Driver Handicaps: Michigan

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Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano, who are among the two-time winners this season, posted respective average finishes of 2.0 and 5.0 last year at Michigan. (Photo: Getty Images)

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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 Sunday's Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Who's HOT at Michigan
• Four-time winner Greg Biffle has won two of the last three races and holds the best average finish in the four races since the repave.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. scored his second June race win in 2012 and leads all drivers in laps led (174) since the repave.
• Clint Bowyer is the only driver that has finished in the top 10 in the last six races.
• Joey Logano won last year's August race and is third in laps led (72) since the repave.
• Two-time winner Carl Edwards leads all drivers with an 8.3 average finish.
• Kevin Harvick - making first track start with Stewart-Haas - finished second in both races last season.
• Tony Stewart has finished ninth or better in six of his last seven starts.
• Two-time winner Matt Kenseth - making his third track start with Joe Gibbs Racing - has only finished outside the top 15 four times in 29 starts.

Who to Keep an Eye On at Michigan
• Brad Keselowski (9.8), Martin Truex Jr. (10.2), Marcos Ambrose (10.8) and Paul Menard (12.2) each rank in the top 10 in average finish in the four races since Michigan was repaved.
• Trevor Bayne, Ryan Newman, Biffle, Bowyer and Earnhardt participated in the Goodyear tire test at Michigan in April.
• Ambrose and Aric Almirola have tested at Michigan.
• Jimmie Johnson, who has yet to win at Michigan, will return in the same car he won with at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
• Kyle Busch, who won at Auto Club Speedway in March, ranks third in average finish (9.2) and first in laps led (130) among drivers that have raced in all four events on two-mile speedways with the Gen-6 car.
• Rookie Kyle Larson will make his first Cup start at Michigan after finishing second there last season (to Regan Smith) in the Nationwide Series.  Rookie Austin Dillon has made three Michigan Cup starts, posting a 16.3 average finish.
• Kurt Busch, who is coming off a much-needed good run at Pocono, led a combined 64 laps last season at Michigan with Furniture Row Racing.
• Jeff Gordon finished sixth in the first race on Michigan's new surface, but an engine issue and an accident have lowered his average finish to 22.5 in the last four races.
• Juan Pablo Montoya, who finished eighth in the first race on Michigan's new surface, will return to the Cup Series this weekend in the No. 12 Ford for Team Penske.

Tire Notes: Teams will run the same left-side tire they ran at Michigan last season.  However, this weekend they will run the same right-side tire they raced at Kansas Speedway earlier this season. Goodyear conducted a test in April at Michigan with the following drivers participating: Trevor Bayne, Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ryan Newman.

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

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

*Poles
*Best Starting Avg. 
Races Won from Starting Pos.
Jeff Gordon - 5
Jimmie Johnson - 8.9
Pole - 17 times
Brian Vickers - 3
Brian Vickers - 10.9
Top Five - 53 times 
Kasey Kahne - 2
Jeff Gordon - 11.6
Top 10 - 67 times 
Kurt Busch - 2 Kasey Kahne - 11.8
Top 15 - 75 times
Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 2 Kurt Busch - 12.0
Worst - 32nd, one time

* - Must be entered in the Quicken Loans 400.

2014 Top "Knockout" Qualifying Performers (*12 Races)
Driver Poles Final Rounds
Brad Keselowski 2 10
Kevin Harvick 2 8
Denny Hamlin 2 8
Joey Logano 1 11
Carl Edwards 1 8
Jimmie Johnson 1 7
Kyle Busch 1 7
Tony Stewart 1 6
Matt Kenseth 1 4
Jeff Gordon 0 8

*Qualifying was rained out at Richmond

*Best Average Finish at Michigan

Last # of Races
Driver
Avg. Fin.
Two Races
Kevin Harvick
2.0
Four Races
Greg Biffle
3.8
Six Races
Clint Bowyer
7.0
Eight Races
Greg Biffle
7.9
10 Races
Greg Biffle 
8.8

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

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

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Greg Biffle
1. Greg Biffle
1. Greg Biffle - 8.3
2. Matt Kenseth
2. Carl Edwards
2. Matt Kenseth - 10.1
3. Jimmie Johnson
3. Jimmie Johnson
3. Carl Edwards - 10.2
4. Carl Edwards
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
4. Jimmie Johnson - 11.5
5. Kasey Kahne
5. Matt Kenseth
5. Tony Stewart - 12.7
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Greg Biffle - 3047
1. Carl Edwards - 850
1. Greg Biffle - 110.0
2. Carl Edwards - 2925
2. Greg Biffle - 849
2. Matt Kenseth - 105.6
3. Matt Kenseth - 2868
3. Matt Kenseth - 801
3. Carl Edwards - 104.7
4. Jimmie Johnson - 2583
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 749
4. Jimmie Johnson - 101.4
5. Tony Stewart - 2447
5. Jimmie Johnson - 691
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 97.0

