Driver Handicaps: Pocono

Pocono

Jimmie Johnson led 128 en route to the win at Pocono Raceway in June. (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 GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway.

Who's HOT at Pocono
• Three-time winner Jimmie Johnson leads all drivers with an 8.7 average finish.
• Jeff Gordon leads all drivers in wins (6) and laps led (965).
• Two-time winner Tony Stewart leads all drivers with a 4.0 average finish in the three races on the newly repaved surface.
• Four-time winner Denny Hamlin is coming off his 10th top-10 finish in 15 starts.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ryan Newman each have finished ninth or better in four of their last five starts.
• Mark Martin leads all drivers entered in the race in poles (3) and 34 top-10 finishes.
• Joey Logano has posted an 8.0 average finish in his last three starts, including a win in the 2012 June race.

Who to Keep an Eye On at Pocono
• Clint Bowyer (9.7), Carl Edwards (12.0), Brad Keselowski (12.7) and Kevin Harvick (13.0) each rank in the top 10 in average finish among all drivers that have raced in all three races on Pocono's newly repaved surface.
• Richard Petty Motorsports (Aric Almirola, Marcos Ambrose) tested at Pocono last week.
• Greg Biffle (second), Kyle Busch (sixth) and Kurt Busch (seventh) were among the top 10 finishers at Pocono in June - the first race at the track with the Gen-6 racecar.
• Martin Truex Jr. has posted an 8.0 average finish in the last three Pocono August races.
• Juan Pablo Montoya, who tested at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and finished ninth there, is the defending August Pocono pole winner.
• Kasey Kahne, who finished third at Indianapolis, posted his best Pocono finish (second) in the last 10 races in this event last year.

Note: Sprint Cup Series teams will be running the same combination of left- and right-side tires that they ran this past June and both races last season at Pocono on the newly paved surface.

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

Pocono Qualifying Facts

*Active Pole Leaders
*Best Starting Average
Races Won from Starting Pos.
1. Mark Martin - 3
1. Denny Hamlin - 6.3
Pole - 15 times
2. Seven drivers with 2
2. Kasey Kahne - 8.6
Top Five - 44 times
3. Seven drivers with 1
3. Jimmie Johnson - 9.0
Top 10 - 50 times
  4. Mark Martin - 9.4
Top 15 - 63 times
5. Ryan Newman - 10.3
Worst - 29th, one time

* - Must be entered in the GoBowling.com 400.

*Best Average Finish at Pocono

Last # of Races
Driver
Avg. Fin.
Two Races
Tony Stewart
4.5
Four Races
Jimmie Johnson/Tony Stewart 
5.8
Six Races
Jimmie Johnson
6.2
Eight Races
Jimmie Johnson
6.9
10 Races
Tony Stewart
6.2

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

Gen-6 Car Performers (20 Races)

Wins
Top Fives
Top 10s
1. Matt Kenseth - 4
1. Jimmie Johnson - 9
1. Jimmie Johnson - 14
Jimmie Johnson - 4
Kyle Busch - 9
2. Kyle Busch - 12
2. Kevin Harvick - 2
2. Clint Bowyer - 7
3. Four drivers with 11
Kyle Busch - 2
3. Three drivers with 6
4. Carl Edwards - 10
3. Eight drivers with 1
4. Four drivers with 5
5. Three drivers with 9
Laps Led
Average Finish
Poles
1. Jimmie Johnson - 1093
1. Jimmie Johnson - 8.4
1. Denny Hamlin - 3
2. Kyle Busch - 1037
2. Clint Bowyer - 10.9
Kyle Busch - 3
3. Matt Kenseth - 994
3. Carl Edwards - 11.8
Matt Kenseth - 2 
4. Kasey Kahne - 400
4. Kevin Harvick - 12.2
3. Nine drivers with 1
5. Kurt Busch - 262
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 13.4

Pocono Loop Data Stat Leaders (2005-2013, 17 Races)

