Driver Handicaps: Kansas

NASCAR

Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson head into the inaugural night race at Kansas leading all drivers with respective average finishes of 4.3 and 6.0 in the three races since the track was reconfigured. (Photo: Getty Images)

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

MRN.com's detailed notes and statistics to help you set your fantasy racing lineup for Saturday night's 5-Hour Energy 400 at Kansas Speedway.

Who's HOT at Kansas
• Matt Kenseth has won two races and has led the most laps (262) in the three races since the track was reconfigured.
• Jimmie Johnson has finished ninth or better in the last 10 races, including two wins.
• Kevin Harvick, who will make his first track start with Stewart-Haas Racing, won last fall after leading 138 laps.
• Paul Menard and Kasey Kahne have average finishes of 6.7 and 7.0 since the track was reconfigured.
• Jeff Gordon, a two-time winner on the old configuration, has finished in the top 10 in two of his last three starts, including a third-place run last fall.
• Brad Keselowski has finished in the top 10 in four of his last six starts, including a win in the 2011 spring race.

Who to Keep an Eye On at Kansas
• Joey Logano, who finished fourth last fall at Kansas, is the latest winner on a 1.5-mile track (Texas Motor Speedway).
• Kyle Busch hasn't had much luck at Kansas, but has led 62 laps and posted a 7.0 average finish in the two races at 1.5-mile tracks this season.
• Brian Vickers (fourth) and rookie Kyle Larson (fifth) are coming off top-five finishes at the last 1.5-mile track.
• Tony Stewart, a two-time Kansas winner, is third among all drivers in laps led in the two races on 1.5-mile tracks in 2014.
• Clint Bowyer (8.3), Martin Truex Jr. (8.3), Carl Edwards (12.0) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (12.0) each rank in the top 10 in average finish in the three races since Kansas was reconfigured.
• Aric Almirola finished in the top 10 in both races last season at Kansas.
• Denny Hamlin, winner of this event in 2012, was among the drivers that participated in the Goodyear Tire test at Kansas last month.
• Greg Biffle, a two-time winner at Kansas, will be looking to score his first top 10 since Kansas was reconfigured in the same car he finished sixth with at Texas.

Tire Notes: Teams will be running the same left-side tire that they ran last October at Kansas, but the right side will be new and feature a change to the traction zone part of the multi-zone tire that was run last fall at the track. Many teams - one from each organization invited - participated in the tire test last month.

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

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

*Poles
*Best Starting Avg. 
Races Won from Starting Pos.
Jimmie Johnson - 3
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - 2.5
Pole - 4 times
Kasey Kahne - 3
Jimmie Johnson - 10.8
Top Five - 8 times 
Matt Kenseth - 2
Paul Menard - 11.9
Top 10 - 10 times
Six drivers with one Matt Kenseth - 12.5
Top 15 - 12 times
  Kasey Kahne - 12.5
Worst - 25th, one time

* - Must be entered in the 5-Hour Energy 400.

2014 Top "Knockout" Qualifying Performers (*8 Races)
Driver Poles Final Rounds
Joey Logano 1 7
Carl Edwards 1 6
Brad Keselowski 1 6
Jeff Gordon 0 6
Denny Hamlin 1 5
Jimmie Johnson 0 5
Ryan Newman 0 5
Kyle Busch 1 4
Kevin Harvick 1 4
Tony Stewart 1 4
Jamie McMurray 0 4
Matt Kenseth 1 3

*Qualifying was rained out at Richmond

*Best Average Finish at Kansas

Last # of Races
Driver
Avg. Fin.
Two Races
Jimmie Johnson
4.5
Four Races
Matt Kenseth
4.2
Six Races
Matt Kenseth
4.5
Eight Races
Jimmie Johnson
5.0
10 Races
Jimmie Johnson
4.4

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

Kansas Loop Data Stat Leaders (2005-2013, 12 Races)*

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Jimmie Johnson
1. Jimmie Johnson
1. Jimmie Johnson - 7.4
2. Matt Kenseth
2. Greg Biffle
2. Greg Biffle - 9.1
3. Jeff Gordon
3. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
3. Matt Kenseth - 9.6
4. Greg Biffle
4. Matt Kenseth
4. Jeff Gordon - 9.8
5. Tony Stewart
5. Martin Truex Jr.
5. Tony Stewart - 11.3
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Jimmie Johnson - 2812
1. Jimmie Johnson - 566
1. Jimmie Johnson - 118.9
2. Jeff Gordon - 2669
2. Jeff Gordon - 474
2. Matt Kenseth - 109.6
3. Greg Biffle - 2574
3. Greg Biffle - 472
3. Greg Biffle - 106.9
4. Matt Kenseth - 2564
4. Carl Edwards - 457
4. Jeff Gordon - 99.6
5. Kevin Harvick - 2208
5. Kevin Harvick - 424
5. Tony Stewart - 97.5

