Driver Handicaps: Martinsville

Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson, who is coming off his seventh Martinsville win, leads all drivers with a 5.5 average finish. (Photo: Getty Images)

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

This weekend, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Martinsville Speedway for Sunday's STP Gas Booster 500.  To help you make your fantasy racing picks, MotorRacingNetwork.com brings you our weekly analysis to help steer you toward Sunday's 500-lap event.

Who's HOT at Martinsville
• Jimmie Johnson, who is coming off his seventh win, leads all drivers with a 5.5 average finish.
• Seven-time winner Jeff Gordon leads all drivers in top 10s (32) and laps led (3,515). 
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. has posted an 8.0 average finish in his last five starts.
• Defending event winner Ryan Newman has posted a 7.3 average finish in his last three starts.
• Kevin Harvick, winner of this race in 2011, has finished in the top five in three of the last five races.
• Tony Stewart, winner of the 2011 fall race, has posted four top 10s in eight starts with Stewart-Haas Racing.

Who to Keep an Eye On at Martinsville
• Mark Martin, who will drive the No. 11 Toyota for Denny Hamlin while he recovers from an injury, has posted 25 top 10s - including four in his last six starts.
• Aric Almirola has posted a 6.0 average finish in his last two starts.
• Brad Keselowski (12.2), Carl Edwards (12.8) and Matt Kesneth (14.0) each rank in the top 10 among all drivers that have raced in the last five events at Martinsville.
• Kyle Busch has finished in the top five in four of the last seven races at Martinsville.
• Kasey Kahne, who has led 223 laps in the five races with the Gen-6 car, is coming off a third-place finish at Martinsville.
• Martin Truex Jr., who has finished in the top 10 in two of his last three Martinsville starts, was among the drivers that participated in the Gen-6 Martinsville Goodyear Tire test last year.
• Kurt Busch has finished in the top five in the last two races of the season.
• Clint Bowyer has finished in the top 10 in his last two Martinsville starts.
• Brian Vickers, who will be back in the No. 55 Toyota, is coming off an eighth-place finish at Martinsville.
• Joey Logano, who will make his first track start with Penske Racing, finished in the top 10 in both races in 2010.
• Jeff Burton ranks in the top 10 in driver ratings over the past 16 races at Martinsville.

Martinsville Qualifying Facts

*Active Pole Leaders
*Best Starting Average
Races Won from Starting Pos.
1. Jeff Gordon - 7
1. Jeff Gordon - 7.2
Pole - 20 times
2. Ryan Newman - 3
2. Ryan Newman - 9.0
Top Five - 68 times
3. Mark Martin - 3
3. Jimmie Johnson - 11.9
Top 10 - 93 times
4. Tony Stewart - 3 4. Tony Stewart - 13.0
Top 15 - 108 times
5. Jimmie Johnson - 2 5. Kevin Harvick - 13.3
Worst - 36th, one time

* - Must be entered in the STP Gas Booster 500.

*Best Average Finish at Martinsville

Last # of Races
Driver
Avg. Fin.
Two Races
Ryan Newman/Aric Almirola
6.0
Four Races
Jimmie Johnson
6.5
Six Races
Jimmie Johnson
6.7
Eight Races
Jimmie Johnson
5.4
10 Races
Jimmie Johnson
4.8

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

Martinsville Loop Data Stat Leaders (2005-2012)

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Jeff Gordon
1. Jeff Gordon
1. Jimmie Johnson - 6.2
2. Jimmie Johnson
2. Jimmie Johnson
2. Jeff Gordon - 6.2
3. Denny Hamlin (Not Racing)
3. Denny Hamlin (Not Racing)
3. Denny Hamlin - 8.9 (Not Racing)
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
4. Mark Martin
4. Tony Stewart - 10.8
5. Tony Stewart
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 10.9 
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Jimmie Johnson - 7349
1. Jimmie Johnson - 583
1. Jimmie Johnson - 122.3
2. Jeff Gordon - 7243
2. Jeff Gordon - 549
2. Jeff Gordon - 120.9
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 6179
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 524
3. Denny Hamlin - 111.6
4. Denny Hamlin - 6160
4. Denny Hamlin - 512
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 99.8
5. Tony Stewart - 5856
5. Kyle Busch - 483
5. Tony Stewart - 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 Martinsville, view the STP Gas Booster 500 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. Matt Kenseth
1. Jimmie Johnson - 7.3
2. Matt Kenseth
2. Brad Keselowski
2. Denny Hamlin - 8.4
3. Kevin Harvick
3. Kevin Harvick
3. Matt Kenseth - 9.0
4. Denny Hamlin (Not Racing)
4. Kasey Kahne
4. Brad Keselowski - 10.6
5. Jimmie Johnson
5. Carl Edwards
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 10.9
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Jimmie Johnson - 1322
1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 354
1. Jimmie Johnson - 110.2
2. Matt Kenseth - 1278
2. Greg Biffle - 304
2. Matt Kenseth - 109.6
3. Denny Hamlin - 1236 (Not Racing)
3. Clint Bowyer - 286
3. Kyle Busch - 105.7
4. Brad Keselowski - 1232
4. Joey Logano - 274
4. Kasey Kahne - 103.6
5. Kevin Harvick - 1209
5. Paul Menard - 263
5. Brad Keselowski - 103.5

