Driver Handicaps: Chicagoland

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JOLIET, Ill. - This weekend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Chicagoland Speedway for Saturday's LifeLock.com 400. To help you make your fantasy racing picks, Motor Racing Network brings you our weekly detailed look at some of the field for the 267-lap event.

Who's HOT at Chicagoland
• Jimmie Johnson leads all drivers with an 8.5 average finish and a 112.8 driver rating.
• Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick are the only multiple winners.
• 2003 winner Ryan Newman has finished in the top 10 in his last three starts.
• Jeff Gordon has one win and six top-10 finishes.
• Mark Martin led 195 en route to the win in 2009.
• Matt Kenseth has captured two runner-up finishes and has led 300 laps.
• Kyle Busch swept both races in 2008 and led 165 laps in the Cup race that year.

Keep an Eye on at Chicagoland
• Kasey Kahne has a 7.5 average finish on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010.
• Kurt Busch has two wins and has led the most laps (383) on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010.
• Denny Hamlin Will return in the same car that won at Texas in April.
• Jeff Burton has the third-best driver rating this season.
• Jamie McMurray will pilot the same car that won the pole and finished second at Darlington.
• Clint Bowyer has finished in the top 10 in three of his four starts at Chicago.

Track Performers
Series points leader Kevin Harvick leads all drivers with a 7.3 average finish on the 1.5-mile tracks in 2010. Kurt Busch, who is fourth in average finish in the four races, is the only driver with multiple wins (Atlanta, Charlotte). Jimmie Johnson (Las Vegas) and Denny Hamlin (Texas) are the other winners. Kurt Busch also leads all drivers in laps led with 383 with Jeff Gordon the only other driver with more than 150 laps led with 346. Kasey Kahne (7.5), Matt Kenseth (9.3) Kyle Busch (11.5) round out the top five in finishing average.

Active Pole Leaders
Best Starting Average
Races Won from Starting Pos.
1. Six Drivers - 1 pole
1. Scott Speed - 2.0
Pole - One Time
2. Denny Hamlin - 7.8
Top Five - One Time
3. Jimmie Johnson - 8.5
Top 10 - Three Times
4.Ryan Newman - 8.6
Top 15 - Six Times
5. Marcos Ambrose - 10.0
Worst - 32nd, One Time


*Best Average Finish at Chicagoland Speedway
Last # of Races
Driver
Avg. Fin.
Two Races
Tony Stewart
4.5
Four Races
Jeff Gordon
5.8
Six Races
Tony Stewart
8.0
Eight Races
Tony Stewart
6.6
* - The best average finish is based off a driver who has competed in every race during that time span.

Chicagoland Loop Data Stat Leaders (2005-2009)
*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Tony Stewart
1. Tony Stewart
1. Jimmie Johnson - 7.3
2. Jimmie Johnson
2. Matt Kenseth
1. Tony Stewart - 7.4
3. Matt Kenseth
3. Jimmie Johnson
3. Brian Vickers - 7.5
4. Brian Vickers
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
4. Kevin Harvick - 7.9
5. Kevin Harvick
5. Kevin Harvick
5. Matt Kenseth - 9.9
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Jimmie Johnson - 1190
1. Jeff Gordon - 199
1. Jimmie Johnson - 112.8
2. Tony Stewart - 1183
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 176
2. Kyle Busch - 112.1
3. Kevin Harvick - 1162
3. Jimmie Johnson - 165
3. Matt Kenseth - 107.8
4. Jeff Gordon - 1065
4. Carl Edwards - 159
4. Kurt Busch - 107.3
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 1024
5. Tony Stewart - 154
5. Jimmie Johnson - 106.8

*Fastest Early In a Run: Ranks each driver during the first 25 percent of laps run since a pit stop.
*Fastest Late In a Run: Ranks each driver during last 25 percent of laps run since a pit stop.
*Quality Passes: Passing a car running in the Top 15 while under a green flag.
*Driver Rating: Formula combining the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.


