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Central Scrutinizer

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Location : Glendale Heights, IL
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Registration date : 2007-12-21

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PostSubject: Countdown to Daytona   Countdown to Daytona Icon_minitimeThu Dec 27, 2007 10:32 pm

By Sporting News Wire Service
December 27, 2007
10:17 AM EST

We are counting down the days to the 50th Daytona 500 on Feb. 17, 2008. Each day we will highlight a number that corresponds to the countdown number.

Dec. 27, 2007

52 -- Harry Gant's age when he won the Champion Spark Plug 400 at Michigan on Aug. 16, 1992 -- a Cup record. Gant's exact age: 52 years, 7 months, 6 days. Of Gant's 18 career Cup wins, eight came after his 50th birthday, including four in a row in 1991.

Dec. 26, 2007

53 -- Bob Burdick -- not Dean Jones nor Lindsay Lohan -- is the driver who took the No. 53 to Victory Lane for the only time in a Cup Series race. It also is Burdick's only NASCAR victory in 15 races. The victory, the 1961 Atlanta 500, came in Burdick's 11th race.

Dec. 25, 2007

54 -- Lennie Pond's only victory in 234 Cup Series races came in car No. 54 on Aug. 6, 1978, in the Talladega 500. Pond competed in 234 races from 1969 to 1989. He won five poles, all in 1978, when he finished seventh in the points standings. His best points finish came two seasons earlier, when he finished fifth.

Dec. 24, 2007

55 -- Speedy Thompson lived up to his name in Rochester, N.Y., on June 22, 1956, when he won his 10th race in his 55th start. He is the quickest to 10 victories in NASCAR history. Speedy finished his career with 20 wins, the 20th victory coming in his 189th race on Oct. 23, 1960, at Richmond.

Dec. 23, 2007

56 --Jim Hurtubise gave the No. 56 its only Cup Series victory when he won the 1966 Atlanta 500. It was also Hurtubise's only NASCAR win in 36 races that spanned 13 seasons from 1957 to 1977.

Hurtubise was a very popular driver who suffered burns over nearly half his body in a crash in a Champ Car race at Milwaukee in 1964. His hands sustained extensive damage, and before doctors worked on his hands, they asked Hurtubise how he wanted his hands shaped. Hurtubise told the doctors to make sure he could still grip a steering wheel.

Dec. 22, 2007

57 -- Janet Guthrie's car number for her last NASCAR start on July 27, 1980. She started 21st in the Coca-Cola 500 at Pocono and finished 28th, completing 134 of 200 laps.

Guthrie made 33 starts in NASCAR, the first 31 in the No. 68. Her 32nd start was the 1980 Daytona 500 in Rod Osterlund's No. 82; Guthrie finished 11th.

Dec. 21, 2007

58 -- Modern Era record for consecutive races running at the finish, set by Kevin Harvick (Nov. 3, 2002 to July 25, 2004). Harvick, the 2007 Daytona 500 winner, has only 13 DNFs in 250 career starts.

Dec. 20, 2007

59 -- Lloyd Moore drives the No. 59 to victory on Oct. 15, 1950, in a 200-lap race on the half-mile dirt track at Funk's Speedway in Winchester, Ind., for one of three victories for the No. 59.

Lloyd, born June 8, 1912, returns to farming full time in Frewsburg, N.Y., in 1955, ending his NASCAR career after 49 races.

At 95, Moore is acknowledged as NASCAR's oldest living driver. Where is Lloyd Moore?

Dec. 19, 2007

60 -- Cup races at Pocono Raceway. Richard Petty won the first race, the Purolator 500, on Aug. 4, 1974. He led 152 of the scheduled 200 laps. The race was shortened to 192 laps because of rain.

Buddy Baker finished second, 18.8 seconds back, and Cale Yarborough was third.

Dec. 18, 2007

61 -- Victories for Richard Petty in Cup races from the pole. David Pearson has the next most, 37.

Among active drivers, Jeff Gordon is tops with 19, which is tied for sixth with Herb Thomas.

Dec. 17, 2007

62 -- Number of races in the 1964 season, the most in any NASCAR season.

Richard Petty competed in the maximum number -- 61 -- and won his first championship. Years ago, the two qualifying races for the Daytona 500 were points races, so no driver would compete in the total number of races in a season.

David Pearson also made 61 starts. He finished third in points behind Ned Jarrett, who made 59 starts and won a season-high 15 races. Petty won nine times and Pearson eight.

Dec. 16, 2007

63 -- Career top-five finishes for Kenny Wallace in 384 Busch Series races. In 342 Cup Series races, Wallace has five top-fives.

