Driver Handicaps: Martinsville

Martinsville

Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon lead all drivers with respective average finishes of 4.9 and 6.5 in the last 10 races at Martinsville Speedway. (Photo: Getty Images)

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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 STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

Who's HOT at Martinsville
• Jeff Gordon, who is coming off his eighth win, leads all drivers in top 10s (34) and laps led
(3,593).
• Jimmie Johnson, who scored his eighth win last year in this event, leads all drivers with a
5.3 average finish.
• Clint Bowyer and Brad Keselowski are the only drivers that have finished in the top 10 in each of the last four races.
• Denny Hamlin has finished in the top 10 in 12 of the last 14 races, including four wins.
• Matt Kenseth, who finished second last fall, combined to lead 298 laps last year in his first two track starts with Joe Gibbs Racing.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. has posted eight top 10s, including two runner-up finishes, in 12 starts with Hendrick Motorsports.

Who to Keep an Eye On at Martinsville
• Greg Biffle and Jamie McMurray each finished in the top 10 in both races at Martinsville last season.
• Kyle Busch has posted an average finish of 7.3 - including two top fives - in his last three starts at Martinsville.
• Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman, respective winners of this event in 2011 and 2012, will each debut new cars in ther first track starts with Stewart-Haas Racing and Richard Childress Racing.
• Martinsville is Danica Patrick's best track on the circuit based on her 14.5 average in two starts.
• Kasey Kahne has recorded an average finish of 11.3 in the three races at Martinsville he's been running at the finish with Hendrick Motorsports.
•  Marcos Ambrose and Carl Edwards each posted an average finish of 13.5 in both races last season at Martinsville - tied for 10th among all drivers that competed in both races.
• Brian Vickers has posted a 12.3 average finish in three Martinsville starts with Michael Waltrip Racing.

Tire Notes: Teams will run the same left- and right-side tires that they ran in both races last season at Martinsville Speedway. Jeff Gordon (2.0), Clint Bowyer (2.5), Jimmie Johnson (3.0), Brad Keselowski (5.0) and Matt Kenseth (8.0) rounded out the top five in average finish among the drivers that competed in both races.

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

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

*Poles
*Best Starting Avg. 
Races Won from Starting Pos.
Jeff Gordon - 7 
Jeff Gordon - 7.2
Pole - 21 times
Denny Hamlin - 3
Ryan Newman - 9.4
Top Five - 69 times 
Jimmie Johnson - 3
Denny Hamlin - 10.2
Top 10 - 95 times
Ryan Newman - 3 Jimmie Johnson - 11.0
Top 15 - 110 times
Tony Stewart - 3  Kyle Busch - 13.1
Worst - 36th, one time

* - Must be entered in the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway. In the last seven races the winner has come from a starting position of ninth or better.

2014 Top "Knockout" Qualifying Performers (4 Races)
Driver Avg. Start Poles Final Rounds
Brad Keselowski 1.8 1 4
Joey Logano 3.5 1 4
Jimmie Johnson 5.8 0 4
Clint Bowyer 9.2 0 2
Jeff Gordon 11.0 0 2
Kyle Busch 12.0 0 2
Matt Kenseth 13.0 1 2
Denny Hamlin 13.3 1 2

*Best Average Finish at Martinsville

Last # of Races
Driver
Avg. Fin.
Two Races
Jeff Gordon
2.0
Four Races
Jimmie Johnson
4.8
Six Races
Jimmie Johnson
5.3
Eight Races
Jimmie Johnson
5.8
10 Races
Jimmie Johnson
4.9

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

Martinsville Speedway Loop Data Stat Leaders (2005-2013, 18 Races)*

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Jimmie Johnson
1. Jeff Gordon
1. Jimmie Johnson - 5.8
2. Jeff Gordon
2. Jimmie Johnson
2. Jeff Gordon - 6.2
3. Denny Hamlin
3. Denny Hamlin
3. Denny Hamlin - 8.8
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
4. Clint Bowyer
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 10.9
5. Clint Bowyer
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
5. Tony Stewart - 11.1
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Jimmie Johnson - 8333
1. Jeff Gordon - 660
1. Jimmie Johnson - 124.0
2. Jeff Gordon - 8167
2. Jimmie Johnson - 647
2. Jeff Gordon - 121.1
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 6963
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 619
3. Denny Hamlin - 111.4
4. Denny Hamlin - 6609 
4. Kyle Busch - 578
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 98.9
5. Kyle Busch - 6323
5. Denny Hamlin - 560
5. Tony Stewart - 98.5