For a look at all the pre-race Loop Data for Chicagoland Speedway view the LifeLock.com 400 pre-race ebook.

Season Loop Data Leaders
*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Jimmie Johnson
1. Jimmie Johnson
1. Jeff Gordon - 8.6
2. Jeff Burton
2. Jeff Gordon
1. Jimmie Johnson - 8.6
3. Jeff Gordon
3. Jeff Burton
3. Jeff Burton - 10.4
4. Kyle Busch
4. Clint Bowyer
4. Kyle Busch - 11.1
5. Juan Pablo Montoya
5. Kevin Harvick
5. Kurt Busch - 11.7
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Jeff Gordon - 4634
1. Jeff Burton - 1364
1. Jimmie Johnson - 111.0
2. Jimmie Johnson - 4473
2. Jimmie Johnson - 1219
2. Jeff Gordon - 106.4
3. Jeff Burton - 4365
3. Kyle Busch - 1186
3. Jeff Burton - 101.7
4. Kyle Busch - 4061
4. Jeff Gordon - 1106
4. Kurt Busch - 100.4
5. Kurt Busch - 3911
5. Denny Hamlin - 1088
5. Kyle Busch - 99.6

*Fastest Early In a Run: Ranks each driver during the first 25 percent of laps run since a pit stop.
*Fastest Late In a Run: Ranks each driver during last 25 percent of laps run since a pit stop.
*Quality Passes: Passing a car running in the Top 15 while under a green flag.
*Driver Rating: Formula combining the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.


MotorRacingNetwork.com Staff Picks

Jeff Wackerlin: Kurt Busch
Pete Pistone: Jeff Gordon
Rachael West: Tony Stewart

Top 30 Driver Notes - Ordered by current standings

(All stats/notes are in regards to Chicagoland Speedway unless noted)

1. Kevin Harvick: Winner of the first two Chicago races; 19th-place finish in 2009 ended three consecutive top fives; Leads all drivers with a 7.3 average finish on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010; Seventh-best average finish (11.0) in the two races with the COT; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 301) that finished 11th in the Coca-Cola 600.

2. Jeff Gordon: Winner of the 2006 race after leading 20 laps; Finished second in 2009 for fifth top five in nine starts; Third-best average finish (6.5) in the two races with the COT; Second in laps led (346) on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010.

3. Jimmie Johnson: Leads all drivers with an 8.1 average finish; Second-best average finish (5.0) in the two races with the COT: Finished eighth in 2009 after leading 58 laps; 13.0 average finish and 93 laps led on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 610) in the LifeLock.com 400.

4. Kurt Busch: 22.5 average finish in the two races with the COT; Last of five top 10s (sixth) came in 2007; Leads all drivers in wins (2) and laps led (383) on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010; Will pilot the same car (chassis No. 725) that finished third from the pole at Michigan last month.

5. Denny Hamlin: Scored first top 10 last year with a fifth-place finish; Has yet to lead a lap in four starts; 14.5 average finish and 47 laps led on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 270) that won at Texas in April.

6. Kyle Busch: Swept Chicago weekend in 2008 in his track debut with Joe Gibbs Racing; Led 165 laps en route to the win in the Sprint Cup race; Fifth-best average finish (11.5) on the 1.5-mile tracks in 2010; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 265) that finished first at Dover and third at Charlotte this season.

7. Matt Kenseth: Two runner-up finishes in nine starts; Finished seventh in the 2008 race, the first at the track with the COT; Third-best average finish (9.3) on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 646) in the LifeLock.com 400.

8. Jeff Burton: 28.0 average finish in the two races with the COT; Won the pole and finished second in 2006; Finish was one of two top 10s in five starts with Richard Childress Racing; 18.5 average finish and 10 laps led on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010; Will pilot the same car (chassis No. 305) that finished eighth at Darlington and seventh at Pocono.

