Driver Handicaps: Texas

Texas

Matt Kenseth (6.0) and Jimmie Johnson (9.3) have the top two resepctive average finishes in the last 10 races at Texas. (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 Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Who's HOT at Texas
• Matt Kenseth has finished in the top 10 in nine of his last 10 starts, including a win in the 2011 spring race.
• Three-time winner Carl Edwards has posted an average finish of 4.3 in his last three starts. 
• Spring winner Greg Biffle is the only driver to record top 10s in the last eight races.
• Jimmie Johnson has posted an average finish of 9.3 in the last 10 races, including a win in the 2007 fall race. 
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. has finished in the top 10 in four of his last five starts.
• Denny Hamlin has two wins and an average finish of 8.5 in the last six races.
• Tony Stewart, who has a 12.4 average finish in the last 10 races, is the defending event winner.

Keep an Eye On at Texas
• Martin Truex Jr., Kasey Kahne and Jeff Gordon have each finished in the top 10 in their last two starts at Texas. 
• Kevin Harvick (9.9), Kyle Busch (11.4) and Brad Keselowski (12.0) each rank in the top 10 in average finish in the nine races on 1.5-mile tracks this season.
• Mark Martin finished third in the spring at Texas and 10th at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
• Clint Bowyer will return in the same car that he won with at Charlotte Motor Speedway last month - his first Sprint Cup win on a 1.5-mile track.
• Paul Menard will be back in the same car that he recorded a season-best third-place finish with at Kansas Speedway last month.

Texas Qualifying Facts

*Active Pole Leaders
*Best Starting Average
Races Won from Starting Pos.
1. Jeff Gordon - 2
1. Jimmie Johnson - 9.3
Pole - 1 time
Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 2
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 11.4
Top Five - 14 times
Bobby Labonte - 2
3. Kasey Kahne - 11.7
Top 10 - 17 times
Ryan Newman - 2 4. Greg Biffle - 11.7
Top 15 -  times
Martin Truex Jr. - 2 5. Jeff Gordon - 12.4
Worst - 31st one time

* - Must be entered in the AAA Texas 500.

*Best Average Finish at Texas

Last # of Races
Driver
Avg. Fin.
Two Races
Greg Biffle
3.0
Four Races
Matt Kenseth
3.0
Six Races
Greg Biffle
5.5
Eight Races
Greg Biffle
5.1
10 Races
Matt Kenseth
6.0

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

Texas Loop Data Stat Leaders (2005-2012)

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Greg Biffle
1. Tony Stewart
1. Matt Kenseth - 9.2
2. Tony Stewart
2. Jimmie Johnson
2. Tony Stewart - 9.6
3. Matt Kenseth
3. Matt Kenseth
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 11.3
4. Carl Edwards
4. Carl Edwards
4. Carl Edwards - 11.7
5. Kyle Busch
5. Denny Hamlin
5. Jimmie Johnson - 11.7
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Matt Kenseth - 3988
1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 650
1. Matt Kenseth - 107.2
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 3930
2. Carl Edwards - 605
2. Greg Biffle - 103.3
3. Tony Stewart - 3910
3. Greg Biffle - 604
3. Tony Stewart - 102.5
4. Carl Edwards - 3875
4. Denny Hamlin - 594
4. Jimmie Johnson - 100.6
5. Jimmie Johnson - 3662
5. Matt Kenseth - 591
5. Carl Edwards - 99.2

*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 Texas, view the AAA Texas 500 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 - 9.1
2. Denny Hamlin
2. Kasey Kahne
2. Greg Biffle - 9.8
3. Kyle Busch
3. Jeff Gordon
3. Matt Kenseth - 10.4
4. Mark Martin
4. Matt Kenseth
4. Denny Hamlin - 10.5
5. Jeff Gordon
5. Denny Hamlin
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 10.9
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Jimmie Johnson - 8081
1. Brad Keselowski - 2038
1. Jimmie Johnson - 109.9
2. Martin Truex Jr. - 7413
2. Kyle Busch - 1883
2. Denny Hamlin - 102.1
3. Greg Biffle - 7325
3. Jeff Gordon - 1826
3. Matt Kenseth - 100.5
4. Matt Kenseth - 7218
4. Greg Biffle - 1821
4. Greg Biffle - 100.5
5. Denny Hamlin - 7182
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 1816
5. Kyle Busch - 98.3

*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.


