Driver Handicaps: Watkins Glen

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This weekend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Watkins Glen for Sunday's Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen. To help you make your fantasy racing picks, Motor Racing Network brings you our weekly detailed look at some of the field for the 90-lap road course event.

Who's HOT at The Glen
• Tony Stewart leads all drivers with five wins,
• Marcos Ambrose leads all drivers with a 2.5 average finish.
• Four-time winner Jeff Gordon leads all drivers in laps led with 227.
• Denny Hamlin has a 7.5 average finish in four starts.
• Kyle Busch (2008 winner) and Carl Edwards have each finished ninth or better in the last four races.
• Juan Pablo Montoya has a 5.0 average in his last two starts.
• Infineon winner Jimmie Johnson has a 7.3 average finish in the three races with the COT.
• Three-time winner Mark Martin leads all drivers with 12 top fives.

Keep an Eye on at The Glen
• 2003 winner Robby Gordon has finished in the top five in three of the last five races at Watkins Glen.
• Kevin Harvick has one win and four top 10s in his last seven starts at Watkins Glen.
• Kurt Busch has a 9.3 average finish with the COT at Watkins Glen.
• Boris Said will be racing the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota this weekend.
• AJ Allmendinger has a 16.2 average finish in five overall road course starts.
• Greg Biffle is coming off his first top five at Watkins Glen and finished seventh at Infineon in June.

Active Pole Leaders
Best Starting Average
Races Won from Starting Pos.
1. Mark Martin - 3 poles
1. Denny Hamlin - 6.2
Pole - Nine Times
2. Jeff Gordon - 2 poles
1. Tony Stewart - 6.2
Top Five - 17 Times
3. Kurt Busch - 1 pole
3. Jimmie Johnson - 6.5
Top 10 - 19 Times
3. Jimmie Johnson - 1 pole
4. Jeff Gordon - 8.4
Top 15 - 26 Times
5. Mark Martin - 9.1
Worst - 18th, One Time


*Best Average Finish at Watkins Glen
Last # of Races
Driver
Avg. Fin.
Two Races
Tony Stewart
1.5
Four Races
Tony Stewart
1.5
Six Races
Tony Stewart
1.3
Eight Races
Tony Stewart
2.5
10 Races
Tony Stewart
5.2
* - The best average finish is based off a driver who has competed in every race during that time span.

Watkins Glen 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. Tony Stewart - 3.8
2. Denny Hamlin
2. Marcos Ambrose
2. Jimmie Johnson - 7.5
3. Jimmie Johnson
3. Juan Pablo Montoya
3. Denny Hamlin - 9.8
4. Juan Pablo Montoya
4. Robby Gordon
4. Juan Pablo Montoya - 10.6
5. Kyle Busch
5. Jimmie Johnson
5. Kyle Busch - 13.3
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Tony Stewart - 438
1. Tony Stewart - 126
1. Tony Stewart - 135.0
2. Jimmie Johnson - 407
2. Ryan Newman - 118
2. Marcos Ambrose - 106.9
3. Denny Hamlin - 306
3. Kurt Busch - 116
3. Jimmie Johnson - 106.5
4. Kurt Busch - 305
4. Kyle Busch - 106
4. Kyle Busch - 104.9
5. Kyle Busch - 292
5. Carl Edwards - 103
5. Denny Hamlin - 104.6

*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.


For a look at all the pre-race Loop Data for Watkins Glen view the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen 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 - 8.4
2. Jeff Burton
2. Jeff Gordon
1. Jimmie Johnson - 9.2
3. Jeff Gordon
3. Jeff Burton
3. Jeff Burton - 10.0
4. Kyle Busch
4. Kevin Harvick
4. Kurt Busch - 12.4
5. Juan Pablo Montoya
5. Clint Bowyer
4. Kyle Busch - 12.4
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Jeff Gordon - 5362
1. Jeff Burton - 1660
1. Jimmie Johnson - 109.1
2. Jeff Burton - 5118
2. Jimmie Johnson - 1497
2. Jeff Gordon - 107.0
3. Jimmie Johnson - 4999
3. Jeff Gordon - 1370
3. Jeff Burton - 102.7
4. Kyle Busch - 4398
4. Kyle Busch - 1322
4. Kurt Busch - 97.9
5. Kurt Busch - 4334
5. Kasey Kahne - 1283
5. Kyle Busch - 96.3

*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: Marcos Ambrose
Pete Pistone: Tony Stewart
Rachael West: Kevin Harvick

Top 30 Driver Notes - Ordered by current standings

(All stats/notes are in regards to Watkins Glen unless noted)

1. Kevin Harvick: Winner of the 2006 race; 25.7 average finish in the three races with the COT; Sixth-place finish in 2008 was last of five top 10s in nine starts; 15.4 average finish in 19 overall road course starts; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 321) in the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen.

2. Jeff Gordon: Four wins and eight top 10s in 17 starts; Leads all drivers with 227 laps led; 25.0 average finish in the three races with the COT; Has nine career road course victories; 11.9 average finish in 35 overall road course starts.

3. Denny Hamlin: Has yet to finish outside the top 10 in four starts; Best finish, of second, came in 2007; Has yet to lead a lap; Third-best average finish (6.7) among all drivers that have run in all three races with the COT; 13.1 average finish in nine overall road course starts; Will put chassis No. 248 through its first road course paces this weekend. This particular chassis has gone to Victory Lane in three previous occasions.

4. Jimmie Johnson: Won the pole and finished 12th in this event last year; Has four finishes of seventh or better in eight starts; 7.3 average finish in the three races with the COT; Coming off first road course win in June at Infineon; 14.4 average finish in 17 overall road course starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 543) that he won with at Infineon.

