Driver Handicaps: Richmond

Richmond Fantasy Racing Preview

Kyle Busch (5.0) and Denny Hamlin (7.6) lead all drivers in average finish at Richmond. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Driver Averages Loop Data eBookDriver Ratings Past Winners

Motor Racing Network brings you our weekly detailed look at some of the field for Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Capital City 400 at Richmond International Raceway.

Who's HOT at Richmond
• Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin have combined to win four of the last five races.
• Kevin Harvick has finished in the top 10 in four of his last five starts, including a win last September.
• Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon have respective average finishes of 9.0 and 9.2 in the 10 races with the COT. 
• Carl Edwards has finished in the top 10 in the last four races.
• Three-time winner Jimmie Johnson has finished in the top 10 in three of his last four starts.

Keep an Eye On at Richmond 
• Martin Truex Jr. leads all drivers with a 4.8 average finish in the last five races of the season.
• Clint Bowyer has finished has finished sixth in three of his last five starts at Richmond.
• Series points leader Greg Biffle will return in the same car that he finished third with at Phoenix.
• Kasey Kahne will be shooting for his third straight top 10 of the season.
• AJ Allmendinger has posted an 8.7 average finish in his last three starts at Richmond.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. has finished in the top 10 in the last four races of the season.
• Ryan Newman has posted a 10.2 average finish in six starts with Stewart-Haas Racing at Richmond.
• Mark Martin has posted a 12.2 average finish in 52 starts at Richmond.
• Jeff Burton, who has a 14.8 average finish in 35 starts at Richmond, will be back in the same car that he was running in the top five with at Phoenix prior to an engine failure.
• David Ragan, who finished fourth in both Richmond races last year, will be looking to score his first top 10 with Front Row Motorsports.

Richmond Qualifying Facts

*Active Pole Leaders
*Best Starting Average
Races Won from Starting Pos.
1. Jeff Gordon - 5
1. Jeff Gordon - 8.1
Pole - 22 times
2. Mark Martin - 4
2. Brad Keselowski - 9.8
Top Five - 63 times
3. Denny Hamlin - 2
3. Mark Martin - 9.9
Top 10 - 88 times
Jimmie Johnson - 2 4. Denny Hamlin - 10.0
Top 15 - 96 times
5. 10 drivers with one  5. Ryan Newman - 11.1
Worst - 31st, one time

* - Must be entered in the Capital City 400.

*Best Average Finish at Richmond 

Last # of Races
Driver
Avg. Fin.
Two Races
Kyle Busch/Carl Edwards
3.5
Four Races
Kyle Busch
2.5
Six Races
Kyle Busch
2.7
Eight Races
Kyle Busch
4.1
10 Races
Kyle Busch
5.5

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

Richmond Loop Data Stat Leaders (2005-2011)

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Denny Hamlin
1. Denny Hamlin
1. Denny Hamlin - 6.1
2. Kevin Harvick
2. Kyle Busch
2. Kevin Harvick - 7.4
3. Kyle Busch
3. Tony Stewart
3. Kyle Busch - 7.6
4. Kurt Busch
4. Jeff Gordon
4. Clint Bowyer - 10.8
5. Jeff Gordon
5. Ryan Newman
5. Ryan Newman - 11.0
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Kevin Harvick - 5161
1. Kevin Harvick - 458
1. Denny Hamlin - 117.6
2. Kyle Busch - 4892
2. Clint Bowyer - 375
2. Kyle Busch - 114.8
3. Ryan Newman - 4532
3. Juan Pablo Montoya - 308
3. Kevin Harvick - 112.6
4. Denny Hamlin - 4437
4. Kyle Busch - 425
4. Jeff Gordon - 98.5
5. Tony Stewart - 3930
5. Ryan Newman - 422
5. Clint Bowyer - 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.


For a look at all the pre-race Loop Data for Richmond International Raceway view the Capital City 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. Greg Biffle - 7.6
2. Mark Martin
2. Kasey Kahne
2. Matt Kenseth - 8.2
3. Kyle Busch
3. Jeff Gordon
3. Martin Truex Jr. - 8.7
4. Greg Biffle
4. Kevin Harvick
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 9.3
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
5. Matt Kenseth
5. Denny Hamlin - 9.6
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Martin Truex Jr. - 2263
1. Brad Keselowski - 569
1. Greg Biffle - 108.2
2. Greg Biffle - 2218
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 503
2. Martin Truex Jr. - 105.5
3. Matt Kenseth - 2210
3. Tony Stewart - 492
3. Jimmie Johnson - 104.3 
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 2183
4. Mark Martin - 455  
4. Matt Kenseth - 103.9
5. Brad Keselowski - 2123
5. Martin Truex Jr. - 443
5. Denny Hamlin 103.7

*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.