MotorRacingNetwork.com Staff Picks

Jeff Wackerlin: Martin Truex Jr.
Pete Pistone: Jimmie Johnson
Ricky Hamber: Greg Biffle
John Singler: Matt Kenseth

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

Jimmie Johnson: Led 156 laps and finished second in April; Finish was 13th top 10 in 18 starts; Winner of this event in 2007; Second in average finish (8.0) among all drivers that have competed in the nine races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Leads all drivers with 483 laps led on 1.5-mile tracks in 2012; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 720) that he last finished third with at Charlotte Motor Speedway last month.

Brad Keselowski: Has yet to finish in the top 10 in eight starts; 25.2 average finish; Eighth in average finish (12.0) among all drivers that have competed in the nine races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Third among all drivers with 287 laps led on 1.5-mile tracks in 2012; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 829) that he last finished sixth with at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September.

Clint Bowyer: Finished 17th in April in first track start with Michael Waltrip Racing; Posted seven top 10s in 12 previous starts with Richard Childress Racing; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 740) that he won with at Charlotte Motor Speedway last month.

Kasey Kahne: Finished seventh in April in first track start with Hendrick Motorsports; Posted one win (2006 spring race) and four top 10s in 15 previous starts; Third in average finish (8.3) among all drivers that have competed in the nine races on 1.5-mile tracks this season.

Denny Hamlin: Swept both races in 2010; Fall win was last of eight top 10s; 10.3 average finish in 14 starts; Tied for the best average finish (7.8) among all drivers that have competed in the nine races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Fifth among all drivers with 245 laps led on 1.5-mile tracks in 2012.

Jeff Gordon: Has finished sixth or better in last two races; Winner of the 2009 spring race; 16.2 average finish in 23 starts; Ninth in average finish (12.7) among all drivers that have competed in the nine races on 1.5-mile tracks this season.

Martin Truex Jr: Won the pole, led 69 laps and finished sixth in the spring; Finish was third top 10 in five starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; 16.1 average finish in 14 overall starts; Tied for the best average finish (7.8) among all drivers that have competed in the nine races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Fourth among all drivers with 282 laps led on 1.5-mile tracks in 2012.

Matt Kenseth: Two-time winner; Leads all drivers in average finish (8.6) and laps led (771); Fifth in average finish (10.0) among all drivers that have competed in the nine races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 821) that he finished 14th with at Charlotte Motor Speedway last month.

Greg Biffle: Coming off second win in 17 starts; Win was eighth consecutive top 10; Second among all drivers in laps led (732); Sixth in average finish (10.3) among all drivers that have competed in the nine races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Second among all drivers with 368 laps led on 1.5-mile tracks in 2012; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 809) that he last finished 16th with at Dover International Speedway.

Tony Stewart: Defending race winner; Win was second in 21 starts; 13.1 average finish; Finished 24th in April; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 736) that he finished sixth and 13th with, resepectively, at Chicagoland Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Chase.

Kevin Harvick: Finished ninth in the spring for ninth top 10 in 19 starts; 12.7 average finish; Fourth in average finish (9.9) among all drivers that have competed in the nine races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 404) that he finished 16th with at Charlotte Motor Speedway last month.

Dale Earnhardt Jr: Coming off fourth top 10 in his last five starts; Winner of the 2000 spring race; 13.9 average finish in 20 starts; 7.4 average finish in seven starts on 1.5-mile tracks this season.

Kyle Busch: 15.8 average finish in 14 starts; Last of five top 10s (third) came in the 2010 spring race; Seventh in average finish (11.4) among all drivers that have competed in the nine races on 1.5-mile tracks this season.

Carl Edwards: Leads all drivers with three wins; Has finished eighth or better in last three starts; 15.0 average finish in 15 overall starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 820) that he last finished fifth with at Dover International Speedway in September.

Ryan Newman: Has yet to finish in the top 10 in seven starts with Stewart-Haas Racing; Won the 2003 race with Penske Racing; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 748) that he finished 20th with at Charlotte Motor Speedway last month.

Paul Menard: 20.8 average finish in 12 starts; Last of two top 10s came in the 2011 spring race; 10th in average finish (13.7) among all drivers that have competed in the nine races on 1.5-mile tracks this season; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 351) that he recorded a season-best third-place finish at Kansas Speedway last month.

Joey Logano: Only top 10 (fourth) in eight starts came in this event in 2010; 25.1 average finish.

Marcos Ambrose: Only top 10 (sixth) in eight starts came in the 2011 spring race; 17.9 average finish; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 754) that he ran in a number of races this season including the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway where he finished 27th.

