Driver Handicaps: New Hampshire

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Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon has posted respective average finishes of 5.5 and 6.0 in the last four races at New Hampshire. (Photo: Getty Images)

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

To help you make your fantasy racing picks, MotorRacingNetwork.com's Jeff Wackerlin brings you his weekly detailed analysis to help steer you toward Sunday's Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Who's HOT at New Hampshire
• Jeff Gordon leads all drivers in average finish over the last 10 races (7.6) and five races (6.0).
• Defending race winner Kasey Kahne has posted a 3.0 average finish in his two track starts with Hendrick Motorsports.
• Two-time winner Denny Hamlin leads all drivers with a 7.9 average finish.
• Ryan Newman has posted six top 10s, including a win in this event in 2011, in the last seven races.
• Two-time winner Clint Bowyer has finished in the top five in his last two starts.
• Jimmie Johnson has finished ninth or better, including a win in this event in 2010, in 10 of his last 12 starts.
• Tony Stewart has recorded one won and a leading average finish of 5.5 in the last four races.
• Brad Keselowski has finished in the top 10 in his last three starts.

Who to Keep an Eye On at New Hampshire
• Jeff Burton (four-time New Hampshire winner), Matt Kenseth (making first track start with Joe Gibbs Racing) and Joey Logano (won rain-shortened race in 2009) were among the drivers that participated in the Goodyear Tire test at New Hampshire.
• Roush Fenway Racing (Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.), Penske Racing (Keselowski and Logano) and Stewart-Haas Racing (Stewart, Newman and Danica Patrick) tested at New Hampshire last month.
• Kevin Harvick, who won the 2006 fall New Hampshire race, will be back in the same car he scored the win with at Richmond International Raceway.
• Kurt Busch, who will make his first New Hampshire start with Furniture Row Racing, is a three-time winner at New Hampshire with his last victory coming with Penske Racing in this event in 2008.  Busch is also coming off his third consecutive finish of sixth or better this season.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished fourth in this event last year - his fourth top 10 with Hendrick Motorsports at New Hampshire.
• Kyle Busch - winner of this event in 2006 with Hendrick Motorsports - has combined to lead 120 laps in his last two starts at NHMS, however has posted an average finish of 22.0 in that span.
• Juan Pablo Montoya has two poles at New Hampshire and his teammate, Jamie McMurray, brings momentum of two consecutives top 10s into the weekend.
• Brian Vickers, who will be back behind the wheel of the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota this weekend, finished ninth last fall at New Hampshire.

Note: Sprint Cup teams will run the same combination of left- and right-side Goodyear Tires that were used in the two races last season at New Hampshire.  The tire setup is based off a test in May with drivers Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano.

Be sure to check back with MotorRacingNetwork.com on Friday and Saturday for the practice speeds.

New Hampshire Qualifying Facts

*Active Pole Leaders
*Best Starting Average
Races Won from Starting Pos.
1. Ryan Newman - 6
1. Ryan Newman - 8.0
Pole - 5 times
2. Jeff Gordon - 4
2. Jeff Gordon - 9.9
Top Five - 11 times
3. Ken Schrader - 2
3. Jimmie Johnson - 11.1
Top 10 - 19 times
4. Juan Pablo Montoya -2  4. Tony Stewart - 11.2
Top 15 - 26 times
5. Eight drivers with 1 5. Martin Truex Jr. - 11.6
Worst - 38th, one time

* - Must be entered in the Party in the Camping World RV Sales 301.

*Best Average Finish at New Hampshire

Last # of Races
Driver
Avg. Fin.
Two Races
Denny Hamlin
1.5
Four Races
Tony Stewart 
5.5
Six Races
Jeff Gordon
5.7
Eight Races
Jeff Gordon
6.4
10 Races
Jeff Gordon
7.6

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

Gen-6 Car Performers (18 Races)

Wins
Top Fives
Top 10s
1. Jimmie Johnson - 4
1. Jimmie Johnson - 8
1. Jimmie Johnson - 12
Matt Kenseth - 4
Kyle Busch - 8
2. Clint Bowyer - 11
Kevin Harvick - 2
2. Clint Bowyer - 7
3. Kyle Busch - 10
Kyle Busch - 2
3. Carl Edwards - 6
Kevin Harvick - 10
3. Six drivers with 1
4. Four drivers with 5
Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 10
Laps Led
Average Finish
Poles
1. Jimmie Johnson - 1020
1. Jimmie Johnson - 8.9
1. Denny Hamlin - 3
2. Kyle Busch - 984
2. Clint Bowyer - 10.3
Kyle Busch - 3
3. Matt Kenseth - 961
3. Carl Edwards - 12.0
2. Matt Kenseth - 2 
4. Kasey Kahne - 400
4. Kevin Harvick - 12.1
3.  Seven drivers with 1
5. Martin Truex Jr. - 246 
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 13.8

New Hampshire Loop Data Stat Leaders (2005-2012, 16 Races)

