Statistically speaking: a look at Daytona

The Sprint Unlimited and each of the Budweiser Duel Daytona 500 qualifying races are in the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history book, already, but the season officially kicks off Sunday with the running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. It’s the first points-paying race for a season that ushers in new qualifying procedures and a new Chase for the Sprint Cup format. As the season-opener approaches, here’s a look at how some of the circuit’s top drivers have fared at Daytona (stats courtesy of NASCAR Media Group):

Clint Bowyer (No. 15 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota)
·        Three top fives, seven top 10s
·        Average finish of 14.8
·        Average Running Position of 16.3, seventh-best
·        Driver Rating of 86.2, eighth-best
·        76 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
·        3,359 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most
·        Average Green Flag Speed of 189.078 mph, fifth-fastest
·        1,841 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), 12th-most

Kurt Busch (No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet)
·        10 top fives, 13 top 10s
·        Average finish of 17.9
·        Average Running Position of 16.4, eighth-best
·        Driver Rating of 88.8, fifth-best
·        64 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most
·        3,296 Green Flag Passes, 10th-most
·        1,947 Laps in the Top 15 (60.1%), fifth-most
·        2,385 Quality Passes, fourth-most

Kyle Busch (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)
·        One win, five top fives, six top 10s; one pole
·        Average finish of 18.6
·        Series-best Average Running Position of 12.3
·        Series-best Driver Rating of 96.9
·        78 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
·        3,485 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most
·        Average Green Flag Speed of 189.115 mph, second-fastest
·        Series-high 2,307 Laps in the Top 15 (71.3%)
·        Series-high 2,569 Quality Passes

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet)
·        Two wins, 10 top fives, 16 top 10s; one pole
·        Average finish of 13.8
·        Average Running Position of 14.5, fourth-best
·        Driver Rating of 89.7, fourth-best
·        83 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
·        3,751 Green Flag Passes, second-most
·        Average Green Flag Speed of 189.089 mph, third-fastest
·        2,069 Laps in the Top 15 (63.9%), third-most
·        2,495 Quality Passes, second-most

Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet)
·        Six wins, 12 top fives, 19 top 10s; three poles
·        Average finish of 16.6
·        Average Running Position of 14.6, fifth-best
·        Driver Rating of 87.2, seventh-best
·        3,255 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most
·        1,873 Laps in the Top 15 (57.9%), seventh-most
·        2,039 Quality Passes, 11th-most

Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)
·        Two top fives, two top 10s
·        Average finish of 21.5
·        Average Running Position of 16.5, ninth-best
·        Driver Rating of 83.7, ninth-best
·        77 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
·        Average Green Flag Speed of 189.038 mph, seventh-fastest

Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet)
·        Two wins, six top fives, 11 top 10s; one pole
·        Average finish of 16.0
·        Driver Rating of 82.3, 12th-best
·        Series-high 85 Fastest Laps Run
·        3,199 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most
·        Average Green Flag Speed of 189.080 mph, fourth-fastest

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet)
·        Three wins, eight top fives, 11 top 10s; two poles
·        Average finish of 17.5
·        Average Running Position of 13.9, third-best
·        Driver Rating of 88.4, sixth-best
·        2,062 Laps in the Top 15 (63.7%), fourth-most
·        2,185 Quality Passes, seventh-most

Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet)
·        Two top fives, seven top 10s
·        Average finish of 19.0
·        Average Running Position of 16.8, 12th-best
·        Driver Rating of 82.4, 11th-best
·        69 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most
·        3,726 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most
·        Average Green Flag Speed of 188.999 mph, 11th-fastest
·        1,667 Laps in the Top 15 (51.5%), 10th-most
·        2,167 Quality Passes, eighth-most

Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)
·        Two wins, six top fives, 13 top 10s; one pole
·        Average finish of 17.5
·        Average Running Position of 13.9, second-best
·        Driver Rating of 92.6, third-best
·        76 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
·        2,082 Laps in the Top 15 (64.3%), second-most
·        2,215 Quality Passes, sixth-most

Tony Stewart (No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet)
·        Four wins, nine top fives, 14 top 10s; one pole
·        Average finish of 16.5
·        Average Running Position of 15.6, sixth-best
·        Driver Rating of 93.0, second-best
·        73 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most
·        1,892 Laps in the Top 15 (58.4%), sixth-most

Daytona International Speedway Data
Race #: 1 of 36 (2-23-14)
Track Size: 2.5 miles
Race Length: 500 miles (200 laps)
Banking/Corners: 31 degrees
Banking/Straights: 3 degrees
Banking/Tri-Oval: 18 degrees

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Daytona
Kyle Busch                  96.9
Tony Stewart                93.0
Matt Kenseth                92.6
Dale Earnhardt Jr.         89.7
Kurt Busch                   88.8
Jimmie Johnson            88.4
Jeff Gordon                   87.2
Clint Bowyer                 86.2
Denny Hamlin               83.7
Kasey Kahne                82.4
Note: Driver Ratings are compiled from 2005-2013 races (17 total) at Daytona.

Tags: Daytona International Speedway NASCAR

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