Jeff Burton: Last of two wins came in the 2007 spring race; Last of nine top 10s came in the 2009 fall race; 16.9 average finish in 23 starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 367) that he last finished 24th with at Chicagoland Speedway in September.

Jamie McMurray: 17.8 average finish in 17 starts; Last of six top 10s came in the 2008 fall race; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 1106) that he ran in a number of races this season with a best finish of seventh at Bristol Motor Speedway in March.

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Pay the Fan
Texas Driver Stats

Driver Races Avg Start Avg Finish Driver Rating
A J Allmendinger 9 18.0 20.0 71.4
Aric Almirola 3 25.7 25.3 50.1
Bobby Labonte 23 18.8 23.8 54.2
Brad Keselowski 8 28.5 25.3 63.2
Carl Edwards 15 14.8 15.0 99.2
Casey Mears 16 25.3 18.6 70.4
Clint Bowyer 13 13.4 13.3 90.9
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 20 11.4 13.9 92.8
Dave Blaney 19 32.5 27.7 43.9
David Gilliland 12 30.8 28.8 53.6
David Ragan 11 12.7 21.0 75.7
David Stremme 5 23.8 22.0 60.4
Denny Hamlin 14 17.4 10.3 94.6
Greg Biffle 17 11.7 16.2 103.3
J.J. Yeley 8 26.9 34.3 47.7
Jamie McMurray 17 24.9 17.8 76.4
Jeff Burton 23 25.0 16.9 81.8
Jeff Gordon 23 12.4 16.2 91.3
Jimmie Johnson 18 9.3 9.7 100.6
Joe Nemechek 20 23.5 31.1 40.9
Joey Logano 8 19.0 25.1 61.7
Josh Wise 2 33.5 39.5 31.6
Juan Montoya 11 15.5 22.5 75.5
Kasey Kahne 16 11.7 18.8 82.8
Ken Schrader 15 29.3 24.3 50.6
Kevin Harvick 19 20.7 12.7 84.8
Kurt Busch 19 16.3 14.4 89.0
Kyle Busch 14 16.2 15.8 96.8
Landon Cassill 4 31.0 31.0 45.6
Marcos Ambrose 8 18.0 17.9 84.3
Mark Martin 23 15.3 13.3 89.0
Martin Truex Jr. 14 18.1 16.1 85.0
Matt Kenseth 20 16.1 8.6 107.2
Michael McDowell 6 30.0 38.2 34.7
Mike Bliss 9 32.2 33.3 41.5
Paul Menard 12 19.6 20.8 69.7
Reed Sorenson 10 27.8 31.4 57.1
Ryan Newman 18 15.4 20.7 70.2
Sam Hornish Jr. 6 15.0 24.8 55.8
Scott Speed 6 31.2 29.3 46.2
Tony Stewart 21 18.0 13.1 102.5
Travis Kvapil 10 37.5 29.3 43.5
Trevor Bayne 4 19.5 19.8 67.7
Texas Green Flag Passes

Number of passes a driver had under green conditions in the last 15 races at Texas.

Driver Green Flag Passes
Jamie McMurray 1163
Kevin Harvick 1136
Kurt Busch 1116
Denny Hamlin 1111
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1103
Matt Kenseth 1073
Jeff Burton 1069
Kasey Kahne 1055
Mark Martin 1014
Ryan Newman 1006
Casey Mears 1001
Martin Truex Jr. 967
Carl Edwards 943
Jeff Gordon 934
Greg Biffle 930
Juan Pablo Montoya 919
Tony Stewart 913
Paul Menard 903
Jimmie Johnson 890
Kyle Busch 889
Clint Bowyer 876
David Ragan 864
Brian Vickers 825
A J Allmendinger 823
Bobby Labonte 816
David Gilliland 749
David Reutimann 749
Regan Smith 698
Marcos Ambrose 690
Brad Keselowski 677
Robby Gordon 656
Elliott Sadler 640
Dave Blaney 602
Joey Logano 561
Trevor Bayne 554
Travis Kvapil 480
Reed Sorenson 464
Michael Waltrip 453
Scott Riggs 400
Scott Speed 384
Sam Hornish Jr. 377
Bill Elliott 374
Joe Nemechek 341
Landon Cassill 292
David Stremme 292
Aric Almirola 286
Ken Schrader 281
J.J. Yeley 274
Tony Raines 267
Mike Bliss 252
Jeff Green 248
Michael McDowell 154
Terry Labonte 136
Mike Skinner 119
Mike Wallace 59
Boris Said 12
Kenny Wallace 12
Josh Wise 12
Jason Leffler 11
Hermie Sadler 5
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