Driver Handicaps: Auto Club

NASCAR

Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have posted respective average finishes of 1.5 and 2.5 in the last two races at Auto Club. (Photo: Getty Images)

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

To assist in making your fantasy racing picks, MRN.com's Jeff Wackerlin breaks down all the stats and information to help steer you toward Sunday's Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway.

Who's HOT at Auto Club
• Defending race winner Kyle Busch has a 2.0 average finish and has led 356 laps in the last three races.
• Jimmie Johnson leads all drivers in wins (5), laps led (851) and average finish (5.7).
• Kevin Harvick, who will make first track start with Stewart-Haas Racing, has finished in the top 10 in five of the last six races, including a win in 2011.
• Carl Edwards, a winner in 2008, has finished sixth or better in his last three starts.
• Ryan Newman, who will make his first track start with Richard Childress Racing, is the only driver that has finished in the top 10 in each of the last four races.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. has finished in the top five in his last two starts.
• Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon each are three-time winners.
• Tony Stewart, who is coming off his first top five of the season, has won two of the last four races.

Who to Keep an Eye On at Auto Club
• Greg Biffle (2005 Auto Club winner) and Kurt Busch (Making first track start with Stewart-Haas Racing) each have finished in the top 10 in their last two starts at Auto Club.
• Joey Logano led all drivers with a 4.3 average finish in the three races on two-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan) with the Gen-6 car in 2013.  Paul Menard (8.7), Matt Kenseth (9.3) and Martin Truex Jr. (12.3) also ranked in the top 10 in average finish.
• Brad Keselowski, who is still seeking his first top 10 at Auto Club, has recorded the best driver rating (117.9) in the first four races of the season.
• Denny Hamlin, last weekend's pole winner at Bristol, has won the last two poles at Auto Club and was in contention for the win up until a last-lap crash in 2013.
• Kasey Kahne has finished in the top 10 in three of his last four starts at Auto Club.  He finished ninth last season for his first top 10 in two track starts with Hendrick Motorsports.
• Rookie Austin Dillon, who will be making his first Auto Club start in the Cup Series, recorded an average finish of 12.5 in the two races at the two-mile Michigan International Speedway last season.  Rookie Kyle Larson finished sixth in his first Auto Club start last season in the Nationwide Series.

Tire Notes: Teams will be running the same combination of left- and right-side tires that they have run in the last two races at Auto Club Speedway.  Kyle Busch (1.5), Earnhardt (2.5), Edwards (4.5), Biffle (6.0) and Kurt Busch (7.0) are the top five drivers in average finish in that span.  Kyle Busch has led the most laps in the two races with 205.

Be sure to check back at MRN.com for practice speeds Friday and Saturday.

Auto Club Qualifying Facts - Note: First at the Track under new "Knockout" Format

*Poles
*Best Starting Avg. 
Races Won from Starting Pos.
Denny Hamlin - 3 
Jimmie Johnson - 9.6
Pole - 1 times
Kurt Busch - 3
Kasey Kahne - 10.6
Top Five - 9 times 
Brian Vickers - 2
Kyle Busch - 11.2
Top 10 - 13 times
Jeff Gordon - 2 Denny Hamlin - 12.2
Top 15 - 13 times
Jamie McMurray - 2  Joey Logano - 12.3
Worst - 31st, one time

* - Must be entered in the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway.  The last two winners have come from a starting position of ninth or better.

2014 Top "Knockout" Qualifying Performers (3 Races)
Driver Avg. Start Poles Final Rounds
Brad Keselowski 1.7 1 3
Joey Logano 2.3 1 3
Jimmie Johnson 6.7 0 3
Jamie McMurray 9.0 0 2
Clint Bowyer 10.7 0 2
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 11.0 0 1
Denny Hamlin 13.3 1 2

*Best Average Finish at Auto Club

Last # of Races
Driver
Avg. Fin.
Two Races
Kyle Busch
1.5
Four Races
Kevin Harvick
6.2
Six Races
Jimmie Johnson
4.8
Eight Races
Jimmie Johnson
4.9
10 Races
Jimmie Johnson
4.2