*Must be entered in the Quicken Loans 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 Michigan, view the Quicken Loans 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 - 9.1
2. Joey Logano
2. Kevin Harvick
2. Joey Logano - 10.1
3. Kevin Harvick
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
3. Jimmie Johnson - 10.2
4. Jeff Gordon
4. Jimmie Johnson
4. Denny Hamlin - 11.2
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
5. Clint Bowyer
5. Brad Keselowski - 11.2
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Joey Logano - 3735
1. Jeff Gordon - 1101
1. Jimmie Johnson - 108.5
2. Jeff Gordon - 3707
2. Joey Logano - 1070
2. Kevin Harvick - 107.0
3. Brad Keselowski - 3649
3. Denny Hamlin - 1012
3. Jeff Gordon - 106.7
4. Matt Kenseth - 3591
4. Kevin Harvick - 998
4. Joey Logano - 104.6
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 3442
5. Kurt Busch - 948
5. Brad Keselowski - 103.5

*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: Greg Biffle
Dustin Long: Kyle Larson
John Singler: Carl Edwards

Top 20 Driver Notes - Ordered by Current Standings

Jeff Gordon: Last of 25 top 10s came in this event in 2012, sixth place.  An engine issue and an accident have lowered Gordon's average finish to 22.5 in the last four races.  He is a two-time Michigan winner, with his last coming in this event in 2001.  This weekend, Gordon will return in the same car (chassis No. 8612) that he's finished seventh with in its last two starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway.

Matt Kenseth: Has finished in the top 10 in the last three June Michigan races, including a sixth-place run in this event last year - his first track start with Joe Gibbs Racing.  Kenseth holds a 10.3 average finish among all drivers in the four races since Michigan was repaved.  He's also tied for first in average finish (8.0) among drivers that have raced in all four events on two-mile speedways with the Gen-6 car.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Won this race in 2012 for his second in 12 Michigan starts with Hendrick Motorsports.  He leads all drivers in laps led (174) in the four races since the track was repaved. Earnhardt participated in the Goodyear Tire test and will return in the same car (chassis No. 882) that he finished 19th with at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Jimmie Johnson: Has yet to win at Michigan and engine issues have taken him out of contention in two of the last three races.  Johnson's last of nine top 10s (fifth) came in the first race on Michigan's new surface in 2012.  He did dominate at the two-mile Auto Club Speedway earlier this season, leading 104 laps until suffering a blown tire with seven laps to go.  This weekend, Johnson will return in the same car (chassis No. 797) that he won with at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Brad Keselowski: Ranks fifth in average finish (9.8) among drivers that have competed in all four of the races since Michigan was repaved.  Led 38 laps but finished 26th due to a tire failure in the race on the two-mile Auto Club Speedway earlier this season.  Keselowski will debut a new car (chassis No. 918) in the Quicken Loans 400.

Kyle Busch: Fourth-place finish in this event last year is his only top 10 in the four races since Michigan was repaved.  Busch, who won at Auto Club Speedway in March, ranks third in average finish (9.2) and first in laps led (130) among drivers that have raced in all four events on two-mile speedways with the Gen-6 car.

Carl Edwards: Ranks fourth among all drivers in average finish (8.8) since Michigan was repaved. Edwards' last of two wins at Michigan came in August 2008.  He is tied for first in average finish (8.0) among drivers that have competed in all four races on two-mile speedways with the Gen-6 car.

Denny Hamlin: Won this race in 2011 for his second Michigan victory but has failed to finish in the top 10 in his last five starts.  Hamlin did not race in the first event on a two-mile speedway (Auto Club) this season due to an eye injury.

Joey Logano: Coming off first Michigan win in 10 starts.  Logano led 72 laps and posted an average finish of 5.0 in his first two track starts with Team Penske last season.  He ranks fifth in average finish (13.0) among drivers that have raced in all four events on two-mile speedways with the Gen-6 car.  This weekend, Logano will debut a new car (chassis No. 917) in the Quicken Loans 400.

Kyle Larson: Will make first Cup start at Michigan after finishing second there last season in the Nationwide Series.  Larson also posted his best career Cup finish (second) at the two-mile Auto Club Speedway in March.

Ryan Newman: Only top 10 in the four races since Michigan was repaved came in the 2012 August race, 12th place.  Newman, who won earlier in his career at Michigan with Team Penske, did participate in the Goodyear Tire test in April as he gears up for his first track start with Richard Childress Racing. The car (chassis No. 462) Newman will drive is the same one he last finished 11th with at Kansas Speedway.

Kevin Harvick: Finished second in both races last season to help give him the third-best average finish (7.5) among all drivers in the four races since Michigan was repaved.  Harvick also ranks sixth in average finish (13.2) among drivers that have raced in all four events on two-mile speedways with the Gen-6 car.  This weekend, Harvick will make his first Michigan start with Stewart-Haas Racing in the same car (chassis No. 842) that he last led 36 laps and finished second with at Kansas Speedway.