*Must be entered in the STP 500.
*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 Martinsville, view the STP 500 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 - 7.5
2. Joey Logano
2. Jeff Gordon
2. Matt Kenseth - 9.2
3. Jeff Gordon
3. Jimmie Johnson
3. Jeff Gordon - 9.5
4. Jimmie Johnson
4. Carl Edwards
4. Jimmie Johnson - 10.0
5. Ryan Newman
5. Kyle Busch
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 10.2
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Brad Keselowski - 1393
1. Jeff Gordon - 510
1. Brad Keselowski - 113.2
2. Matt Kenseth - 1310
2. Brad Keselowski - 496
2. Jimmie Johnson - 110.5
3. Jeff Gordon - 1220
3. Denny Hamlin - 401
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 107.1
4. Kevin Harvick - 1138
4. Matt Kenseth - 393
4. Kyle Busch - 106.6
5. Denny Hamlin - 1128
5. Kevin Harvick - 391
5. Matt Kenseth - 103.7

*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: Jeff Gordon
Pete Pistone: Jimmie Johnson
Dustin Long: Jimmie Johnson
John Singler: Jamie McMurray

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

Carl Edwards: Finished 15th and 12th, respectively, last season; Last of five top 10s (ninth) came in the 2001 fall race; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 866) that he finished 21st with at Phoenix International Raceway last November.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Coming off eighth top 10 in 12 starts with Hendrick Motorsports; Finished second and third, respectively, in the 2011 and 2012 spring races; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 789) that he finished eighth with at Martinsville last fall.

Jeff Gordon: Coming off eighth win in 42 starts; Victory was third consecutive top-seven finish; Led no laps and finished third in this event last year; Leads all drivers in laps led (3,593); Second-best average finish (6.5) among all drivers in the last 10 races; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 788) that he raced in both events last year at Martinsville.

Brad Keselowski: Coming off best finish (fourth) and fourth consecutive top 10-finish; 10.4 average finish in eight starts; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 901) in the STP 500.

Matt Kenseth: Equaled best finish in 28 starts last fall, second place; Combined to lead 298 laps and posted an 8.0 average finish last season in first two track starts with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Jimmie Johnson: Led a race-high 346 laps in this event last year en route to his eighth win; Best average finish (4.9) in the last 10 races; Best driver rating (124.0) in the last 18 races; Second among all drivers in laps led (2,450); Will return in the same car (chassis No. 749) that he raced in both events last year at Martinsville, last finishing fifth in the fall.

Kyle Busch: Finished 15th last fall, snapping a streak of two-straight top fives; Second-place finish in the 2012 fall race is best in 18 overall starts; Combined to lead 277 laps in both races in 2011; Sixth-best driver rating.

Ryan Newman: Winner of this event in 2012 with Stewart-Haas Racing; Win is one of four top 10s in last 10 races; Will make his first track start with Richard Childress Racing in a new car (chassis No. 435).

Austin Dillon: Will pilot the same car (chassis No. 420) that Kevin Harvick last finished sixth with at Martinsville last fall. Harvick also drove this chassis to the win at Richmond International Raceway last April.

Joey Logano: Posted an 18.5 average finish in first two track starts with Penske Racing last season; Only top 10s came in 2010 with Joe Gibbs Racing; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 902) in the STP 500.

Denny Hamlin: Won the pole and finished seventh last fall; Has finished in the top 10 in 12 of the last 14 races, including four wins; 7.6 average finish in his last nine starts; Third-best driver rating.

Jamie McMurray: Finished in the top 10 in both races last season; 10th-place finish last fall was 12th top 10 in 22 starts.

Brian Vickers: Finished 11th in this event last year; 12.3 average finish in three starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; Elliott Sadler subbed for Vickers at Martinsville last fall; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 807) in the STP 500.

Paul Menard: Has yet to score a top 10 in 13 starts; Best finish came in the 2012 fall race, 12th place; Will return in the same car that he finished 19th and 22nd with, respectively, last season at Martinsville.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Made first track start in this event last year, finishing 25th; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 858) that he last finished 31st with at Martinsville in the fall after being involved in an accident.

Kyle Larson: Finished 42nd with HScott Motorsports due to engine issues last fall in first track start; Coming off best career Cup Series finish, of second, at Auto Club Speedway and will make first track start with Chip Ganassi Racing.

Tony Stewart: Last of three wins came in the 2011 fall race; Has posted four top 10s and an average finish of 16.4 in nine starts with Stewart-Haas Racing; Will race a chassis (No. 742) for the first time since the 2013 spring race at Phoenix International Raceway; This car was tested at New Smyrna Speedway and Gresham Motorsports Park prior ro the start of this season.

Casey Mears: Best finish in seven starts with Germain Racing came in the 2011 fall race, 12th place; Last of three top 10s in 21 overall starts came in 2008 with Hendrick Motorsports.

