
· Average finish of 19.0 in 27 races
· Average Running Position of 17.5, 18th-best
· Driver Rating of 78.1, 19th-best
· 1,379 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most

5 – Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 90.7
2014 Rundown
· One win, six top fives, 13 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 15.2
· Led 12 races for 195 laps
Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Four top fives, 10 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 13.7 in 18 races
· Average Running Position of 12.7, fourth-best
· Driver Rating of 92.6, fifth-best
· 235 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 176.222 mph, seventh-fastest
· 4,586 Laps in the Top 15 (71.2%), fourth-most
· 749 Quality Passes, seventh-most

6 – Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 109.0
2014 Rundown
· Two wins, 10 top fives, 15 top 10s; eight poles
· Average finish of 13.9
· Led 22 races for 1,653 laps
Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Two wins, four top fives, 10 top 10s
· Average finish of 16.3 in 27 races
· Average Running Position of 17.2, 16th-best
· Driver Rating of 81.5, 15th-best
· 1,534 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most
· 3,923 Laps in the Top 15 (57.4%), eighth-most
· 699 Quality Passes, eighth-most

7 – Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 93.1
2014 Rundown
· 11 top fives, 18 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 13.8
· Led 17 races for 467 laps
Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Two wins, nine top fives, 16 top 10s
· Average finish of 13.5 in 30 races
· Average Running Position of 13.5, fifth-best
· Driver Rating of 97.1, fourth-best
· 376 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
· 1,448 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 176.413 mph, fourth-fastest
· 4,649 Laps in the Top 15 (68.0%), third-most
· 842 Quality Passes, third-most

8 – Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 109.7
2014 Rundown
· Four wins, 11 top fives, 19 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 10.1
· Led 21 races for 666 laps
Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Five wins, 16 top fives, 23 top 10s; nine poles
· Average finish of 15.8 in 43 races
· Average Running Position of 14.7, eighth-best
· Driver Rating of 89.7, eighth-best
· 243 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most
· 4,228 Laps in the Top 15 (61.8%), seventh-most
· 777 Quality Passes, sixth-most

9 – Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Pepsi Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 88.7
2014 Rundown
· One win, three top fives, 10 top 10s
· Average finish of 16.7
· Led 11 races for 206 laps
Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Four wins, nine top fives, 12 top 10s
· Average finish of 11.5 in 21 races
· Average Running Position of 11.6, third-best
· Driver Rating of 101.7, third-best
· 665 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
· 1,549 Green Flag Passes, third-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 176.430 mph, third-fastest
· 4,564 Laps in the Top 15 (66.7%), fifth-most
· 833 Quality Passes, fourth-most

10 – Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Detroit Genuine Parts Ford)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 104.1
2014 Rundown
· Five wins, 13 top fives, 16 top 10s; five poles
· Average finish of 13.2
· Led 24 races for 1,498 laps
Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One win, two top fives, three top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 15.7 in 10 races
· Average Running Position of 15.2, 10th-best
· Driver Rating of 85.4, 10th-best
· Average Green Flag Speed of 176.125 mph, 10th-fastest

11 – Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 96.9
2014 Rundown
· Three wins, 11 top fives, 17 top 10s
· Average finish of 12.0
· Led 13 races for 265 laps
Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Five top fives, 11 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 19.4 in 29 races
· Average Running Position of 19.0, 22nd-best
· Driver Rating of 80.9, 16th-best
· 183 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most
· 1,435 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most
· 623 Quality Passes, 11th-most

12 – Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 98.8
2014 Rundown
· Three wins, 10 top fives, 18 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 14.3
· Led 15 races for 1,035 laps
Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Seven wins, 13 top fives, 17 top 10s; four poles
· Average finish of 11.2 in 26 races
· Series-best Average Running Position of 7.5
· Series-best Driver Rating of 112.7
· Series-high 683 Fastest Laps Run
· Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 177.132 mph
· Series-high 5,988 Laps in the Top 15 (87.5%)
· 968 Quality Passes, second-most