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Tony Stewart
1. Denny Hamlin
1. Jeff Gordon - 7.2
2. Jeff Gordon
2. Clint Bowyer
2. Tony Stewart - 9.2
3. Jimmie Johnson
3. Jeff Gordon
3. Jimmie Johnson - 9.7
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
4. Denny Hamlin - 10.2
5. Clint Bowyer
5. Mark Martin
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 11.9
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Jeff Gordon - 4333
1. Jeff Gordon - 562
1. Tony Stewart - 111.7
2. Jimmie Johnson - 3936
2. Jimmie Johnson - 536
2. Jeff Gordon - 109.9
3. Tony Stewart - 3882
3. Tony Stewart - 520
3. Jimmie Johnson - 105.8
4. Ryan Newman - 3652
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 511
4. Denny Hamlin - 104.8
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 3505
5. Kurt Busch - 479
5. Clint Bowyer - 97.2

*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 New Hampshire, view the Camping World RV Sales 301 Pre-Race Loop Data eBook (pdf)

Season Loop Data Leaders

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Matt Kenseth
1. Jimmie Johnson
1. Jimmie Johnson - 6.6
2. Jimmie Johnson
2. Matt Kenseth
2. Matt Kenseth - 7.6
3. Kasey Kahne
3. Kevin Harvick
3. Clint Bowyer - 12.5
4. Kyle Busch
4. Kasey Kahne
4. Kyle Busch - 12.7
5. Kevin Harvick
5. Martin Truex Jr.
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 12.8
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Jimmie Johnson - 4676
1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 1019
1. Jimmie Johnson - 115.7
2. Matt Kenseth - 4672
2. Kurt Busch - 972
2. Matt Kenseth - 112.3
3. Kevin Harvick - 4431
3. Martin Truex Jr. - 971
3. Kyle Busch - 101.5
4. Clint Bowyer - 4038
4. Jimmie Johnson - 903
4. Kasey Kahne - 99.8
5. Kasey Kahne - 3931
5. Joey Logano - 888
5. Martin Truex Jr. - 95.1

*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 Writer Picks

Jeff Wackerlin: Clint Bowyer
Pete Pistone: Clint Bowyer
Dustin Long: Jeff Gordon
John Singler: Carl Edwards

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

Jimmie Johnson: Coming off 15th top 10 with a second-place finish last fall; Last of three wins came in this event in 2010; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 806) in the Camping World RV Sales 301.

Clint Bowyer: Posted top fives (3.5 average finish) in both races last season - first two track starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; Last of two wins came in the 2010 fall race; Participated in the New Hampshire Goodyear Tire test in May; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 761) that he finished second with at Martinsville Speedway and used in that tire test.

Carl Edwards: Only top 10 (eighth) in the last eight races came in the 2011 fall race; Runner-up finish in this event in 2006 is best in 17 starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 857) that he tested at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last month.

Kevin Harvick: Last of 12 top 10s in 24 starts came in this event last year, eighth place; Winner of the 2006 fall race; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 420) that he scored the win with at Richmond International Raceway.

Dale Earnhardt Jr: 13.8 average finish in 10 starts with Hendrick Motorsports; Finished fourth in this event last year for fourth top 10 with HMS; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 721) that he last finished 10th with at Richmond International Raceway.

Matt Kenseth: 14.0 average finish in 26 starts; Last of 12 top 10s came in the 2011 fall race, sixth place; Participated in the New Hampshire Goodyear Tire test in May; Making first track start with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Kyle Busch: Has combined to lead 120 laps in last two starts but has posted an average finish of 22.0 in that span; 18.2 average finish in 10 starts with Joe Gibbs Racing; Only top 10 in this event with JGR came in 2009, seventh place; Won this event in 2006 with Hendrick Motorsports.

Greg Biffle: Has finished in the top 10 in two of his last three starts; Won the 2008 fall race; 16.3 average finish in 21 starts; Tested at New Hampshire last month; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 856) that he used in the test.

Kurt Busch: Last of three wins came in this event in 2008 with Penske Racing; Win was first of a streak of five consecutive top 10s; Making first track start with Furniture Row Racing; Has finished sixth or better in the last three races of the season.

Tony Stewart: 8.4 average finish in eight starts with Stewart-Haas Racing; 2011 fall race win is one of five top 10s with SHR; Won two times in previous 20 starts with Joe Gibbs Racing; Tested at New Hampshire last month; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 792) that he finished 18th with at Richmond International Raceway.

Martin Truex Jr.: 15.7 average finish in six starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; Only top 10 (eighth) with MWR came in this event in 2011; Posted four top 10s in previous eight starts with Dale Earnhardt, Inc.

Kasey Kahne: Defending race winner; Finished fifth last fall; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 769) that he scored the win with at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Brad Keselowski: Has finished sixth or better in his last three starts; Tested at New Hampshire last month; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 845) that he finished 22nd with in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.

Jeff Gordon: Leads all drivers with a 7.6 average finish in the last 10 races; Has finished sixth or better in the last three races; Last of three wins came in 1998; Participated in the New Hampshire Goodyear Tire test in May.

