Driver Handicaps: Indianapolis

Tony Stewart

Two-time Brickyard winner Tony Stewart leads all drivers with an 8.1 average finish (13 starts). (Photo: Getty Images)

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Driver Averages Loop Data eBook (pdf) Driver Ratings Past Winners

Motor Racing Network brings you our weekly detailed look at some of the field for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Who's HOT at Indianapolis
• Jeff Gordon leads all drivers in wins (4), top 10s (14), laps led (476).
• Tony Stewart (2) and Jimmie Johnson (3) are the only other multiple winners.
• Jamie McMurray has finished first and fourth, respectively, in his last two starts.
• Greg Biffle is the only driver that has finished in the top 10 in all four races with the COT.
• Mark Martin has posted the best average finish (7.5) in the last six races.
• Kevin Harvick, the 2003 winner, has finished 11th or better in nine of his 11 starts.

Keep an Eye On at Indianapolis 
• Juan Pablo Montoya has combined to lead 202 laps in his last three starts at Indianapolis.
• Series points leader Matt Kenseth has finished second twice in Brickyard 400.
• Carl Edwards and Kasey Kahne have respective average finishes of 9.5 and 11.2 in the four races at Indianapolis with the COT.
• Clint Bowyer, who will make first track start with Michael Waltrip Racing, has the fifth-best average finish (11.8) at Indianapolis.
• Teammates Joey Logano (led 49 laps) and Denny Hamlin (led 21 laps) finished first and fifth, respectively, last month at Pocono Raceway.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr., who led 36 laps and finished eighth at Pocono, will be racing a new car at Indianapolis.
• Kyle Busch has finished in the top 10 in his last two starts at Indianapolis.
• Jeff Burton is ranked in the top 10 in driver ratings and has finished in the top 10 in three of his last five starts at Indianapolis.

Indianapolis Qualifying Facts

*Active Pole Leaders
*Best Starting Average
Races Won from Starting Pos.
1. Jeff Gordon - 3
1. Juan Pablo Montoya - 5.0
Pole - 2 times
2. Nine drivers with one
2. Ryan Newman - 7.6
Top Five - 9  times
3. Kasey Kahne - 7.9
Top 10 - 10 times
4. Brad Keselowski - 8.0
Top 15  - 14 times
5. Mark Martin - 11.8
Worst - 27th, one time

* - Must be entered in the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400.

*Best Average Finish at Indianapolis

Last # of Races
Driver
Avg. Fin.
Two Races
Jamie McMurray
2.5
Four Races
Greg Biffle
5.5
Six Races
Mark Martin
7.2
Eight Races
Tony Stewart
6.5
10 Races
Tony Stewart
7.6

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

Indianapolis Loop Data Stat Leaders (2005-2011)

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Juan Pablo Montoya
1. Jeff Gordon
1. Mark Martin - 8.9
2. Tony Stewart
2. Tony Stewart
2. Tony Stewart - 10.7
3. Jimmie Johnson
3. Jimmie Johnson
3. Greg Biffle - 11.0
4. Mark Martin
4. Denny Hamlin
4. Juan Pablo Montoya - 11.5
5. Kasey Kahne
5. Mark Martin
5. Clint Bowyer - 12.9
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Mark Martin - 945
1. Tony Stewart - 220
1. Tony Stewart - 105.8
2. Greg Biffle - 867
2. Jeff Gordon - 205
2. Mark Martin - 104.5
3. Tony Stewart - 823
3. Carl Edwards - 198
3. Juan Pablo Montoya - 102.4
4. Kasey Kahne - 822
4. Mark Martin - 187
4. Jimmie Johnson - 100.0
5. Matt Kenseth - 812
5. Kyle Busch - 181
5. Jeff Gordon - 99.4

*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 New Hampshire download the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 Pre-Race eBook by clicking here

Season Loop Data Leaders

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Jimmie Johnson
1. Jimmie Johnson
1. Matt Kenseth - 8.5
2. Kyle Busch
2. Kasey Kahne
2. Greg Biffle - 8.6
3. Mark Martin
3. Jeff Gordon
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 9.7
4. Denny Hamlin
4. Matt Kenseth
4. Jimmie Johnson - 10.1
5. Jeff Gordon
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
5. Denny Hamlin - 10.7
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Matt Kenseth - 4818
1. Brad Keselowski - 1282
1. Jimmie Johnson - 107.0
2. Jimmie Johnson - 4631
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 1227
2. Matt Kenseth - 105.2
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 4594
3. Kyle Busch - 1206
3. Greg Biffle - 104.2
4. Greg Biffle - 4550
4. Marcos Ambrose - 1068
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 101.8
5. Martin Truex Jr. - 4419
5. Matt Kenseth - 1051
5. Denny Hamlin - 99.8

*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.