13 – AJ Allmendinger (No. 47 Scott Products Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 70.5
2014 Rundown
· One win, two top fives, four top 10s
· Average finish of 20.4
· Led 5 races for 68 laps
Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One top five, two top 10s
· Average finish of 22.7 in 13 races
· Average Running Position of 23.2, 31st-best
· Driver Rating of 65.8, 31st-best

14 – Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Bondo Ford)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 79.4
2014 Rundown
· Three top fives, 10 top 10s
· Average finish of 15.8
· Led 6 races for 109 laps
Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Five top fives, eight top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 17.2 in 23 races
· Average Running Position of 15.0, ninth-best
· Driver Rating of 89.9, sixth-best
· 303 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
· 1,393 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 176.250 mph, sixth-fastest
· 3,891 Laps in the Top 15 (56.9%), ninth-most
· 690 Quality Passes, ninth-most

15 – Kurt Busch (No. 41 State Water Heaters Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 84.8
2014 Rundown
· One win, six top fives, eight top 10s
· Average finish of 20.1
· Led 11 races for 181 laps
Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One win, six top fives, seven top 10s
· Average finish of 19.7 in 28 races
· Average Running Position of 17.4, 17th-best
· Driver Rating of 83.0, 13th-best
· 204 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most
· 3,502 Laps in the Top 15 (51.2%), 10th-most

16 – Aric Almirola (No. 43 Smithfield / Waffle House Ford)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 73.3
2014 Rundown
· One win, two top fives, seven top 10s
· Average finish of 21.0
· Led 5 races for 23 laps
Charlotte Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One pole
· Average finish of 19.0 in five races
· Average Running Position of 16.6, 14th-best
· Driver Rating of 76.5, 21st-best

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Charlotte Motor Speedway Track Data
Race 31 of 36
1.5-mile oval
24 degrees of banking, turns
5 degrees of banking, straights
Frontstretch length: 1,980 feet
Backstretch length: 1,500 feet
334 laps/500 miles

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Charlotte
Jimmie Johnson – 112.7
Kyle Busch – 106.3
Kasey Kahne – 101.7
Matt Kenseth – 97.1
Denny Hamlin – 92.6
Greg Biffle – 89.9
Carl Edwards – 89.8
Jeff Gordon – 89.7
Joey Logano – 88.0
Brad Keselowski – 85.4

Qualifying/Race Data
2013 pole winner: Jeff Gordon, 194.308 mph (27.791 secs.), 10.10.2013
2013 race winner: Brad Keselowski, 158.308 (3 hours, 9 minutes, 53 secs.), 10.12.2013
Qualifying record: Denny Hamlin, 195.624 mph (27.604 secs.), 05.24.13
Race record (500 miles): Jeff Gordon, 160.306 mph (3 hours, 7 minutes, 31 secs.), 10.11.1999

Charlotte Motor Speedway History

· Construction began on Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS) in 1959.

· The track’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on June 19, 1960 – won by Joe Lee Johnson.

· The track was repaved midseason in 1994.

· The track name changed from Charlotte Motor Speedway to Lowe’s Motor Speedway in 1999. It changed back to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the 2010 season.

· The track was re-paved again before the 2006 season.

Charlotte Motor Speedway Notebook

· There have been 111 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, two races per year since the track opened in 1960. In 1961, there were two 100-mile qualifying points races held the week before the May race. The first six fall races at Charlotte were 400-mile events (1960-65).

· 525 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points paying race at Charlotte Motor Speedway; 374 in more than one.

· NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Charlotte with 64. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 43 starts; followed by Joe Nemechek with 36.

· Fireball Roberts won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway (World 600) in 1960 with a speed of 133.904 mph.

· 42 drivers have Coors Light poles at Charlotte, led by David Pearson with 14. Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon lead all active drivers in poles at CMS with nine.

· 12 drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Charlotte. David Pearson holds the record for most consecutive poles at Charlotte with 11; from the fall of 1973 through 1978.

· Youngest Charlotte pole winner: Jeff Gordon (10/10/1993 – 22 years, 2 months, 6 days).

· Oldest Charlotte pole winner: Bobby Allison (10/11/1987 – 49 years, 10 months, 8 days).

