Driver Handicaps: Auto Club

Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson has posted four wins and a 3.3 average finish in his last 10 starts at ACS. (Photo: Getty Images)

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

This weekend, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Auto Club Speedway for Sunday's Auto Club 400. To help you make your fantasy racing picks, MotorRacingNetwork.com brings you our weekly analysis to help steer you toward Sunday's 200-lap event.

Who's HOT at Auto Club
• Jimmie Johnson leads all drivers in wins (5), laps led (851) and average finish (5.4).
• Kyle Busch has a 2.5 average finish and has led 231 laps in the last two races. 
• Kevin Harvick, the 2011 winner, has finished in the top 10 in the last five races.
• Tony Stewart has won two of the last three races.
• Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon each are three-time winners.
• Carl Edwards has finished seventh or better in seven of his last nine starts.

Keep an Eye On at Auto Club 
• Kasey Kahne, who has finished in the top 10 in two of his last three starts at Auto Club, has led the most laps (213) in the four races with the Gen-6 car this season.
• Brad Keselowski, who is still seeking his first top 10 at Auto Club, has recorded the second-best driver rating in the first four races with the Gen-6 car.
• Ryan Newman, (8.2), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (8.6) and Greg Biffle (9.2) each are ranked in the top five in average finish among all drivers in the last five races on 2-mile speedways.
• Clint Bowyer has finished ninth or better in four of his last five starts at Auto Club.
• Mark Martin, who finished 12th in first track start with Michael Waltrip Racing last season, has finished sixth or better in three of his last five starts.
• Kurt Busch, who will make his first track start with Furniture Row Racing, is coming off his fourth top 10 in the last six races at Auto Club.
• Denny Hamlin ranks in the top five in average running position and laps in top 15 with the Gen-6 car.
• Martin Truex Jr. is coming off his first top 10 with Michael Waltrip Racing at Auto Club.
• Joey Logano, who will carry the race sponsors colors this weekend, will be making his first Auto Club start with Penske Racing. He finished fifth in this event in 2010.

Auto Club Qualifying Facts

*Active Pole Leaders
*Best Starting Average
Races Won from Starting Pos.
1. Kurt Busch - 3
1. Jimmie Johnson - 9.1
Pole - 1 time
2. Jeff Gordon - 2
2. Kasey Kahne - 10.2
Top Five - 8 times
3. Denny Hamlin - 2
3. Kyle Busch - 11.7
Top 10 - 12 times
4. Jamie McMurray - 2 4. Jeff Gordon - 12.9
Top 15 - 12 times
5. Eight drivers with 1 5. Denny Hamlin - 13.2
Worst - 31st, one time

* - Must be entered in the Auto Club 400.

*Best Average Finish at Auto Club

Last # of Races
Driver
Avg. Fin.
Two Races
Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch
2.5
Four Races
Kevin Harvick
3.5
Six Races
Jimmie Johnson
4.3
Eight Races
Jimmie Johnson
3.6
10 Races
Jimmie Johnson
3.3

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

Auto Club 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. Jimmie Johnson - 5.4
2. Kyle Busch
2. Tony Stewart
2. Matt Kenseth - 9.5
3. Greg Biffle
3. Jeff Gordon
3. Kyle Busch - 9.6
4. Matt Kenseth
4. Carl Edwards
4. Jeff Gordon - 9.8
5. Carl Edwards
5. Matt Kenseth
5. Tony Stewart - 10.1 
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Jimmie Johnson - 3142
1. Jeff Gordon - 715
1. Jimmie Johnson - 122.4
2. Matt Kenseth - 2689
2. Jimmie Johnson - 708
2. Kyle Busch - 106.4
3. Kyle Busch - 2603
3. Kyle Busch - 701
3. Matt Kenseth - 105.2
4. Jeff Gordon - 2502
4. Jeff Burton - 692
4. Tony Stewart - 102.4
4. Tony Stewart - 2502
5. Tony Stewart - 655
5. Mark Martin - 99.7

*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.


For a look at all the pre-race Loop Data for Auto Club, view the Auto Club 400 Pre-Race eBook (pdf).