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

Auto Club Speedway Loop Data Stat Leaders (2005-2013, 15 Races)*

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Jimmie Johnson
1. Jimmie Johnson
1. Jimmie Johnson - 6.1
2. Kyle Busch
2. Tony Stewart
2. Kyle Busch - 9.1
3. Greg Biffle
3. Carl Edwards
3. Matt Kenseth - 9.4
4. Matt Kenseth
4. Kyle Busch
4. Tony Stewart - 9.9
5. Carl Edwards
5. Matt Kenseth
5. Jeff Gordon - 10.4
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Jimmie Johnson - 3247
1. Jeff Gordon - 779
1. Jimmie Johnson - 119.6
2. Matt Kenseth - 2860
2. Jimmie Johnson - 745
2. Kyle Busch - 109.2
3. Kyle Busch - 2803
3. Kyle Busch - 739
3. Matt Kenseth - 105.5
4. Tony Stewart - 2683 
4. Carl Edwards - 708
4. Tony Stewart - 102.0
5. Carl Edwards - 2651
5. Kevin Harvick/Tony Stewart - 707
5. Carl Edwards - 98.5

*Must be entered in the Auto Club 400.
*Fastest Early In a Run: Ranks each driver during 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 Loop Data eBook (pdf)

Season Loop Data Leaders

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Brad Keselowski
1. Kevin Harvick
1. Brad Keselowski - 6.6
2. Joey Logano
2. Jeff Gordon
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 8.2
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
3. Carl Edwards
3. Kevin Harvick - 9.9
4. Ryan Newman
4. Brad Keselowski
4. Jeff Gordon - 10.1
5. Jeff Gordon
5. Jimmie Johnson
5. Matt Kenseth - 10.4
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Brad Keselowski - 1225
1. Jeff Gordon - 458
1. Brad Keselowski - 117.9
2. Denny Hamlin - 1128
2. Brad Keselowski - 435
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 113.0
3. Matt Kenseth - 1104
3. Denny Hamlin - 401
3. Joey Logano - 107.6
4. Jeff Gordon - 1045
4. Matt Kenseth - 359
4. Kevin Harvick - 106.7
5. Kevin Harvick - 1033
5. Kevin Harvick - 356
5. Jimmie Johnson - 106.3

*Fastest Early In a Run: Ranks each driver during the first 25 percent of laps run since a pit stop.
*Fastest Early In a Run: *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.


MRN.com Staff Picks

Jeff Wackerlin: Joey Logano
Pete Pistone: Jimmie Johnson
Dustin Long: Jimmie Johnson
John Singler: Jeff Gordon

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

Brad Keselowski: Has yet to finish in the top 15 or lead a lap in five starts; Coming off a pair of 12th-place finishes at the two-mile Michigan International Speedway; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 867) in the Auto Club 400.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Has finished third and second in the last two races - first top fives in nine starts with Hendrick Motorsports; Combined to lead 54 laps at the two-mile Michigan International Speedway last season; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 810) that he last finished 15th with at Charlotte Motor Speedway last fall.

Carl Edwards: Second-best average finish (5.0) in the last three races; Winner of the 2008 February race; Posted the fourth-best average finish (7.3) in the three races on two-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan) with the Gen-6 car in 2013; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 891) in the Auto Club 400.

Jeff Gordon: Last of 11 top 10s (ninth) came in the 2010 fall race; Last of three wins came in May 2004; Did not post a top 10 or lead any laps in the three races on two-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan) in 2013; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 861) at Fontana.

Jimmie Johnson: Streak of 10 consecutive top 10s came to an end last season with a 12th-place finish; Last of five wins came in the 2010 February race; Has only combined to lead five laps in the last three races after combining to lead 742 in previous eight; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 799) that he won with at Pocono Raceway last June and finished fifth with at Chicagoland Speedway.

Joey Logano: Led 41 laps and finished third in his first track start with Penske Racing last year; Led all drivers with a 4.3 average finish in the three races on two-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan) with the Gen-6 car in 2013; Won at Michigan last August; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 868) in the Auto Club 400.

