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Stats advance: Analyzing the Aaron's 499

April 29, 2014, NASCAR.com

Stats advance: Analyzing the Aaron's 499
A statistical lookahead to the first of two Sprint Cup Series stops at Talladega

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama going into the Aaron’s 499 on May 4.

TALLADEGA-SPECIFIC STATISTICS
 
Aric Almirola (No. 43 Gwaltney Ford)
·         One top 10
·         Average finish of 19.9
·         Average Running Position of 17.8, 12th-best
·         Driver Rating of 83.7, 10th-best
 
Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet)
·         Six top fives, 13 top 10s
·         Average finish of 16.7
·         Average Running Position of 14.9, fifth-best
·         Driver Rating of 87.4, fifth-best
·         6,599 Green Flag Passes, third-most
·         2,144 Laps in the Top 15 (62.6%), second-most
·         4,529 Quality Passes, second-most
 
Austin Dillon (No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet)
·         Average finish of 26.0
·         Series-best Average Running Position of 11.5
·         Driver Rating of 81.5, 12th-best
·         Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 193.265 mph
 
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet)
·         Five wins, 10 top fives, 14 top 10s
·         Average finish of 14.6
·         Average Running Position of 14.6, fourth-best
·         Driver Rating of 91.5, third-best
·         75 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
·         6,044 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most
·         Average Green Flag Speed of 193.083 mph, third-fastest
·         2,078 Laps in the Top 15 (60.7%), third-most
·         4,009 Quality Passes, fourth-most
 
Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s/Valspar Reserve Chevrolet)
·         Two wins, six top fives, 10 top 10s; one pole
·         Average finish of 17.0
·         Average Running Position of 16.9, eighth-best
·         Driver Rating of 85.1, seventh-best
·         Average Green Flag Speed of 192.872 mph, 12th-fastest
·         1,757 Laps in the Top 15 (51.3%), fifth-most
·         3,436 Quality Passes, fifth-most
 
Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota)
·         One win, five top fives, nine top 10s
·         Average finish of 17.7
·         Average Running Position of 13.9, third-best
·         Driver Rating of 91.6, second-best
·         63 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most
·         5,791 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most
·         Series-high 2,239 Laps in the Top 15 (65.4%)
·         4,275 Quality Passes, third-most
 
Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Ford)
·         Two wins, three top fives, six top 10s
·         Average finish of 14.2
·         Driver Rating of 84.4, eighth-best
·         Average Green Flag Speed of 192.936 mph, ninth-fastest
 
Jamie McMurray (No. 1 McDonald's Chevrolet)
·         Two wins, six top fives, seven top 10s
·         Average finish of 19.3
·         Driver Rating of 83.3, 11th-best
·         Average Green Flag Speed of 193.035 mph, seventh-fastest
·         1,692 Laps in the Top 15 (49.4%), sixth-most
·         3,307 Quality Passes, eighth-most
 
David Ragan (No. 34 KFC Ford)
·         One win, four top fives, seven top 10s
·         Average finish of 14.2
·         Driver Rating of 84.2, ninth-best
·         Average Green Flag Speed of 193.080 mph, fourth-fastest
 
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17 Zest Ford)
·         One top five, one top 10
·         Average finish of 8.0
·         Average Running Position of 12.5, second-best
·         Series-best Driver Rating of 94.7
·         Average Green Flag Speed of 193.253 mph, second-fastest
 
Brian Vickers (No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota)
·         One win, four top fives, six top 10s
·         Average finish of 20.1
·         Average Running Position of 17.0, ninth-best
·         Driver Rating of 87.3, sixth-best

Talladega Superspeedway Data

Season Race #: 10 of 36 (05-04-14)
Track Size: 2.66-miles
Banking/Turn 1 & 2: 33 degrees
Banking/Turn 3 & 4: 33 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 16.5 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 2 degrees
Frontstretch Length: 4,300 feet
Backstretch Length: 4,000 feet
Race Length: 188 laps / 500 miles
 
Top 10 Driver Ratings at Talladega
Ricky Stenhouse Jr..................... 94.7
Matt Kenseth.............................. 91.6
Dale Earnhardt Jr........................ 91.5
Kurt Busch.................................. 87.4
Brian Vickers.............................. 87.3
Jimmie Johnson.......................... 85.1
Brad Keselowski......................... 84.4
David Ragan............................... 84.2
Aric Almirola............................... 87.3
Jamie McMurray.......................... 83.3
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (18 total) among active drivers at Talladega Superspeedway.
 
