Four storylines as Sprint Cup season begins
February, 22, 2013
By Tom McKean, Stats & Info | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Terry RennaDanica Patrick became the first woman to win the pole in a Cup Series race.
Keselowski performed at his best last season at just the right time, posting an average finish of 6.1 in his final 12 starts. That was three positions better than any other driver in that span.
Patrick had a trying 2012 season but did show improvement down the stretch. In her final two starts, she completed 99.8 percent of laps run, compared to just 90.2 percent in her first eight starts. Patrick (10) will likely break the record for the most Cup starts by a woman this season, a mark currently held by Janet Guthrie. Guthrie had 33 starts between 1976 and 1980.
His five wins were tied for the most in the Cup series, and he also led all drivers in top fives, top tens and laps led last season. If he were to win his sixth Cup championship in 2013, he would be just one shy of the record held by both Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.
DALE EARNHARDT JR.
In 2012, he had an average running position of 11.6 (an average of a driver’s position on every lap), compared to 16.1 in 2011 and 18.9 in 2010.