Driver Handicaps: Kansas

Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson is one of four drivers that will not only be going for a third win at Kansas, but the first on the speedway's new asphalt and configuration. (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 Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.

Note: The Hollywood Casino 400 will be the first race on Kansas Speedway's new asphalt that includes variable banking in the turns. Sprint Cup teams had two days of testing that started on Wednesday. Testing Speeds

"Obviously any time you make drastic changes to a track it's going to be a wild card. You can throw away any stat book you have for this track." - Brad Keselowski

Who's HOT at Kansas
• Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon are the only multiple race winners.
• Carl Edwards has finished in the top 10 in eight of the last nine races. 
• Denny Hamlin won in the spring for his third top five in his last five starts.
• Brad Keselowski has posted a 5.0 average finish in his last three starts, including a win. 
• Matt Kenseth has finished seventh of better in his last four starts.

Keep an Eye On at Kansas
• Martin Truex Jr. (8.5), Kasey Kahne (8.9), Kyle Busch (9.0) and Kevin Harvick (9.8) each rank in the top 10 in average finish in the eight races on 1.5-mile tracks in 2012.
• Regan Smith will be making his second start in the No. 88 Chevrolet, which will be the same chassis that Dale Earnhardt Jr. won with at Michigan International Speedway in June.
• Marcos Ambrose, Kurt Busch and Paul Menard were among the top 10 on the speed chart in the opening testing session at Kansas.
• Clint Bowyer and Joey Logano have posted respective average finishes of 5.5 and 8.0 in the last two races this season on 1.5-mile tracks.
• Mark Martin, who was second fastest in both testing sessions, has posted five top 10s - including one win - in 13 starts at Kansas.

Kansas Qualifying Facts

*Active Pole Leaders
*Best Starting Average
Races Won from Starting Pos.
1. Jimmie Johnson - 3
1. Jimmie Johnson - 10.9
Pole - 2 times
2. Kasey Kahne - 2
2. Jeff Gordon - 11.1
Top Five - 6 times
3. Six drivers with one
3. Kasey Kahne - 12.0
Top 10 - 8 times
4. Paul Menard - 12.1
Top 15 - 9 times
5. Joey Logano - 13.0
Worst - 25th, one time

* - Must be entered in the Hollywood Casino 400.

*Best Average Finish at Kansas

Last # of Races
Driver
Avg. Fin.
Two Races
Jimmie Johnson
2.0
Four Races
Jimmie Johnson
3.2
Six Races
Jimmie Johnson
3.8
Eight Races
Jimmie Johnson
5.0
10 Races
Greg Biffle
4.8

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

Kansas Loop Data Stat Leaders (2005-2012)

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Jimmie Johnson
1. Jimmie Johnson
1. Greg Biffle - 6.7
2. Greg Biffle
2. Greg Biffle
2. Jimmie Johnson - 6.8
3. Tony Stewart
3. Carl Edwards
3. Jeff Gordon - 8.8
4. Jeff Gordon
4. Jeff Gordon
4. Tony Stewart - 9.6
5. Matt Kenseth
5. Martin Truex Jr.
5. Matt Kenseth - 10.6
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Greg Biffle - 2208
1. Jimmie Johnson - 425
1. Jimmie Johnson - 120.7
2. Jimmie Johnson - 2145
2. Greg Biffle - 406
2. Greg Biffle - 116.3
3. Jeff Gordon - 2105
3. Jeff Gordon - 390
3. Tony Stewart - 102.9
4. Tony Stewart - 1857
4. Tony Stewart - 374
4. Matt Kenseth - 102.4
5. Matt Kenseth - 1852
5. Carl Edwards - 366
5. Jeff Gordon - 102.2

*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 Kansas, view the Hollywood Casino 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. Jimmie Johnson - 9.2
2. Denny Hamlin
2. Kasey Kahne
2. Greg Biffle - 9.4
3. Mark Martin
3. Jeff Gordon
3. Matt Kenseth - 10.1
4. Kyle Busch
4. Matt Kenseth
4. Denny Hamlin - 10.3
5. Jeff Gordon
5. Denny Hamlin
5. Martin Truex Jr. - 11.3
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Jimmie Johnson - 7396
1. Brad Keselowski - 1961
1. Jimmie Johnson - 109.1
2. Martin Truex Jr. - 7037
2. Kyle Busch - 1811
2. Denny Hamlin - 103.0
3. Greg Biffle - 6914
3. Greg Biffle - 1757
3. Greg Biffle - 101.7
Matt Kenseth - 6914
4. Jeff Gordon - 1737
4. Matt Kenseth - 100.2
5. Denny Hamlin - 6711
5. Matt Kenseth - 1728
5. Kyle 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: Greg Biffle
Pete Pistone: Brad Keselowski
Ricky Hamber: Jeff Gordon
John Singler: Denny Hamlin

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

Brad Keselowski: Winner of the 2011 spring race; Has posted a 5.0 average finish in last three starts; 10th fastest in the final testing session; Tied for the most wins on 1.5-mile tracks this season with two; Ninth among all drivers in average finish (12.5) in the eight races on 1.5-mile tracks in 2012; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 832) that he won with at Chicagoland Speedway.

