Driver Handicaps: Bristol

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Matt Kenseth (424) and Carl Edwards (242) have led the most laps in the last four races at Bristol. (Photo: Getty Images)

Driver Averages | Driver RatingsLoop Data (pdf) | Past Winners

MRN.com's detailed notes and statistics to help you set your fantasy racing lineup for Saturday's IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Who's HOT at Bristol
• Brian Vickers is the only driver that has finished in the top 10 in the last five races.
• Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch each have five wins. Gordon and Kurt Busch's wins have come on the old track surface/configuration.
• Kasey Kahne has finished ninth or better in his last four starts, including a win in the 2013 spring race.
• Matt Kenseth, winner of last year's night race, has led the most laps (399) in the three races with the Gen-6 car.
• Spring winner Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin, winner of the 2012 night race, are the only driver besides Kenseth to lead more than 200 laps in the four races since the top groove of the progressive banking was adjusted at 242 and 214, respectively.
• Brad Keselowski leads all previous Bristol winners with the most final round (17) knockout qualifying sessions this season in the 21 races it was contested.

Who to Keep an Eye On at Bristol
• Joey Logano, who finished fifth in the Bristol night race last season, leads all drivers with 19 knockout final round appearances this season.
• Clint Bowyer has posted a 9.0 average finish in his five Bristol starts with Michael Waltrip Racing.
• Greg Biffle (10.7), Marcos Ambrose (10.7), Paul Menard (12.0), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (12.0) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (13.3) each rank in the top 10 in average finish among all drivers that have competed in the three Bristol races with the Gen-6 car.
• Rookies Kyle Larson and Austin Dillon have posted respective average finishes of 10.0 and 13.5 in the two races on concrete surfaces this season.
• Kevin Harvick has not posted a top 10 at Bristol since 2011 but will look to turn things around with crew chief Rodney Childers, who led Vickers to four consecutive top-eight finishes there. Harvick led 28 laps in the spring, but a cut oil line caused him to crash late in the race.
• Jeff Burton will sub for Tony Stewart again this week. Burton, who won the 2008 spring race, saw his last of 15 top 10s at the track come in the 2012 spring race.
• Jimmie Johnson will look for his first Bristol top 10 since 2012 driving the same car he led 44 laps with there in the spring.
• Aric Almirola has posted a 7.5 average finish in both races this season held on concrete surfaces.

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

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

*Poles
*Best Starting Avg. 
Races Won from Starting Pos.
Jeff Gordon - 5
Jeff Gordon - 7.4
Pole - 22 times
Ryan Newman - 3
Joey Logano - 8.6
Top Five - 61 times 
Denny Hamlin - 2
Ryan Newman - 10.3
Top 10 - 85 times 
Carl Edwards - 2 Brad Keselowski - 12.2
Top 15 - 97 times
Seven drivers with one Kasey Kahne - 12.4
Worst - 38th, one time

* - Must be entered in the IRWIN Tools Night Race.

2014 Top "Knockout" Qualifying Performers (*21 Races)
Driver Poles Final Rounds
Kevin Harvick 4 16
Brad Keselowski 3 17
Jeff Gordon 2 16
Denny Hamlin 2 10
Kyle Busch 2 10
Joey Logano 1 19
Jimmie Johnson 1 12
Carl Edwards 1 12
Jamie McMurray 1 11
Matt Kenseth 1 6

*Qualifying was rained out at Richmond, shortened at Daytona (David Gilliland pole winner)

*Best Average Finish at Bristol

Last # of Races
Driver
Avg. Fin.
Two Races
Kasey Kahne
5.0
Four Races
Kasey Kahne
5.0
Six Races
Brian Vickers
8.5
Eight Races
Kasey Kahne
10.2
10 Races
Kyle Busch
10.6

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

Bristol Loop Data Stat Leaders (2005-2014, 19 Races)*

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Kyle Larson
1. Kyle Larson
1. Kyle Larson - 7.5
2. Matt Kenseth
2. Jeff Gordon
2. Jeff Gordon - 9.8
3. Jeff Gordon
3. Kevin Harvick
3. Matt Kenseth - 10.4
4. Kyle Busch
4. Matt Kenseth
4. Brad Keselowski - 12.6
5. Kevin Harvick
5. Brad Keselowski
5. Kyle Busch - 13.0
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Jeff Gordon - 7730
1. Matt Kenseth - 602
1. Kyle Larson - 104.5
2. Matt Kenseth - 7689
2. Jeff Gordon - 596
2. Matt Kenseth - 102.7
3. Greg Biffle - 6652
3. Martin Truex Jr. - 554
3. Kyle Busch - 101.7
4. Jimmie Johnson - 6361
4. Kasey Kahne - 521
4. Jeff Gordon - 100.6
5. Kyle Busch - 6278
5. Kurt Busch - 509
5. Brad Keselowski - 95.9

*Must be entered in the Pure Michigan 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 Bristol, view the IRWIN Tools Night Race Pre-Race Loop Data Book (pdf)

