Driver Handicaps: Martinsville

Martinsville Driver Handicaps

Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson have combined for 17 wins at Martinsville. (Photo: Getty Images)

Driver Averages | COT Stats | Loop Data eBook | Driver Ratings | Past Winners | Power Rankings

This weekend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Martinsville Speedway for Sunday's Goody's Fast Relief 500. To help you make your fantasy racing picks, MotorRacingNetwork.com's Jeff Wackerlin brings you his weekly detailed look at some of the field for the 500-lap event.

Who's HOT at Martinsville
• Six-time winner Jimmie Johnson leads all drivers with a 5.2 average finish.
• Denny Hamlin has three wins, an average finish of 1.3 and 714 laps led in last four races.
• Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in wins (7), top fives (23) and laps led (2,944).
• Carl Edwards and Joey Logano both finished in the top 10 in both races last season.
• Tony Stewart has the fourth-best driver rating in the last 12 races.
• Ryan Newman has finished in the top 10 in the three of the last four races.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. has led 397 laps and posted five top 10s in the races with the COT.
• Clint Bowyer has finished in the top 10 in five of the last seven races.

Keep an Eye on at Martinsville
• Jeff Burton combined to lead 274 laps last year at Martinsville.
• Mark Martin has a 9.5 average finish in four starts with the COT at Martinsville.
• Kevin Harvick, who led 57 laps at Martinsville last spring before brake problems, is coming off his eighth top 10 at the .526-mile track.
• Martinsville is Brad Keselowski's second-best track on the circuit based on finishing average (11.0).
• Kyle Busch is coming off his second top five in six starts with Joe Gibbs Racing at Martinsville.
• Kurt Busch tested a new car at Gresham Motorsports Park in hopes of turning his Martinsville record with Penske Racing around.
• Martin Truex Jr's best finish at Martinsville came in this event last year in fifth.
• Regan Smith leads all drivers with a 5.8 average start in 2011.

Martinsville Qualifying Facts

Active Pole Leaders
Best Starting Average
Races Won from Starting Pos.
1. Jeff Gordon - 7 poles
1. Jeff Gordon - 6.6
Pole - 19 Times
2. Ryan Newman - 3 poles
2. Ryan Newman - 9.1
Top Five - 65 Times
2. Mark Martin- 3 poles
3. Jimmie Johnson - 11.9
Top 10 - 89 Times
2. Tony Stewart - 3 poles
4. Denny Hamlin - 12.6
Top 15 - 104 Times
3. Denny Hamlin - 2 pole
5. Tony Stewart - 12.9
Worst - 36th, One Time

*Best Average Finish at Martinsville

Last # of Races
Driver
Avg. Fin.
Two Races
Denny Hamlin
1.0
Four Races
Denny Hamlin
1.2
Six Races
Denny Hamlin
1.8
Eight Races
Denny Hamlin
2.5
10 Races
Jimmie Johnson
2.8

* - The best average finish is based off a driver who has competed in every race during that time span.

Martinsville Loop Data Stat Leaders (2005-2010)

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Jeff Gordon
1. Jeff Gordon
1. Jimmie Johnson - 6.4
2. Jimmie Johnson
2. Jimmie Johnson
2. Jeff Gordon - 6.5
3. Tony Stewart
3. Denny Hamlin
3. Tony Stewart - 8.9
4. Denny Hamlin
4. Tony Stewart
4. Denny Hamlin - 9.5
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
5. Mark Martin
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 11.6
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Jimmie Johnson - 5457
1. Jimmie Johnson - 414
1. Jimmie Johnson - 122.5
2. Jeff Gordon - 5392
2. Jeff Gordon - 369
2. Jeff Gordon - 120.5
3. Tony Stewart - 4902
3. Denny Hamlin - 333
3. Denny Hamlin - 112.5
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 4405
4. Kyle Busch - 356
4. Tony Stewart - 106.8
5. Denny Hamlin - 4373
5. Carl Edwards - 352
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 98.7

*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 Martinsville view the Goody's Fast Relief 500 pre-race ebook.

