Driver Handicaps: Richmond

Richmond

Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch have combined to win six of the last seven races at Richmond. (Photo: Getty Images)

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 Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway.

Who's HOT at Richmond
• Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin have combined to win six of the last seven races.
• Kevin Harvick has finished in the top 10 in four of his last six starts, including a win in this event last year. 
• Tony Stewart and Clint Bowyer have posted respective average finishes of 8.5 and 10.2 in the last 10 races.
• Carl Edwards has finished in the top 10 and combined to lead 427 laps in his last five starts. 
• Three-time winner Jimmie Johnson has finished in the top 10 in four of his last five starts.
• Jeff Gordon has finished ninth or better in seven of his last 10 starts.

Keep an Eye On at Richmond 
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. will return in the same car that he finished second with at Richmond in April.
• Ryan Newman has posted a 10.9 average finish in seven Richmond starts with Stewart-Haas Racing at Richmond.
• Marcos Ambrose and Martin Truex Jr. each bring momentum into Richmond with leading average finishes of 7.6 in the last five races this season.
• Brad Keselowski recorded his first top 10 at Richmond in April.
• Kasey Kahne, who finished fifth at Richmond in May, will return in the same car he won with at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July.
• Mark Martin, who won the pole and finished eighth in April, has posted a 12.1 average finish in 53 starts at Richmond.
• Richmond is one of three tracks that Sam Hornish Jr. has scored two top 10s at.

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 - 5
2. Mark Martin - 9.8
Top Five - 64 times
3. Denny Hamlin - 2
Denny Hamlin - 9.8
Top 10 - 88 times
Jimmie Johnson - 2 3. Brad Keselowski - 10.8
Top 15 - 96 times
4. 10 drivers with 1 4. Aric Almirola - 11.0
Worst - 31st, one time

* - Must be entered in the Federated Auto Parts 400.

*Best Average Finish at Richmond

Last # of Races
Driver
Avg. Fin.
Two Races
Kyle Busch
3.5
Four Races
Kyle Busch
2.5
Six Races
Kyle Busch
2.7
Eight Races
Kyle Busch
4.0
10 Races
Kyle Busch
5.4

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

Richmond Loop Data Stat Leaders (2005-2012)

*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. Kyle Busch - 7.3
3. Kyle Busch
3. Tony Stewart
3. Kevin Harvick - 7.4
4. Jeff Gordon
4. Jeff Gordon
4. Clint Bowyer - 10.7
5. Kurt Busch
5. Ryan Newman
5. Ryan Newman - 11.3
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Kevin Harvick - 5525
1. Kevin Harvick - 488
1. Denny Hamlin - 117.2
2. Kyle Busch - 5292
2. Ryan Newman - 464
2. Kyle Busch - 116.1 
3. Denny Hamlin - 4836
3. Kyle Busch - 453
3. Kevin Harvick - 111.6
4. Ryan Newman - 4777
4. Clint Bowyer - 411
4. Tony Stewart - 97.4
5. Tony Stewart - 4272
5. Tony Stewart - 404
5. Clint Bowyer - 96.4

*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 Richmond, view the Federated Auto Parts 400 Pre-Race eBook (pdf).

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 - 8.7
2. Kyle Busch
2. Jeff Gordon
2. Matt Kenseth - 9.1
3. Denny Hamlin
3. Matt Kenseth
3. Jimmie Johnson - 9.6
4. Mark Martin
4. Kasey Kahne
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 10.6
5. Jeff Gordon
5. Denny Hamlin
5. Denny Hamlin - 10.8
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Matt Kenseth - 5802
1. Brad Keselowski - 1463
1. Jimmie Johnson - 108.2
2. Jimmie Johnson - 5731
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 1440
2. Greg Biffle - 103.3
3. Martin Truex Jr. - 5622
3. Kyle Busch - 1389
3. Matt Kenseth - 102.6
4. Greg Biffle - 5611
4. Marcos Ambrose - 1263
4. Denny Hamlin - 100.8 
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 5360
5. Greg Biffle - 1259
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 99.1

*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: Carl Edwards
Pete Pistone: Kyle Busch
Ricky Hamber: Denny Hamlin
John Singler: Kevin Harvick

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; 16.7 average finish; Finished 18th in April; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 822) in the Federated Auto Parts 400.

Dale Earnhardt Jr: Finished second in May; 18.9 average finish in nine starts with Hendrick Motorsports; Last of three wins with Dale Earnhardt Inc. came in the 2006 spring race; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 709) that he raced at Richmond in April.

Matt Kenseth: Finished 11th in April; 17.0 average finish in 25 starts; Last of nine top 10s came in the 2007 spring race; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 806) that he finished sixth with at Darlington Raceway.

Jimmie Johnson: Finished sixth in April for eighth top 10 in 21 starts; Last of three wins came in this event in 2008; Sixth-best average finish (9.4) in the last five September races; 10th-best average finish (13.7) in the last 10 races; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 689) that he last finished fourth with at Phoenix International Raceway.

Martin Truex Jr: 22.2 average finish in five starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; Last of two top 10s in 13 starts came in the 2010 spring race.

Brad Keselowski: Coming off first top 10 in six starts; 20.7 average finish; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 822) that he took to Victory Lane at Kentucky Speedway in June.

Denny Hamlin: Winner of the 2009 and 2010 September races; Has finished ninth or better in five of the last six races; Best average finish (4.0) in the last five September races; Second-best average finish (7.5) in the last 10 races; 7.3 average finish and 1,188 laps led in 13 overall starts.

Clint Bowyer: Finished seventh in first track start with Michael Waltrip Racing in April; Winner of the 2008 spring race; Eighth-best average finish (11.6) in the last five September races; Fourth-best average finish (10.2) in the last 10 races; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 718) that he finished third with at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July.