Season Loop Data Leaders

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Joey Logano
1. Jeff Gordon
1. Jeff Gordon - 9.4
2. Jeff Gordon
2. Kevin Harvick
2. Joey Logano - 9.7
3. Kevin Harvick
3. Jimmie Johnson
3. Kevin Harvick - 11.3
4. Brad Keselowski
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 11.6
5. Jimmie Johnson
5. Clint Bowyer
5. Brad Keselowski - 12.6
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Joey Logano - 5077
1. Jeff Gordon - 1416
1. Jeff Gordon - 109.3
2. Jeff Gordon - 4958
1. Denny Hamlin - 1411
2. Joey Logano - 105.2
3. Brad Keselowski - 4790
3. Joey Logano - 1403
3. Kevin Harvick - 104.7
4. Kevin Harvick - 4700
4. Kasey Kahne - 1359
4. Brad Keselowski - 100.6
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 4683
5. Kurt Busch - 1332
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 100.3

*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: Matt Kenseth
Pete Pistone: Brad Keselowski
Dustin Long: Clint Bowyer
John Singler: Kevin Harvick

Top 20 Driver Notes - Ordered by Current Standings

Jeff Gordon: Coming off his 24th - and second consecutive - top 10 (seventh) in 43 starts. Gordon has posted a 16.0 average finish and has led 66 laps in the three races at Bristol with the Gen-6 car. This season, he's posted an 11.0 average finish in both races held on concrete surfaces. Gordon will be back in the same car (chassis No. 819) that he finished 15th with at Dover International Speedway in June.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Finished 24th in the spring, snapping a streak of consecutive top-10 finishes. Earnhardt's finish in the spring dropped his average in the three races at Bristol with the Gen-6 car to 13.3. This weekend, Earnhardt will return in the same car (chassis No. 745) that he finished ninth with at Dover.

Brad Keselowski: Winner of the 2011 night race and the 2012 spring race. Keselowski has only posted one top 10 (third) in the four races since his last win, but does have an 8.0 average finish in both races held on concrete surfaces this season. His average finish in the three Bristol races with the Gen-6 car is 15.7. Keselowski, who led 40 laps and finished 14th in the spring, will return in the same car (chassis No. 918) that he finished third with at Michigan International Speedway in June.

Joey Logano: Recorded his only top 10 in three starts with Team Penske in this event last season. This weekend, Logano will return in the same car (chassis No. 917) that he finished ninth with at Michigan International Speedway in June.

Matt Kenseth: Scored his third win in this race last year. Kenseth led a race-high 165 laps in the spring to bring his series-leading total in the three Bristol races with the Gen-6 car to 399.

Kevin Harvick: A crash in the spring relegated Harvick to a 39th-place finish in his first Bristol start with Stewart-Haas Racing. His only top 10 in the last 11 races came in the 2011 spring race. This weekend, Harvick will return in the same car (chassis No. 850) that he finished seventh with at Kentucky Speedway in June.

Jimmie Johnson: Has yet to finish in the top 15 in the three Bristol races with the Gen-6 car. Johnson did lead 44 laps in the spring before finishing 19th. Johnson, a winner at Bristol in the 2010 spring race, will return in the same car (chassis No. 728) that he raced at Bristol earlier this season.

Carl Edwards: Coming off his third win in 20 starts. Edwards, who led 78 laps in the spring, has posted a 7.5 average finish in the two races held on concrete surfaces this season. This weekend, Edwards will return in the same car (chassis No. 897) that he finished 23rd with at Michigan International Speedway in June.

Ryan Newman: Started ninth and finished 16th in the spring in first Bristol start with Richard Childress Racing. Newman's last of 13 top 10s came in the 2013 spring race with Stewart-Haas Racing. This weekend, Newman will return in the same car he finished 15th with at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May.

Clint Bowyer: Has put together a solid 9.0 average finish in five Bristol starts with Michael Waltrip Racing. Bowyer, who led 50 laps in this event last year, has posted a 9.5 average finish in the two races this season held on concrete surfaces. This weekend, Bowyer will return in the same car (chassis No. 800) that he finished fourth with at Dover International Speedway in June.

Greg Biffle: Has posted the third-best average finish among all drivers that have raced in all three events with the Gen-6 car at Bristol. Biffle's ninth-place finish in this event last year is his best in the last six races. This weekend, Biffle will return in the same car (chassis No. 896) that he finished fifth with at Pocono Raceway.

Kasey Kahne: Leads all drivers with a 3.7 average finish in the three races with the Gen-6 car at Bristol. Kahne, winner of the 2013 spring race, and Brian Vickers are the only drivers that have finished in the top 10 in the last four races. Kahne finished eighth in the spring to help give him a 13.5 average finish in the two races in 2014 held on concrete surfaces. This weekend, Kahne will return in the same car (chassis No. 809) he raced at Bristol and Dover earlier this season.