Dec. 15, 2007

64 -- Besides cars that begin with a zero (01, 02, 03, etc.), no group of car numbers has fewer wins than the 10 cars in the 60s. In 3,706 Cup Series starts, car Nos. 60-69 have four wins, led by the No. 64 with two.

Elmo Langley has both wins, winning races in Spartanburg, S.C., and Manassas, Va., in 1966. Those were Langley's only wins in 536 Cup Series races spanning from 1954 to 1981.

Dec. 14, 2007

65 --Cup Series poles for the No. 3 car. Dale Earnhardt won 17 of his 22 Cup poles in the No. 3. (He won four in the No. 2 in 1979 and one in the No. 15 in 1982.)

Dec. 13, 2007

66 -- Consecutive top-10 starts for Bobby Isaac, a Cup Series record. Isaac began his streak on Sept. 5, 1969 (Bobby Shuman 250 at Hickory, N.C.). It ended on March 14, 1971 (Carolina 500 at Rockingham, N.C.).

Dec. 12, 2007

67 -- Laps led in 2007 by Mark Martin in 24 Cup Series races, the fewest laps since his first full season, 1988, when he competed in all 29 races and led 123 laps.

Dec. 11, 2007

68 --Cup Series victories for the No. 42.

Seven drivers have posted wins in the No. 42 car, led by Lee Petty's 53 victories. Kyle Petty is next with six, followed by Jim Paschal with four, Richard Petty with two and Marvin Panch, Joe Nemechek and Juan Montoya with one each.

Dec. 10, 2007

69 -- More than 15 years have passed since a car with the No. 69 on it started a Cup race. Denny Wilson, in his only Cup Series race, finished 38th of 39 cars on Aug. 9, 1992, at Watkins Glen.

Forty drivers have manned the No. 69 with limited success in 100 races. The best finish in the 69 was second, by Johnny Allen in the 1960 Atlanta 500. It is one of five top-five finishes for the 69.

Dec. 9, 2007

70 -- From Buck Baker in 1950 to Johnny Sauter in 2007, 29 drivers have started Cup Series races in the No. 70 -- and none has won.

The No. 70 is No. 1 in futility for having the most starts (720) with no victories. J.D. McDuffie by far has the most races in the No. 70 with 625 starts. McDuffie made another 28 starts in Cup Series races and holds the record for having the most starts without a win.

Dec. 8, 2007

71 -- There is a lot of history in the No. 71. It not only was entered in the first NASCAR race -- June 19, 1949, at the three-quarter-mile Charlotte Speedway -- but also driven by the first woman in a NASCAR race, Sara Christian. The No. 71 started 13th and finished 14th. Thirty-three cars started the 200-lap Strictly Stock race.

Dec. 7, 2007

72 -- Benny Parsons' car number when he won the Cup Series championship in 1973. It was the highest car number for a champion in NASCAR's modern era until 1999, when Dale Jarrett won his title in the No. 88. The highest car number for a modern era champion is Kurt Busch's No. 97 in 2004.

Dec. 6, 2007

73 -- In 198 Cup Series races, the No. 73 has been to Victory Lane twice, and both times Johnny Beauchamp was the driver. In March 1959, Beauchamp led all 100 laps on the one-mile dirt track of Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta; and in August 1960, he won the Nashville 400.

Beauchamp made 23 starts between 1953-61, and those were his only two victories.

Dec. 5, 2007

74 -- The No. 74 car has come up empty in 459 Cup Series starts. The best finish of a driver in the No. 74 was Elmo Langley's third place in the Pickens 200 at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in Greenville, S.C., in 1966.

The 459 starts is not a record for futility -- five car numbers have more starts without a win, including the leader, which is coming up soon.

Dec. 4, 2007

75 --Neil Bonnett's car number in 1988. The No. 75 has been to Victory Lane six times, four times with Bonnett. After finishing fourth at Daytona to begin the '88 season, Bonnett won the next two races, Richmond and Darlington. The No. 75 hasn't been in Victory Lane since. It also was the last of Bonnett's 18 Cup victories.

The others to win in the No. 75: Jim Paschal (1956) and Fireball Roberts (1961).

Dec. 3, 2007

76 -- Career Cup Series victories for Dale Earnhardt. The Intimidator's first win came in the Southeastern 500 at Bristol on April 1, 1979. Bobby Allison was second, 3 seconds back, and Darrell Waltrip was third, Richard Petty fourth and Benny Parsons fifth.

The top five represents 19 Cup championships: Earnhardt and Petty, seven each; Waltrip three; Allison and Parsons, one each.

Dec. 2, 2007

77 -- Car No. 77 has won only one Cup Series race -- and it wasn't in a Daytona 500. Joe Lee Johnson won the 1959 Nashville 300 by three laps over Larry Frank (in the No. 76 car) for the only win by the No. 77. Johnson and Frank were driving '57 Chevys.

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