Historical Sprint Unlimited Track Facts

Kevin Harvick

(WOMR file photo)

Since the 2015 the Daytona 500 is rapidly approaching, the precursor to THE GREAT AMERICAN RACE is this Saturday night’s race now known as the Sprint Unlimited.  Here are some very interesting track facts regarding that race.

The number of participants has ranged from a low of seven in 1981 to a high of 28 in 2009, 25 are eligible for this year’s event.

The drivers with the most Sprint Unlimited appearances:

Mark Martin (24), Bill Elliott (23), Jeff Gordon (21), Ken Schrader (19), Rusty Wallace (19)  Jeff Gordon has appeared in the most consecutive Sprint Unlimited races, competing in 21 consecutive events from 1994-2014.

There have been nine multiple winners in the Sprint Unlimited:

Dale Earnhardt won six events, most all-time (1980, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1995). 
Dale Jarrett won in 1996, 2000 and 2004.
Kevin Harvick won in 2009, 2010 and 2013.
Tony Stewart won in 2001, 2002 and 2007.

Other multiple winners:

Neil Bonnett (1983-1984), Ken Schrader, (1989-1990), Jeff Gordon (1994 and 1997), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2003 and 2008) and Denny Hamlin (2006 and 2014).
Bonnett, Schrader, Stewart and Harvick are the only drivers to win back-to-back Sprint Unlimited races. No driver has won three consecutive Sprint Unlimited events.

Winners in their first Sprint Unlimited race:

Buddy Baker (1979, the first race for the event), Dale Earnhardt (1980), Jeff Gordon (1994), Dale Jarrett (1996) and Denny Hamlin (2006) all won the first Sprint Unlimited in which they competed.

Only five times in the 32-year history of the race has the winner gone on to win the Daytona 500:

Bobby Allison (1982)
Bill Elliott (1987)
Dale Jarrett (1996 and 2000)
Jeff Gordon (1997)

There have been four winners from the pole:

Darrell Waltrip (1981), Bill Elliott (1987), Ken Schrader (1989) and Denny Hamlin (2014).

Two drivers have swept the Sprint Unlimited, Daytona 500 pole and Daytona 500 from 1979-2014:

Dale Jarrett (2000) and Bill Elliott (1987)

We are just one day away from the Sprint Unlimited!  So tomorrow you will need to slip into your favorite comfy chair, pull those belts tight, pull your gloves up, flip your visor down, go racing!


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