· 46 different drivers have won at Charlotte Motor Speedway, led by Jimmie Johnson with seven wins.

· Nine drivers have posted consecutive wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway, including three consecutive by Fred Lorenzen (fall 1964 and both 1965) and four straight by Jimmie Johnson (both in 2004 and 2005).

· A season sweep at Charlotte has occurred eight times, including each season from 2004-2007.

· Youngest Charlotte winner: Jeff Gordon (05/29/1994 – 22 years, 9 months, 25 days).

· Oldest Charlotte winner: Cale Yarborough (10/06/1985 – 46 years, 6 months, 9 days).

· Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at Charlotte in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 18: Jimmie Johnson (seven), Jeff Gordon (five), Darrell Waltrip (two), Ken Schrader (one), Terry Labonte (one), Casey Mears (one) and Kasey Kahne (one).

· Eight different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Charlotte; led by Chevrolet with 42 victories; followed by Ford with 29. Toyota has two wins at CMS.

· 15 of the 111 (13.5%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Charlotte have been won from the Coors Light pole; the three most recent were Jimmie Johnson in 2014 (Coca-Cola 600), 2009 (Chase race event) and 2004 (Coca-Cola 600).

· The second-place starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (17) than any other starting position at Charlotte Motor Speedway (15.3% winning percentage).

· 32 of the 111 (28.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Charlotte have been won from the front row: 15 from the pole and 17 from second-place.

· 84 of the 111 (75.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Charlotte have been won from a top-10 starting position.

· Nine of the 111 (8.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Charlotte have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.

· The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Charlotte is 37th, by Jimmie Johnson in the Coca-Cola 600 of 2003.

· Richard Petty leads the series in runner-up finishes at Charlotte with nine. Kasey Kahne and Matt Kenseth lead all active drivers with three.

· NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Bobby Allison are tied for the series most top-five finishes at Charlotte with 23. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 16.

· Richard Petty leads the series in top-10 finishes at Charlotte with 31. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 23.

· Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Charlotte with a 7.115.

· Joey Logano leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Charlotte with a 10.545.

· Joe Nemechek leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Charlotte without visiting Victory Lane at 36; followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. with 29.

· Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway was the May 29, 2005 race won by Jimmie Johnson over Bobby Labonte with a MOV of 0.027 second.

· There have been three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races resulting with a Green-White-Checkered finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but only once for the Coca-Cola 600 (Scheduled No. of Laps/Actual No. of Laps): Chase race of 2005 (334/336), Chase race of 2007 (334/337) and the 2011 Coca-Cola 600 (400/402).

· Five of the 111 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway have been shortened due to weather conditions; the most recent was the 2009 Coca-Cola 600 won by David Reutimann and Michael Waltrip Racing. Four of the five races shortened were the 600-mile events (1968, 1997, 2003 and 2009).

· Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway twice; the fall race of 2002 and the fall race of 2008.

· Five active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have made their first career start at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (5/30/99), Jimmie Johnson (10/7/01), Brian Vickers (10/11/03), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (5/29/11) and Kyle Larson (10/12/2013).

· Four active drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Jeff Gordon (10/10/93), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (5/28/00), Ryan Newman (5/27/01) and Aric Almirola (5/27/12).

· Four active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have posted their first career win at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Jeff Gordon (5/29/94), Matt Kenseth (5/28/00), Jamie McMurray (10/13/02) and Casey Mears (5/27/07).

· Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Charlotte with 1,733 laps led in 26 starts.

· Two female drivers have competed at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Janet Guthrie and Danica Patrick.

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NASCAR in North Carolina

· There have been 519 NASCAR Sprint Cup races among 28 tracks in North Carolina; the track that has staged the most Cup races in the state is Charlotte Motor Speedway with 111. North Wilkesboro Speedway is second with 93.

· 433 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as North Carolina.

· 46 drivers from North Carolina have won at least one race in NASCAR’s three national series; 29 have won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series; Richard Petty leads these drivers with 200 Sprint Cup victories.