Jimmie Johnson: Leads all drivers with a 7.9 average finish (12 starts); Defending event winner; Has finished ninth or better in last seven starts; Second in average finish (7.9) and first in laps led (439) in the eight races on 1.5-mile tracks in 2012;

Denny Hamlin: Coming off first win in nine starts; Win was third top five in the last five races; Tied for the most wins on 1.5-mile tracks this season with two; Leads all drivers with a 7.1 average finish in the eight races on 1.5-mile tracks in 2012.

Clint Bowyer: Finished 36th due to an engine failure in the spring in first track start with Michael Waltrip Racing; Last of three top 10s (seventh) came in this event last year; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 738) that he finished 27th with at Atlanta Motor Speedway in September.

Kasey Kahne: Third fastest in the opening day of testing; Finished eighth in first track start with Hendrick Motorsports in April; Finish was second consecutive top 10 and fourth overall in 10 starts; Two-time pole winner; Fifth in average finish (8.9) in the eight races on 1.5-mile tracks in 2012.

Greg Biffle: First and third, respectively, in the two testing session; Two-time winner; Has finished in the top 10 in his last seven starts; Third in average finish (8.2) and Second in laps led (368) in the eight races on 1.5-mile tracks in 2012; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 825) in the Hollywood Casino 400.

Martin Truex Jr: Led 173 laps and finished second in April; Finish was first top 10 in eight starts; Fourth in average finish (8.5) and laps led (282) in the eight races on 1.5-mile tracks in 2012.

Tony Stewart: Two-time winner; 8.2 average finish in five starts with Stewart-Haas Racing; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 735) that he finished 10th with at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Jeff Gordon: Winner of the first two races in 2001 and 2002; Finished in the top five from 2007 to the 2011 spring race; 27.5 average finish in last two starts.

Kevin Harvick: Coming off consecutive sixth-place finishes; Six top 10s and an average finish of 13.0 in 13 starts; Seventh in average finish (9.8) and eighth in laps led (106) in the eight races on 1.5-mile tracks in 2012; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 378) that he most recently finished fifth with at Atlanta Motor Speedway in September.

Matt Kenseth: Eighth fastest in the opening day of testing; Has finished seventh or better in last four starts; Eighth among all drivers in average finish (10.6) in the eight races on 1.5-mile tracks in 2012; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 826) in the Hollywood Casino 400.

Dale Earnhardt Jr: Not racing; Regan Smith will be behind the wheel of the No. 88 Chevrolet again; Smith has yet to finish inside the top 20 in his five starts; Smith was ninth and first fastest, respectively, in the two testing sessions; Smith will be driving the same car (chassis No. 716) that Earnhardt Jr. raced to a seventh-place finish at Kansas in April and to a win at Michigan International Speedway in June.

Kyle Busch: Eighth fastest in the final testing session; Coming off second top 10 (10th) in 10 starts; 15.7 average finish in six starts with Joe Gibbs Racing; Sixth in average finish (9.0) and laps led (239) in the eight races on 1.5-mile tracks in 2012.

Ryan Newman: Winner of the 2003 race; 16.8 average finish in five starts with Stewart-Haas Racing; Only top 10 (ninth) with SHR came in 2010; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 733) that he last finished 21st with at Dover International Speedway last month.

Carl Edwards: Seventh and ninth fastest, respectively, in the two testing sessions; Coming off sixth consecutive top 10; 10.5 average finish in 10 starts; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 827) in the Hollywood Casino 400.

Paul Menard: Tenth and fifth fastest, respectively, in the two testing sessions; 16.3 average finish in three starts with Richard Childress Racing; Only top 10 (20.1) in seven starts came with Richard Petty Motorsports in 2010; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 351) that he finished eighth with at Atlanta Motor Speedway in September.

Joey Logano: Coming off best finish in six starts in 15th; 25.2 average finish; Fourth fastest in the final testing session. 

