Driver Handicaps: Daytona

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This weekend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Daytona International Speedway for Saturday's Coke Zero 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 160-lap event.

Who's HOT at Daytona
• Jeff Gordon leads all drivers with six wins.
• Kurt Busch has the best average finish (5.2) with the COT.
• Three-time July winner Tony Stewart leads all drivers with 633 laps led.
• 2008 July winner Kyle Busch has led the most laps (209) with the COT.
• Carl Edwards has finished in the top five in the last three Coke Zero 400s.
• 2009 Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth has finished eighth or better in his last four starts.
• Kevin Harvick won the 2007 Daytona 500 and is coming off consecutive Budweiser Shootout wins.
• Clint Bowyer leads all drivers with a 12.3 average finish.
• Jamie McMurray is coming off his second win at Daytona.

Keep an Eye on at Daytona
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. is coming off his seventh top five at Daytona.
• Juan Pablo Montoya has finished in the top 10 in his last two starts at Daytona.
• Richard Petty Motorsports had a good outing during Speedweeks, but encountered bad luck in the 500.
• Martin Truex Jr. recorded his first top 10 at Daytona in February.
• Denny Hamlin has led 102 laps in the five races with the COT at Daytona.
• Greg Biffle will return in the same car that led 27 laps at Daytona in February.
• Jimmie Johnson has the fifth-best driver rating in the last 11 races at Daytona.

Active Pole Leaders
Best Starting Average
Races Won from Starting Pos.
1. Bill Elliott - 5 poles
1. Jimmie Johnson - 9.1
Pole - 24 Times
2. Jeff Gordon - 3 poles
2. Tony Stewart - 9.8
Top Five - 68 Times
3. Three Drivers - 2 poles
3. Denny Hamlin - 10.4
Top 10 - 99 Times
4. Nine Drivers - 1 pole
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 11.0
Top 15 - 115 Times
5. Jeff Gordon - 11.1
Worst - 39th, One Time


*Best Average Finish at Daytona Int'l Speedway
Last # of Races
Driver
Avg. Fin.
Two Races
Jamie McMurray
6.0
Four Races
Matt Kenseth
5.0
Six Races
Kurt Busch
7.8
Eight Races
Kurt Busch
11.4
10 Races
Matt Kenseth
12.0
* - The best average finish is based off a driver who has competed in every race during that time span.

Daytona Loop Data Stat Leaders (2005-2010)
*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Carl Edwards
1. Jimmie Johnson
1. Jimmie Johnson - 10.9
2. Dave Blaney
2. Kurt Busch
1. Kyle Busch - 10.9
3. Jeff Burton
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
3. Tony Stewart - 12.2
4. Greg Biffle
4. Carl Edwards
4. Jeff Gordon - 12.5
5. Matt Kenseth
5. Denny Hamlin
5. Matt Kenseth - 14.4
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Kyle Busch - 1520
1. Carl Edwards - 1485
1. Tony Stewart - 104.5
2. Jimmie Johnson - 1440
2. Kyle Busch - 1441
2. Kyle Busch - 100.6
3. Tony Stewart - 1383
3. Jimmie Johnson - 1397
3. Matt Kenseth - 93.4
4. Jeff Gordon - 1297
4. Jamie McMurray - 1367
4. Kurt Busch - 92.7
5. Matt Kenseth - 1294
5. Jeff Burton - 1336
5. Jimmie Johnson - 91.8

*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 Daytona Int'l Speedway view the Coke Zero 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: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Pete Pistone: Jamie McMurray
Rachael West: Kurt Busch

Top 30 Driver Notes - Ordered by current standings

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

1. Kevin Harvick: Fifth-best average finish (12.2) in the five races with the new car; Winner of the 2007 Daytona 500 and last two Budweiser Shootouts; Finished seventh in this year's Daytona 500 for seventh top 10 in 18 starts; Best finish in the July race is a pair of ninth-place runs; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 295) that led 41 laps in February at Daytona.

2. Jimmie Johnson: 23.6 average finish in the five races with the new car; Second-place finish last July was ninth top 10 in 17 starts; Winner of the 2006 Daytona 500; Leads all drivers with an average running position of 10.9 in the last 11 races; Only has led seven laps in the July race; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 547) that finished 35th in this year's Daytona 500 after the axle broke.

3. Kyle Busch: Winner of the 2008 July race; 14.8 average finish in five starts with Joe Gibbs Racing; Has combined to lead 233 laps in his last six starts; Second-best driver rating in the past 11 races; Will pilot the same car (chassis No. 260) that ran in both restrictor-plate races this season, finishing 14th (Daytona) and ninth (Talladega).

4. Denny Hamlin: Only top 10 in nine starts came in this event last year; Led 63 laps in that race en route to a third-place finish; Winner of the 2006 Budweiser Shootout; Will pilot the same car (chassis No. 200) that finished 26th in the 2008 July race at Daytona.

5. Jeff Gordon: Six-time winner with three wins coming in the Coke Zero 400; Has posted an average finish of 27.2 in his last five starts; Last top 10 in the 400 came in 2007 when he finished fifth; Sixth-best driver rating in the past 11 races.

6. Kurt Busch: Leads all drivers with a 8.8 average finish in the five races with the new car; Has finished in the top five in the last four Coke Zero 400s; Led 33 laps in this year's Daytona 500; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 636) in the Coke Zero 400.

