?In The Loop? – At the All-Star Break, A Look Back

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 16, 2007) ? Of the 11 races run this season, five have featured the Car of Tomorrow. It would make sense, then, that those drivers and teams who have adapted the best to the COT would also have performed the best overall.

One of the top indicators of performance NASCAR has is ?Driver Rating.? Taking into account a number of statistics, Driver Rating most accurately depicts a driver?s race ? and season.

Take a look at the season-to-date Driver Rating standings. You?ll notice the drivers at the top are the ones who have often run out front in the five COT races.


Driver Driver Rating COT Avg. Finish

1. Jeff Gordon 118.0 2.2

2. Jimmie Johnson 114.4 5.0

3. Tony Stewart 102.7 11.6

4. Denny Hamlin 102.0 5.0

5. Matt Kenseth 96.6 8.0

6. Kurt Busch 95.7 15.2

7. Jeff Burton 95.4 14.8

8. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 92.5 10.4

9. Kyle Busch 91.7 10.2

10. Kevin Harvick 87.6 15.9

One of the growing myths this season is Hendrick Motorsports alone has dominated the Car of Tomorrow races. Yes, the outfit has won each of the five races (two each by Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, one by Kyle Busch). And, yes, a Hendrick car has finished in the top five 12 times in COT races and in the top 10 14 times.

But Joe Gibbs Racing ? with outstanding COT performances by Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart ? are right there with Hendrick. Check out the Tale of the Tape comparing Hendrick and JGR.

Hendrick Motorsports Stat Joe Gibbs Racing

20 Entries 15

5 Wins 0

12 Top 5s 5

14 Top 10s 8

141.9 Avg. Points Per Driver 133.1

99.7 Driver Rating 99.7

11.954 Avg. Running Pos. 12.201

615 Laps Led 973

452 Fastest Laps Run 388

6,211 Laps in the Top 15 4,070

It is important to note that Hendrick has one more driver in its stable than Joe Gibbs Racing, which makes Gibbs? almost identical numbers all the more impressive.

* * * * * * * * *

The pre-race Driver Rating continues to be an accurate measure of analyzing a race?s outcome. Seven of the 11 races (64%) were won by a driver with a pre-race Driver Rating in the Top 10. Here?s a quick breakdown of those race-winners:

* Two drivers with the top pre-race Driver Rating won that particular race (Matt Kenseth at California, Jimmie Johnson at Las Vegas)

* One winner had the No. 2 pre-race Driver Rating (Johnson at Atlanta)

* Two winners had the No. 3 pre-race Driver Rating (Johnson at Martinsville, Jeff Gordon at Talladega)

* One winner had the No. 4 pre-race Driver Rating (Gordon at Darlington)

* One winner had the No. 6 pre-race Driver Rating (Gordon at Phoenix).

Share Button