*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: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Pete Pistone: Kyle Busch
Tony Rizzuti: Jimmie Johnson
John Singler: Jeff Gordon

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

Dale Earnhardt Jr: Has finished seventh or better in last four of his last five starts; Third-best average finish (10.2) in the last 10 races among drivers entered in the race; Fourth-best driver rating in the last 16 races among drivers entered in the race; Will debut a new chassis (No. 789) in the STP Gas Booster 500.

Brad Keselowski: Coming off best finish (sixth) in six starts; Finish was second consecutive top 10; 12.2 average finish; Will debut a new chassis (No. 834) in the STP Gas Booster 500.

Jimmie Johnson: Seven-time winner; Best average finish (4.8) in the last 10 races; Best driver rating (122.3) in the last 16 races; Second among all drivers in laps led (1,981); Participated in the Goodyear Tire test last year that help set the tire combination for this weekend; Will return in the same chassis (No. 749) that he won with at Martinsville last fall.

Carl Edwards: Fourth best average finish (13.0) among drivers that are entered in the race and have competed in the last 10 races; Last of five top 10s came in the 2011 fall race in ninth; Has led 31 laps in 17 starts; Participated in the Goodyear Tire test last year that help set the tire combination for this weekend; Will return in the same chassis (No. 819) which the team tested last year at Kansas Speedway and Michigan International Speedway.

Greg Biffle: Coming off third top 10 (10th) in 20 starts; Has failed to lead a lap in last six starts; Will return in the same chassis (No. 822) that he raced last fall at Martinsville.

Kyle Busch: Coming off best finish (second) in 16 starts; Finish was seventh top five; Combined to lead 277 laps in both races in 2011; Fifth-best driver rating in the last 16 races among drivers entered in the race.

Kasey Kahne: Coming off second top five (third) in 18 starts; Finish was first top 10 since 2006; Defending race pole winner; Finished 38th in that event due to engine issues; Will make third track start with Hendrick Motorsports driving; Will debut a new chassis (No. 787) in the STP Gas Booster 500.

Paul Menard: Has yet to finish in the top 10 in 11 starts; Coming off best finish in 12th; Will debut a new chassis (No. 419) in the STP Gas Booster 500.

Joey Logano: Making first track start with Penske Racing; Posted a 15.2 average finish in previous eight starts with Joe Gibbs Racing; Finished in the top 10 in both races in 2010; Will debut a new chassis (No. 835) in the STP Gas Booster 500.

Denny Hamlin: Will not race this weekend due to injury; Mark Martin will be the substitute driver: Martin hasn't raced at Martinsville since 2011, but does have two wins and an average finish of 13.3 in 48 starts.
Matt Kenseth: Making first track start with Joe Gibbs Racing; Posted an average finish of 15.9 in previous 26 starts with Roush Fenway Racing; Last of eight top 10s came in this event last year in fourth.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr: Will make track debut driving the same chassis (No. 814) that Carl Edwards finished 26th with last June at Dover International Speedway.

Kurt Busch: Finished 15th last fall in first track start with Furniture Row Racing; Last of four top 10s in 25 starts came in 2005 with Roush Racing - a team he also win the 2002 fall race with.

Clint Bowyer: Finished in the top 10 in both races last season to give him a 7.5 average finish in two track starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; Posted six top 10s in previous 12 starts with Richard Childress Racing; Tied for the fifth-best average finish (13.1) among drivers that are entered in the race and have competed in the last 10 races; Will debut a new chassis (No. 761) in the STP Gas Booster 500.

Kevin Harvick: Winner of the 2011 spring race; Has finished fourth or better in three of the last five races; 13.4 average finish among drivers that are entered in the race and have competed in the last 10 races; Participated in the Goodyear Tire test last year that help set the tire combination for this weekend; Will debut a new chassis (No. 420) in the STP Gas Booster 500.

Jamie McMurray: Last of 10 top 10s came in this event in 2011; 17.0 average finish and 117 laps led in 20 starts.