Joey Logano: Won this event in 2009 after the race was shortened to 273 laps by rain; Coming off fourth top 10 in nine starts; Participated in the New Hampshire Goodyear Tire test in May; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 855) that he finished second with in the All-Star Race; Marking first track start with Penske Racing.

Ryan Newman: Winner of this event in 2011; 12.0 average finish in eight starts with Stewart-Haas Racing; Scored two wins in previous 14 starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 783) that he last tested at New Hampshire last month.

Jamie McMurray: Only top 10 in the last 16 races came in 2010 fall race, third place; 22.8 average finish in 20 starts.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Making first Sprint Cup track start; Tested at New Hampshire last month; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 858) that he used in the test.

Aric Almirola: Has yet to finish in the top 15 in five starts; 24.2 average finish.

Paul Menard: Has yet to finish in the top 10 in 12 starts; 25.5 average finish; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 419) that he last finished 13th with at Richmond International Raceway.

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Untitled Document New Hampshire Driver Stats - Last 16 Races

Driver Races Avg Start Avg Finish Driver Rating
Tony Stewart 28 11.3 11.4 111.7
Jeff Gordon 36 9.9 10.5 109.9
Jimmie Johnson 22 11.1 9.5 105.8
Denny Hamlin 14 13.6 7.9 104.8
Clint Bowyer 14 12.6 15.1 97.2
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 27 16.4 16.1 96.9
Ryan Newman 22 8.0 12.7 94.9
Kevin Harvick 24 14.1 13.7 92.8
Kasey Kahne 18 12.9 16.2 91.8
Jeff Burton 36 19.4 13.8 91.6
Kurt Busch 24 13.0 14.8 89.6
Kyle Busch 16 12.1 16.7 89.6
Greg Biffle 21 15.5 16.3 87.5
Martin Truex Jr. 14 11.6 14.9 86.5
Carl Edwards 17 15.2 14.5 86.3
Brian Vickers 15 18.5 20.3 82.8
Brad Keselowski 7 15.6 14.0 81.4
Juan Montoya 12 16.9 20.2 80.5
Matt Kenseth 26 21.1 14.0 78.6
Joey Logano 9 23.7 15.3 72.9
David Reutimann 12 17.9 20.5 71.9
Bobby Labonte 36 16.1 16.9 66.5
Marcos Ambrose 8 22.0 21.0 64.4
Jamie McMurray 20 21.6 22.8 64.1
A J Allmendinger 9 23.4 25.1 63.9
Casey Mears 20 24.6 25.2 60.4
David Ragan 12 26.6 24.9 59.6
Paul Menard 12 21.6 25.5 57.2
Aric Almirola 5 27.0 24.2 56.6
J.J. Yeley 11 30.7 23.7 55.0
David Stremme 11 27.8 30.2 52.7
Dave Blaney 25 26.4 29.3 48.5
Mike Bliss 7 27.4 30.3 45.2
Travis Kvapil 10 30.7 31.8 44.8
Landon Cassill 5 30.6 31.4 44.8
David Gilliland 12 32.9 33.0 44.1
Joe Nemechek 36 25.8 28.3 43.1
Ken Schrader 26 16.8 26.0 41.0
Michael McDowell 9 36.2 38.7 33.8
Josh Wise 2 36.5 38.0 31.1
Morgan Shepherd 13 32.3 30.3 29.8
Danica Patrick 0 - - -
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 0 - - -
Paythefan
New Hampshire Green Flag Passes

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

Rank Driver Green Flag Passes
1 Matt Kenseth 973
2 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 883
3 Greg Biffle 882
4 Bobby Labonte 876
5 Kasey Kahne 840
6 Jeff Burton 839
7 Kurt Busch 835
8 Tony Stewart 831
9 Jimmie Johnson 805
10 Carl Edwards 794
11 Kevin Harvick 790
12 Jeff Gordon 789
13 Kyle Busch 782
14 Martin Truex Jr. 772
15 Denny Hamlin 769
16 Juan Pablo Montoya 738
17 Jamie McMurray 724
18 Clint Bowyer 720
19 David Ragan 691
20 Ryan Newman 670
21 Brian Vickers 648
22 Elliott Sadler 638
23 Paul Menard 629
24 Casey Mears 594
25 Regan Smith 564
26 A J Allmendinger 563
27 David Reutimann 546
28 J.J. Yeley 501
29 Joey Logano 491
30 Marcos Ambrose 483
31 David Stremme 452
32 Dave Blaney 446
33 Brad Keselowski 440
34 Mark Martin 432
35 David Gilliland 429
35 Joe Nemechek 429
37 Sam Hornish Jr. 407
38 Michael Waltrip 399
39 Travis Kvapil 357
40 Scott Riggs 281
41 Aric Almirola 230
42 Ken Schrader 195
43 Scott Speed 189
44 Mike Bliss 148
45 Michael McDowell 134
46 Landon Cassill 119
47 Terry Labonte 25
48 Josh Wise 14
49 Morgan Shepherd 8
50 Boris Said 3
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