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Denny Hamlin
1. Denny Hamlin
1. Denny Hamlin - 9.1
2. Jimmie Johnson
2. Jimmie Johnson
2. Jimmie Johnson - 9.3
3. Kurt Busch
3. Kurt Busch
3. Jeff Gordon - 10.5
4. Jeff Gordon
4. Kasey Kahne
4. Kurt Busch - 10.9
5. Kasey Kahne
5. Tony Stewart
5. Ryan Newman - 11.2
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Jimmie Johnson - 2536
1. Ryan Newman - 774
1. Denny Hamlin - 113.8
2. Ryan Newman - 2379
2. Jimmie Johnson - 741
2. Jimmie Johnson - 110.0
3. Jeff Gordon - 2337
3. Tony Stewart - 737
3. Kurt Busch - 103.8
4. Tony Stewart - 2291
4. Jeff Gordon - 721
4. Jeff Gordon - 100.0
5. Denny Hamlin - 2244
5. Matt Kenseth - 687
5. Tony Stewart - 98.8

*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 Pocono, view the GoBowling.com 400 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 - 6.7
2. Jimmie Johnson
2. Matt Kenseth
2. Matt Kenseth - 7.7
3. Kasey Kahne
3. Brad Keselowski
3. Kyle Busch - 12.2
4. Kyle Busch
4. Kevin Harvick
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 12.7
5. Brad Keselowski
5. Kasey Kahne
5. Carl Edwards - 12.9
Laps in Top 15--
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Matt Kenseth - 5103
1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 1091
1. Jimmie Johnson - 115.7
2. Jimmie Johnson - 5057
2. Kurt Busch - 1040
2. Matt Kenseth - 111.9
3. Kevin Harvick - 4588
3. Martin Truex Jr. - 1006
3. Kyle Busch - 102.5
4. Kasey Kahne - 4367
4. Jimmie Johnson - 968
4. Kasey Kahne - 100.5
5. Kyle Busch - 4327
Matt Kenseth - 968
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 94.9

*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: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Pete Pistone: Jeff Gordon
Dustin Long: Jimmie Johnson
John Singler: Tony Stewart

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

Jimmie Johnson: Leads all drivers with an 8.7 average finish; Led 128 laps en route to the win in June; That victory was his third in 23 starts; Second-best average finish (6.3) and most laps led (172) in the three races on the newly repaved surface*; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 799) that he last led 182 laps and finished ninth with at Kentucky Speedway.

Clint Bowyer: Finished 15th in June; 9.7 average finish in three starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; Fifth-best average finish (9.7) in the three races on the newly repaved surface*; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 733) that he raced at Pocono in June.

Carl Edwards: Last of two wins came in this event in 2008; Finished 18th in June; Has finished seventh or better in this race the last three years; Eighth-best average finish (12.0) in the three races on the newly repaved surface*; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 808) that he raced at Pocono in June.

Kevin Harvick: Coming off ninth top 10 (ninth place); Has only led five laps in 25 starts; 13.0 average finish in the three races on the newly repaved surface*; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 391) that he raced at Pocono in June.

Dale Earnhardt Jr: Finished third in June; Finish was fifth top 10 in 11 starts with Hendrick Motorsports; 14.3 average finish and 53 laps led in the three races on the newly repaved surface*; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 798) that he raced at Pocono in June.

Matt Kenseth: Finished 25th in first track start with Joe Gibbs Racing in June; 10 top 10s came in previous 26 starts with Roush Fenway Racing; 18.3 average finish in the three races on the newly repaved surface*.

Kyle Busch: Finished sixth in June for his sixth top 10 in 17 starts; Last of four top fives (second) came in this event in 2011; 23.0 average finish in the three races on the newly repaved surface*.

Greg Biffle: Winner of this race in 2010; Finished second in June; 13.7 average finish in the three races on the newly repaved surface*; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 862) in the GoBowling.com 400.

Kasey Kahne: Finished 36th in June; Second-place finish in this event last year is his only top-25 finish in three starts with Hendrick Motorsports; Won the 2008 June race with Gillett Evernham Motorsports; 22.3 average finish in the three races on the newly repaved surface*; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 779) that he raced at Pocono in June.

Jeff Gordon: Defending race winner; That victory was his sixth in 41 starts; Finished 12th in June; Has finished in the top 10 in this event for the past seven seasons; Sixth-best average finish (10.7) in the three races on the newly repaved surface*.

