Driver Handicaps: Bristol

Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch has won four of the last five races. (Photo: Getty Images)

Driver Averages | Loop Data eBook | Driver Ratings | Past Winners

To help you make your fantasy racing picks for the IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Motor Racing Network brings you our weekly detailed look at some of the field for the 500-lap event.

Who's HOT at Bristol
• Kyle Busch has five wins and has led 1,336 laps in the nine races with the COT. 
• Jimmie Johnson has one win and has led 632 with the COT.
• Carl Edwards has the second-best average finish (9.0) with the COT. 
• Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch each have scored five wins.
• Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth each have finished in the top 10 in the last four races.
• Ryan Newman has finished in the top 10 in five of his last six starts.

Keep an Eye on at Bristol  
• Bristol is Dale Earnhardt Jr's best track on the circuit based on his 11.5 average finish.
• Brad Keselowski has a 3.8 average finish in the last four races of the season.
• Clint Bowyer finished fourth in this event last year for his fifth top 10 at Bristol. 
• Tony Stewart is third in laps led (526) with the COT at Bristol.
• Kevin Harvick is coming off his 12th top 10 at Bristol.
• Mark Martin leads all active full-time drivers with 23 top 10s at Bristol.
• Kasey Kahne has finished in the top 10 in his last two Bristol starts.
• David Reutimann finished second in this event last year.

Bristol Qualifying Facts 

*Active Pole Leaders
Best Starting Average
Races Won from Starting Pos.
1. Mark Martin - 9
1. Jeff Gordon - 6.8
Pole - 22 times
2. Jeff Gordon - 5
2. Ryan Newman - 9.8
Top Five - 58 times
3. Ryan Newman - 2
3. Mark Martin - 10.4
Top 10 - 80 times
    Carl Edwards - 2
4. Joey Logano - 10.6
Top 15 - 91 times
4. Eight drivers with one
5. Kasey Kahne - 13.0
Worst - 38th, one time

* - Must be entered in the IRWIN Tools Night Race.

*Best Average Finish at Bristol 

Last # of Races
Driver
Avg. Fin.
Two Races
Kyle Busch 
1.0
Four Races
Kyle Busch 
3.0 
Six Races
Kyle Busch
2.5 
Eight Races
Kyle Busch
5.1 
10 Races
Kyle Busch
4.4 

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

Bristol Loop Data Stat Leaders (2005-2011)  

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Kyle Busch
1. Brad Keselowski
1. Jeff Gordon - 9.9
2. Greg Biffle
2. Kurt Busch
2. Matt Kenseth - 11.2
3. Jeff Gordon
3. Kyle Busch
3. Greg Biffle - 11.5
4. Matt Kenseth
4. Carl Edwards
4. Kyle Busch - 11.7
5. Tony Stewart
5. Kevin Harvick
5. Kurt Busch - 12.2
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Jeff Gordon - 5277
1. Matt Kenseth - 351
1. Kyle Busch - 108.1
2. Matt Kenseth - 5218
2. Kurt Busch - 321 
2. Greg Biffle - 99.4
3. Greg Biffle - 4945
3. Jeff Gordon - 314
3. Jeff Gordon - 97.6
4. Kurt Busch - 4712
4. Greg Biffle - 311
4. Matt Kenseth - 97.5
5. Kyle Busch - 4445
5. Ryan Newman - 295
5. Kurt Busch - 96.8

*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 Bristol view the IRWIN Tools Night Race pre-race eBook.

Season Loop Data Leaders  

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Kyle Busch
1. Jimmie Johnson
1. Kyle Busch - 9.6
2. Carl Edwards
2. Kyle Busch 
2. Kurt Busch - 12.4
3. Kurt Busch 
3. Carl Edwards
3. Jimmie Johnson - 12.6
4. Jimmie Johnson 
4. Matt Kenseth
4. Carl Edwards - 13.4
5. Jeff Gordon
5. Denny Hamlin
5. Ryan Newman - 13.5
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Kyle Busch - 5090
1. Kyle Busch - 1531
1. Kyle Busch - 110.3
2. Carl Edwards - 4542
2. Paul Menard - 1483
2. Jimmie Johnson - 98.2 
3. Jimmie Johnson - 4326
3. Kurt Busch - 1449
3. Carl Edwards - 97.3
4. Jeff Gordon - 4030
4. Clint Bowyer - 1395
4. Kurt Busch - 96.7
5. Ryan Newman - 3946 
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 1341
5. Jeff Gordon - 95.0

*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: Jimmie Johnson
Pete Pistone: Kyle Busch
Craig Moore: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Steve Blevins: Kurt Busch
John Singler: Matt Kenseth
Ricky Hamber: Jeff Gordon

Top 20 Driver Notes - Ordered by current standings
(All stats/notes are in regards to Bristol unless noted)

1. Kyle Busch: Leads all drivers in laps led (1,336) and wins (5) in the nine races with the COT; Coming off second consecutive win; 4.6 average finish in seven starts with Joe Gibbs Racing.

