Talladega Fantasy Racing Preview

Talladega

Led by Ricky Stenhouse Jr., five playoff drivers finished in the top 10 in the spring race at Talladega. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Driver Averages | Laps Led Leaders | Driver Ratings| Loop Data | Past Winners| Past Pole Winners | Tire Notes

Detailed driver notes and statistics to help set your fantasy racing lineup for Sunday's Alabama 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Who's HOT at Talladega
• Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has finished in the top five in the last two races, including a win in the spring.
• Team Penske's Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano each have two wins in the last six races. Keselowski has combined to lead 167 laps in the last races while Logano has won the last two fall events.
• Kurt Busch is the only driver that has finished in the top 10 in the last four races.
• Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard (holds best average finish in all three restrictor-plate races in 2017) have finished in the top 10 in four of the last seven races.
• Six-time winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. has combined to lead 251 laps in his last 10 starts.
• Denny Hamlin, who led 43 laps in the spring, has finished 11th or better in four of the last seven races, including a win in the 2014 spring race.
• Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson (finished eighth in the spring) and Jamie McMurray (finished second in the spring) each are two-time winners.
• Kyle Busch, who led 48 laps in the spring, has the second-best driver rating in the last five races.

Keep an Eye On at Talladega 
• Kasey Kahne (10.0), Matt DiBenedetto (13.3), David Ragan (13.7), AJ Allmendinger (14.0) each rank in the top 10 in average finish among all drivers that have competed in all three restrictor-plate races in 2017. Aric Almirola has raced in two events, posting a 4.0 average finish.
• Ryan Blaney, who scored stage points in both stages in the spring, holds a top 10 driver rating in the last five races at Talladega.
• Chase Elliott has started eighth or better, including one pole, and one top 10 in three starts at Talladega. He's also finished second in three of the four playoff races this season.
• Although he hasn't had much luck as of late, Matt Kenseth ranks first in laps led (256) in the last 10 Talladega races.
• Furniture Row Racing teammates Martin Truex Jr and Erik Jones each scored points in both stages in the spring at Talladega.
• Ryan Newman has posted the fourth best average finish (14.9) among drivers that have competed in all of the last 10 restrictor-plate races.
• Kyle Larson has posted a 9.0 average finish in his last two restrictor-plate starts, including a sixth-place finish in the spring at Talladega.

*Best Average Finish at Talladega

Last # of Races
Driver
Avg. Fin.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 3.0
Kurt Busch 7.0
Kurt Busch 7.8
Clint Bowyer 11.6
Ten Races Clint Bowyer 13.4

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

*Lap Leaders at Talladega

Last # of Races
Driver
Laps Led
Brad Keselowski 121
Brad Keselowski 121
Brad Keselowski 179
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 223
Ten Races Matt Kenseth 256

Talladega Loop Data Stat Leaders (2005-2017, 25 Races)*

*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
*Avg. Running Position
1. Trevor Bayne
1. Danica Patrick
1. Chase Elliott - 10.8
2. Austin Dillon
2. Austin Dillon
2. Kurt Busch - 14.2
3. Danica Patrick
3. Trevor Bayne
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 14.4
4. Michael McDowell
4. Joey Logano
4. Jimmie Johnson - 14.8
5. Ryan Blaney
5. Michael McDowell
5. Matt Kenseth - 15.0
 
 
 
*Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Kurt Busch - 3,112
1. Kurt Busch - 6,957
1. Chase Elliott - 91.4
2. Matt Kenseth - 2,922
2. Matt Kenseth - 5,761
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 91.0
3. Jimmie Johnson - 2,813
3. Jimmie Johnson - 5,546
3. Brad Keselowski - 88.7
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 2,808
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 5,228
4. Kurt Busch - 88.4
5. Jamie McMurray - 2,367
5. Martin Truex Jr. - 5,205 
5. Jimmie Johnson - 88.1

*Drivers Must be in the top 30 in points to be listed in the chart
*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 Loop Data for Talladega Click Here to view the Alabama 500 Pre-Race Loop Data Book.

Playoff Drivers at Talladega
Rank Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Avg. Fin. Driver Rating*
1 Martin Truex Jr 25 1 0 2 8 11 21.0 78.2
2 Kyle Larson 7 0 0 0 2 1 19.9 81.0
3 Kevin Harvick 33 1 1 6 14 2 15.3 81.5
4 Chase Elliott 3 1 0 1 1 1 15.7 91.4
5 Denny Hamlin 23 0 1 5 8 4 18.8 84.2
6 Kyle Busch 24 0 1 6 7 5 20.5 80.9
7 Jimmie Johnson 31 1 2 7 12 8 17.0 88.1
8 Jamie McMurray 30 0 2 8 9 5 19.5 80.8
9 Matt Kenseth 35 0 1 6 10 5 18.9 87.1
10 Brad Keselowski 17 0 4 6 10 2 14.9 88.7
11 Ryan Blaney 6 0 0 1 2 2 21.3 84.3
12 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 8 1 1 3 5 0 10.4 81.2

*Since 2005

Season Loop Data Leaders
*Fastest Early in a Run
*Fastest Late in a Run
Avg. Running Position
1. Martin Truex Jr.
1. Martin Truex Jr.
1. Martin Truex Jr. - 7.3
2. Kyle Larson
2. Kyle Busch
2. Kyle Busch - 8.8
3. Kyle Busch
3. Kyle Larson
3. Kyle Larson - 8.9
4. Kevin Harvick
4. Brad Keselowski
4. Kevin Harvick - 10.1
5. Chase Elliott
5. Chase Elliott
5. Denny Hamlin - 10.8
 