Aric Almirola: Tied for the best average finish (6.0) in the last two races; Coming off best finish in eight starts in fourth; Will debut a new chassis (No. 850) in the STP Gas Booster 500.

Jeff Gordon: Last of seven wins came in the 2005 fall race; Leads all drivers in laps led (3,515); Coming off 32nd top 10 in 40 starts in seventh; Led 329 laps in this event last year; Second-best average finish (6.7) among drivers that are entered in the race and have competed in the last 10 races.

Martin Truex Jr: 18.3 average finish in six starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; Has finished eighth or better in two of his last three starts; Participated in the Goodyear Tire test last year that help set the tire combination for this weekend.

Ryan Newman: Defending race winner; Tied for the fifth-best average finish (13.1) among drivers that are entered in the race and have competed in the last 10 races; Will debut a new chassis (No. 783) in the STP Gas Booster 500.

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Untitled Document Martinsville Driver Stats

Driver Avg Start Avg Finish Driver Rating
Jimmie Johnson 11.9 5.5 122.3
Jeff Gordon 7.2 7.1 120.9
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 13.7 13.0 99.8
Tony Stewart 13.0 13.7 99.7
Kyle Busch 13.9 16.8 95.3
Kevin Harvick 13.3 16.7 92.3
Clint Bowyer 16.4 14.0 90.8
Ryan Newman 9.0 13.6 89.5
Jeff Burton 17.1 15.0 87.5
Mark Martin 14.0 13.3 87.0
Brad Keselowski 19.8 12.2 84.5
Jamie McMurray 15.3 17.0 82.8
Juan Montoya 22.4 15.7 81.7
Carl Edwards 18.1 16.1 80.9
Matt Kenseth 21.7 15.9 78.4
Brian Vickers 20.9 19.5 78.3
Kurt Busch 19.8 21.0 78.2
Joey Logano 16.3 15.3 77.1
Kasey Kahne 19.2 20.7 76.0
Martin Truex Jr. 17.3 21.5 69.6
David Ragan 21.2 20.2 68.7
Greg Biffle 20.2 21.4 68.3
Bobby Labonte 18.6 18.4 66.6
David Reutimann 20.4 25.8 66.0
Casey Mears 24.6 23.3 64.6
Marcos Ambrose 21.5 22.9 63.2
Aric Almirola 22.9 27.0 60.0
Paul Menard 22.1 22.0 59.5
Ken Schrader 18.2 18.5 57.9
Regan Smith 24.1 25.6 54.7
Travis Kvapil 26.5 28.3 50.9
Scott Riggs 23.8 26.1 50.8
David Stremme 30.8 32.5 47.0
Dave Blaney 26.9 31.4 46.2
J.J. Yeley 28.9 33.3 46.0
Mike Bliss 29.2 30.5 45.4
Joe Nemechek 24.0 28.5 43.5
David Gilliland 32.2 31.1 42.2
Scott Speed 29.0 32.9 41.4
Landon Cassill 32.4 31.6 39.5
Michael McDowell 33.7 37.1 36.2
Josh Wise 30.5 39.5 31.4
Danica Patrick - - -
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - - -
Paythefan
Martinsville Green Flag Passes

Number of passes a driver had under green conditions in the last 16 races at Martinsville.

Rank Driver Green Flag Passes
1 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 917
2 Juan Pablo Montoya 873
3 Matt Kenseth 872
4 Carl Edwards 842
5 Ryan Newman 840
6 Greg Biffle 821
7 David Ragan 820
8 Jeff Burton 803
9 Kurt Busch 778
10 Denny Hamlin 776
11 Kyle Busch 775
12 Jimmie Johnson 747
13 Brian Vickers 736
14 Kevin Harvick 727
15 Jeff Gordon 724
16 Tony Stewart 712
17 Jamie McMurray 704
18 Martin Truex Jr. 703
19 Casey Mears 685
20 Bobby Labonte 683
21 Kasey Kahne 681
22 Clint Bowyer 649
23 Paul Menard 623
24 Joey Logano 611
25 A J Allmendinger 609
26 David Reutimann 483
27 Travis Kvapil 452
28 Mark Martin 446
29 Brad Keselowski 440
30 Marcos Ambrose 428
31 Ken Schrader 420
32 Scott Riggs 392
33 Dave Blaney 389
34 Aric Almirola 361
35 David Gilliland 353
36 Regan Smith 347
37 David Stremme 327
38 Michael Waltrip 282
39 Scott Speed 204
40 Joe Nemechek 195
41 J.J. Yeley 171
42 Landon Cassill 120
43 Michael McDowell 117
44 Mike Bliss 109
45 Trevor Bayne 25
46 Josh Wise 13
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