Driver Handicaps: Richmond

Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch has won four consecutive spring races at RIR, breaking a tie with Richard Petty, who won three straight spring races at Richmond from 1971 to 1973. (Photo: Getty Images)

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

To help you make your fantasy racing picks, MotorRacingNetwork.com brings you our weekly analysis to help steer you toward Saturday night's Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway.

Who's HOT at Richmond
• Kyle Busch has won the last four spring races.
• Clint Bowyer has posted two wins and an average finish of 8.7 in the last 10 races. 
• Tony Stewart - still seeking first top five of 2013 - has the best average finish (5.8) in the last four races.
• Jeff Gordon has finished third or better in four of the last seven races.
• Carl Edwards has posted an 8.2 average finish and led 427 laps in his last six starts.
• Kevin Harvick has finished in the top 10 in five of the last seven races, including a win in the 2011 summer race.

Who to Keep an Eye On at Richmond
• Jimmie Johnson, a three-time winner at Richmond, scored his eighth top 10 (sixth place) in this event last year.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. who finished second in this event last year, is a three-time winner at Richmond. 
• Kasey Kahne, who posted an 8.5 average finish in his first two Richmond starts with Hendrick Motorsports, will be driving the same chassis he won with at Bristol Motor Speedway last month.
• Richard Petty Motorsports (Aric Almirola and Marcos Ambrose) and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing (Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya) both tested at Richmond earlier this month.
• Mark Martin (8.8), Ryan Newman (12.8) and Greg Biffle (13.8) each rank in the top 10 in average finish among drivers that have run all four of the last Richmond races on the current left- and right-side Goodyear tire combination.
• Denny Hamlin will not race at Richmond - which is his best track on the schedule in laps led - but will be on hand to help coach Brian Vickers (driving the No. 11 for Hamlin) and Matt Kenseth, who will be making his first track start with Joe Gibbs Racing.
• Brad Keselowski finished in the top 10 in both races at Richmond last season - one of only four drivers to do so.

Richmond Qualifying Facts

*Active Pole Leaders
*Best Starting Average
Races Won from Starting Pos.
1. Jeff Gordon - 5
1. Jeff Gordon - 7.9
Pole - 22 times
Mark Martin - 5
2. Mark Martin - 9.7
Top Five - 65 times
3. Jimmie Johnson - 2
3. Brad Keselowski - 10.7
Top 10 - 90 times
4. Brian Vickers - 2 4. Ryan Newman - 11.3
Top 15 - 98 times
5. 11 drivers with 1 5. Carl Edwards - 11.7
Worst - 31st, one time

* - Must be entered in the Toyota Owners 400.

*Best Average Finish at Richmond

Last # of Races
Driver
Avg. Fin.
Two Races
Tony Stewart
3.5
Four Races
Tony Stewart
5.8
Six Races
Kyle Busch
4.5
Eight Races
Kyle Busch
4.1
10 Races
Kyle Busch
5.0

* - 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, 16 Races - Driver Must Be Entered in the Race)

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Kevin Harvick
1. Kyle Busch
1. Kevin Harvick - 7.5
2. Kyle Busch
2. Tony Stewart
2. Kyle Busch - 7.6
3. Jeff Gordon
3. Clint Bowyer
3. Clint Bowyer - 10.2
4. Clint Bowyer
4. Jeff Gordon
4. Ryan Newman - 11.4
5. Tony Stewart
5. Matt Kenseth
5. Tony Stewart - 11.7
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Kevin Harvick - 5910
1. Kevin Harvick - 528
1. Kyle Busch - 113.9
2. Kyle Busch - 5607
2. Ryan Newman - 498
2. Kevin Harvick - 111.1
3. Ryan Newman - 5030
3. Kyle Busch - 491
3. Clint Bowyer - 98.5
4. Tony Stewart - 4578
4. Tony Stewart - 440
4. Tony Stewart - 97.9
5. Clint Bowyer - 4365
5. Clint Bowyer - 437
5. Jeff Gordon - 96.6

*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 Toyota Owners 400 Pre-Race eBook (pdf).

Season Loop Data Leaders

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Matt Kenseth
1. Matt Kenseth
1. Jimmie Johnson - 6.7
2. Kyle Busch
2. Brad Keselowski
2. Matt Kenseth - 7.3
3. Jimmie Johnson
3. Kasey Kahne
3. Kasey Kahne - 11.5
4. Denny Hamlin
4. Kyle Busch
4. Kevin Harvick - 12.1
5. Kasey Kahne
5. Jimmie Johnson
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 12.1
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Jimmie Johnson - 2375
1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 455
1. Jimmie Johnson - 115.5
2. Matt Kenseth - 236
2. Greg Biffle - 409
2. Matt Kenseth - 114.2
3. Kevin Harvick - 2224
3. Clint Bowyer - 407
3. Kyle Busch - 105.2
4. Kasey Kahne - 2140
4. Kevin Harvick - 389
4. Kasey Kahne - 104.5
5. Clint Bowyer - 1963
5. Jeff Gordon - 365
5. Brad Keselowski - 98.1

*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: Kasey Kahne
Pete Pistone: Kyle Busch
Dustin Long: Clint Bowyer
John Singler: Clint Bowyer

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

Jimmie Johnson: Three-time winner; 14.9 average finish in the last 10 races; Has finished in the top 10 in the last three spring races; 11.5 average finish and 346 laps led in the two races with the Gen-6 car on short tracks (Bristol and Martinsville); Will return in the same chassis (No. 778) that he finished second with at Phoenix International Raceway in March.