Season Loop Data Leaders

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Kasey Kahne
1. Brad Keselowski
1. Jimmie Johnson - 5.0
2. Jimmie Johnson
2. Matt Kenseth
2. Matt Kenseth - 9.1
3. Matt Kenseth
3. Carl Edwards
3. Denny Hamlin - 9.2
4. Kevin Harvick
4. Kasey Kahne
4. Brad Keselowski - 9.7
5. Denny Hamlin
5. Kevin Harvick
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 10.5
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Jimmie Johnson - 1217
1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 289
1. Jimmie Johnson - 117.1
2. Brad Keselowski - 1111
2. Greg Biffle - 238
2. Brad Keselowski - 110.0
3. Matt Kenseth - 1107
3. Joey Logano - 219
3. Matt Kenseth - 109.9
4. Denny Hamlin - 1048
4. Clint Bowyer - 215
4. Kasey Kahne - 105.2
5. Kevin Harvick - 1033
5. Jimmie Johnson, Paul Menard - 206
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 101.7

*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: Matt Kenseth
Pete Pistone: Jimmie Johnson
Tony Rizzuti: Jimmie Johnson
John Singler: Joey Logano

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

Brad Keselowski: Auto Club is one of two tracks on the schedule he's yet to score a top 10; 18th-place finish is best in four starts; Will drive a new chassis (No. 847) in the Auto Club 400; Second-best driver rating in the first four races with the Gen-6 car.

Dale Earnhardt Jr: Coming off first top 10 in eight starts with Hendrick Motorsports; Tied for the second-best average finish (8.6) in the last five races on 2-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan); Will return in the same chassis (No. 716) that he last finished 10th with at Homestead-Miami Speedway; Fifth-best driver rating in the first four races with the Gen-6 car.

Jimmie Johnson: Leads all drivers in wins (5) and laps led (851); 3.3 average finish in the last 10 races; Will debut a new chassis (No. 784) in the Auto Club 400; Best driver rating in the first four races with the Gen-6 car.

Clint Bowyer: Finished 13th in first track start with Michael Waltrip Racing last season; Has finished ninth or better in four of his last five starts; Tied for the second-best average finish (8.6) in the last five races at 2-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan).; Will drive a new chassis (No. 758) in the Auto Club 400.

Greg Biffle: Coming off sixth top 10 in 18 starts; Winner of the 2005 spring race; Third-best average finish (9.2) in the last five races on 2-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan); Will return in the same chassis (No. 817) that he finished fifth with at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Denny Hamlin: Last of four top 10s in 12 starts came in the 2010 fall race; 18.4 average finish in the last five races at 2-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan).

Kasey Kahne: Finished 14th in first track start with Hendrick Motorsports last season; Winner of the 2006 summer race; 17.0 average finish in the last five races at 2-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan); Fourth-best driver rating in the first four races with the Gen-6 car; Will return in the same chassis (No. 763) that he tested at Charlotte Motor Speedway in January.

Carl Edwards: Winner of this event in 2008; Coming off 12th top 10 in 15 starts; 12.6 average finish in the last five races at 2-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan); Will return in the same chassis (No. 821) that Matt Kenseth drove to a fourth-place finish last all at Texas Motor Speedway.

Paul Menard: Has yet to finish in the top 10 in 10 starts; 16.0 average finish in the last five races at 2-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan); Will drive a new chassis (No. 414) in the Auto Club 400.

Kyle Busch: Posted a 2.5 average finish and has led a total of 231 laps in his last two starts; Won the 2005 summer race with Hendrick Motorsports; Tied for the fifth-best average finish (10.2) in the last five races at 2-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan).

Ricky Stenhouse Jr: Making first track start in the Sprint Cup Series; Will return in the same chassis (No. 815) that Carl Edwards drover to an 18th-place finish at Martinsville Speedway.

Joey Logano: 17.5 average finish in six starts; Finished fifth in this event in 2010 with Joe Gibbs Racing; 25.8 average finish in the last five races at 2-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan); Will drive a new chassis (No. 844) in the Auto Club 400 in his first track start with Penske Racing.

Matt Kenseth: Three-time winner; Last win came in this event in 2009; Making first track start with Joe Gibbs Racing; Fourth-best average finish (6.0) in the last five races on 2-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan); Third-best driver rating in the first four races with the Gen-6 car.

Jamie McMurray: Two poles and a 22.3 average finish in last four starts with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing; Last of five top 10s in 17 starts came in this event in 2006; 20.4 average finish in the last five races at 2-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan).

Marcos Ambrose: Has yet to finish inside the top 20 in seven starts; Coming off best finish in 21st; 17.0 average finish in the last five races at 2-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan).

Kurt Busch: Coming off ninth top 10 in 19 starts; Making first track start with Furniture Row Racing; Winner of this event in 2003 with Roush Racing; 22.8 average finish in the last five races at 2-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan).

Kevin Harvick: Winner of this event in 2011; Has finished in the top 10 in last five starts; 13.2 average finish in the last five races at 2-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan); Will return in the same chassis (No. 378) that he finished eighth with at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Martin Truex Jr: Coming off third top 10 in 12 starts; 21.5 average finish in four starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; 15.0 average finish in the last five races at 2-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan).

