Milestones Cup drivers, teams could hit in 2018
From career starts to victories, there are many milestones Cup drivers and teams will be shooting for when the season begins with the Feb. 18 Daytona 500. Here’s a look at some of those milestones within reach this year.
— Jimmie Johnson is one win behind Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip (84 each) for fourth on the all-time Cup wins list.
— With one win, Jimmie Johnson would have a Cup victory in 17 consecutive seasons. That would move him to second on the all-time list of consecutive seasons with at least a win, tying him with David Pearson. Richard Petty is the all-time leader with at least one victory in 18 consecutive seasons (1960-77).
— Kevin Harvick is seven top-five finishes away from tying Bill Elliott for 20th on the all-time list with 175.
— The Wood Brothers are one victory away from 100 career Cup wins.
— Hendrick Motorsports needs one victory to extend its streak of consecutive seasons with at least one Cup win to 33 and that next points victory also will be the organization’s 250th.
— Kyle Busch needs one pole this season to have one in 11 consecutive seasons. That would put him in a tie with Bobby Allison and Ryan Newman for eighth on the all-time list of consecutive seasons with a pole.
— If a driver scores their first Cup win this season, it would mark the third consecutive year there has been at least one first-time winner. That would be the longest such mark in a decade. Among those seeking their first career Cup victory: Chase Elliott, William Byron, Ty Dillon, Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, Matt DiBenedetto, Michael McDowell, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Alex Bowman.
— Kyle Busch is 17 wins shy of 200 career victories across NASCAR’s top three national series. He has 43 Cup wins, 91 Xfinity wins and 49 Truck wins. He won 13 races last year (five Cup, five Xfinity and three Truck).
— Kevin Harvick is three wins shy of 100 career victories across NASCAR’s top three national series. He has 37 Cup wins, 46 Xfinity wins and 14 Truck wins. Last season, Harvick scored two Cup victories, zero in Xfinity (in six starts) and did not compete in any Truck races.
— With Matt Kenseth (650 career starts) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (631) not in Cup, Kurt Busch becomes the active driver with most starts at 612. If he starts every Cup points race this year, he’ll be at 648, putting him 23rd on the all-time list for most Cup starts.
— Ryan Newman is 16 starts away from making his 600th career start. Only 28 drivers in NASCAR history have made 600 or more career starts.
— Jimmie Johnson is 21 starts away from making his 600th career start.
— Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman each have made 576 consecutive Cup starts. They are tied for 10th on the all-time list of consecutive starts.
— Paul Menard will make his 400th career Cup start in the Daytona 500.
— David Ragan is two starts shy of making his 400th career Cup start. The Georgia native will do it at Atlanta Motor Speedway.