Kasey Kahne: 8.5 average finish in two starts with Hendrick Motorsports; 17.8 average finish in the last 10 races; Best average finish (2.5) in the two races with the Gen-6 car on short tracks (Bristol and Martinsville); Will return in the same chassis (No. 769) that he led 109 laps with en route to the win at Bristol Motor Speedway last month.

Brad Keselowski: Posted first top 10s in seven starts in both races last season; Seventh-place finish last fall is best to date; 4.5 average finish and 62 laps led in the two races with the Gen-6 car on short tracks (Bristol and Martinsville); Will debut a new chassis (No. 852) in the Toyota Owners 400.

Greg Biffle: Coming off first top 10 (ninth) in the last 12 races; 10.0 average finish in the two races with the Gen-6 car on short tracks (Bristol and Martinsville); Will return in the same car (chassis No. 844) that he finished 17th with at Phoenix International Raceway.

Dale Earnhardt Jr: Last of three wins came in the 2006 spring race with Dale Earnhardt, Inc; 18.4 average finish in 10 starts with Hendrick Motorsports; Finished second in this event last year; 15.0 average finish in the two races with the Gen-6 car on short tracks (Bristol and Martinsville); Will return in the same car (chassis No. 721) that he finished sixth with at Phoenix International Raceway.

Carl Edwards: Has finished in the top 10 and led 427 laps in five of the last six races; 16.5 average finish in the two races with the Gen-6 car on short tracks (Bristol and Martinsville); Will return in the same chassis (No. 802) that he scored the win with at Phoenix International Raceway.

Kyle Busch: Has won the last four spring races; Leads all drivers in average finish (5.0) and wins (4) in the last 10 races; Tied for the second-best average finish (3.5) in the two races with the Gen-6 car on short tracks (Bristol and Martinsville).

Clint Bowyer: Coming off second win in 14 starts; Has finished seventh or better in five of the last seven races; Tied for the second-best average finish (3.5) in the two races with the Gen-6 car on short tracks (Bristol and Martinsville).

Paul Menard: Has yet to finish in the top 10 in 12 starts; 13th-place finish in this event last year is best to date; 14.0 average finish in the two races with the Gen-6 car on short tracks (Bristol and Martinsville); Will return in the same chassis (No. 419) that he finished 19th with at Martinsville Speedway.

Jamie McMurray: Has yet to finish in the top 10 in six starts in an Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet; Tested at Richmond earlier this month; Last of three top 10s in 20 starts came in this event in 2009 with Roush Racing; 8.5 average finish in the two races with the Gen-6 car on short tracks (Bristol and Martinsville).

Kevin Harvick: Last of two wins came in the 2011 summer race; Coming off 15th top 10 in 24 starts; 13.5 average finish in the two races with the Gen-6 car on short tracks (Bristol and Martinsville); Will return in the same chassis (No. 420) that he finished 13th with at Martinsville Speedway.

Aric Almirola: 26.0 average finish in two starts; Tested at Richmond earlier this month; 28.5 average finish in the two races with the Gen-6 car on short tracks (Bristol and Martinsville); Will return in the same chassis (No. 837) that he finished 15th with at Phoenix International Raceway.

Martin Truex Jr: 22.0 average finish in six starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; Last of two top-10s (seventh) in 14 overall starts came in this event in 2010; 26.0 average finish in the two races with the Gen-6 car on short tracks (Bristol and Martinsville).

Matt Kenseth: Posted one win and a 16.5 average finish in 26 starts with Roush Fenway Racing; Making first track start with Joe Gibbs Racing; Was hit with a big 50-point penalty with a post-race engine infraction at Kansas Speedway; 24.5 average finish and 181 laps led in the two races with the Gen-6 car on short tracks (Bristol and Martinsville).

Jeff Gordon: Two-time winner; Has finished third or better in four of the last seven races; 18.5 average finish and 66 laps led in the two races with the Gen-6 car on short tracks (Bristol and Martinsville).

Mark Martin: Defending race pole winner; Has posted an average finish of 5.5 in two starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; Fourth-best average finish (9.7) in the last 10 races; Will return in the same chassis (No. 714) that he won the pole and finished 21st with at Phoenix International Raceway.