Season Loop Data Leaders
*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Kyle Busch
1. Tony Stewart
1. Tony Stewart - 7.9
2. Tony Stewart
2. Kyle Busch
2. Ryan Newman - 9.9
3. Carl Edwards
3. Jeff Gordon
3. Martin Truex Jr. - 10.4
4. Jimmie Johnson
4. Jimmie Johnson
4. Kyle Busch - 10.6
5. Ryan Newman
5. Kevin Harvick
5. Kurt Busch - 11.0
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Ryan Newman - 1286
1. Kurt Busch - 412
1. Kyle Busch - 114.0
2. Tony Stewart - 1213
2. Tony Stewart - 411
2. Tony Stewart - 110.6
3. Kurt Busch - 1193
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 406
3. Carl Edwards - 103.0
4. Paul Menard - 1173
4. Paul Menard - 399
4. Ryan Newman - 102.1
5. Kyle Busch - 1163
5. Clint Bowyer - 391
5. Kurt Busch - 98.9


*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: Jimmie Johnson
Craig Moore: Jeff Gordon
Steve Blevins: Denny Hamlin
John Singler: Kevin Harvick

Driver Notes - Ordered by current standings
(All stats/notes are in regards to Martinsville unless noted)

1. Carl Edwards: Finished eighth in both events last year; 16.8 average finish in 13 starts; Has yet to lead a lap; 12.8 average finish in the eight races with the COT; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 726) that he finished 28th with at Phoenix after being involved in an accident.

2. Ryan Newman: Three top-10s in four starts with Stewart-Haas Racing; Scored six top-10s in previous 14 starts with Penske Racing; 13.1 average finish in the eight races with the COT; Has combined to lead 55 laps in the past three races; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 645) in the Goody's Fast Relief 500.

3. Kurt Busch: 22.4 average finish in 10 starts with Penske Racing; Four top-10s, including one win, came in previous 11 starts with Roush Racing; 23.2 average finish and 19 laps led in the eight races with the COT; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 741) in the Goody's Fast Relief 500; This car was tested at Gresham Motorsports Park last week.

4. Kyle Busch: Coming off second top five in six starts with Joe Gibbs Racing; Previous four top-10s came with Hendrick Motorsports; Led 106 laps in the 2007 fall race; 16.1 average finish in the eight races with the COT; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 302) in the Goody's Fast Relief 500.

5. Jimmie Johnson: Six-time winner; Has won five of the last nine races; 5.3 average finish leads all drivers; Second-best average finish (3.0) in the eight races with the COT; Second in laps led with 1,551; Will pilot a new car (chassis No. 653) in the Goody's Fast Relief 500.

6. Tony Stewart: Two top-10s and a 15.5 average finish in four starts with Stewart-Haas; Posted 11 top-10s and two wins in previous 20 starts with Joe Gibbs Racing; 14.1 average finish in eight starts with the COT; Will pilot a new car (chassis No. 637) that was tested at Little Rock Speedway.

7. Paul Menard: Coming off best finish in seven starts in 13th; 20.3 average finish; Will make first track start with Richard Childress Racing in a new car (chassis No. 349).

8. Juan Pablo Montoya: 15.1 average finish in eight starts; 17.5 average finish in four starts in an Earnhardt-Ganassi Chevrolet; Led 37 laps in the 2009 fall race en route to only top five; Will pilot a new car (chassis No. 1110) in the Goody's Fast Relief 500.

9. Kevin Harvick: Coming off eighth top 10 in 19 starts after leading 97 laps en route to a third-place finish; Led 57 laps in this event last year before brake problems relegated him to a 35th-place finish; 16.1 average finish in the eight races with the COT; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 332) that he finished fourth with at Phoenix International Raceway last month.

10. Matt Kenseth: Last of six top-10s came in the 2008 fall race; Finished 18th and 15th, respectively, in 2010; 15.4 average finish in the eight races with the COT; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 725) that he finished 12th with at Phoenix International Raceway last month.

11. Kasey Kahne: Finished 14th in first track start with Team Red Bull last fall; Two top-10s in 14 starts; 19.1 average finish; Has yet to lead a lap in last 12 starts.