MotorRacingNetwork.com Staff Picks

Jeff Wackerlin: Mark Martin  
Pete Pistone: Tony Stewart   
Ricky Hamber: Jimmie Johnson
John Singler: Kevin Harvick

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

Matt Kenseth: Finished fifth last year for seventh top 10 in 12 starts; Finished second twice, in 2003 and 2006; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 808) that he last finished third with at Michigan International Speedway.

Dale Earnhardt Jr: 22.8 average finish in four starts with Hendrick Motorsports; Sixth in 2006 is best finish, and second top 10 in 12 starts; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 734) in the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400.

Greg Biffle: Only driver to finish in the top 10 (5.5 average finish) in all four races with the COT; Led 38 laps and finished third in 2010; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 817) in the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400.

Jimmie Johnson: Last of three wins came in 2009; 10.8 average finish in the four races with the COT; 20.5 average finish in last two starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 728) that he scored the win with at Dover International Speedway.

Denny Hamlin: Best finish came in 2008 in third; 18.5 average finish in six starts; Has yet to lead a lap, or finish in the top 10, in last three starts; Will make first track start with Darian Grubb as crew chief, who led Tony Stewart to three straight finishes of sixth or better at Indy.

Kevin Harvick: Winner of the 2003 race; Second-place finish in 2010 was fourth finish of seventh or better in last six races; Third among all drivers with a 10.0 average finish; Will debut a car (chassis No. 371) that was in the No. 33 stable last season in the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400.

Tony Stewart: Leads all drivers with an 8.1 average finish; Second in laps led with 227; 9.2 average finish in the four races with the COT; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 735) in the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400.

Martin Truex Jr: 25.0 average finish in two starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; Has yet to finish in the top 10 in seven starts; 23.4 average finish.

Clint Bowyer: Recorded second fourth-place finish in six starts in 2010; Fifth among all drivers with an 11.8 average finish; Will make first track start with Michael Waltrip Racing in the same car (chassis No. 716) that he last finished 16th with at Kentucky Speedway.

Brad Keselowski: Coming off first top 10 (ninth) in two starts; Led 17 laps last season; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 830) in the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400.

Carl Edwards: Fourth among all drivers with an 11.0 average finish; Finished second in 2008; 9.5 average finish in the four races with the COT; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 820) in the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400.

Kasey Kahne: Four top 10s and an average finish of 15.9 in eight starts; 11.2 average finish in the four races with the COT; Started second and led 48 laps last season; Will make first track start with Hendrick Motorsports in a new car (chassis No. 739).

Kyle Busch: Has finished in the top 10 in his last two starts; 17.8 average finish in four starts with Joe Gibbs Racing; Best finish (fourth) came in 2007 with Hendrick Motorsports.

Ryan Newman: Leads all drivers with six or more starts with a 7.6 average start; 14.3 average finish in three starts with Stewart Haas Racing; Only top 10 came in 2002 with Penske Racing; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 733) in the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400.

Paul Menard: Defending race winner; Win was first top 10 in five starts; 21.0 average finish; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 380) in the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400.

Joey Logano: Finished ninth in 2010; 15.3 average finish in three starts; Won at Pocono Raceway in June.

Jeff Gordon: Last of four wins came in 2004; Finished second last year for 10th top five in 18 starts; Second among all drivers with a 9.1 average finish; 9.8 average finish in the four races with the COT; Leads all drivers in laps led with 476.

Marcos Ambrose: Will return in the same car (chassis No. 805) that he last finished 13th with at Pocono Raceway.

Jeff Burton: Last of five top 10s came in 2010 in sixth; 18.4 average finish in 18 starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 359) that he last finished sixth with at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Jamie McMurray: Winner of the 2010 race; 2.5 average finish in two starts with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing; Tied for the second-best average finish (8.0) in the four races with the COT; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 1112) that he finished fourth with at Indianapolis last season.

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