Kasey Kahne: 27th-place finish last fall snapped streak of two consecutive top fives; Has posted an average finish of 11.3 in the three races he's been running at the finish with Hendrick Motorsports; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 787) that he raced in both events last year at Martinsville.

Marcos Ambrose: Finished eighth in this event last year for first top 10 in 10 starts; 20.7 average finish in six starts with Richard Petty Motorsports.

Untitled Document Martinsville Driver Stats

Driver Races Avg Start Avg Fin. Avg Pos *Driver Rating
Jimmie Johnson 24 11.0 5.3 5.8 124.0
Jeff Gordon 42 7.2 6.8 6.2 121.1
Denny Hamlin 16 10.3 8.1 8.8 111.4
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 28 13.8 13.2 11.0 98.9
Tony Stewart 29 13.4 13.8 11.1 98.5
Kyle Busch 18 13.1 16.0 13.2 97.0
Clint Bowyer 16 15.6 12.6 12.5 93.8
Kevin Harvick 25 13.5 16.2 13.8 92.9
Brad Keselowski 8 17.1 10.4 13.5 89.2
Ryan Newman 24 9.4 15.3 15.2 87.4
Jamie McMurray 22 14.8 16.2 15.9 84.2
Matt Kenseth 28 20.6 15.3 16.2 83.5
Carl Edwards 19 17.4 15.8 16.2 80.5
Brian Vickers 16 19.8 19.0 16.9 79.5
Joey Logano 10 14.0 15.9 17.1 78.4
Kasey Kahne 20 18.8 20.2 20.5 78.1
Kurt Busch 27 19.8 21.5 18.7 77.0
Martin Truex Jr. 16 16.8 22.3 22.0 70.4
Greg Biffle 22 20.9 20.2 21.0 69.8
A J Allmendinger 11 22.5 21.5 22.0 69.0
Danica Patrick 2 36.5 14.5 24.4 68.7
Marcos Ambrose 10 19.0 21.0 22.1 66.9
David Ragan 15 20.4 22.4 22.9 65.8
Casey Mears 21 25.6 22.9 23.1 64.7
David Reutimann 14 23.4 27.5 23.6 63.5
Aric Almirola 10 23.5 25.6 25.2 61.9
Paul Menard 13 21.7 21.8 23.1 60.6
Reed Sorenson 12 29.6 31.7 29.0 51.4
Travis Kvapil 16 26.8 28.7 29.5 49.8
David Stremme 11 30.2 32.8 30.3 46.4
R. Stenhouse Jr. 2 20.0 28.0 30.3 46.1
Dave Blaney 26 27.4 31.6 31.9 45.1
David Gilliland 15 31.7 30.3 30.3 43.8
Joe Nemechek 37 25.0 28.7 33.8 42.0
Landon Cassill 7 31.3 31.4 33.1 40.9
Kyle Larson 1 26.0 42.0 38.2 39.7
Cole Whitt 1 30.0 35.0 32.7 37.7
Michael McDowell 9 33.2 36.6 36.5 36.3
Josh Wise 4 33.5 37.0 38.0 32.4
Justin Allgaier 0 - - - -
Michael Annett 0 - - - -
Alex Bowman 0 - - - -
Austin Dillon 0 - - - -
Parker Kligerman 0 - - - -
Ryan Truex 0 - - - -

*Last 18 Races
Martinsville Green Flag Passes

Number of passes a driver had under green conditions in the last 18 races at Martinsville.

Untitled Document
Driver Green Flag Passes
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1042
Greg Biffle 979
Carl Edwards 970
Matt Kenseth 954
Jeff Burton 946
Ryan Newman 938
Kurt Busch 904
David Ragan 883
Kyle Busch 882
Kevin Harvick 869
Jeff Gordon 857
Jamie McMurray 854
Martin Truex Jr. 841
Denny Hamlin 826
Jimmie Johnson 816
Casey Mears 814
Brian Vickers 793
Tony Stewart 778
Kasey Kahne 775
Bobby Labonte 764
Paul Menard 750
Clint Bowyer 742
Joey Logano 732
A J Allmendinger 609
David Reutimann 590
Marcos Ambrose 585
Brad Keselowski 564
Aric Almirola 537
Travis Kvapil 511
Reed Sorenson 463
David Gilliland 441
Dave Blaney 423
David Stremme 368
Sam Hornish Jr. 343
Michael Waltrip 282
J.J. Yeley 258
Joe Nemechek 223
Landon Cassill 199
Michael McDowell 168
Danica Patrick 112
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 111
Cole Whitt 59
Josh Wise 52
Trevor Bayne 25
Kyle Larson 15

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