*Must be entered in the 5-Hour Energy 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 Kansas, view the 5-Hour Energy 400 Pre-Race Loop Data Book (pdf)

Season Loop Data Leaders

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Brad Keselowski
1. Jeff Gordon
1. Jeff Gordon - 9.9
2. Joey Logano
2. Clint Bowyer
2. Denny Hamlin - 10.3
3. Kevin Harvick
3. Joey Logano
3. Matt Kenseth - 10.5
4. Jeff Gordon
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
4. Kyle Busch - 10.8
5. Jimmie Johnson
5. Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth
5. Joey Logano - 11.1
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Matt Kenseth - 2723
1. Denny Hamlin - 898
1. Joey Logano - 105.9
2. Denny Hamlin - 2609
2. Jeff Gordon - 890
2. Jeff Gordon - 104.4
3. Jeff Gordon - 2580
Joey Logano - 890
3. Jimmie Johnson - 103.2
4. Brad Keselowski - 2546
4. Kurt Busch - 851
4. Kyle Busch - 103.0
Joey Logano - 2546
5. Kevin Harvick - 843
5. Kevin Harvick - 101.7

*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: Brad Keselowski
Pete Pistone: Jimmie Johnson
Dustin Long: Jimmie Johnson
John Singler: Clint Bowyer

Top 20 Driver Notes - Ordered by Current Standings

Jeff Gordon: Coming off his 11th top 10 in 16 starts at Kansas Speedway. His two wins there came in the first two races at the track and his third-place finish last fall was his second top 10 in the three races since the track was reconfigured. This season, Gordon has posted the second-best average finish (5.5) along with 40 laps led in the two races held at 1.5-mile tracks. This weekend, he will drive a new chassis (No. 869) in the 5-hour ENERGY 400 Benefitting Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

Matt Kenseth: His two wins at Kansas have come in two of the last three races since the track was reconfigured. His average finish of 4.3 leads all drivers in that span. Last year in this event, Kenseth led 163 laps en route to the win from the pole in his first track start with Joe Gibbs Racing. This season, he's posted an 8.5 average finish in the two races held at 1.5-mile tracks.

Kyle Busch: Will be looking to turn around his luck at Kansas Speedway. It's his worst track on the schedule based on average finish (23.3) and he's yet to place inside the top 30 since the track was reconfigured, crashing out of all three races. Busch does have the fourth-best average finish (7.0) along with 62 laps led in the two races held at 1.5-mile tracks this season.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Coming off his seventh top 10 in 15 starts at Kansas Speedway. His eighth-place finish last fall was his second top 10 in the three races since the track was reconfigured. Earnhardt, who has led 51 laps in the two races held at 1.5-mile tracks this season, will drive a new chassis (No. 877) in the 5-hour ENERGY 400.

Carl Edwards: Coming off his ninth top 10 (fifth) at Kansas and first in the three races since the track was reconfigured. He's posted a 9.5 average finish in the two races held on 1.5-mile tracks this season. This weekend, Edwards will be driving the same car (chassis No. 897) that he finished 14th with in Texas.

Joey Logano: Recorded his first top 10 in nine starts at Kansas Speedway last fall after leading 33 laps in his second track start with Team Penske. Logano is the latest winner on a 1.5-mile track (Texas Motor Speedway), giving him the best average finish (2.5) in the two races held on intermediate ovals this season. This weekend, Logano will drive a new car (chassis No. 907) in the 5-hour ENERGY 400.

Jimmie Johnson: Has finished in the top 10 in his last 10 starts at Kansas, including two wins. He ranks second among all drivers in average finish (6.0) in the three races since the track was reconfigured. This weekend, Johnson will return in the same car (chassis No. 799) that he led 104 laps with at Auto Club Speedway before a tire issue late in the race.

Greg Biffle: Is a two-time winner at Kansas Speedway but has yet to finish in the top 10 in the three races since the track was reconfigured. His last top 10 (fifth) came in the 2012 spring race, amid a streak of seven consecutive top 10s. This weekend, Biffle will return in the same car (chassis No. 896) that he finished sixth with in Texas.