5. Jeff Burton: 29.8 average finish in five starts with Richard Childress Racing; Last of three top 10s (seventh) came with Roush Racing in 2002; 21.2 average finish in 33 overall road course starts; Will make 17th track start in the same car (chassis No. 245) that he finished 27th with at Infineon after being spun off course in the closing laps.

6. Kyle Busch: 2008 winner; Has finished ninth or better in last four starts; Has led the most laps (67) in the three races with the COT; 15.9 average finish in 11 overall road course starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 240) that he qualified second and finished 22nd with at Infineon after suffering brakes problems in the race.

7. Kurt Busch: 11.8 average finish in four starts with Penske Racing; Coming off consecutive top 10s; Seventh-place finish in 2009 is best in nine starts; 19.9 average finish in 19 overall road course starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 722) that he was running in the top five with at Infineon in June up until an incident with Jeff Gordon.

8. Tony Stewart: Coming off fifth win in 11 starts; 2009 win came in first track start with Stewart-Haas after leading 34 laps; Recorded eight top 10s with Joe Gibbs Racing in previous 10 starts; 7.3 average finish in 23 overall road course starts.; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 546) that he finished second and ninth, respectively, with in the past two races at Infineon.

9. Matt Kenseth: 12.7 average finish in the three races with the COT; Last of three top 10s, in nine starts, came in 2004; 19.2 average finish in 21 overall road course starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 663) that he finished 30th with at Infineon.

10. Carl Edwards: Coming off four consecutive top 10s; 8.8 average in five starts; Has yet to lead a lap; 14.3 average finish in 11 overall road course starts; Will pilot the same car (chassis No. 656) that he finished 29th with at Infineon.

11. Greg Biffle: Coming off best finish (fifth) in seven starts; Only other top 10 (10th) came in 2007; 12.0 average finish in the three races with the COT; Has yet to lead a lap since 2003; 19.7 average finish in 15 overall road course starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 659) that he finished seventh with at Infineon.

12. Clint Bowyer: Scored first top 10 in four starts last year in ninth; 15.5 average finish; Has yet to lead a lap; 13.9 average finish in nine overall road course starts; Will return in the same (chassis No. 300) that finished 31st at Infineon after last race contact took him out of contention.

13. Mark Martin: Finished 23rd in 2009 in first track start since 2006; Won three consecutive races in the mid 90s; Scored 12 consecutive top 10s from 1989-2000; 9.5 average finish in 44 overall road course starts; Will pilot the same car (chassis No. 608) that finished 14th at Infineon.

14. Dale Earnhardt Jr: Led 33 laps and finished 22nd in track debut with Hendrick Motorsports in 2008; Finished 39th in 2009; Posted three top 10s with Dale Earnhardt Inc. in eight previous starts; 21.5 average finish in 21 overall road course starts; Will pilot the same car (chassis No. 514) that he finished 11th with at Infineon.

15. Ryan Newman: Finished 21st in first track start with Stewart-Hass in 2009; 20.0 average finish in the three races with the COT; Scored three top 10s with Penske Racing from 2002-2008; 13.8 average finish in 17 overall road course starts.

16. Kasey Kahne: Has yet to finish in the top 10 in six starts; Equaled best finish, of 14th, in 2008; Won first road course race in 2009 at Infineon; 21.1 average finish in 13 overall road course starts.

17. Jamie McMurray: Only top 10 in six starts came in 2006 when he finished third; The third-place finish came in his first track start with Roush Fenway; Will make track debut in a Chevrolet; Best finish with Ganassi came in 2004 and 2005 in 13th; 18.5 average finish in 15 overall road course starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 1012) that finished 15th at Infineon; The chassis was also recently tested at Road Atlanta.

18. David Reutimann: Coming off best finish (25th) in two starts; 29.0 average finish; 29.8 average finish in five overall road course starts.

19. Joey Logano: Finished 16th in first Sprint Cup track start in 2009.

20. Martin Truex Jr: 28th-place finish in 2009 ended streak of two consecutive top 10s; Will make track debut with Michael Waltrip Racing.

21. Juan Pablo Montoya: Coming off second consecutive top 10 in three starts; Was running sixth in 2007 until he was sent spinning on lap 72 to a 39th-place finish; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 1014) that finished 10th at Infineon; The chassis was also tested at Virginia International Raceway.

22. AJ Allmendinger: 12.0 average finish in two starts; Best finish came with Team Red Bull in 2008 in 11th; 16.2 average finish in five overall road course starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 257) that he finished 13th with at Infineon.

23. Paul Menard: Equaled best finish (19th) in six starts last season; 25.3 average finish in nine overall road course starts; Will pilot the same car (chassis No. 254) that he finished 22nd with at Infineon.

24. David Ragan: Coming off best finish (24th) in three starts; 28.7 average finish; 28.1 average finish in seven overall road course starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 660) that finished 25th at Infineon.

25. Brad Keselowski: Will make first start driving the same car (chassis No. 723) that finished 35th at Infineon.

26. Scott Speed: Finished 22nd in first start last season; 25.7 average finish in three overall road course starts.

27. Sam Hornish Jr: 34.0 average finish in two starts; 34.6 average finish in five overall road course starts.

28. Marcos Ambrose: 2.5 average finish in two starts; Led nine laps and finished second in 2009; 11.2 average finish in five overall road course starts.

29. Elliott Sadler: Scored only top 10 (seventh) in 11 starts in 2006 with Yates Racing; 18.1 average finish in 23 overall road course starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 243) that he finished 17th with at Infineon.

30. Regan Smith: Only start came in 2007 when he finished 37th; 35.0 average finish in three overall road course starts.

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