With Sunday’s Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway just around the corner, here are seven things you need to know about the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season to date.
Getty ImagesAdam Glanzman
7. Pacing the field
Pocono pole-sitter Martin Truex Jr. has led 1,425.494 miles so far this season, which represents a total of 17.98 percent of the 7,928.138 miles run in the first 20 races of the season.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesJeff Zelevansky
6. Cold streak
The longest winless streak by any Sprint Cup driver who has won a race in his or her career belongs to Casey Mears, who has gone 316 starts without a win. The last time Mears won a Cup race, Chase Elliott was 11 years old.
Getty ImagesBrian Lawdermilk
5. Going for the mark
There have been 5,673 laps run in the Cup Series this year and Kurt Busch has completed them all, finishing on the lead lap in each of the 20 races. If he finishes on the lead lap at Pocono, he’ll set a NASCAR record for consecutive lead-lap finishes.
Getty ImagesRey Del Rio
Despite driving for Hendrick Motorsports, one of the sports top teams, Kasey Kahne hasn’t led a single lap all season. Neither have Ryan Blaney, Chris Buescher, Jamie McMurray or Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Getty ImagesAndy Lyons
3. Magic number
If Jeff Gordon races at Watkins Glen International next weekend in place of the injured Dale Earnhardt Jr., it will be the four-time champion’s 800th career NASCAR Premier Series start.
Getty ImagesSarah Crabill
Danica > Jimmie
Jimmie Johnson has exactly the same number of championships in his career as Danica Patrick has top-10 finishes, with six. But this season, Patrick is ahead of Johnson in at least one statistical category: She’s actually run more miles (5,503) than Johnson has (5,487). That obviously doesn’t mean she’s a better driver, just that Johnson’s had troubling finishing this year.
Getty ImagesStreeter Lecka
1. A new champion?
It’s way too early to predict this year’s Sprint Cup driver champion. That said, Chevrolet has won every NASCAR Cup Manufacturers’ championship since 2003. But with 10 victories in the first 20 races of the season, there’s a strong possibility Toyota will win its first Cup Manufacturers’ championship. And if it does, that will be a huge prize for Toyota.