7. Matt Kenseth: Fourth-best average finish (11.2) in the five races with the new car; Only driver to finish in the top 10 in last four races; Third-best driver rating in the past 11 races; 2009 Daytona 500 winner; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 678) that finished eighth in the 2010 Daytona 500.

8. Jeff Burton: Only top 10 in 10 starts with Richard Childress Racing came in the 2007 Daytona 500 in third; Won the 2000 July race with Roush Racing; Win was one of seven top 10s with Roush; 12th-best driver rating in the past 11 races; Will debut a new chassis (No. 312) in the Coke Zero 400.

9. Tony Stewart: Defending event winner; Win was one of three in the Coke Zero 400; 104.5 driver rating ranks No. 1 among all drivers in the past 11 races; Leads all drivers with 516 laps led in the past 11 races.

10. Greg Biffle: Coming off fourth top 10 in 15 starts; Third-place finish in the 2010 Daytona 500 is best since winning 2003 July race; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 673) that led 27 laps at Daytona in February.

11. Mark Martin: 21.4 average finish in the five races with the new car; Won the pole and finished 12th in this year's Daytona 500; Worst finish (38th) in three starts with Hendrick Motorsports came in this event last year; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 560) that raced in both restrictor-plate tracks this year; This car most recently finished fifth at Talladega in April.

12. Carl Edwards: Second-best average finish (10.4) in the five races with the new car; Led a race high 42 laps in this year's Budweiser Shootout; Has finished in the top five in the last three Coke Zero 400s; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 692) in the Coke Zero 400.

13. Dale Earnhardt Jr: Coming off seventh top five in 21 starts; Winner of the 2004 Daytona 500 and 2001 Coke Zero 400; 17.0 average finish in five starts with Hendrick Motorsports; Six top 10s in the July race; Led 51 laps and finished eighth in the 2008 Coke Zero 400; Will pilot the same car (chassis No. 575) that finished 12th at Talladega in April.

14. Ryan Newman: 30.0 average finish in three starts with Stewart-Haas Racing; Won the 2008 Daytona 500 and recorded three top 10s in previous 14 starts with Penske Racing; Will race the same car (chassis No. 596) that was rebuilt after a practice crash at Talladega in April.

15. Clint Bowyer: Leads all drivers with a 12.3 average finish; Equaled best finish (fourth) in this year's Daytona 500; Three top 10s in the July race; Seventh-best driver rating in the past 11 races; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 296) in the Coke Zero 400.

16. Joey Logano: Best finish in three starts came in this event last year in 19th; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 235) that finished seventh in February's Budweiser Shootout.

17. Jamie McMurray: Won this year's Daytona 500 for third career restrictor-plate win; Three of his four top 10s came in the July race, including a win in 2007; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 1002) in the Coke Zero 400.

18. Martin Truex Jr: Finished sixth in first track start with Michael Waltrip Racing in February; Finish was first top 10 in 10 starts; Best previous finish came in the 2009 Daytona 500 when he came home 11th after starting from the pole.

19. David Reutimann: Coming off best track finish - fifth in February; Only top five in seven starts; 22.6 average finish.

20. Kasey Kahne: Four top 10s in 13 starts; 18.8 average finish, but only has a 24.7 average finish with RPM; Started fourth this February and led four laps, but crashed out to finish 30th.

21. AJ Allmendinger: Finished a track-best third in the 2009 Daytona 500; 23.5 average finish in four starts; Bringing same car (chassis No. 682) that he led 11 laps with this February before finishing 32nd.

22. Juan Pablo Montoya: Coming off two consecutive top-10 results; Finished a track best ninth in this event last year and 10th in this year's Daytona 500; 22.0 average finish after seven starts; Led his first laps (2) this February; Piloting brand-new chassis No. 1010 this weekend.

23. Paul Menard: Coming off best track finish of 13th; Led 19 laps from the pole en route to a 15th-place finish in this event in 2008; 22.0 average finish in six starts; Piloting same chassis (No. 675) that he drove this February.

24. David Ragan: Has finished 16th or better in every race he's finished (six out of seven starts); Three top-10 finishes, which includes two fifth-place results, most recently in this event in 2008; 14.1 average finish; Bringing brand-new chassis (RK-691) to track this weekend.

25. Brad Keselowski: Set for third Cup start at track; Previous results were 24th last year and 36th in this year's Daytona 500; Bringing brand-new chassis (PRS-637) this weekend.

26. Scott Speed: Making fourth start; Finished a track best 19th in February after leading 12 laps from the 30th starting position; 28.3 average finish.

27. Marcos Ambrose: Scored only top 10 (sixth) in this event last year; 21.3 average finish after three starts.

28. Elliott Sadler: Four top fives and nine top 10s in 23 starts; 17.3 average finish; In three starts with RPM, has an average finish of 13.0 with 33 laps led; Piloting chassis No. 283, which he finished 24th with this February after leading nine laps.

29. Sam Hornish Jr: Yet to finish in the top-10 in five starts; Track best 15th-place finish came in track debut in the 2008 Daytona 500; 29.0 average finish.

30. Regan Smith: Finished a track best 12th in this event last year after starting 43rd; 26.6 average finish in five starts.

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