Ryan Newman: Eighth-best average finish (12.3) in the last 10 races; Five top 10s in eight starts with Stewart-Hass Racing; 19.0 average finish in the two races with the Gen-6 car on short tracks (Bristol and Martinsville); Will debut a new chassis (No. 790) in the Toyota Owners 400.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr: Making first track start in the Cup Series; Coming off three consecutive top fives in the Nationwide Series at Richmond; 20.5 average finish in the two races with the Gen-6 car on short tracks (Bristol and Martinsville); Will return in the same chassis (No. 832) that he finished 16th with at Phoenix International Raceway.

Marcos Ambrose: 16.0 average finish in eight starts; Last of two top 10s came with JTG Daugherty Racing in both races in 2010; Coming off best finish (15th) in four starts with Richard Petty Motorsports; Tested at Richmond earlier this month; 13.5 average finish in the two races with the Gen-6 car on short tracks (Bristol and Martinsville); Will return in the same car (chassis No. 838) that he finished 18th with at Phoenix International Raceway.

Joey Logano: 19.1 average finish in eight starts; 20.0 average finish in the two races with the Gen-6 car on short tracks (Bristol and Martinsville); Will make first track start with Penske Racing driving a new chassis (No. 852).

Untitled Document Richmond Driver Stats

Driver Races Avg Start Avg Finish Driver Rating
Kyle Busch 16 12.7 5.4 113.9
Kevin Harvick 24 16.5 11.7 111.1
Clint Bowyer 14 14.1 9.6 98.5
Tony Stewart 28 17.7 10.4 97.9
Jeff Gordon 40 7.9 14.4 96.6
Mark Martin 54 9.7 11.9 92.6
Ryan Newman 22 11.3 11.6 92.0
Jimmie Johnson 22 12.0 16.5 90.4
Kurt Busch 24 20.3 18.3 88.6
Carl Edwards 17 11.7 14.9 88.4
Kasey Kahne 18 13.2 18.0 87.8
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 27 15.9 13.9 85.8
Jeff Burton 37 15.2 15.0 84.3
Greg Biffle 21 18.0 16.3 82.3
Juan Montoya 12 14.8 20.6 80.7
Matt Kenseth 26 21.6 16.5 80.5
Martin Truex Jr. 14 16.1 24.1 79.3
Brad Keselowski 7 10.7 18.7 76.8
Marcos Ambrose 8 21.8 16.0 72.5
Jamie McMurray 20 24.3 23.2 70.9
Joey Logano 8 15.0 19.1 70.6
A J Allmendinger 11 16.9 21.8 69.3
David Reutimann 12 17.3 23.3 68.5
David Ragan 12 23.7 20.6 66.3
Casey Mears 20 21.6 23.9 64.7
Brian Vickers 14 19.4 24.9 64.3
Aric Almirola 2 14.5 26.0 63.7
Bobby Labonte 40 19.7 19.3 60.6
Dave Blaney 24 24.9 25.8 60.6
Paul Menard 12 27.4 27.1 54.6
J.J. Yeley 7 35.9 25.4 53.0
Landon Cassill 5 23.2 27.0 52.2
Travis Kvapil 12 29.1 25.4 51.8
David Gilliland 13 35.8 31.5 45.9
David Stremme 12 24.2 33.3 45.8
Mike Bliss 10 32.5 33.4 43.3
Michael McDowell 7 29.3 37.1 41.3
Joe Nemechek 38 23.1 28.7 36.7
Josh Wise 2 36.5 40.0 30.3
Timmy Hill 0 - - -
Brian Keselowski 0 - - -
Danica Patrick 0 - - -
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 0 - - -
Paythefan
Richmond Green Flag Passes

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

Rank Driver Green Flag Passes
1 Casey Mears 932
2 Bobby Labonte 924
3 Jamie McMurray 883
4 Matt Kenseth 876
5 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 839
6 Carl Edwards 816
7 Tony Stewart 815
8 Jeff Burton 782
9 Ryan Newman 778
10 Kasey Kahne 757
11 Kurt Busch 738
12 Greg Biffle 734
13 Clint Bowyer 729
14 Juan Pablo Montoya 713
15 Kevin Harvick 709
16 Jimmie Johnson 699
17 Kyle Busch 696
18 David Ragan 694
19 Martin Truex Jr. 689
20 Jeff Gordon 634
21 David Reutimann 620
22 Elliott Sadler 619
23 Dave Blaney 610
24 Mark Martin 599
25 A J Allmendinger 596
26 David Gilliland 592
27 Paul Menard 588
28 Brian Vickers 572
29 Denny Hamlin 524
30 Travis Kvapil 489
31 David Stremme 474
32 Marcos Ambrose 469
33 Joey Logano 438
34 Regan Smith 413
35 Michael Waltrip 402
36 Scott Riggs 368
37 Brad Keselowski 364
38 Sam Hornish Jr. 348
39 Ken Schrader 331
40 Joe Nemechek 317
41 J.J. Yeley 280
42 Landon Cassill 266
43 Mike Bliss 193
44 Michael McDowell 180
45 Scott Speed 138
46 Aric Almirola 113
47 Terry Labonte 42
48 Josh Wise 12

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