 
 
Laps in Top 15
*Quality Passes
*Driver Rating
1. Martin Truex Jr. - 7,720
1. Jamie McMurray - 1,811
1. Martin Truex Jr. - 115.7
2. Kyle Larson - 7,581
2. Chase Elliott - 1,687
2. Kyle Busch - 109.0
3. Kyle Busch - 7,110
3. Ryan Blaney - 1,626
3. Kyle Larson - 105.2
4. Chase Elliott - 7,039
4. Jimmie Johnson - 1,599
4. Kevin Harvick - 102.2
5. Kevin Harvick - 6,816
5. Kyle Larson - 1,588
5. Brad Keselowski - 95.7

*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.

Truex
  

Click Here for a look at season Loop Data for all drivers.

MRN.com Staff Picks

Jeff Wackerlin: Chase Elliott
Pete Pistone: Kevin Harvick
Robbie Mays: Jamie McMurray
Tyler Burnett: Clint Bowyer
John Singler: Brad Keselowski

Driver Notes - Ordered by Average Finish (Top 15) in the Last Five Races at Talladega

Kurt Busch has finished 12th or better in his last six starts at Talladega and is the only drive that has finished in the top 10 in the last four. Busch won this year's Daytona 500 for his first win and 20th top five on a restrictor-plate track. 

Paul Menard finished ninth in the spring for his fifth top 10 in the last eight Talladega races. His only finishes outside the top 13 in that span were two DNFs. Menard is the only driver that has finished in the top 10 in all three restrictor-plate races this season.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has finished in the top five in his last two Talladega starts, including a win in the spring race. Stenhouse went on to win at Daytona in July to give him the best average finish (8.6) among all drivers that have competed in all of the last five restrictor-plate races.

Kyle Busch finished third after leading a race-high 48 laps in the spring for his second top five in the last three Talladega races. Busch, who won the 2008 spring race, saw his last top five in the fall race come in 2013, in fifth. Busch's finish in the spring is his only top 10 in the three restrictor-plate races this season.

Ty Dillon finished 13th in his first Talladega Cup start in the spring. Dillon finished 16th at Daytona in July to lower his average finish to 19.7 in the three restrictor-plate races this season.

Kevin Harvick has finished 15th or better (four top 10s) in four of his seven Talladega starts with Stewart-Haas Racing. His lone win at the track came in the spring event in 2010 with Richard Childress Racing. This year, Harvick led 50 laps in the Daytona 500 in his first points paying race driving a Ford. Harvick has 28 top 10s, including three wins, in 66 starts at restrictor-plate tracks. This weekend, Harvick will debut a new chassis (No. 008) in the Alabama 500.

Brad Keselowski has won four times at Talladega, including this event in 2014. He's combined to lead 167 laps in the last three races, which leads all drivers. Keselowski, who won in the spring at Talladega and in the summer at Daytona in 2016, is tied with Ricky Stenhouse in wins (2) in the last six restrictor-plate races, but leads all drivers with 319 laps led in that span. He won the opening stage in the spring race.

Jimmie Johnson finished eighth in the spring for his 12th top 10 at Talladega. Johnson scored his last of two wins in the 2011 spring race and led three laps in May to bring his total to 470.

Jamie McMurray finished second in the spring at Talladega for his third top five dating back to his win in this event in 2013. The runner-up finish is his only top 10 this season at restrictor-plate races and second in the last 10.

Clint Bowyer is a two-time winner at Talladega with his wins coming with Richard Childress Racing in the 2010 and 2011 fall races. Bowyer, who has 12 overall top 10s at Talladega, is coming off his best finish in three restrictor-plate starts with Stewart-Haas Racing, finishing second at Daytona.

Chase Elliott finished 30th in the spring at Talladega after being involved in a crash to raise his average finish to 15.7 in three starts. Elliott won the pole and finished fifth after leading 27 laps in his first start in the spring race last year. Elliott has a total of three poles and one top 10 in his seven starts at restrictor-plate tracks. He led 39 laps in this year's Daytona 500 before running out of fuel at the end.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. scored his sixth Talladega win in the 2015 spring race. Earnhardt has combined to lead 223 laps in his last seven starts at Talladega, but has failed to lead a lap in his last two starts. Earnhardt has started on the front row in the three restrictor-plate races this season, but his last top 10 came in this event in 2015 when he led 61 laps and finished second.

Ryan Newman posted his second finish (25th) outside the top 18 in his seven Talladega starts with Richard Childress Racing in the spring after being involved in an accident. Newman, who finished fifth in the last restrictor-plate race in July at Daytona, has 19 top 10s at restrictor-plate tracks, including a win in the 2008 Daytona 500. 

Denny Hamlin led 43 laps and finished 11th in the spring at Talladega. Hamlin finished third in this event last year for his first top five since winning the spring race in 2014. He won the second stage in the Talladega spring race. Hamlin has led 198 laps and posted four top 10s, including a win in the 2016 Daytona 500, in the last 10 restrictor-plate races.

Joey Logano is seeking his third straight win in the fall race at Talladega. Logano finished sixth in this year's Daytona 500 but accidents at Talladega and Daytona in July took him out of contention in the other two restrictor-plate races this season. Logano did lead 10 laps in the spring at Talladega before getting caught up in a multi-car crash on lap 168.

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