Ryan Newman: Has yet to finish in the top 10 in his last six starts in Kansas City. This weekend, he will make his 17th start at Kansas with a third different team - Richard Childress Racing. Newman won at the track in 2003 with Team Penske. This season, he's posted an average finish of 11.5 in the two races held at 1.5-mile tracks. He will return in the same car (chassis No. 462) that he finished 20th with at Auto Club Speedway and used in a Goodyear Tire test at Michigan International Speedway.

Brian Vickers: Has a 20.9 average finish in nine starts at Kansas Speedway with his lone top 10 coming on 2006 with Hendrick Motorsports. He finished 32nd last fall after a crash in his first track start with Michael Waltrip Racing. Vickers did participate in the Goodyear Tire test last month at Kansas and has a solid average finish (8.5) so far in the two races held at 1.5-mile tracks this season. This weekend, Vickers will return in the same car (chassis No. 805) that he finished ninth with at Bristol.

Brad Keselowski: Won the 2011 spring race for his first of four top 10s in eight Kansas starts. He's finished in the top 10 and led 52 laps in the three races since the track was reconfigured. Keselowski ranks fifth in average finish (8.0) and second in laps led (138) this season in the two races held at 1.5-mile tracks starting at Las Vegas, where he won. He participated in the Goodyear Tire test last month at Kansas Speedway and will debut a new car (chassis No. 908) in the 5-hour ENERGY 400.

Denny Hamlin: Won the last race on Kansas' old configuration in 2012 but has yet to finish in the top 10 since then. He missed this event last year due to injury. Last month, Hamlin did participate in the Goodyear Tire test on the Kansas City oval.

Kyle Larson: Will make his Kansas Cup debut in the 5-hour ENERGY 400. He's posted a 12.0 average finish in the two races held at 1.5-mile tracks this season and is coming off a fifth-place finish In Texas. Last month, Larson also participated in the Goodyear Tire test at Kansas Speedway.

Austin Dillon: Has one previous start in the Cup Series at Kansas, finishing 26th in 2011. Since taking the reins of the No. 3 Chevrolet, he's posted an 18.5 average finish in the two races held at 1.5-mile tracks. Dillon participated in the Goodyear Tire test last month at Kansas and will return in the same car (chassis No. 457) that he finished 11th with at Auto Club Speedway.

AJ Allmendinger: Does have two top 10s at Kansas but has yet to finish inside the top 15 in two of his starts on the new track configuration. Allmendinger has posted consecutive top-six finishes on the season and will look to carry that momentum to improve his 20.5 average finish at 1.5-mile tracks this year.

Marcos Ambrose: Coming off his second top 10 in nine starts at Kansas Speedway. His ninth-place finish last fall helped lower his average finish to 13.7 in three races since the track was reconfigured.

Paul Menard: Kansas is Menard's best track on the schedule based on his average finish of 16.1. He has yet to place outside the top 10 in the three races since the track was reconfigured to give him the third-best average finish (6.0) in that span. He also ranks third in average finish (6.0) in the two races held at 1.5-mile tracks this season. This weekend, Menard will debut a new chassis (No. 466) in the 5-hour ENERGY 400.

Clint Bowyer: Has posted a 13.2 average finish in 11 starts at Kansas Speedway. He heads to his home track fresh off a new contract extension. He's finished sixth or better in two of the three races since the track was reconfigured and has an 8.3 average finish in that span. This weekend, Bowyer will drive the same car (chassis No. 809) that he used in a Goodyear Tire test at Michigan International Speedway.

Kevin Harvick: Coming off his first win at Kansas after leading 138 laps in his final track start with Richard Childress Racing last fall. This weekend, he'll make his first track start with Stewart-Haas Racing after participating in the Goodyear Tire test at Kansas Speedway last month. Harvick does have the worst average finish (41.5) at the two 1.5-mile tracks this season but was running well until issues took him out of contention in both races. This weekend, Harvick will return in the same car (chassis No. 842) that he led 224 laps in en route to the win at Phoenix International Raceway.

Kasey Kahne: His 15th-place finish last fall snapped a streak of four consecutive top 10s in Kansas. He finished second in this race last year for his second top five since the track was reconfigured. Kahne has posted a 9.5 average finish in the two races at 1.5-mile tracks this season. This weekend, he's in the same car (chassis No. 870) that he drove in the Goodyear Tire test at Kansas Speedway.