12. Dale Earnhardt Jr: 11.2 average finish in six starts with Hendrick Motorsports; Posted seven top-10s in previous 16 starts with Dale Earnhardt, Inc; Best finish came in the 2008 fall race in second; Fifth-best driver rating in past 12 races; Best track on the circuit based on laps led with 848; Will pilot a new car (chassis No. 654) in the Goody's Fast Relief 500.

13. Martin Truex Jr: Best finish came in this event last year in fifth; 17.0 average finish in two starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; Other top-10 finish came in the 2008 fall race with Dale Earnhardt, Inc.

14. Mark Martin: 9.5 average finish in four starts with Hendrick Motorsports; Finished second last fall; Won the spring race in 1992 and 2000 with Roush Racing; 13.1 average finish in 46 starts; Will pilot a new car (chassis No. 651) in the Goody's Fast Relief 500.

15. AJ Allmendinger: Only top 10 in seven starts came in the 2009 spring race; Finished 38th in this event last year after a crash took him out of contention; 12th-place finish last fall lowered average finish to 25.9; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 729) that he finished ninth with at Phoenix International Raceway last month.

16. Jeff Gordon: Leads active drivers in wins (7), top fives (23), top-10s (29), laps led (2,944) and poles (7); 20th-place finish last fall was first outside the top 10 in last 16 races; Led 92 laps and finished third in this event last year.

17. Clint Bowyer: Scored fifth top 10 in this event last year with a seventh-place finish; 15.3 average finish in 10 starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 340) that he finished 27th with at Phoenix after being involved in an accident.

18. Bobby Labonte: 18.0 average finish in 36 starts; Won the 2002 spring race with Joe Gibbs Racing; 28.5 average finish in the eight races with the COT; Will make first track start with JTG-Daugherty Racing.

19. Marcos Ambrose: 21.5 average finish in four starts; Best finish came in this event last year in 11th; Will make first track start with Richard Petty Motorsports in a new car (chassis No. 754).

20. Greg Biffle: Finished 10th in this event last year for second top 10 in 16 starts; 20.9 average finish in the eight races with the COT; Will pilot a new car (chassis No. 740) in the Goody's Fast Relief 500.

Notable Drivers Outside the Top 20

Denny Hamlin: Winner of the last three races; 1.3 average finish and 714 laps led in last four races; Four wins and a 2.5 average finish in the eight races with the COT.

David Ragan: 18.4 average finish in the eight races with the COT; Has yet to finish in the top 10 in nine starts; Will pilot a new car (chassis No. 747) in the Goody’s Fast Relief 500.

Brad Keselowski: Second-best track on the circuit based on finishing average (11.0); Scored first top 10 last fall in 10th; Will pilot a new car (chassis No. 740) in the Goody’s Fast Relief 500.

Brian Vickers: Recorded second top 10 (sixth) in 11 starts in this event last year; 16.8 average finish in six starts with Team Red Bull; Has yet to lead a lap in 11 starts.

Jeff Burton: Coming off 15th top 10 in 33 starts; 15.7 average finish in 13 starts with Richard Childress Racing; Scored one win and 11 top 10s with Roush Racing; 12.1 average finish and 366 laps led in the eight races with the COT; Led 140 laps in this event last year before a cut right-front tire in the closing laps relegated him to a 20th-place finish; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 319) that he last finished 19th at Phoenix International Raceway after he was forced to pit for fuel in the closing laps.

David Reutimann: Has yet to finish in the top 10 in eight starts; Best finish came in the 2009 fall race in 16th; 25.5 average finish.

Jamie McMurray: 20.5 average finish in two starts behind the wheel of an Earnhardt-Ganassi Chevrolet; Posted nine top-10s in previous 14 starts; 18.0 average finish in the eight races with the COT; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 1007) that he raced in both the 2010 spring and fall races at Martinsville Speedway and Richmond International Raceway.

Joey Logano: Finished in the top 10 in both races in 2010; Best finish came in this event in second; 13.0 average finish in four starts; Will pilot a new car (chassis No. 303) in the Goody’s Fast Relief 500.

Regan Smith: 29.0 average finish in five starts; Leads all drivers with a 5.8 average start in 2011.

 

 

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