Marcos Ambrose: Fourth fastest in the opening day of testing; Only top 10 (ninth) in six starts came in this event last year; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 784) that he most recently finished 17th with at Atlanta Motor Speedway in September.

Jeff Burton: Last of two top 10s (seventh) came in 2008; 19.5 average finish in 13 starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 393) that he most recently finished 12th with at Atlanta Motor Speedway in September.

Jamie McMurray: 20.3 average finish in 11 starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 1207) that he raced four times this season with his best finish, of eighth, coming at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Pay the Fan
Kansas Driver Stats

Driver Races Avg Start Avg Finish Driver Rating
A J Allmendinger 6 18.0 20.0 71.6
Aric Almirola 1 26.0 23.0 59.8
Bobby Labonte 13 21.8 29.5 48.1
Brad Keselowski 5 15.4 10.2 90.7
Carl Edwards 10 18.7 10.5 96.2
Casey Mears 11 28.1 20.6 67.4
Clint Bowyer 8 16.8 15.0 85.7
Dave Blaney 12 31.3 28.1 49.1
David Gilliland 7 28.9 28.9 52.3
David Ragan 7 17.7 19.7 67.9
David Stremme 6 32.2 30.8 46.3
Denny Hamlin 9 14.1 14.1 89.9
Greg Biffle 12 15.6 8.0 116.3
J.J. Yeley 6 27.7 34.8 46.0
Jamie McMurray 11 20.8 20.3 68.0
Jeff Burton 13 25.3 19.5 73.1
Jeff Gordon 13 11.1 11.1 102.2
Jimmie Johnson 12 10.9 7.9 120.7
Joe Nemechek 12 25.7 28.3 37.5
Joey Logano 6 13.0 25.2 59.5
Josh Wise 1 38.0 39.0 36.4
Juan Montoya 7 22.7 19.0 72.2
Kasey Kahne 10 12.0 16.1 86.9
Kevin Harvick 13 20.7 13.0 92.1
Kurt Busch 13 18.2 17.6 90.3
Kyle Busch 10 18.7 20.0 83.3
Landon Cassill 4 33.0 32.3 45.2
Marcos Ambrose 6 27.2 22.5 63.7
Mark Martin 13 17.5 14.6 91.9
Martin Truex Jr. 8 13.1 23.3 88.4
Matt Kenseth 13 13.8 16.9 102.4
Michael McDowell 4 35.8 40.0 36.1
Mike Bliss 4 33.0 31.5 44.9
Paul Menard 7 12.1 20.1 70.1
Reed Sorenson 7 28.6 28.3 52.3
Regan Smith 5 20.8 26.0 54.2
Ryan Newman 13 14.8 17.5 65.4
Sam Hornish Jr. 4 21.0 26.5 62.8
Scott Speed 3 22.7 26.3 50.8
Tony Stewart 13 17.0 12.2 102.9
Travis Kvapil 7 35.4 27.7 45.1
Kansas Green Flag Passes

Number of passes a driver had under green conditions in the last 9 races at Kansas.

Driver Green Flag Passes
Kevin Harvick 721
Ryan Newman 711
Juan Pablo Montoya 678
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 677
Kyle Busch 675
Kasey Kahne 670
Jamie McMurray 660
Carl Edwards 657
Jimmie Johnson 645
Kurt Busch 644
Denny Hamlin 614
Greg Biffle 601
Jeff Burton 601
Clint Bowyer 600
Tony Stewart 594
Mark Martin 593
Jeff Gordon 548
David Ragan 538
Casey Mears 529
Paul Menard 524
Matt Kenseth 522
Bobby Labonte 521
Marcos Ambrose 520
Martin Truex Jr. 513
David Gilliland 489
A J Allmendinger 488
David Reutimann 470
Brad Keselowski 461
Joey Logano 459
Dave Blaney 457
Travis Kvapil 439
Brian Vickers 439
Regan Smith 407
Reed Sorenson 368
Elliott Sadler 360
Sam Hornish Jr. 297
Bill Elliott 285
Joe Nemechek 283
David Stremme 283
Michael Waltrip 248
Tony Raines 229
Landon Cassill 228
Scott Riggs 215
Robby Gordon 208
Ken Schrader 177
J.J. Yeley 160
Jeff Green 155
Scott Speed 150
Mike Bliss 149
Aric Almirola 80
Terry Labonte 79
Austin Dillon 77
Michael McDowell 67
Boris Said 63
Kenny Wallace 41
Mike Wallace 19
Josh Wise 14
Mike Skinner 7

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