Tony Stewart: Has finished in the top 10 in seven of his nine starts with Stewart-Haas Racing; Last of two wins came in the 2009 June race; Leads all drivers in average finish (4.0) in the three races on the newly repaved surface*; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 706) that he finished fourth with at Pocono in June.

Martin Truex Jr: 14.6 average finish in seven starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; Finished third in this event last year; 8.0 average finish in this event in the last three seasons; 15.3 average finish in the three races on the newly repaved surface*.

Brad Keselowski: Winner of this race in 2011; Finished 16th in June; 12.7 average finish in the three races on the newly repaved surface*; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 856) that he finished 32nd with at Darlington Raceway.

Kurt Busch: Finished seventh in first track start with Furniture Row Racing in June; Last of two wins came in this event in 2007 with Penske Racing; 18.5 average finish in the three races on the newly repaved surface*.

Jamie McMurray: 10th-place finish in the 2012 June race is his only top 10 in seven starts driving an Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet; Finished 13th in June; 13.3 average finish in the three races on the newly repaved surface*.

Ryan Newman: Second-best average finish (7.4) in the last five races; Third-best average finish (7.7) and 19 laps led in the three races on the newly repaved surface*; Won this event in 2003 with Penske Racing; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 733) that he drove to the win last weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Aric Almirola: 22.3 average finish in the three races - only track starts - on the newly repaved surface*; Tested last week at Pocono; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 837) that he raced at Pocono in June.

Joey Logano: Winner of the 2012 June race; Finished 10th in June this year; Fourth-best average finish (12.0) and 49 laps led in the three races on the newly repaved surface*; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 839) that he finished eighth with last weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Paul Menard: 16.7 average finish in the three races on the newly repaved surface*; 14.8 average finish in five starts with Richard Childress Racing; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 427) that he finished 14th with at Michigan International Speedway.

Jeff Burton: Last of 17 top 10s (eighth) in 39 starts came in this event in 2010; Finished 11th in June; 16.0 average finish in the three races on the newly repaved surface*; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 416) that he last raced at Pocono in June.

*Last year's August race was shortened to 98 laps due to weather.

Photos

  • From the Archives: Pocono
  • From the Archives: Pocono
  • From the Archives: Pocono
  • From the Archives: Pocono
  • From the Archives: Pocono
  • From the Archives: Pocono
  • From the Archives: Pocono
  • From the Archives: Pocono
  • Gordon Wins Fifth at Indy
  • Gordon Wins Fifth at Indy
  • Gordon Wins Fifth at Indy
  • Gordon Wins Fifth at Indy
  • Gordon Wins Fifth at Indy
  • Gordon Wins Fifth at Indy
  • Gordon Wins Fifth at Indy
  • Gordon Wins Fifth at Indy
  • Gordon Wins Fifth at Indy
  • Gordon Wins Fifth at Indy
  • Gordon Wins Fifth at Indy
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Gordon Wins Fifth at Indy
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • 1994 Brickyard Winner: Jeff Gordon
  • 1995 Brickyard Winner: Dale Earnhardt
  • 1996 Brickyard Winner: Dale Jarrett
  • 1997 Brickyard Winner: Ricky Rudd
  • 1998 Brickyard Winner: Jeff Gordon
  • 1999 Brickyard Winner: Dale Jarrett
  • 2000 Brickyard Winner: Bobby Labonte
  • 2001 Brickyard Winner: Jeff Gordon
  • 2002 Brickyard Winner: Bill Elliott
  • 2003 Brickyard Winner: Kevin Harvick
  • 2004 Brickyard Winner: Jeff Gordon
  • 2005 Brickyard Winner: Tony Stewart
  • 2006 Brickyard Winner: Jimmie Johnson
  • 2007 Brickyard Winner: Tony Stewart
  • 2008 Brickyard Winner: Jimmie Johnson
  • 2009 Brickyard Winner: Jimmie Johnson
  • 2010 Brickyard Winner: Jamie McMurray
  • 2011 Brickyard Winner: Paul Menard
  • 2012 Brickyard Winner: Jimmie Johnson
Untitled Document Pocono Driver Stats - Last 17 Races