Brian Vickers: Won the 2009 August race with Red Bull Racing.  Last Michigan start came in August 2011, when he finished 15th - snapping a streak of six consecutive top 10s.  This weekend, Vickers will make his first track start with Michael Waltrip Racing in the same car (chassis No. 808) that he last finished 26th with at Darlington Raceway.  Vickers finished seventh in March in his first start with the team on a two-mile speedway (Auto Club).

Greg Biffle: Is the leader in wins (4) at Michigan among active drivers and has won two of the last three races, including this event last year.  Biffle also leads all drivers in average finish (3.8) and is second in laps led (140) in the four races since the speedway was repaved.  He ranks seventh in average finish (14.0) among drivers that have raced in all four events on two-mile speedways with the Gen-6 car.  Biffle participated in the Goodyear Tire test in April and will return in the same car (chassis No. 908) that he finished 21st with at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Austin Dillon: Has posted a 16.3 average finish in three Michigan starts.  This weekend, Dillon will debut a new car (chassis No. 475) in the Quicken Loans 400.

Clint Bowyer: Holds the distinction of being the only driver that has finished in the top 10 in the last six Michigan races.  He ranks second among all drivers in average finish (6.5) in the four races since Michigan was repaved.  Bowyer, who participated in the Goodyear Tire test in April, will return in the same car (chassis No. 813) that he finished 14th with at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Paul Menard: Has posted a 12.2 average finish in the four races since Michigan was repaved.  Menard ranks second in average finish (8.8) among drivers that have raced in all four events on two-mile speedways with the Gen-6 car.  This weekend, Menard will return in the same car (chassis No. 454) that he last finished eighth with at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Tony Stewart: Finished fifth last year in this race and missed the August race due to injury.  His run in this event last season marked his sixth finish of ninth or better in the last seven races.  Stewart's lone Michigan win came in this event in 2000 with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Aric Almirola: Tested at Michigan International Speedway as he seeks his first top 10 at the track.  His best finish is 17th twice, in the last two June races.

AJ Allmendinger: Finished 19th in this race last year with JTG/Daugherty Racing.  Allmendinger has yet to finish in the top 10 in 11 starts and has a 20.8 overall average finish.  He will debut a new car in the Quicken Loans 400.

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Driver Races Avg Start Avg Finish *Driver Rating
Greg Biffle 22 13.6 11.2 110.0
Matt Kenseth 29 17.7 9.6 105.6
Carl Edwards 19 19.9 8.3 104.7
Jimmie Johnson 24 8.9 16.8 101.4
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 29 14.6 16.3 97.0
Tony Stewart 29 19.2 11.7 95.9
Kyle Busch 18 14.4 16.5 92.0
Brian Vickers 14 10.9 14.9 91.5
Jeff Gordon 42 11.6 12.5 89.8
Denny Hamlin 16 13.9 15.0 89.7
Kurt Busch 26 12.0 21.2 89.6
Kasey Kahne 20 11.8 16.4 89.3
Kevin Harvick 26 18.1 13.8 86.1
Joey Logano 10 15.6 16.7 84.8
Martin Truex Jr. 16 13.6 15.7 84.6
Brad Keselowski 9 20.8 16.9 84.1
Clint Bowyer 16 18.4 15.4 81.6
Ryan Newman 25 12.8 17.5 76.5
Aric Almirola 4 18.8 18.0 73.3
Austin Dillon 3 18.7 16.3 73.3
Juan Montoya 14 16.9 21.2 71.7
R. Stenhouse Jr. 2 18.5 17.5 71.3
David Ragan 14 24.9 19.1 69.9
Jamie McMurray 22 25.0 19.7 69.2
Marcos Ambrose 11 22.8 21.1 69.1
AJ Allmendinger 11 25.7 20.8 67.4
Paul Menard 15 23.4 20.3 67.3
Casey Mears 21 24.6 22.7 65.8
Trevor Bayne 6 15.5 23.8 61.3
Danica Patrick 2 32.5 18.0 61.1
Travis Kvapil 14 31.8 25.1 52.5
Reed Sorenson 10 30.7 26.5 51.3
Landon Cassill 7 25.6 27.7 48.4
David Stremme 12 30.3 29.9 47.7
David Gilliland 15 32.1 29.6 47.4
J.J. Yeley 11 30.9 36.0 44.2
Josh Wise 4 35.5 40.3 32.9
Justin Allgaier 0 - - -
Michael Annett 0 - - -
Alex Bowman 0 - - -
Kyle Larson 0 - - -
Brett Moffitt 0 - - -
Ryan Truex 0 - - -
Cole Whitt 0 - - -

*18 Races

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