Austin Dillon: Finished 11th in his first Bristol Cup start in March. Dillon has posted a 13.5 average finish in the two races held on concrete surfaces this season. This weekend, Dillon will return in the same car (chassis No. 457) that he most recently finished 17th with at Pocono in June.

Kyle Larson: Finished 10th in his first Bristol Cup start in March. Larson, who will be looking to rebound from a tough ending at Michigan, has posted a 10.0 average finish in the two races held on concrete surfaces this season.

Kyle Busch: Last of five wins came in the 2011 spring race. Busch finished 29th last year in this event after leading 73 laps to raise his average finish in the three Bristol races with the Gen-6 car to 14.0. His last top 10 came in the 2013 spring race, second place after starting from the pole.

Marcos Ambrose: Coming off second consecutive top 10, fifth place. Ambrose's 10.7 average finish in the three Bristol races with the Gen-6 car ranks fourth among all drivers that have competed in all three races. Ambrose finished 16th at Dover International Speedway in June to give him a 10.5 average finish in the two races on concrete surfaces in 2014.

Paul Menard: Finished 21st in the spring, snapping a streak of two consecutive top 10s at Bristol. Menard, who led 64 laps in this event last year en route to a sixth-place finish, will return in the same car (chassis No. 466) that he last finished 10th with at Dover.

Brian Vickers: Holds the distinction of being the only driver that has finished in the top 10 in the last five Bristol races. Vickers, who has finished fourth in the last two Bristol night races, will be back in the same car (chassis No. 797) he last finished 26th with at Kentucky Speedway.

Jamie McMurray: Last of nine top 10s in 23 starts came in the 2013 spring race, 10th place. McMurray led 10 laps in the spring before a crash relegated him to a 38th-place finish.

Denny Hamlin: Won second consecutive Bristol pole in the spring and finished sixth. Hamlin is the only driver that has finished in the top 10 in both races on concrete surfaces this season. His laps-led total of 144 in the three Bristol races with the Gen-6 car ranks third among all drivers.

Race Center

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Untitled Document Bristol Driver Stats
Driver Races Avg Start Avg Fin. Avg Pos *Driver Rating
Kyle Larson 1 20.0 10.0 7.5 104.5
Matt Kenseth 29 15.9 12.5 10.4 102.7
Kyle Busch 19 18.9 10.9 13.0 101.7
Jeff Gordon 43 7.4 12.2 9.8 100.6
Brad Keselowski 9 12.2 14.3 12.6 95.9
Greg Biffle 23 13.9 12.0 13.1 93.7
Jimmie Johnson 25 15.4 15.4 13.7 91.2
Kurt Busch 27 18.3 14.8 14.4 90.7
Denny Hamlin 17 17.3 15.5 14.5 90.7
Kevin Harvick 27 18.0 14.3 13.3 90.3
Carl Edwards 20 17.4 15.2 14.7 89.3
Kasey Kahne 21 12.4 17.0 16.7 88.9
D. Earnhardt Jr. 29 21.3 12.0 13.8 88.5
Ryan Newman 25 10.3 17.0 15.3 86.0
Jeff Burton 40 22.6 18.2 17.3 83.0
Clint Bowyer 17 20.2 16.0 16.9 82.0
Martin Truex Jr. 17 17.3 20.3 16.2 81.3
Marcos Ambrose 11 14.2 14.9 16.7 80.7
R. Stenhouse Jr. 3 25.3 12.0 15.2 80.7
Joey Logano 11 8.6 19.9 19.1 78.7
Jamie McMurray 23 16.6 17.8 18.3 76.3
Paul Menard 14 19.6 17.9 19.2 72.6
Brian Vickers 19 22.2 19.7 21.6 69.4
Austin Dillon 1 26.0 11.0 21.8 67.4
Aric Almirola 10 18.4 24.0 23.1 66.7
AJ Allmendinger 12 22.6 25.7 25.9 64.9
Justin Allgaier 1 30.0 17.0 20.7 62.7
David Ragan 15 25.2 23.7 25.1 58.9
David Gilliland 16 23.0 27.1 27.0 55.3
Casey Mears 23 23.9 27.8 27.2 54.9
J.J. Yeley 9 33.1 28.8 27.6 53.3
Dave Blaney 25 22.0 30.2 29.0 52.7
Reed Sorenson 11 23.7 28.2 28.1 52.5
David Stremme 12 31.6 25.4 28.2 51.8
Danica Patrick 4 35.5 25.3 27.9 47.4
Michael Annett 1 34.0 26.0 32.1 44.3
Alex Bowman 1 33.0 32.0 37.7 41.4
Landon Cassill 7 34.6 31.1 34.0 40.7
Josh Wise 5 33.8 33.4 34.5 39.5
Cole Whitt 1 18.0 40.0 36.8 39.0
Michael McDowell 8 32.4 37.4 36.7 35.7
Ryan Truex 2 29.0 42.0 39.3 29.9
Brett Moffitt 0 - - - -

* Last 19 Races

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