2. Jimmie Johnson: Coming off fourth top 10 in the last five races; Won the 2010 spring race; Has combined to lead 618 laps in last five starts; 15.3 average finish in the nine races with the COT; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 592) that he led 164 laps en route to a third-place finish in the spring at Bristol.

3. Kevin Harvick: Seventh-best average finish (13.9) in the nine races with the COT; Coming off 12th top 10 (sixth) in 21 starts; Winner of the 2005 spring race; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 346) that he finished 19th with in the All-Star Race in May at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

4. Carl Edwards: Second-best average finish (9.0) in the nine races with the COT; Won this event in 2007 and 2008; Finished second from the pole in the spring for sixth top 10 in 12 starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 739) that he finished fifth with at Michigan International Speedway in June.

5. Matt Kenseth: Coming off 15th top 10, and fourth consecutive, in 23 starts; Winner of this event in 2005 and 2006; 10th-best average finish (14.6) in the nine races with the COT; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 751) that he finish eighth with at Pocono Raceway in June.

6. Jeff Gordon: Has finished outside the top 10 in last four starts; Last of five wins came in this event in 2002; Sixth-best average finish (11.6) in the nine races with the COT; Leads all drivers with 2,440 laps led, but has only combined to lead five in last eight starts.

7. Ryan Newman: 9.0 average finish in five starts with Stewart-Haas Racing; Coming off 11th top 10 in 19 starts; Only top five finish (second) came in the 2004 summer race with Penske Racing.

8. Kurt Busch: Coming off 13th top 10 in 21 starts; Seventh-place finish in the spring was fourth consecutive top 10; Six top 10s, including a win, in 11 starts with Penske Racing; Four other wins came with Roush Racing; Fifth-best average finish (11.0) in the nine races with the COT; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 738) that he last finished second with from the pole at Pocono Raceway in June.

9. Dale Earnhardt Jr: Best track on the circuit based on 11.5 average finish; Third-best average finish (9.9) in the nine races with the COT; 11.0 average finish in seven starts with Hendrick Motorsports; Scored one win and nine top 10s with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. in previous 16 starts.

10. Tony Stewart: 19.6 average finish in five starts with Stewart-Haas Racing; Only top 10 with SHR came in the 2010 spring race in second; Scored seven top 10s in 20 starts with Joe Gibbs Racing; Winner of the 2001 summer race; Third in laps led with the COT (526), but has only combined to lead two laps in last six starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 583) that he last finished eight with at Kansas Speedway.

11. Clint Bowyer: Finished fourth in this event last year for fifth top 10 in 11 starts; Engine failures in the the last two spring events have raised his finishing average to 14.9 in the nine races with the COT; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 340) that he last finished sixth with at Richmond International Raceway in May.

12. Brad Keselowski: 16.7 average finish in three starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 736) that he finished 23rd with at Pocono Raceway in June.

13. Greg Biffle: Coming off fourth consecutive top 10; Eighth-place finish was 11th top 10 in 17 starts; Led 76 laps in this event in 2009; Fourth-best average finish (10.3) in the nine races with the COT; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 727) that he last finished 20th with at Phoenix International Raceway.

14. Denny Hamlin: 33.5 average finish in last two starts; Last of five top 10s (fifth) came in the 2009 summer race after starting at the back of the field and going a lap down; 17.7 average finish in the nine races with the COT.

15. AJ Allmendinger: Has yet to finish inside the top 15 in eight starts; 30.1 average finish; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 710) that he finished 31st with at Bristol in the spring.

16. Mark Martin: Won both poles and posted an average finish of 4.0 in first two starts with Hendrick Motorsports in 2009; Finished 35th, 23rd and 12th, respectively, in last three starts; Previous 21 top 10s came with Roush Racing; Last of two victories came in 1998.

17. Kasey Kahne: Finished ninth in first track start with Team Red Bull in the spring; Finish was sixth top 10, and second consecutive, in 15 starts; Led 305 laps en route to a runner-up finish in 2007 summer race; 16.6 average finish in the nine races with the COT.

18. Paul Menard: Coming off first top-15 finish in eight starts; Fifth-place finish came in first track starts with Richard Childress Racing; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 356) that he last finished 24th with at Kentucky Speedway.

19. Joey Logano: Has yet to finish inside the top 15 in five starts; Won the pole for the 2010 spring race; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 297) that he last finished 27th at Dover International Speedway in May.

20. David Ragan: Only top 10 in eight starts came in this event in 2008; 24.0 average finish; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 744) that he finished 20th with at Michigan International Speedway in June.

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