Mark Martin: Started third and finished 12th last year in first track start with Michael Waltrip Racing; Has finished sixth or better in three of his last five starts; Winner of the 1998 race with Roush Racing; 17.8 average finish in the last five races at 2-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan).

Aric Almirola: Has yet to finish inside the top 20 in five starts; 20.7 average finish in the last five races at 2-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan); Will return in the same chassis (No. 839) that he tested at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

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Untitled Document Auto Club Driver Stats

Driver Races Avg Start Avg Finish Driver Rating
Jimmie Johnson 18 9.1 5.4 122.4
Kyle Busch 15 11.7 11.3 106.4
Matt Kenseth 20 20.4 10.3 105.2
Tony Stewart 21 14.8 13.5 102.4
Mark Martin 21 12.7 13.6 99.7
Carl Edwards 15 18.5 8.7 98.5
Jeff Gordon 23 12.9 11.8 97.7
Greg Biffle 18 14.0 17.2 95.9
Kevin Harvick 19 18.1 15.5 94.5
Kasey Kahne 16 10.3 14.9 92.6
Clint Bowyer 12 14.3 10.8 91.7
Denny Hamlin 12 13.2 18.5 89.8
Kurt Busch 19 15.2 12.7 89.2
Jeff Burton 23 18.5 17.1 84.3
Ryan Newman 18 13.9 17.6 80.9
Juan Montoya 10 14.5 19.1 80.0
Martin Truex Jr. 12 14.8 20.1 76.5
D. Earnhardt Jr. 20 20.0 20.8 75.8
David Reutimann 10 22.8 20.0 73.6
David Ragan 10 23.9 18.7 71.9
Joey Logano 6 13.3 17.5 70.9
Jamie McMurray 17 19.8 17.8 70.1
A J Allmendinger 8 18.0 20.9 69.1
Casey Mears 16 18.6 23.3 65.7
Brad Keselowski 4 21.0 22.8 64.5
Paul Menard 10 27.0 24.7 57.8
Bobby Labonte 23 24.1 21.0 56.9
Scott Riggs 11 20.4 27.4 55.4
Marcos Ambrose 7 25.0 27.7 55.1
J.J. Yeley 10 25.0 29.6 53.3
David Stremme 7 27.0 27.1 52.0
Mike Bliss 6 28.3 29.8 49.5
Joe Nemechek 22 21.3 29.7 49.4
David Gilliland 11 32.8 27.6 48.4
Dave Blaney 18 26.0 31.2 45.7
Travis Kvapil 10 36.3 29.5 45.7
Aric Almirola 5 26.6 32.8 44.3
Landon Cassill 3 31.7 33.3 44.1
M. McDowell 5 33.2 40.4 34.0
Josh Wise 1 30.0 37.0 32.9
Timmy Hill 0 - - -
Danica Patrick 0 - - -
R. Stenhouse Jr. 0 - - -
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Auto Club Green Flag Passes

Number of passes a driver had under green conditions in the last 14 races at Auto Club.

Rank Driver Green Flag Passes
1 Jeff Burton 1233
2 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1165
3 Kurt Busch 1141
4 Ryan Newman 1137
5 Jeff Gordon 1123
6 Jamie McMurray 1106
7 Kevin Harvick 1097
8 David Ragan 1075
9 Kasey Kahne 1072
10 Matt Kenseth 1044
11 Martin Truex Jr. 1039
12 Greg Biffle 1024
13 Clint Bowyer 1003
14 Carl Edwards 1000
15 Brian Vickers 998
16 David Reutimann 993
17 Kyle Busch 988
18 Bobby Labonte 983
19 Tony Stewart 966
20 Casey Mears 942
21 Paul Menard 921
22 Jimmie Johnson 864
23 Juan Pablo Montoya 830
24 Dave Blaney 798
25 Denny Hamlin 776
26 A J Allmendinger 775
27 Mark Martin 764
28 David Gilliland 740
29 Joey Logano 594
30 Scott Riggs 540
31 Regan Smith 534
32 Travis Kvapil 533
33 Michael Waltrip 524
34 Ken Schrader 503
35 J.J. Yeley 494
36 Marcos Ambrose 481
37 Joe Nemechek 447
38 David Stremme 435
39 Scott Speed 429
40 Brad Keselowski 368
41 Aric Almirola 341
42 Mike Bliss 224
43 Landon Cassill 124
44 Michael McDowell 113
45 Terry Labonte 100
46 Trevor Bayne 92
47 Josh Wise 11

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