Driver Races Avg Start Avg Finish Driver Rating
Denny Hamlin 15 6.3 10.5 113.8
Jimmie Johnson 23 9.0 8.7 110.0
Kurt Busch 24 11.7 15.8 103.8
Jeff Gordon 41 11.4 10.2 100.0
Tony Stewart 29 12.7 11.0 98.8
Carl Edwards 17 18.0 13.5 97.8
Ryan Newman 23 10.3 12.0 95.4
Mark Martin 53 9.4 11.2 93.1
Matt Kenseth 27 18.0 14.7 90.7
Kevin Harvick 25 19.2 13.9 90.2
Kasey Kahne 19 8.6 17.8 89.6
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 27 14.6 16.7 88.0
Greg Biffle 21 17.8 16.7 87.8
Jeff Burton 39 18.2 16.1 86.5
Kyle Busch 17 14.5 18.4 85.9
Joey Logano 9 14.1 16.6 84.5
Brad Keselowski 7 18.1 14.7 82.7
Martin Truex Jr. 15 18.3 15.3 81.7
Clint Bowyer 15 18.6 15.1 80.0
Juan Pablo Montoya 13 15.2 18.3 79.0
Marcos Ambrose 9 16.3 22.6 73.0
Jamie McMurray 21 17.1 21.0 70.5
Aric Almirola 3 18.0 22.3 67.0
A J Allmendinger 11 22.0 23.5 66.2
Paul Menard 13 18.5 21.5 64.7
David Reutimann 13 24.8 23.5 64.1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 1 16.0 26.0 61.9
Bobby Labonte 41 18.9 20.1 60.3
Danica Patrick 1 30.0 29.0 58.1
David Ragan 13 27.1 24.5 57.0
Casey Mears 21 24.1 24.1 56.3
Travis Kvapil 12 34.6 24.4 50.3
David Gilliland 13 30.1 29.9 50.2
David Stremme 10 34.7 29.3 48.9
Dave Blaney 26 28.2 26.2 48.8
Joe Nemechek 37 19.9 28.4 47.5
Tony Raines 11 30.6 27.3 46.5
J.J. Yeley 12 29.2 32.7 44.6
Mike Bliss 7 31.1 29.9 43.9
Landon Cassill 6 28.3 33.2 42.1
Michael McDowell 7 35.6 35.4 37.3
Josh Wise 3 35.0 37.7 36.8
Timmy Hill 1 38.0 35.0 32.6
Brian Keselowski 0 - - -
Paythefan
Pocono Green Flag Passes

Number of passes a driver had under green conditions in the last 17 races at Pocono.

Rank Driver Green Flag Passes
1 Jamie McMurray 1469
2 Kevin Harvick 1440
3 Martin Truex Jr. 1437
4 Tony Stewart 1418
5 Jeff Burton 1374
6 Greg Biffle 1347
7 Ryan Newman 1333
8 Jeff Gordon 1319
9 Kasey Kahne 1311
10 Matt Kenseth 1300
11 Bobby Labonte 1285
12 Clint Bowyer 1268
13 Mark Martin 1239
14 Kyle Busch 1233
15 Jimmie Johnson 1162
16 A J Allmendinger 1109
17 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1083
18 Casey Mears 1055
19 Carl Edwards 1050
20 Paul Menard 1046
21 Juan Pablo Montoya 1009
22 David Reutimann 1008
23 Kurt Busch 989
24 David Ragan 933
25 Elliott Sadler 900
26 Denny Hamlin 892
27 Dave Blaney 885
28 David Gilliland 869
29 Brian Vickers 847
30 Travis Kvapil 803
31 Marcos Ambrose 798
32 Regan Smith 795
33 Joey Logano 748
34 David Stremme 609
35 Scott Riggs 602
36 Michael Waltrip 581
37 Joe Nemechek 559
37 Tony Raines 559
39 Sam Hornish Jr. 547
40 Brad Keselowski 529
41 J.J. Yeley 490
42 Landon Cassill 332
43 Scott Speed 316
44 Michael McDowell 301
45 Terry Labonte 289
46 Ken Schrader 187
47 Aric Almirola 179
48 Mike Bliss 133
49 Danica Patrick 100
50 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 95
51 Josh Wise 26
52 Timmy Hill 13
53 Morgan Shepherd 3
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