MotorRacingNetwork.com Staff Picks

Jeff Wackerlin: Kevin Harvick
Pete Pistone: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Ricky Hamber: Kyle Busch 
John Singler: Carl Edwards

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

Greg Biffle: Last of five top 10s came in 2006 fall race; 14.0 average finish in the two races last season; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 778) that he finished third with at Phoenix International Raceway.

Martin Truex Jr: Finished seventh in this event in 2010; 21.5 average finish in four starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; Leads all drivers with a 4.8 average finish in the last five races of the season.

Matt Kenseth: Last of nine top 10s came in this event in 2007; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 802) that he finished second with at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Dale Earnhardt Jr: Last of 10 top 10s came in the 2008 September race in fourth; 21.0 average finish in eight starts with Hendrick Motorsports; Has finished in the top 10 in the last four races of the season; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 709) that he finished 14th with at Phoenix International Raceway.

Denny Hamlin: Two-time winner; Has finished 11th or better in the last five races; Third-best average finish (5.5) in the two races last season; 7.6 average finish and 1,188 laps led in 12 starts; Best driver rating in the last 14 races.

Kevin Harvick: Coming off second win in 22 starts; Fourth-best average finish (6.5) in the two races last season; Has finished 12th or better in last five races; Third-best driver rating in the last 14 races; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 365) that he finished second with at Phoenix International Raceway.

Jimmie Johnson: Last of three wins came in the 2008 September race; Last of seven top 10s in 20 starts came in this event last year in eighth; 10th-best driver rating in the last 14 races; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 715) in the Capital City 400.

Tony Stewart: Last of two wins came in this event in 2002; 12.3 average finish in six starts with Stewart-Haas Racing; Fifth-best average finish (8.0) in the two races last season; Sixth-best driver rating in the last 14 races; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 710) in the Capital City 400.

Carl Edwards: Tied for the best average finish (3.5) in the two races last season; Has finished in the top 10 in the last four races; Has combined to lead 219 laps in last three starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 801) that he finished 17th with at Phoenix International Raceway.

Ryan Newman: Winner of the 2003 September race; Coming off 12th top 10 (eighth) in 20 starts; 10.2 average finish in six starts with Stewart-Haas Racing; Seventh-best driver rating in the last 14 races; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 719) in the Capital City 400.

Clint Bowyer: Winner of this event in 2008; Has finished sixth in three of his last five starts; Fifth-best driver rating in the last 14 races; Will make first track start with Michael Waltrip Racing in the same car (chassis No. 712) that he finished 30th with at Phoenix International Raceway after struggling with multiple cut tires early in the race.

Joey Logano: 16.5 average finish in six starts; Only top 10 came in the 2010 September race in fourth.

Kyle Busch: Scored third win in this event last year; Tied for the best average finish (3.5) in the two races last season; Has finished sixth or better in last six starts; 859 laps led in 14 starts; Second-best driver rating.

Paul Menard: 28.9 average finish in 10 starts; Best finish came in this event in 2007 in 16th; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 380) in the Capital City 400.

Brad Keselowski: Coming off best finish (12th) in five starts; 23.0 average finish; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 824) in the Capital City 400.

Juan Pablo Montoya: Defending event pole winner; Has finished in the top 10 in three of his last six starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 1203) that he finished 11th with at Phoenix International Raceway.

Jeff Burton: Last of 15 top 10s came in this event in 2010 in fourth; 14.8 average finish and one win in 35 starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 367) that he was running in the top five with at Phoenix International Raceway up until an engine issue.

Jeff Gordon: Coming off 24th top 10 with a third-place finish; Last of two wins came in the 2000 September race; 14.5 average finish and 1,413 laps led in 38 starts; Fourth-best driver rating in the last 14 races.

Jamie McMurray: 17.0 average finish in four starts with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing; Last of three top 10s came in this event in seventh; 23.7 average finish in 18 starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 1206) that he finished 37th with at Phoenix International Raceway after an engine failure.

Aric Almirola: Making first track start in the Sprint Cup Series; 16.4 average finish in five Nationwide Series starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 804) that he finished 12th with at Phoenix International Raceway.

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