Photos

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Untitled Document Kansas Driver Stats

Driver Races Avg Start Avg Finish *Driver Rating
Jimmie Johnson 15 10.8 7.5 118.9
Matt Kenseth 16 12.5 14.6 109.6
Greg Biffle 15 15.7 10.3 106.9
Jeff Gordon 16 13.8 10.6 99.6
Tony Stewart 15 18.1 12.3 97.5
Carl Edwards 13 16.5 10.8 96.6
Kevin Harvick 16 18.6 12.1 95.9
Martin Truex Jr. 11 12.8 19.2 91.5
Kasey Kahne 13 12.5 14.0 91.1
Clint Bowyer 11 15.4 13.2 90.1
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 15 13.7 15.9 89.9
Denny Hamlin 11 13.3 14.8 89.2
Brad Keselowski 8 17.4 10.3 89.2
Kurt Busch 16 18.6 16.9 89.0
Aric Almirola 4 14.3 17.5 87.6
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 2 2.5 20.5 86.3
Paul Menard 10 11.9 16.1 80.5
Kyle Busch 13 16.5 23.3 76.9
Jamie McMurray 14 20.6 18.6 70.6
A J Allmendinger 8 18.6 21.9 70.4
Brian Vickers 9 12.6 20.9 70.1
Marcos Ambrose 9 24.6 19.6 68.2
Ryan Newman 16 14.1 19.2 67.7
Joey Logano 9 12.6 23.7 67.0
Casey Mears 14 28.9 22.8 63.0
David Ragan 10 21.9 22.4 62.2
Justin Allgaier 1 21.0 39.0 55.1
Austin Dillon 1 26.0 26.0 52.1
David Gilliland 10 30.2 27.2 52.0
Reed Sorenson 9 30.4 31.2 47.6
Travis Kvapil 10 34.7 27.3 47.6
Dave Blaney 15 33.3 29.6 46.4
David Stremme 7 33.0 31.0 45.3
Landon Cassill 7 34.3 29.9 44.3
J.J. Yeley 9 29.6 34.8 43.3
Danica Patrick 3 31.3 33.3 41.8
Joe Nemechek 14 27.4 30.0 36.0
Josh Wise 3 37.3 35.0 35.8
Cole Whitt 1 30.0 31.0 32.8
Michael Annett 0 - - -
Ryan Blaney 0 - - -
Alex Bowman 0 - - -
Kyle Larson 0 - - -
Ryan Truex 0 - - -

*Last 12 Races
Untitled Document Laps Led in the Last 12 Races at Kansas

Driver Laps Led
Jimmie Johnson 542
Matt Kenseth 486
Greg Biffle 282
Martin Truex Jr. 251
Kurt Busch 236
Kevin Harvick 173
Tony Stewart 152
Carl Edwards 91
Kyle Busch 85
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 70
Aric Almirola 69
Brad Keselowski 69
Denny Hamlin 68
Clint Bowyer 48
A J Allmendinger 44
Jeff Gordon 39
Kasey Kahne 39
Joey Logano 33
Casey Mears 31
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 26
Paul Menard 17
Travis Kvapil 7
Jamie McMurray 7
Ryan Newman 5
Dave Blaney 3
Landon Cassill 3
David Ragan 2
David Gilliland 1
David Reutimann 1
David Stremme 1
J.J. Yeley 1
Kansas Green Flag Passes

Number of passes a driver had under green conditions in the last 12 races at Kansas.

Driver Green Flag Passes
Kevin Harvick 900
Kurt Busch 882
Jamie McMurray 873
Kasey Kahne 856
Jimmie Johnson 853
Ryan Newman 844
Carl Edwards 820
Kyle Busch 811
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 773
Greg Biffle 763
Jeff Gordon 735
Tony Stewart 723
Clint Bowyer 722
Martin Truex Jr. 717
Marcos Ambrose 709
Denny Hamlin 707
Brad Keselowski 683
Paul Menard 676
Matt Kenseth 674
Casey Mears 661
David Gilliland 642
Travis Kvapil 640
David Ragan 633
A J Allmendinger 568
Brian Vickers 561
Joey Logano 555
Dave Blaney 526
Sam Hornish Jr. 407
Reed Sorenson 379
Landon Cassill 330
David Stremme 303
Joe Nemechek 292
Aric Almirola 235
J.J. Yeley 218
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 131
Danica Patrick 105
Trevor Bayne 87
Austin Dillon 77
Josh Wise 58
Justin Allgaier 19
Cole Whitt 5
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