Kevin Harvick: Defending race winner; Win was second in 23 starts; Third-best average finish (6.6) in the last five September races; Fifth-best average finish (10.9) in the last 10 races; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 320) that he finished eighth with at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July.

Tony Stewart: Coming off third consecutive top 10; 11.0 average finish in seven starts with Stewart-Haas Racing; Fourth-best average finish (8.8) in the last five September races Third-best average finish (8.5) in the last 10 races; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 710) that he led 118 laps en route to a third-place finish at Richmond in April.

Kasey Kahne: Finished fifth in first track start with Hendrick Motorsports in April; Finish was seventh top 10 in 17 starts; Won the 2005 spring race with Evernham Motorsports; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 663) that he won with at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July.

Kyle Busch: Coming off fourth straight win in the spring race; 4.7 average finish in 15 starts; Seventh-best average finish (9.6) in the last five September races; Leads all drivers in average finish (5.4) in the last 10 races.

Jeff Gordon: Finished 23rd in April; Has finished ninth or better in eight of the last 11 races; Last of two wins came in this event in 2000; Second-best average finish (6.0) in the last five September races; Sixth-best average finish (11.1) in the last 10 races.

Carl Edwards: Has finished in the top 10 and combined to lead 427 laps in his last five starts; Ninth-best average finish (13.5) in the last 10 races; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 801) that he finished 10th with at Richmond in April.

Paul Menard: Coming off best finish in 13th; 27.5 average finish in 11 starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 380) that he finished 14th with at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July.

Marcos Ambrose: Finished in the top 10 in both races in 2010; Has posted an average finish of 22.0 in last three starts with Richard Petty Motorsports; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 805) that he finished 22nd with at Richmond in April.

Ryan Newman: 10.9 average finish in seven starts with Stewart-Haas Racing; Won this event in 2003 with Pesnke Racing; 10th-best average finish (14.6) in the last five September races; Eighth-best average finish (12.6) in the last 10 races; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 691) that he finished 21st at Phoenix International Raceway with after contact; He previously posted two top 10s with the car, including this event at Richmond last year.

Joey Logano: Only top 10 came in this event in 2010 in fourth; 17.6 average finish in seven starts.

Jamie McMurray: 14th-place finish in last two events are best in five starts driving a Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet; Last of three top 10s came in the 2009 spring race with Roush Racing; Chassis No. 1008 will make its 2012 season debut in the Federated Auto Parts 400.

Jeff Burton: Last of 15 top 10s came in the 2010 spring race in fourth; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 382) that he most recently finished 21st with at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July.

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Pay the Fan
Richmond Driver Stats
Driver Races Avg Start Avg Finish
Aric Almirola 1 11.0 26.0
Bobby Labonte 39 19.5 19.1
Brad Keselowski 6 10.8 20.7
Carl Edwards 16 11.4 14.8
Casey Mears 19 20.5 23.6
Clint Bowyer 13 14.9 10.2
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 26 16.4 13.9
Dave Blaney 23 24.5 25.5
David Gilliland 12 35.9 31.5
David Ragan 11 23.4 19.5
David Reutimann 11 15.5 22.3
David Stremme 11 23.5 32.9
Denny Hamlin 13 9.8 7.3
Greg Biffle 20 17.8 16.7
J.J. Yeley 7 35.9 25.4
Jamie McMurray 19 24.2 23.2
Jeff Burton 36 15.0 15.3
Jeff Gordon 39 8.1 14.7
Jimmie Johnson 21 12.4 16.7
Joe Nemechek 37 22.8 28.5
Joey Logano 7 16.0 17.6
Josh Wise 1 32.0 38.0
Juan Pablo Montoya 11 14.0 20.6
Kasey Kahne 17 12.7 18.4
Ken Schrader 46 17.8 16.8
Kevin Harvick 23 16.7 11.8
Kurt Busch 23 19.9 17.9
Kyle Busch 15 12.5 4.7
Landon Cassill 4 26.0 29.0
Marcos Ambrose 7 21.7 16.1
Mark Martin 53 9.8 12.1
Martin Truex Jr. 13 16.7 24.4
Matt Kenseth 25 21.8 17.0
Michael McDowell 6 31.0 36.5
Mike Bliss 9 31.7 32.7
Paul Menard 11 27.6 27.5
Reed Sorenson 10 26.0 23.9
Regan Smith 8 22.0 25.1
Ryan Newman 21 11.1 11.8
Sam Hornish Jr. 6 32.0 23.2
Scott Riggs 11 26.7 28.6
Stephen Leicht 2 40.0 29.5
Tony Stewart 27 17.3 10.6
Travis Kvapil 11 28.8 25.3

More Driver Stats

Lap Leaders in last 15 Richmond Races
Driver Laps Led
Denny Hamlin 1188
Kevin Harvick 895
Kyle Busch 891
Jeff Gordon 659
Carl Edwards 442
Tony Stewart 314
Jimmie Johnson 291
Kasey Kahne 278
Kurt Busch 231
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 152
David Reutimann 104
Ryan Newman 83
Matt Kenseth 80
Clint Bowyer 75
Jeff Burton 68
Greg Biffle 63
Martin Truex Jr. 41
Mark Martin 35
Juan Pablo Montoya 28
Brian Vickers 21
Jamie McMurray 19
Ken Schrader 10
Terry Labonte 7
Casey Mears 6
Dave Blaney 2
Travis Kvapil 2
A J Allmendinger 1
Robby Gordon 1
Paul Menard 1
Tony Raines 1
Michael Waltrip 1

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