9. Tony Stewart: Winner of the 2004 and 2007 races; Only finished outside the top five twice in nine starts; 396 laps led leads all drivers; 16.8 average finish and 82 laps led on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 583) that finished seventh at Las Vegas and fifth in the All-Star race.

10. Greg Biffle: Only top 10 (fourth) in seven starts came in 2008; 15.0 average finish and 17 laps led on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010; Will pilot the same car (chassis No. 571) that last finished fourth at Indianapolis in 2009.

11. Dale Earnhardt Jr: 15.5 average finish in two starts with Hendrick Motorsports; 2005 win was one of three top 10s with Dale Earnhardt, Inc.; 15.3 average finish and 56 laps led on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 556) that ran in the All-Star race.

12. Carl Edwards: Worst non-restrictor plate track based on his average finish of 21.6; Only top 10 (third) in five starts came in 2007; 25.0 average finish on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010; Will pilot the same car (chassis No. 558) that finished 12th at Pocono.

13. Mark Martin: Defending event winner; Won the race after leading 195 laps in his track debut with Hendrick Motorsports; Sixth-best average finish (11.8) on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 600) that finished fourth in the Coca-Cola 600.

14. Clint Bowyer: 12.5 average finish in four starts; Coming off third top 10 with a ninth-place finish; 18.5 average finish on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010; Will pilot the same car (chassis No. 306) that made contact with the wall in practice at Michigan; This car has yet to compete in a race.

15. Ryan Newman: Winner of the 2003 race; Coming off his fifth top 10 in eight starts; Sixth-place finish in 2009 came in first track start with Stewart-Haas; Will pilot the same car (chassis No. 531) that most recently finished 32nd at Michigan.

16. Kasey Kahne: Coming off first top 10 (third) in six starts; Second-best average finish (7.5) on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010.

17. David Reutimann: Coming off best finish (12th) in three starts; 23.8 average finish and three laps led on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010.

18. Joey Logano: Finished 18th in first start in 2009; 20.5 average finish on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010; Will be back in the same car (chassis No. 272) that finished 10th at Michigan.

19. Jamie McMurray: Only top 10 (eighth) in seven starts came in first start in 2003; 23.8 average finish and 39 laps led on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 1006) that finished second from the pole at Darlington.

20. Martin Truex Jr: 20.0 average finish in four starts; Only top 10 (ninth) came in 2008; 19.8 average finish on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010; Will make first track start with Michael Waltrip Racing.

21. Juan Montoya: Coming off first top 10 (10th) in three starts; 28.0 average finish on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010; Will pilot the same car (chassis No. 1003) that finished 38th in the Coca-Cola 600 after being involved in an accident.

22. AJ Allmendinger: Finished 13th in each of his two starts; 14.5 average finish on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010; Will pilot chassis No. 288 for the fourth time this season. Most recently this car finished 10th at Pocono.

23. Paul Menard: 34.3 average finish in three starts; 16.3 average finish on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010; Will pilot the same car (chassis No. 566) that finished 18th at Bristol.

24. Scott Speed: Started second and finished 36th in first start in 2009; 19.5 average finish on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010.

25. Brad Keselowski: Finished 32nd in 2009 with Hendrick Motorsports; 24.0 average finish on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010; Will make first track start with Penske Racing driving the same car (chassis No. 707) that finished 14th at Richmond in May.

26. David Ragan: 19.3 average finish in three starts; Finished eighth in 2008 for only top 10; 24.8 average finish on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010; Will race the same car (chassis No. 617) that finished 24th at Charlotte.

27. Marcos Ambrose: Finished 11th in first start in 2009; 19.5 average finish on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010.

28. Elliott Sadler: 22.7 average finish in nine starts; Only top 10 came in 2003 with Yates Racing; 21.3 average finish on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010.

29. Sam Hornish Jr: 37.5 average finish in two starts; 23.0 average finish on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010.

30. Regan Smith: Finished 34th in only start in 2008; 18.5 average finish on 1.5-mile tracks in 2010.

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