RacingNation.com

Talladega Fantasy Forecast

TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY

Amp Energy Juice 500
Sunday, October 31, 2010 in Talladega. AL

It’s on to good ol’ boy country this weekend as Cup drivers head south to Talladega, Alabama for the running of the Amp Energy 500. Alabama International Motor Speedway (as it was called until 1989) ran its first race in 1969, and today it remains the biggest, fastest, most competitive motor sports facility in the world. At 2.66 miles, Talladega Superspeedway is the longest track on the circuit. Add 33 degrees of banking, 48 feet of track width, and carburetor restrictor plates, and you virtually guarantee tight, knuckle-biting competition. Three-wide racing is the norm, and often you’ll see four- and five-wide as they’re jockeying for position. But this excitement comes at a cost even the slightest mistake may cause the “big one”, a wreck that takes out half the field.

The following drivers have the best chance of pulling out a top finish this weekend. The rankings are based on a statistical formula that includes drivers’ history at this track and similar tracks, key driver stats from this venue, and the ever-powerful momentum. Every driver/team will have the occasional “off” race. They can have a rough outing or two without being unduly harmed in the rankings. If they generally run in the top half of the field, they’ll be moving up the list.

TOP TWENTYFIVE
1) 29 Kevin Harvick
2) 48 Jimmie Johnson
3) 11 Denny Hamlin
4) 1 Jamie McMurray
5) 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
6) 18 Kyle Busch
7) 31 Jeff Burton
8) 24 Jeff Gordon
9) 5 Mark Martin
10) 14 Tony Stewart
11) 20 Joey Logano
12) 33 Clint Bowyer
13) 6 David Ragan
14) 16 Greg Biffle
15) 2 Kurt Busch
16) 42 Juan Pablo Montoya
17) 99 Carl Edwards
18) 83 Kasey Kahne
19) 17 Matt Kenseth
20) 39 Ryan Newman
21) 19 Elliott Sadler
22) 00 David Reutimann
23) 98 Paul Menard
24) 56 Martin Truex Jr.
25) 12 Brad Keselowski

TALLADEGA DRIVER STATS
Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet)
? One win, four top fives, eight top 10s; one pole
? Average finish of 15.5 in 19 races
? Average Running Position of 19.0, 17th-best
? Driver Rating of 75.3, 18th-best
? 46 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most
? 3,580 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most
? 1,873 Quality Passes, 12th-most

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet)
? One win, four top fives, seven top 10s; one pole
? Average finish of 17.8 in 17 races
? Average Running Position of 16.8, 10th-best
? Driver Rating of 83.6, 11th-best
? 1,127 Laps in the Top 15 (53.7%), ninth-most
? 2,310 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), sixth-most

Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Toyota)
? Three top fives, three top 10s
? Average finish of 19.3 in nine races
? Series-best Average Running Position of 13.8
? Series-best Driver Rating of 95.9
? 40 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most
? Average Green Flag Speed of 192.205 mph, fourth-fastest
? 1,038 Laps in the Top 15 (60.6%), 10th-most
? 2,135 Quality Passes, eighth-most

Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Toyota)
? One win, one top five, two top 10s
? Average finish of 23.2 in 11 races
? Average Running Position of 18.7, 16th-best
? Driver Rating of 79.7, 16th-best
? 55 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
? 3,114 Green Flag Passes, 13th-most
? 993 Laps in the Top 15 (47.4%), 11th-most
? 1,877 Quality Passes, 11th-most

Jeff Burton (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet)
? Four top fives, 13 top 10s
? Average finish of 18.4 in 33 races
? Average Running Position of 17.1, 12th-best
? Driver Rating of 87.1, sixth-best
? Series-high 4,322 Green Flag Passes
? Average Green Flag Speed of 192.133 mph, seventh-fastest
? 1,163 Laps in the Top 15 (55.5%), fifth-most
? Series-high 2,970 Quality Passes

Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet)
? Six wins, 13 top fives, 16 top 10s; one pole
? Average finish of 16.7 in 35 races
? Average Running Position of 17.4, 14th-best
? Driver Rating of 86.0, seventh-best
? 1,138 Laps in the Top 15 (54.3%), seventh-most

Tony Stewart (No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet)
? One win, nine top fives, 12 top 10s
? Average finish of 14.8 in 23 races
? Average Running Position of 14.6, fifth-best
? Driver Rating of 89.0, fifth-best
? 49 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
? 3,619 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most
? Average Green Flag Speed of 192.163 mph, fifth-fastest
? 1,136 Laps in the Top 15 (54.2%), eighth-most
? 1,939 Quality Passes, ninth-most

Clint Bowyer (No. 33 BB&T Chevrolet)
? One top five, three top 10s
? Average finish of 21.4 in nine races
? Average Running Position of 27.3, 48th-best
? Driver Rating of 64.3, 36th-best
? 38 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most

Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford)
? One top five, two top 10s
? Average finish of 22.0 in 15 races
? Average Running Position of 22.5, 29th-best
? Driver Rating of 68.9, 26th-best
? 42 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most

Kurt Busch (No. 2 Operation Home Front/Miller Lite Dodge)
? Six top fives, 13 top 10s
? Average finish of 12.8 in 19 races
? Average Running Position of 16.2, ninth-best
? Driver Rating of 85.0, ninth-best
? 3,559 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most
? 1,212 Laps in the Top 15 (57.8%), second-most
? 2,540 Quality Passes, fourth-most

Carl Edwards (No. 99 Aflac Ford)
? One top five, three top 10s
? Average finish of 22.5 in 12 races
? Average Running Position of 24.3, 37th-best
? Driver Rating of 67.4, 27th-best
? 40 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most

Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Crown Royal Black Ford)
? Three top fives, six top 10s
? Average finish of 18.7 in 21 races
? Average Running Position of 17.0, 11th-best
? Driver Rating of 81.7, 14th-best
? 3,332 Green Flag Passes, 10th-most
? 1,191 Laps in the Top 15 (56.8%), fourth-most
? 2,595 Quality Passes, third-most

TALLADEGA HIGHLIGHTS
? Richard Brickhouse won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race in1969.
? 40 different drivers have posted victories, led by Dale Earnhardt Sr. (10); 18 drivers have won more than once. Kevin Harvick won his first Talladega race this past April.
? Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in victories, with six.
? Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing each have 10 wins, more than any other organization.
? 31 of 81 races have been won from a top-two starting position, including 13 from the pole; 23 have been won from a starting position outside the top 10. The most recent driver to win from the pole was Jeff Gordon in 2007 (spring).
? Mark Martin’s pace in the 1997 spring race set an all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup record for the fastest race ever. He won the caution-free race with an average speed of 188.354 mph and covered the 500-mile distance in two hours, 39 minutes and 18 seconds.
? Dale Earnhardt Jr. had four consecutive victories (October 2001 through April 2003), the most ever by a driver there. Buddy Baker (three – May 1975 through May 1976) is the only other driver to win more than two consecutive races there.
? Since the inception of electronic scoring in 1993, every race that has ended under green has had a margin of victory under half a second. In April, the MOV was 0.011 seconds, the second-closest margin at Talladega.

Share Button