Denny Hamlin: Has started from the pole in the last two races; Was contending for the win last season until a last-lap crash with Joey Logano; Posted a 25.0 average finish in the three races on two-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan) in 2013.

Matt Kenseth: Finished seventh last season in first track start with Joe Gibbs Racing; Won three times in previous 20 starts with Roush Fenway Racing; Posted the sixth-best average finish (9.3) in the three races on two-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan) with the Gen-6 car in 2013.

Ryan Newman: Only driver to finish in the top 10 in each of the last four races; Will make first track start with Richard Childress Racing in a new car (chassis No. 462).

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Finished 20th last season in first Cup track start; Posted an 18.3 average finish in the three races at two-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan) in 2013; Posted two top fives at Auto Club in the Nationwide Series with his current Cup crew chief Mike Kelley; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 893) in the Auto Club 400.

Kasey Kahne: 11.5 average finish in two starts with Hendrick Motorsports; Has finished in the top 10 in three of the last four races; Finished in the top 10 in two of the three races on two-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan) in 2013; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 820) that he last finished 15th with at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Greg Biffle: Has finished sixth in the last two races; Winner of the 2005 February race; Posted the second-best average finish (5.3) in the three races on two-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan) with the Gen-6 car in 2013; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 890) in the Auto Club 400.

Austin Dillon: Making first Cup Series track start; Posted a 12.5 average finish in the two races on the two-mile Michigan International Speedway in 2013; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 457) at Fontana.

Kyle Busch: Defending race winner; Has posted a series-leading 2.0 average finish and 356 laps led in the last three races; Posted the eighth-best average finish (12.0) in the three races on two-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan) with the Gen-6 car in 2013.

Marcos Ambrose: Has yet to finish inside the top 20 in eight starts; Scored first top 10 - sixth place - in the threee races on two-mile tracks with the Gen-6 car last August at Michigan International Speedway.

Jamie McMurray: Has not finished in the top 10 in last 12 starts; Posted a 24.7 average finish in the three races on two-mile tracks (Auto Club and Michigan) in 2013.

Paul Menard: Posted the fifth-best average finish (8.7) in the three races on two-mile speedways (Auto Club and Michigan) with the Gen-6 car in 2013; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 461) in the Auto Club 400.

Brian Vickers: Making first track start since 2011 and first with Michael Waltrip racing; 16.1 average finish in 14 starts; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 797) in the Auto Club 400.

Casey Mears: Finished 15th last year; 23.0 average finish in four starts with Germain racing; Posted a 20.3 average finish in the three races on two-mile tracks (Auto Club and Michigan) in 2013.

Aric Almirola: Finished 14th last year; 29.7 average finish in six starts; Posted a 16.3 average finish in the three races on two-mile tracks (Auto Club and Michigan) in 2013.

Photos

  • Pure Michigan 400
  • Pure Michigan 400
  • Pure Michigan 400
  • Pure Michigan 400
  • Pure Michigan 400
  • Pure Michigan 400
  • Pure Michigan 400
  • Pure Michigan 400
  • Pure Michigan 400
  • Pure Michigan 400
  • Pure Michigan 400
  • Pure Michigan 400
  • Pure Michigan 400
  • Pure Michigan 400
  • Pure Michigan 400
  • Pure Michigan 400
  • Pure Michigan 400
  • Pure Michigan 400
  • Pure Michigan 400
  • Pure Michigan 400
  • Pure Michigan 400
  • Pure Michigan 400
  • From the Archives: Michigan
  • From the Archives: Michigan
  • From the Archives: Michigan
  • From the Archives: Michigan
  • From the Archives: Michigan
  • From the Archives: Michigan
  • From the Archives: Michigan
  • From the Archives: Michigan
  • From the Archives: Michigan
  • From the Archives: Michigan
  • Allmendinger Breaks Through
  • Allmendinger Breaks Through
  • Allmendinger Breaks Through
  • Allmendinger Breaks Through
  • Allmendinger Breaks Through
  • Allmendinger Breaks Through
  • Allmendinger Breaks Through
  • Allmendinger Breaks Through
  • Allmendinger Breaks Through
  • Allmendinger Breaks Through
  • Weld Racing Go-Kart Spectacular
  • Weld Racing Go-Kart Spectacular
  • Weld Racing Go-Kart Spectacular
  • Weld Racing Go-Kart Spectacular
  • Weld Racing Go-Kart Spectacular
  • Weld Racing Go-Kart Spectacular
  • Weld Racing Go-Kart Spectacular
  • Weld Racing Go-Kart Spectacular
Untitled Document Auto Club Driver Stats