Qualifying/Race Data
2013 pole winner:
None – due to inclement weather
 
2013 race winner:
David Ragan, Ford
148.729 mph, (03:26:02), 05-05-13
 
Track qualifying record:
Bill Elliott, Ford
212.809 mph, 44.998 secs. 04-30-87
 
Track race record:
Mark Martin, Ford
188.354 mph, (02:39:18), 05-10-97
 
 
Talladega Superspeedway:
History
· Construction began on what was then known as the Alabama International Motor Speedway on May 23, 1968.
·    The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on Sept. 14, 1969 – won by Richard Brickhouse.
·     The name changed to Talladega Superspeedway in 1989.
·     Fourth repaving completed on Sept. 19, 2006.
Notebook
·   There have been 89 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Talladega Superspeedway, one NSCS event in 1969 and two races per year since 1970.
· Talladega Superspeedway is tied with Michigan International Speedway for holding the ninth most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points paying races (89).  
·   433 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega; 297 in more than one.
·    Dave Marcis leads the series in starts at Talladega with 61. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 42 starts; followed by Joe Nemechek with 38.
·    Bobby Isaac won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Talladega in 1969 with a speed of 199.466 mph. Isaac won the first three poles at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.
·     36 drivers have Coors Light poles at Talladega, led by Bill Elliott with eight. Joe Nemechek leads all active drivers with four.
·     10 drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Talladega. Bill Elliott holds the record for most consecutive poles at Talladega with six (1985 - 1987).
·       Youngest Talladega pole winner: Jimmie Johnson (04/21/2002 – 26 years, 7 months, 4 days).
·   Oldest Talladega pole winner: Mark Martin (10/23/2012 – 52 years, 9 months, 14 days).
·      43 different drivers have won at Talladega Superspeedway, led by Dale Earnhardt with 10. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with six.
·        Richard Childress Racing has the most wins at Talladega in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 12; followed by Hendrick Motorsports with 11.
·      Nine different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Talladega; led by Chevrolet with 38 victories; followed by Ford with 21.
·       13 of the 89 (14.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Talladega have been won from the Coors Light pole. Jeff Gordon (2007) is the only active driver to be able to accomplish the feat. 
·      The outside front row (second-place) starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (20) than any other starting position at Talladega. 
·      33 of the 89 (37%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Talladega have been won from the front row: 13 from the pole and 20 from second-place.
·       62 of the 89 (69.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Talladega have been won from a top-10 starting position.
·      7 of the 89 (7.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Talladega have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
·       The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Talladega was 36th, by Jeff Gordon in the spring of 2000.
·    Youngest Talladega winner: Bobby Hillin Jr. (07/27/1986 – 22 years, 1 month, 22 days).
·     Oldest Talladega winner: Harry Gant (05/06/1991 – 51 years, 3 months, 26 days).
·    Buddy Baker and Tony Stewart are tied for the series’ most runner-up finishes at Talladega with six each.
·       NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the series in top-five finishes at Talladega with 23. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 15. 
·     Dale Earnhardt leads the series in top-10 finishes at Talladega with 27. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 19.
·       Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Talladega with a 10.125.
·      Brad Keselowski leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Talladega with a 14.200.
·      There have been seven NSCS races resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Talladega Superspeedway: spring of 2005 (188/194), fall of 2005 (188/190), spring of 2007 (188/192), fall of 2008 (188/190) spring of 2010 (188/200), fall of 2012 (188/189) and spring of 2013 (188/192).
·     Only two of the 89 races at Talladega Superspeedway have been shortened due to weather conditions: spring of 1987 and fall of 1996.
·    Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Talladega Superspeedway five times; most recently fall of 2013. 
·    Jamie McMurray (10/06/2002) made his series debut at Talladega Superspeedway.
·   David Gilliland (10/08/2006) and Travis Kvapil (10/05/2008) posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light poles at Talladega.   
·       2012 series champion Brad Keselowski (04/26/2009) and Brian Vickers (10/08/2006) posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins at Talladega.   
·   Nine drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have posted consecutive wins at Talladega Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the series in consecutive wins at Talladega after posting four straight from the fall of 2001 – 2003.  
·       11 of the 12 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Talladega Superspeedway participated in at least one or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Brad Keselowski is the only active series driver to winat Talladega in his first appearance.   
·     Matt Kenseth competed at Talladega Superspeedway 25 times before winning the fall of 2012; the longest span of any the 12 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
·     Matt Kenseth (25), Tony Stewart (19), Kevin Harvick (18), and David Ragan (12) all made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Talladega.
·    Joe Nemechek leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Talladega without visiting Victory Lane at 38.
·       Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Talladega Superspeedway was the (04/17/2011) race won by Jimmie Johnson with a MOV of 0.002 second – the MOV is tied with the 2003 Darlington race as the closest finishes in the NSCS using electronic scoring. 
·    Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Talladega with 843 laps led in 42 starts.
·      Three female drivers have competed at Talladega in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Janet Guthrie, Patty Moise and Danica Patrick.
Driver
Starting Position
Finishing Position
Date
Race Name
Janet Guthrie
13
32
5/1/1977
Winston 500
Janet Guthrie
9
34
8/7/1977
Talladega 500
Janet Guthrie
12
29
8/6/1978
Talladega 500
Patty Moise
36
33
7/30/1989
Talladega Diehard 500
Danica Patrick
23
33
5/5/2013
Aaron's 499
Danica Patrick
23
33
10/20/2013
Camping World RV Sales 500
NASCAR in Alabama
·    There have been 108 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races among seven different tracks in Alabama.
Track Name
City
NSCS
Talladega Superspeedway
Talladega
89
Birmingham International Raceway
Birmingham
8
Montgomery Motor Speedway
Montgomery
6
Lakeview Speedway
Mobile
2
Chisholm Speedway
Montgomery
1
Dixie Speedway
Birmingham
1
Huntsville Speedway
Huntsville
1
·       68 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Alabama.
·       Nine drivers from Alabama have won at least one race in NASCAR’s three national series; five have won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Driver
NSCS
NNS
NCWTS
Bobby Allison
84
2
0
Davey Allison
19
0
0
Neil Bonnett
18
1
0
Donnie Allison
10
0
0
Red Byron
2
0
0
Rick Crawford
0
0
5
Steve Grissom
0
11
0
Cale Gale
0
0
1
Darrell Wallace Jr
0
0
1


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