Driver Races Avg Start Avg Finish *Driver Rating
Jimmie Johnson 19 9.6 5.7 119.6
Kyle Busch 16 11.2 10.7 109.2
Matt Kenseth 21 19.6 10.1 105.5
Tony Stewart 22 14.5 13.9 102.0
Carl Edwards 16 18.8 8.4 98.5
Jeff Gordon 24 13.2 11.8 96.2
Greg Biffle 19 13.4 16.6 95.8
Kevin Harvick 20 17.9 15.4 95.5
Kasey Kahne 17 10.6 14.5 92.9
Clint Bowyer 13 14.2 12.7 91.4
Denny Hamlin 13 12.2 19.0 90.7
Kurt Busch 20 14.9 12.4 89.6
Brian Vickers 14 15.2 16.1 87.3
Ryan Newman 19 14.2 17.2 81.0
Joey Logano 7 12.3 15.4 78.9
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 21 19.7 19.9 77.7
Martin Truex Jr. 13 14.2 19.9 77.2
David Reutimann 11 23.3 21.2 71.6
Jamie McMurray 18 19.7 17.8 70.8
David Ragan 11 25.5 19.2 70.2
A J Allmendinger 9 18.9 20.3 69.8
Brad Keselowski 5 17.4 22.8 67.1
Ricky Stenhouse 1 31.0 20.0 66.1
Casey Mears 17 18.1 22.8 65.7
Paul Menard 11 27.0 23.2 60.3
Marcos Ambrose 8 24.5 28.8 55.1
Reed Sorenson 10 29.3 29.1 53.2
Aric Almirola 6 26.0 29.7 48.6
David Gilliland 12 32.9 27.8 48.2
Joe Nemechek 23 22.3 29.8 48.0
Travis Kvapil 11 36.0 29.9 45.3
Danica Patrick 1 40.0 26.0 44.2
Landon Cassill 4 32.8 32.5 42.2
Josh Wise 2 30.0 38.5 36.5
Justin Allgaier 0 - - -
Michael Annett 0 - - -
Alex Bowman 0 - - -
Austin Dillon 0 - - -
Parker Kligerman 0 - - -
Kyle Larson 0 - - -
Brian Scott 0 - - -
Ryan Truex 0 - - -
Cole Whitt 0 - - -

*Based off last 15 races

Auto Club Green Flag Passes

Number of passes a driver had under green conditions in the last 15 races at Auto Club.

Driver Green Flag Passes
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1292
Kurt Busch 1275
Jeff Gordon 1273
Ryan Newman 1268
Kasey Kahne 1210
Jamie McMurray 1202
Kevin Harvick 1191
Greg Biffle 1174
Matt Kenseth 1149
David Ragan 1149
Martin Truex Jr. 1143
Clint Bowyer 1119
Carl Edwards 1098
Paul Menard 1068
Casey Mears 1064
Kyle Busch 1033
Tony Stewart 1031
Brian Vickers 998
Jimmie Johnson 984
A J Allmendinger 931
Dave Blaney 892
Denny Hamlin 861
David Gilliland 795
Reed Sorenson 779
Joey Logano 667
J.J. Yeley 600
Marcos Ambrose 567
Travis Kvapil 549
Brad Keselowski 509
Aric Almirola 505
Joe Nemechek 461
Landon Cassill 145
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 125
Michael McDowell 121
Danica Patrick 81
Josh Wise 74
  • © 2014 MRN. All Rights Reserved

    FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

    ISC Track Sites